McCullen leads after round one of the 2013 Boys Amateur Championship
England’s Hadyn McCullen carded a fine five under par 67 to claim a one shot lead over Spain’s Manuel Elvira and Irish international Gareth Lappin after the first round of the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) and Wallasey.
McCullen, a 17-year-old from Delamere Forest in Cheshire, who is also a member of St Annes Old Links, made history earlier this year when he became the first player to win the Lancashire county and boys championship in the same season and he replicated that sort of form with a fine round at Wallasey where he carded three birdies in an outward half of 33, dropped a shot at the 149-yard par-3 12th but then moved to the top of the leaderboard with further birdies on the 14th, the 17th and the 18th.
Elvira turns 17 tomorrow (Wednesday) and the teenager from Madrid is now in a great position to celebrate by qualifying for the Championship’s match play stages after a fine round at Wallasey where he raced to the turn in two under par 34 and then came home with further birdies at the 14th and the 17th.
Lappin also played his first round at the home of the famous Stableford scoring system and the 2012 Irish Boys Open Amateur Champion from Belvoir Park in Belfast was quickly into his stride with a birdie on the 365-yard par-4 opening hole. He dropped a shot at the 3rd but then added further birdies at the 6th, 8th, 11th and 14th before closing with a bogey on the 17th and a birdie on the 18th.
The second-placed Spaniard and Irishman go into the second round with a two shot advantage over Belgium’s Aurian Capart, Welshman Jack Davidson (Llanwern) and English duo Jamie Dick (Forest Hills) and Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick), who all carded two under par rounds of 70 at Wallasey, as well as England’s Samuel Wilkinson (Fulford), whose two under par round of 70 was the best of the day at Royal Liverpool.
On a day in which the wind gusted to over 25 miles per hour, England’s Cameron Long (Drayton Park) returned at level par 72 at next year’s Open Championship venue and shares 9th place with Scotland’s Andrew Burgess (Nairn) and English boys’ international Bobby Keeble (Crowlands Heath) who matched par along the coast a Wallasey.
It turned out to be a good day for the English players in a strong field comprising 252 competitors from over 20 different countries as Josh Hilleard (Farrington), Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park), Joe Brooks (Brickendon Grange), Robert Burlison (Oxley Park), Harry Hall (West Cornwall) and 2013 Berkhamsted Trophy winner Jack Singh Brar (Brockenhurst Manor) all shared 12th place on 73 with France’s Jeremy Gandon, Norway’s Jarand Ekeland Arnoy and Scotland’s Alexander Wilson (Renaissance) while 2012 Fairhaven Trophy winner Marco Penge (Worthing) and 2011 English Under-16’s champion Jack Hermeston (City of Newcastle) were tied in a share of 21st place together with French duo Thomas Le Berre and Edgar Catherine, Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson and Christopher MacLean, Ireland’s Matthew Kane, Germany’s Maximilian Schmitt, Sweden’s Hampus Nilsson, Belgium’s Alan de Bondt and Jacopo Guasconi from Italy.
After the second round of match play tomorrow (Wednesday) the leading 64 players and those tied for 64th place progress to the match play stages. Among those other players who have given themselves a great chance to qualify are 2012 European Young Masters champion Renato Paratore from Italy, 2012 English Amateur champion Harry Ellis (Marriott Meon Valley) and 2013 Carris Trophy winner Ben Amor (Marlborough) who are all in the large group in 32nd place on three over par 75.
For live scoring from the 2013 Boys Amateur Championship please click here.