Date: June 14, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

Davis leads Australian charge in British Am

Sydney's Cameron Davis soared to second place in the British Amateur Championship in Wales after a five-under round of 66 at Royal Porthcawl in Wales, but he is far from the only Australian in contention.

Davis, 21, a member of the Golf Australia national squad and the 2015 Australian amateur champion, is two shots behind Frenchman Antoine Rozner, who began with a 64 at the same course.

England’s Andrew Wilson and Scotland’s Barry Hume joined Monash Golf Club's Davis in a three-way tie for second place.

Davis began slowly with bogeys on the first and second holes. However, he hit back with seven birdies to secure a five-under-par finish. "After the first couple of holes which were pretty scratchy I started hitting the ball a lot better and the conditions started to get a bit easier going into the back nine which is a bit tougher," he said.

"I’m very happy with that start. I just needed to play a bit lower off the tees for the first couple of holes when I didn’t swing too great. I just shortened it up a little and started hitting the shots that I was trying to hit.

There are 10 Australians inside the top 64 who will go through to the matchplay section If they hold their positions, including Travis Smyth and Blake Windred who both started promisingly with 68s, and David Micheluzzi (69).

The Amateur Championships consist of two strokeplay rounds — one at each of the host clubs, Royal Porthcawl and Pyle and Kenfig, from Wednesday to Saturday.

Rozner, the leader, is 25th in the world amateur rankings. He recovered from an early dropped shot on the second hole to post a seven-under-par score of 64 and set the course record at Royal Porthcawl. That comeback included six birdies in nine holes from the fourth, as well as a spectacular eagle three on the par five 17th to complete an excellent start to the week in Wales.

"I’m really pleased. I made one bogey on the 2nd but other than that it was a really solid round. I was never in trouble," he said. "I think on this golf course it’s very important to keep the ball in play and make a lot of greens. It happened today that I made a lot of putts and that’s one way to shoot a low round here."

Rozner said fellow countryman Romain Langasque’s triumph in the 2015 Amateur Championship at Carnoustie had given him added motivation.  He added: “I have been playing pretty good lately. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week and we will see how it goes. He (Langasque) showed us how to do it, so I just have to now.”