Drakeford and Chesters lead the way after day one at The Amateur Championship

DrakefordIn perfect conditions at Royal Troon and Glasgow-Gailes Links, Australia’s Geoff Drakeford and England’s Ashley Chesters lead the way with a pair of 4-under par 67s at the half-way stage of the stroke play qualifying stage of the 2012 Amateur Championship.

Drakeford (right) shot five birdies at Troon including a chip-in at the par-4 15th on the way to an impressive 67. Chambers, playing at Glasgow-Gailes, matched the 4-under total and missed out on the outright lead after narrowly missing out for par on the 18th.

Drakeford, ranked 88th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), who grew up playing alongside last year’s Champion Bryden Macpherson said, “It’s a great experience being here, with a lot on the line, I have a great incentive to win. I’ll go out there with the same attitude tomorrow.”

Last year, Chesters of Hawkstone Park, reached the last 16 before being defeated on the final hole by Frenchman Sebastian Gros. He said, “This is the biggest event I’ve played. I did well last year, so it would be nice to do it again or go further.”

Other notable scores at Royal Troon included a fantastic 3-under par 68 from James White of Lundin Links.  The 2011 SGU Order of Merit Champion said, “The course is so demanding, course management needs to be spot on, and that’s what I did right today.  This is a huge week for me, it’s the biggest event as an amateur, everyone wants to do well and the course suits my game.”

White’s 3-under par total was matched by Austrian Matthias Schwab and Adrien Saddier of France. The highest ranked player in the field Daan Huizing (5th), posted a 1-over par 72.  The Dutchman who has come off the back of rampant victories at the Lytham Trophy and St Andrews Links Trophy said, “Troon is one of the toughest links courses I’ve played. I am happy with 1-over par, even without the wind.”

Over at Glasgow Gailes, on-form Max Orrin posted the second best score of the day with a 3-under par 68.  Pedro Figueiredo, the 2008 British Boys Amateur Champion ranked 19th in WAGR carded a 69, matched by Belgian Xavier Fayaerts and American Will McCurdy. McCurdy said, “The weather dictates the scoring, this almost played like American golf today.  I was able to come over with my cousin who is also playing, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

The final round of the stroke play qualifying is played tomorrow, with the top 64 and ties progressing to the match play stage of the competition.

Click here for a full list of scores.