ENGLAND’S EASON LEADS 64 AND TIES FROM 28 NATIONS INTO MATCH PLAY STAGE

 

 

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For Immediate Publication

ENGLAND’S EASON LEADS 64 AND TIES FROM 28 NATIONS INTO MATCH PLAY STAGE

14 June 2011, Hillside, Southport: Englishman Gregory Eason has finished at the top of the leaderboard, at the conclusion of the stroke play qualifying stage of the 2011 Amateur Championship. The 18-year-old from Leicester produced a three-under-par 68 at Hesketh Golf Club, adding to yesterday’s 71 at Hillside, for a four-under-par total of 139.

“I’m looking forward to the match play,” said Eason, who studies at the University of Central Florida. “Hillside is fantastic; it’s one of the toughest courses I’ve ever played. I hardly get to play any match play in the States, but I’m going to approach it in the same way. If I play as well as I have done, I’ll be okay.”

Wales’ Alastair Jones signed for a three-under-par 68, at Hesketh, to finish qualifying in second place. The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad member reached a two-round total of 140, enough to finish at three under par. 

“Everyone’s just trying to qualify for the match-play stage, but it obviously gives you some confidence performing well in the stroke play,” said Jones, who used driver just once today on his way to 68. “I’ll certainly be more aggressive in the match play tomorrow. A double-bogey in the qualifying rounds can ruin your chances, but from now on, it’s just one hole.” 

One shot back from Jones after a 69 at Hillside was England’s Steven Brown, who was beaten in the first round of match play at Formby in the 2009 Amateur by eventual winner Matteo Manassero.

“I love this place. It’s a real pleasure to play here,” said Brown. “If I keep playing the way I am, I’ve got a good chance against anyone.” 

Boys Amateur Champion Adrian Otaegui joined a raft of players on 142, one-under-par. This week, he is attempting to emulate his compatriots Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal in adding the Amateur Championship to his Boys Amateur title.

“I am very far away from thinking about winning,” said the Spaniard. “I am playing well, yes, but I am not thinking about that yet. One day at a time.”

Another Walker Cup squad member, Michael