Scotsman Jamie Mann and Englishman Jack Bigham have set the early pace at the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship after shooting opening three-under-par rounds of 69 to take a share of the lead after the first day of play.
And that's a wrap on Day 1 of the Boys and Girls Amateur Championships 🏌️♂️🏌️♀️— The R&A (@RandA) August 10, 2021
Join us tomorrow for the final round of stroke play, before we get to the knockouts 🥊 pic.twitter.com/E3AzAAwV1b
The championship, which is marking its centenary year and is being held at Royal Cinque Ports on the Kent coastline, is back following a two-year absence after last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mann recorded seven birdies despite dropping three shots along the way as the 17-year-old managed to take advantage of the early calm conditions on the links.
Bigham turned a slow start around with five birdies on the back nine having been two-over-par at the turn to take a share of the clubhouse lead.
Opportunity to score early on
Following a wet and windy practice round Mann was happy to be given the opportunity to go and post a low score early after being part of the first group to tee off in today’s first round.
‘’It was so much better today, there was just certain shots that you couldn’t hit yesterday, I had the ball relatively high, but I am not going to lie I was struggling in the wind’’, said Mann.
‘’It was nice to have some good weather, not too much wind because that is what I am used too, more than anything, I found it easier to go at the pins today with obviously less wind, and it was just good fun really. I played well.’’
🚨 Clubhouse leader alert! 🚨— The R&A (@RandA) August 10, 2021
Jamie Mann is the early leader at @RCPgolfclub carding a 3-under 69 👏
Keep across the leaderboards and all the action from the Boys and Girls Amateur at https://t.co/Q4Wojth6t1 🏌️♀️🏌️♂️ pic.twitter.com/jgzTLY5Lqr
Finding form at the turn
Bigham, who had a very contrasting front and back nine where he managed to recover from two-over-par at the turn, says the driver was the key to his change in fortunes.
‘’I was hitting it better off the tee. Front nine I had a few that went in the long rough and sometimes I wasn’t getting to the green, so I was having to chip out. On the back nine I found something with my driver which was good’’, he said.
Bigham who plays at Harpenden admits links golf isn’t something he has practiced often.
‘’This is the first time I have been here, I haven’t played links golf much, I played in The Amateur a few months ago in Scotland and I loved it there and it is a proper test of your golf.”
The power of the putter
Mann praised the confidence in his putting ability as he started finding his feet as he closed out his round.
‘’I struggled the first eight holes, scrambled my way round, holed some good putts. I then found something on hole 9, and it just stuck for the rest of the round. I hit it really well from there and took advantage of the good shots I hit, which it was what you have to do around here because it’s a tough course and I yes I just took advantage of the good shots.
‘’My confidence has gone through the roof with my putting, which worked well so hopefully that sticks with me for the rest of the week’’, said Mann.
The pair currently sit one shot clear of England’s Harry Malin with a further eight players two shots back on one-under par.