Brun leads successful qualifiers into match play stages

Julien BrunDay-one leader, Julien Brun, has secured his place in the match play stages of the Boys Amateur Championship with a solid round of 76 at Dundonald Links to add to yesterday’s seven-under-par 66 at Kilmarnock (Barassie). Two shots clear of the rest of the field on a three-under-par total of 142, the Frenchman will be one of the men to beat when the one-on-one contests commence tomorrow.

Brun’s four-over-par 76 at Dundonald, which included one birdie, three bogeys and a double-bogey, was the second-lowest round of the day, with scores at both venues affected by high winds.

“It was so tough today with the wind,” explained the 18-year-old French boys international, who will play Sebastian Schwind of Germany in the first match play round. “I was trying to shape the shots for the wind to help them if I could, but it was very difficult.

Brun completes his second round of 76, at Dundonald Links.“I’m really happy. It was a great performance over the last two days, so I’m confident, but it’s a totally different event that starts tomorrow.”

Finishing qualifying tied-second were Scotland’s Conor O'Neil and Irishman Jeff Hopkins, both of whom scored well at Barassie today. Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play Championship runner-up O'Neil, who will face England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick tomorrow, signed for a three-under-par round of 70, which included three consecutive birdies, on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes, and an eagle at the 491-yard, par-five 16th.

Like O'Neil, Hopkins, who was the first-round leader at the Irish Amateur in May this year, also produced an eagle, this time at the 539-yard eighth hole, on his way to a two-under-par score of 70. He will play in the final match of the day against either Frederick Hammer of Denmark or Englishman Sebastian Crookall-Nixon. They will contest one of five preliminary matches which will reduce the current field of 69 down to 64.

The best round of the day at Barassie, however, came from Jack Heasman, who finds himself teeing-off in the first of the preliminary matches against Germany’s Jens Geweke. The Englishman recovered from a 13-over-par 85 at Dundonald yesterday to scrape into the match play stages on 154 after today’s four-under-par 69.

Conditions were tough at Dundonald Links today.“It was awful yesterday,” said Heasman, “but I played really well today.” I wasn’t hitting it well on the range, but it came together out on the course. I managed to cope with the consistently strong wind pretty well.”

The lowest rounds of the day at Dundonald, three three-over-par 75s, were made by Spain’s Eder Moreno, Max Rottluff of Germany and Englishman Steve Jones.

The draw for the tomorrow’s match play can be found here. Play begins at Kilmarnock (Barassie) at 8.00am.

Scores and stories will appear on RandA.org throughout the day.

Full hole-by-hole scores from the two days of stroke play qualifying can be found here.