Kristoffer Reitan led the qualifiers after the second round of stroke play at The 90th Boys Amateur Championship at Muirfield and Renaissance Club today.
The Norwegian followed up yesterday’s round of 67 at Renaissance Club with a one-under-par round of 70 at Muirfield to top the leaderboard on a five-under-par total of 137.
Two birdies on the front nine were followed by a long series of pars until the final hole, where he dropped a shot with a bogey five.
“I am very pleased at finishing on top of the leaderboard”, said Reitan after finishing the round. “I just kept on fighting the entire day because there were not too many birdies out there and the conditions weren’t too easy. I made a lot of pars and I’m pleased with that. Unfortunately I made a bogey on the last but 70 is always a good score at Muirfield.
“Yesterday we (Markus) had a deal that we would have finished number one and two – because that is something that we would really like. Obviously I always wanted it to be me at the top but we just really wanted two Norwegians at the top of the leaderboard – that was our main focus.
“I just have to play one match at a time and keep on focusing on what I’ve been doing. I never take anything for granted and just keep on fighting and I really enjoy match play because it really suits my game and I get to be a little more aggressive. I’m looking forward to that.”
The lowest round of the day came from Harry Goddard, who shot a superb 65 at Renaissance Club to move up the leaderboard and finish on four-under-par in a tie for second place with Markus Braadlie of Norway.
The Hanbury Manor member, who was part of the winning England teamat the Boys Home Internationals at Ballyliffin (Glashedy Links) last week, carded six birdies and an eagle at the par five 16th to become the leading qualifier from Great Britain and Ireland.“I went out there with a game plan to hit the greens in the best place possible because the greens are quite undulating”, said Goddard. “Luckily my iron play was in good condition and I was able to make some good putts.
“My ambitions for this week were to get two solid rounds and make the cut but obviously I'll take this, being the best British player after two rounds.
“They are really great courses. Luckily the wind wasn't too harsh for us. Yesterday it was a bit blowy on my front nine but I managed to keep the ball in play.”
Braadlie held the outright lead following birdies on the 5th, 9th and 11th holes at Muirfield but four dropped shots, including a double bogey on the par-5 17th, meant that he finished one shot behind his compatriot Reitan after recording a one-over-par round of 72.
“I played well these two days and like yesterday at Renaissance Club, I hit the ball pretty well today and got the ball on most of the fairways”, said Braadlie.
“I missed some of the greens but I managed to save par with some nice putts. There was a little bit more wind on the back nine and it was pretty tough as the holes are quite long.
“I’ve never played in Scotland before, it’s a new experience with the links golf courses but it’s been fun and I’m looking forward to playing match play. It’s a little bit different than stroke play because you’re playing one opponent but I think it’s a little bit more fun.”
Defending champion Marcus Svensson produced a steady round of 70 at Muirfield to settle for a three-under-par total of 139 and is tied for fourth place with India’s Rayhan John Thomas, who found the going tough today in posting a three-over-par round of 74 at Muirfield.
Edgar Catherine was the top performer at Muirfield with a five-under-par round of 66 which took him back to level par and ensured his qualification for the match play stage.
The cut for the top 64 players and ties fell at six-over-par and among those to miss out on the match play stage include Michael Lawrie, son of the 1999 Champion Golfer of the Year Paul, and Junior Open Champion Pedro Lencart Silva.
The match play stage gets underway tomorrow at Muirfield. Admission and parking is free. For the match play draw and scoring please visit championships.randa.org.