Barry Hume, a winner in Wales already this season, is off to another good start in the Principality, joining Grant Forrest, last year’s beaten finalist, in the top five after the opening qualifying round in the Amateur Championship.
In matching an effort from Englishman Andrew Wilson, Haggs Castle man Hume signed for seven birdies, including five in his first eight holes, while Craigielaw player Forrest illuminated his card with an eagle-3 at the fifth before finishing with his fourth birdie of the day.
Adding to an encouraging start for the Scottish contingent – the only real disappointment was Nairn teenager Sandy Scott’s recent good form coming to an untimely end as he struggled to a 76 at Royal Porthcawl to sit outside the top 200 – Drumoig’s Connor Syme and Craig Ross from Kirkhill fired matching three-under 68s at Royal Porthcawl, where Frenchman Antoine Rozner produced the day’s outstanding effort overall with a 64.
Referring to compatriot Romain Langasque, Forrest’s conqueror in last year’s final at Carnoustie, Rozner said after signing for an eagle and six birdies: “He showed us how to do it so I just have to now.”
The opening day of the event coincided with the R&A introducing two new measures in the battle against slow play. One is a change to the definition of “out of position” while the other is the introduction of a new clause that permits a “random timing without warning”.
“The two new measures are part of our continuing efforts to improve pace of play at our amateur championships and international matches,” said David Rickman, the R&A’s rules guru.