Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Matthias Schwab (69) leads McGregor Trophy at Prince's

The McGregor Trophy has gone overseas on three occasions but a fourth could be on the cards after Austria’s Matthias Schwab fired 69 to lead the English Boys under 16 Stroke Play Championship, supported by FootJoy, at Prince’s in Sandwich.
It leaves the 15 year old a stroke ahead of John Hayes from East Sussex National and two clear of David Langley from Castle Royle.
On a tricky day on the Kent coast with a stiff breeze blowing along the Dover Strait, Schwab had six birdies on his card, more than most who found the back nine too hot to handle.
And Schwab, the only Austrian in the field, wasn’t surprised to find himself at the top of the leaderboard. “I know when I play good that I can shoot 69,” he said.
A protégé of Willie Hofmann, coach of Bernhard Langer, Schwab covered the troublesome homeward stretch in 34 then admitted: “I putted good. I holed a lot of long ones and had a bit of luck as well.”
Schwab, who hails from close to Saltzburg, has also honed his game in California and Florida when representing his country.
Hayes, 16, revealed his 70, which set the target for much of the day, was down to good driving. “I haven’t been hitting my driver well but I did today,” he said.
“I felt relaxed, probably because I’ve finished by exams but I had a good start with two birdies in the first five holes.”
Langley, in one of the final games, eagled the long 12th following a double bogey at the short 11th, but finished 3-3-3 in an inward 35.
Matthew Pearson from Somerset might have been sharing the lead but a lost ball off the 18th tee cost him a double bogey which followed three successive birdies as he signed for 72.
But having missed the cut last year and been laid up for several months with back problems, his return was rewarding for his patience.
“I grew so quickly that I snapped some muscles in my back,” said the 16 year old who now stands 6ft 2ins. “I was laid up for four months and didn’t hit a ball for three. I could only putt,” he admitted.
Also on level par are two members of the England under 16 squad, Robert Burlison and Max Orrin.
Burlison, from Staffordshire, was happy with his form and his score. “I had a couple of three putts but I hit 16 greens, didn’t hit many poor tee shots and didn’t find the punishing rough,” he said.
Orrin, who lives just half an hour away at North Foreland, had four birdies and four bogeys and felt: “One or two over today was a good score. The way the course was set up you couldn’t attack the pins. But I’m confident going into tomorrow.”
Isaac Walker from Notts Golf Club also shot 72, which included a triple bogey seven at the tenth. “I got nervous when I saw all the people on that hole and pulled my drive into the rough,” he said.
“But I’m happy with my score after that and after three-putting the first. Hopefully I’ll do better tomorrow.”
Par 72
69 Matthias Schwab (Austria).
70 Josh Hayes (East Sussex National).
71 David Langley (Castle Royle).
Scots' scores:
72 Greig Marchank (Dumfries and Galloway), Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) (jt 4th)
73 Jamie Savage (Cawder) (jt 14th).
74 James Steven (Kirkhill), Anthony Blaney (Liberton) (jt 24th).
75 Cameron Farrell (Cardross) (jt 36th).
77 Lawrence Allan (Alva)  (jt 65th).
78 Ross Young (jt 81st).
Field of 132 competitors.

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