Saturday, July 07, 2012


The experience of playing over links courses paid dividends for Ian Crowther and Danny Curtis as they hit the front along with first round leader James Wallis on an extremely windy second day of the Logan Trophy English men's mid-amateur championship over the West Course at Saunton.
Crowther, from Royal Lytham, carded a 72 to lead on 143, one over par, by one from Kent-based Curtis, the only player to match the par of 71, and Wallis, who slipped back with 77.
The opening day’s rain may have stopped but an Easterly wind was dominant and its effect turned the leaderboard upside-down.
Crowther, whose 72 contained two birdies, said: “It was a good, blustery links day. You just had to buckle down and keep the ball in play. It was links golf at its most potent and so easy to run up a big score.
“The course is great and set up well. You’ve just to hit every kind of shot and being at Lytham, I have played a lot of links golf.” 
No one bettered par, but Curtis came close, a bogey at the last preventing him from finishing in red figures.
The 48 year old lift engineer from Orpington said: “I’ve played a lot of links golf, including winning the Kent Mid Age at Littlestone so I don’t mind playing in the wind. I just kept the ball straight and I made a lot of chances.
“I knew it would be tough and the wind was gusting a lot of the time. It was totally different from round one but I managed nine straight pars to start with then I birdie the tenth and 15th.”
A year ago at Purdis Heath in Ipswich, Curtis was ahead with a round to go, only to fire a closing 78 and finish fifth.
Wallis, who was the joint leader going into round two, was going along well until he ran into trouble in the middle of the back nine. “I played nicely for the first 12 holes, I was level par without holing any putts,” he said.
“Then I dropped six shots over the next three holes but managed to keep it together over the rest of the round.”
He double-bogeyed the 13th after finding the penal rough, hacking out, then wedging to the back of the green and three-putting. A regulation bogey at 14 was followed by a seven at the 15th where he found a bunker, took two to escape, then three-putted again.
However, he is only one shot off the lead and is in a good position to launch his bid for the title tomorrow.
Neill Williams, who shared the lead with Wallis after round one, fared even worse than his Surrey colleague, adding 78 to his brilliant opening 67. “It was hard work,” said the Walton heath man.
“I haven’t played in wind for a while and I would have been happy with a four over round. But I had three double-bogeys and one triple and almost ran out of balls.
“I was hitting my driver to the right and probably lost five. I should have taken my three-wood more but it is difficult not to hit the driver in such conditions.”
John Bishop, the Little Aston member from Burton-on-Trent, is alongside Williams after a 74, while Richard Latham, the Director of Operations at Woodhall Spa, signed for a fine 72 and 147. He would have matched par but for a bogey at the last where he missed form four feet.
“I don’t mind windy conditions,” he admitted. “I’m quite a good wind player but there are some dangerous holes out there.
“You have to be careful and patient and you can’t afford to be off line. I felt we were unlucky yesterday when the rain started when we were on the first tee.
But it was frustrating to drop a shot at the last,” added the Lincolnshire man who finished third last year.
The cut came at 14 over par 156 with 46 players surviving for the final round. Those who missed included past champions Paul Griffiths on 157 and Steve Crosby on 162.




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