Sussex teenager Joe Sullivan got into the Carris Trophy from the reserve list – and made the most of his chance with a leaderboard-topping 66 in the first round.
He’s three shots clear of Gregorio De Leo of Italy and Eemil Alajarvi of Finland. Two players are tied on two-under while a group of 13 share sixth place on one-under.
They include Fulford junior captain George Robson, Seb Tannum Donaldson (Buckinghamshire), Matthew Jackman (Southport & Ainsdale), James Cooper (Cumberwell Park), Curtis Knipes (Abridge), Harrison Hodgson (Rockliffe Hall) and George Raitt (Whetstone).
Sullivan (Chartham Park) made his way into the lead with when he collected seven birdies and just one bogey in the hot, muggy sunshine at Fulford Golf Club, York.
The 16-year-old is playing in the Carris Trophy – or the English U18 boys’ open championship – for the first time and had to bide his time to join the field. He was originally 11th on the reserve list, having entered off a handicap of 0.6.
Since then he’s been cut to plus-2 with a string of sub-par rounds and he demonstrated his form today, with his best-ever score in a major competition.
Sullivan’s iron play was in great shape and he gave himself lots of chances from 6ft – making most of them but leaving a couple behind. He’s spent a lot of time lately practising his putting and it paid off today over the closing holes, when he holed from 25ft and then 20ft for birdies on 15 and 16.
Now he’s looking forward to tomorrow and his early tee time of 7.40am. “That’s good, I can get straight out and not think about it!” he said.
Fulford’s junior captain George Robson also got in from the reserve list and also took advantage of the opportunity. He went round in 71 with a round which included a birdie on the 10th and an eagle three on the 11th.
Defending champion Andrea Romano of Italy, started well with a birdie on the first but then was unable to make ground and closed with four-over 76.
Image of Joe Sullivan copyright Leaderboard Photography