Flawless Fleetwood heads title qualifiers; GOLF.
SOUTHPORT golfer Tommy Fleetwood headed the list of qualifiers for the matchplay stage of the Amateur Championship.
The Formby Hall player, beaten finalist at Turnberry in 2008, posted a flawless round of 65 at North Berwick yesterday to finish two shots clear of the field after the 36-hole qualifying stage.
But hot on his heels came another local golfer, Formby's Ian Winstanley, who shared second place with reigning Boys Amateur Champion Tom Lewis and Scot James Byrne on five-under-par totals of 137.
Fleetwood, who played for Great Britain and Ireland in September's Walker Cup at Merion Golf Club, threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the international field by matching three birdies on the front nine with a further three coming back to send out a clear signal that he is determined to land a title which was wrested from his grasp two years ago.
Fleetwood, ranked tenth in The World Amateur Golf Ranking, was this morning taking on Andrew Shakespear of Five Lakes in his opening game of the matchplay section.
"I've played well in the first two rounds and I'm sure people will notice that," he said. "I don't mind who I play, I've just got to play well."
The 19-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals at Formby last year before being beaten by eventual winner Matteo Manassero, is in no doubt about his goals for the Championship.
"I've got pretty high expectations. This week, I came here with the expectation of winning it."
Winstanley followed a 67 - the joint-best round of the day at North Berwick - with a one-under-par 70 at Muirfield.
"It was brilliant today, I really enjoyed it," said the former R&A Foundation Scholar.
Royal Liverpool's Tom Boys also made the matchplay stage but faced a tough opening match against Walker Cup player Stiggy Hodgson.