Whiteoak and Langasque head Boys Amateur field at Notts and Coxmoor

Boys AmEngland’s William Whiteoak and France’s Romain Langasque carded four-under par rounds of 68 to claim a one shot lead after the first round of the 86th Boys’ Amateur Championship at Notts (Hollinwell) and Coxmoor Golf Clubs in Nottinghamshire.

18 year-old Whiteoak, from Bingley St Ives, West Yorkshire, and his French rival, 17 year-old Langasque, from Ormesson, go into the second round one shot ahead of English Boys’ Internationals Bradley Moore from KedlestonPark and Max Orrin from North Foreland.

16 year-old Frenchman, Kenny Subregis, from Paris Country Club, carded a fine two-under par 70 at Coxmoor to share fifth place alongside another English International, Toby Tree, from Worthing, and Ryan Cornfield from Enville. That left that trio one shot ahead of Germans Dominik Pietzsch and Rico Thome, Italy’s Michele Ortolani, Frenchman Thomas Perrot, Welshman Ryan Thomas and English quartet, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire), Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest) Nick Ward (Brocket Hall) and Richard Mansell (Beau Desert).

The in-form Patrick Kelly, from Boston West, who was last year’s losing finalist, and who this year has won both the Fairhaven Trophy and the recent Carris Trophy, returned a level par 72 at Notts to share 17th place with a large group comprising compatriots Oscar Granstrom-Livesey, Robert Burlison, Nick Marsh and Jack Singh-Brar, Ireland’s Matthew Kane (Whitehead), Germans Maximilian Oelfke, Rico Thome and Maximilian Boegel, Scot Angus Carrick, Italians Michele Cea and Renato Paratore,  the winner of the recent European young Masters tournament in Hungary.

Whiteoak came into the Championship in fine form having completed an impressive double by winning both the Bradford Amateur Stroke Play Championship and the Bradford Open within the last month. He dropped a shot at Coxmoor’s 437-yard par-4 opening hole but then fired three birdies at the 3rd, 4th and 8th before coming home with four more birdies at the 11th, 13th, 16th and 18th to give himself a great chance to reach the match play stages for the second year in-a-row.

Langasque, the runner-up in this year’s French Amateur Championship at Chantilly, arrived in Robin Hood Country well rested after a two week holiday in the South of France. He raced to the turn at Notts with four birdies at the 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th, dropped a shot on the 439-yard par-4 15th but then recorded his fifth birdie of the day with a chip and a putt for a four on the 501-yard par-5 17th.

“I had a good rest coming into this Championship and could not have got off to a much better start,” said the Frenchman. “I played very solidly and my score might have been even better because I missed from less than a yard for another birdie on the 10th.

“Last year I managed to get through qualifying but then lost in the second round,” he added. “This year I’d like to go a bit further if I can.”

OrrinOrrin, from North Foreland, came into the Championship with a long list of fine performances at many of this year’s top events, including runner-up finishes at both the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the individual event at the European Boys’ Team Championship, and he scored a three-under par 69 at Coxmoor that included a brace of eagles on the 530-yard par-5 6th and the 539-yard par-5 18th.

14 year-old Bradley Moore, who won the 2011 Reid Trophy by a remarkable ten shots at the age of just 13, shares third place with Orrin after also returning a three-under par 69 at Coxmoor. He began his round with a bogey on the 493-yard par-4 3rd but got back to level par with a birdie two holes later and then raced home with further birdies on the 535-yard par-5 13 th, 557-yard par-5 16 th and 194-yard par-3 17 th.

Subregis was the leading qualifier 12 months ago at Burnham and Berrow and he gave himself a chance to duplicate that feat with a fine two-under par 70 at Coxmoor which left him in a share of fifth place with Cornfield and Tree, who was fifth behind Kelly at the recent Carris Trophy.

Subregis and Cornfield both carded four birdies and two bogeys in see-saw rounds but his 18 year-old English rival was much more consistent. He opened with birdies on the 301-yard par-4 4th and the 530-yard par-5 6th and then briefly went to three-under par with a birdie on the 535-yard par-5 13th hole before dropping his only shot of the day one hole later. 

Early in the day Spain’s Jon Rahm became the first competitor to be penalised one shot for slow play during his round at Notts.

The 17 year-old Spaniard came into the event as the top-ranked competitor at No. 15 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). He received several warnings for slow play before being docked a shot for a bad time on the 18th hole. He signed for a 77 which left him well down the field in a share of 109th place and with a lot to do in the second round to make it into the top-64 and qualify for the match play stages which start at Notts on Wednesday.

Cameron Long, from Drayton Park, Oxon, also received a one shot penalty for a similar offence at Coxmoor. He went on to return a 76 to end the day in a share of 81st place.

It was not a good day for several of the other more prominent players in this year’s field. Matthias Schwab, the Austrian who finished runner-up to Alan Dunbar at the recent Amateur Championship at Royal Troon opened with a four-over par 76 at Notts. The reigning Scottish Boys’ Match Play champion, Craig Howie from Peebles and his Stroke Play equivalent, Greig Marchbank (Dumfries & County) both carded six-over par rounds of 78 at Notts as did the defending champion, Harrison Greenberry from Exeter, while Henry James from Kidderminster, the Welsh Boys’ champion, had a 79.

First Round Leaderboard (* denotes Coxmoor)

68 – William Whiteoak (Eng)*, Romain Langasque (Fra)

69 – Bradley Moore (Eng)*, Max Orrin (Eng)*

70 – Kenny Subregis (Fra)*, Toby Tree (Eng)*

71 – Dominik Pietzsch (Ger), Haydn McCullen (Eng), Richard Mansell (Eng), Michele Ortolani (It)*, Nick Ward (Eng), Thomas Perrot (Fra), Ryan Thomas (Wal), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng)*, Rico Thome (Ger)*

72 – Oscar Granstrom-Livesey (Eng)*, Robert Burlison (Eng)*, Nick Marsh (Eng), Maximilian Oelfke (Ger)*, Matthew Kane (Ire), Jack Singh-Brar (Eng), Patrick Kelly (Eng), Michele Cea (Ita), Maximilian Bogel (Ger), Angus Carrick (Sco)*, Renato Paratore (It)*

Click here to view the full scores from Round 1.