Somerset’s Matt Turner won the southern qualifier for the Brabazon Trophy with 66 at Littlestone, Kent – which included a stunning front nine of eight-under par 28.
In the north, Warwickshire’s Sam Broadhurst – son of Senior Open Champion Paul Broadhurst – topped the leaderboard on five-under par at Sandiway, Cheshire.
They each led 31 players into next week’s English men’s open amateur stroke play championship at Woodhall Spa, the home of England Golf. The 62 qualifiers will join over 80 exempt players to challenge for one of amateur golf’s great titles on the famed Hotchkin course.
Turner (pictured top), from Burnham and Berrow, was five-under for the round and won the south event by a shot from Todd Clements (Braintree, Essex). He commented on his remarkable front nine: “I’ve never had nine holes like that before, everything went in. It was some of the best golf I’ve ever played.”
He started with three consecutive birdies, holing out from 3ft, 10ft and 15ft, before parring the fourth.
A ‘standard’ birdie followed on the par five fifth, where his second shot finished on the front edge. He holed out from 15ft for another birdie on the sixth, then chipped in for eagle three on the seventh. The eighth provided yet another birdie where he holed from about 8ft, before he reached the turn with a par at nine.
“I was thinking ‘don’t mess up!’” said Turner. “I knew the back nine was going to be a lot tougher because it was straight back into the wind.”
He had two bogeys and a double on the way home before signing off with a birdie on 18th. His score sees him into the Brabazon Trophy field for the second year in a row.
At Sandiway, Broadhurst (Atherstone) booked his second appearance in the Brabazon when he carded 65 to win by two shots from Kieron Harman of Wales and Thomas Hamson (Notts).
He had just one bogey on his card, alongside four birdies and an eagle on the fourth, where he hit his second to within a foot of the hole.
“I’m really happy with the score. I felt I struggled for the first few holes but after that I struck it really nicely and holed some clutch putts,” he said.
Broadhurst is at college in the USA and hoping to follow his father into professional ranks. “That’s the dream and if I keep shooting rounds like today and holing putts you never know.”
Meanwhile, he caddied for his father in last year’s Senior Open and will be back on the bag this summer in both The Open and the Senior Open.
“It should be a good two weeks,” he said. “I know his game quite well and he trusts me, I like to think.”