Youth to power in Hoylake

Two of the names to watch who left the morning shift this Thursday on the first day of the 151st British Open are off the radar of the general public, but judging by their performance it won’t be long before that changes. One is Christo Lamprecht, South African, 22 years old, a student at Georgia Tech University and a stalk: he measures 2.03. Third in the world amateur rankings, he won the British Amateur in June at Hillside. The other, Matthew Jordan, English, 27 years old, member of the DP World Tour and member of Royal Liverpool.

“It’s surreal and great to see hard work pay off. It is something that he had not even dreamed of, but quite cool, ”said Lamprecht after his formidable turn, who left one of the moments of the day when he holed out from the fairway at 14. With his height, it is not difficult for him to approach the area of ​​300 meters from the tee, but this week is about something else: “I can reach 310 or so, but not this week. Not in a link. The ball rolls enough already, so I prefer more control.” His round was a cannon, making the most of a favorable morning, clear and with a warm wind. Seven birdies and two bogeys left him at -5, the leader in the clubhouse.

It helped him, he confessed, to play with an experienced countryman like Louis Oosthuizen, champion in 2010 in St. Andrews. “I think having him around was very good for me. He made me feel at home, comfortable.” Lamprecht seems like a self-confident guy, who even allows himself a joke on a day like this regarding his other party mate, a proven gunner like Bryson DeChambeau, of whom he said that “he would like to have my distance.” But he doesn’t get 66 to his head: “I don’t even remotely think about Sunday. Only to go out tomorrow and hit a good shot at 1″. In fact, his plans are to do “four years” at the university, which he promised his coach. “A man is worth what his word is worth,” he asserted with unusual eloquence at his age.

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Jordan also appears ahead of his ID, “speechless” after a sweet morning on the Wirral peninsula, the place where he was born. A professional since 2018, he won the St. Andrews Links Trophy and the Lytham Trophy in his amateur stage, on two courses in the Open rotation. And he holds the record for royal liverpool with a 62 scored playing as a partner. This time he stayed in a 69 that was highly celebrated by the local public: “It was crazy, a very noisy day. Everything he could have hoped for, definitely.” For this Friday, he expects things to heat up even more: “Surely people are more drunk. One thing that could not be done by my departure time, 6:30, was to drink a lot. Although well, maybe my father did it because of his nerves”, laughed the best Englishman of the day after Tommy Fleetwood, who at the moment meets the expectations that place him in the pools with a -5, co-leader at home club with Lamprecht and the Argentine Grillo.

A “special” day for Ballester

It didn’t get that far, but it has reasons to sleep soundly, Josele Ballester, the Spanish amateur who makes his debut in a big one. This Thursday he scored a +2 with three birdies and five bogeys. “It’s a very special moment,” he said of the putt that he hit from 10 meters on the 18th. “I’ve been nervous in the morning, but after the start on the 1st I said ‘that’s it, let’s keep going,'” said the Arizona State student, the university that shaped Jon Rahm, among other Spaniards. “I have tried to talk a lot with my caddy and I have also talked to Patrick Reed (one of his party mates). He has told us that Valderrama seemed like a great field to him. The best thing that I take with me is how calm I have been, and the worst thing is that I have hit a blow that the people around me don’t hit. It is what separates an amateur from a professional”. And he set himself homework for Friday: “If I push a little more, I can get a good result.” The nice detail of the day? “In 18, because I have arrived and I have seen on the board that it said Barrio, my mother’s last name, instead of Ballester. It seemed special to me, and on top of that I made the putt”.

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