The Amateur

Top Ranked Åberg Leads at Lytham

Sweden's Ludvig Åberg shot a brilliant seven-under-par 67 at St Annes Old Links to move into pole position of the stroke play qualifying stage of The 127th Amateur Championship.

The R&A
13 Jun 22
3 mins

The Swede, ranked number three on the World Amateur Golf Ranking®, took advantage of idyllic conditions to post a superb seven-under-par 65 at St Annes Old Links and sit a stroke clear at the top.

With this week’s Championship in Lancashire attracting record entries, Aberg set the pace among the 288-player field which features competitors from 42 countries. In one of the final groups of the day, Denmark's Mathias Lorentzen posted a fine six-under 66 to secure second place alone going into round two of stroke play qualifying tomorrow. Aberg, the Texas Tech student who won the 2022 Ben Hogan Award presented by PNC Bank as best men’s college golfer over the previous 12 months, chipped in for an eagle at the 18th to highlight his day.

In-form Swedes

The highest-ranked player this week said, “I feel like I've worked hard to get to where I am and it's more of a testament to me doing some good stuff. Yeah, people will obviously expect you to play well and luckily I did today.” Another Swede, Hugo Townsend, posted a five-under 67 at St Annes Old Links in the late evening sun, with the national squad now being mentored by Peter Hanson, the former Ryder Cup player.  “Peter has had such a long and successful career on the tours and his experiences together with coaching, it's just going to be great for us players,” added Aberg. While St Annes Old Links offered more favourable scoring opportunities than the test posed by Royal Lytham & St Annes, host to The Open on 11 occasions, Scotland’s Jamie Roberts excelled over the latter to sign for a four-under 66 – helped by two birdies in his last three holes on the demanding closing finish.
“I feel like I've worked hard to get to where I am and it's more of a testament to me doing some good stuff."

Ludvig Åberg

Sweden

Eyes on the prize

Anton Albers from Germany, Irish trio Matthew McClean, Paul Coughlan and Jack Hearn and Australian Hayden Hopewell are also on four-under and inside the top ten after their efforts at St Annes Old Links. McClean mixes his golf with his winter job and said, “I qualified about five years as an optometrist,” he said. “It's pretty much full-time for me from April onwards to September, and then back working over the winter to fund the summer golf.” Albers played on the DP World Tour last week, missing the cut at the Porsche European Open. He bounced back in The Amateur and added, “That was nice last week, even though I didn't play my best. But I made some good experiences there and links golf is a totally different story.” Hopewell found his first taste of links golf to his liking. “This is my first time in England, first time playing links golf,” he revealed. “It's very windy and I guess I have to stay out of the pot bunkers, which I managed to avoid.”

Scott back from injury

For Sandy Scott, the last two years have been anything but easy, but the amateur from Nairn is back playing golf following a wrist injury. He started with a solid two-under 70 at St Annes Old Links – the same score as younger brother, Calum. “Around March time I started playing golf again after my second surgery,” revealed Sandy. “It took maybe another month-and-a half to be able to be thrown into a competitive environment in college golf. I managed to get about five tournaments under my belt, in terms of the injury, feeling better, playing better. It just kept getting better each week.  “I turned a corner about a month ago with performance and I felt pretty good since then. So yeah, it's been a slow process but at the same time, I see improvements each week, so that's fun.” The field will play a further 18 holes of stroke play on Tuesday to determine the top-64 players and ties who make it through to the match play rounds. The 36-hole Final will be played on Saturday 18 June with the Champion earning a dream place in The 150th Open at St Andrews next month. The R&A will provide live broadcast coverage of the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday and the Final on Saturday. This can be watched on The R&A’s website randa.org as well as its YouTube channel. Round One Results Round Two Tee Times