Somerset’s Matt Turner won the southern qualifier for the Brabazon Trophy with a five-under-par 66 at Littlestone Golf Club in Kent.
Turner, from Burnham and Berrow, made a fast start, making birdies at the opening three holes, before parring the fourth. Further gains were secured at the fifth and sixth, before he chipped in for an eagle-three on the seventh. The eighth provided yet another birdie, where he holed from eight feet, before he reached the turn in just 28 shots with a par at the ninth.
The back nine, which was played into a headwind, could never live up to the early fireworks, and two bogeys and a double on the way home, countered by a birdie at the last, saw Turner sign for a 66 and earn a place in the Brabazon Trophy field for the second year in a row.
“I was thinking ‘don’t mess up!’” said Turner. “I knew the back nine was going to be a lot tougher, because it was straight back into the wind. I’ve never had nine holes like that before – just about everything went in. It was some of the best golf I’ve ever played.”
Turner led 31 players into next week’s English men’s open amateur stroke play championship at Woodhall Spa, with a further 31 players qualifying from an event held at Sandiway in Cheshire. The 62 qualifiers will join over 80 exempt players to challenge for one of amateur golf’s most coveted titles on the famed Hotchkin course.