Italy’s Julien Paltrinieri moved three shots away from the field in the Carris Trophy today after he got to six-under par at the halfway stage at West Sussex Golf Club.
Yesterday’s sunshine was replaced with rain and then a strengthening wind, but nothing could dampen Paltrinieri’s sparkle in the second round of the English U18 boys’ open championship.
The overnight co-leader (pictured top) ignored the morning downpour to shoot two-under 68 and set a target which could not be passed. He’s three clear of his closest challengers, England front-runner Robin Williams (Peterborough Milton), and Jean Bekirian of France.
Paltrinieri was delighted with his performance and commented: “It was really difficult this morning, but fortunately I was playing well. I felt comfortable, everything was working right.”
The 18-year-old made his intentions clear when he started with two birdies, remarking: “It gave my confidence a boost and really helped me with the round,” he said. After that, whenever his score slipped, he produced more birdies to get back on track, holing a very long putt on his eighth hole and sinking an 18-footer on his 17th.
Williams, 15, moved up into a share of second place when he added level par 68 to his opening 65. The boy international has clearly kept the form which saw him take third place in last week’s McGregor Trophy – the English U16 boys’ open – and today he displayed an invaluable talent for scrambling.
His card looked the model of consistency, with one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars. It was the opposite, laughed Williams, who said: “It didn’t feel like that, it was a real roller-coaster.
“I hit it in all sorts of places and somehow made lots of pars and some real clutch putts to keep me in the tournament. Now I’m in a good place and anything can happen, at least I’ve given myself a chance, I’m in a good position to move forward.”
Behind Williams is a group of three players on two-under, including Kent’s Ben Quinney, who was round in level par today, and sits alongside Scotland’s Eric McIntosh and Kevin Latchayya of Italy.
Quinney (Bearsted), is playing for the first time at this level and coped well with the change in conditions, balancing three birdies with three bogeys. “I could have holed some more putts, I was inside 15ft from the 13th to 16th, but I’ll shoot a good score tomorrow!” he said.
Two more players have sub-par totals: Thomas Plumb (Sherborne, Dorset) and Jake Benson (Beeston Fields, Nottinghamshire) are both one-under.
The dreary weather reduced the number of sub-par rounds returned today – but the conditions held no problems for George Clarke of Druids Heath, Staffordshire. He scored the low round of the day with his three-under 65, which gave him a 36-hole total of level par and a share of ninth place, with nine others.
After today’s round the field was cut to the top 60 and ties who will play the final two rounds, tomorrow and on Friday. A total of 64 players qualified with scores of six-over and better.
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