Grady putts on the style in Reid Trophy

ROYAL Lytham & St Annes player Grady Rogerson bought a new putter this morning on his way to Preston Golf Club to play in the English U14 boys’ open championship for the Reid Trophy – and ended up with a share of the lead.

Grady Rogerson Image: Leaderboard Photography

GRADY ROGERSON
Image: Leaderboard Photography

The 14-year-old took just 24 putts on his way to a score of level par 71, to top the first round leaderboard alongside Andrea Milazzo, of France.

“I canned everything, although I also three-stabbed the 10th,” said Rogerson. “My dad said it wasn’t the best idea, but I wanted a putter for fast greens and I wasn’t making anything with my old putter.”

After the round his dad, Glenn, was only too happy to have invested his winning vouchers on the putter – and to have done his son’s paper round this morning to give him an extra hour in bed!

Rogerson is playing in the event for the first time and dropped a couple of shots over the opening holes, but quickly got them back with an eagle three on the long seventh.

A couple more bogeys followed before he had three birdies on the inward half. He got to one-under with two to play but bogeyed the last: “I got quite nervous on the last,” he said. “I didn’t want to go big, so I was short, chipped on and missed.”

Rogerson was Lancashire U14 champion last year, is the reigning Lancashire schools’ champion and declared: “I’m glad to have done Lancashire proud.”

Milazzo, from Cannes Mougins, is both playing in the championship and representing France for the first time.

The 14-year-old is noted as a long hitter – in practice he drove the 311-yard 13th hole – and he made an impressive debut. Speaking through an interpreter, he expressed his pleasure at his score. He had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine before coming home with nine straight pars.

The two players head a thoroughly international leaderboard at the end of a breezy day’s golf. There are 17 players sharing the first seven places and between them they represent nine different countries

Pedro Marin Santander of Spain holds third place on his own on one-over par. He got to one-under after a birdie on the 15th, but dropped back with a double bogey seven on the 17th.

A shot behind him are Clement Lim of Switzerland and  two English players, Dominic Clemons (Gog Magog), who finished in style with a birdie on the 18th, and Conor Gough (Stoke Park) who described the challenge of the wind. “When you stood on the tee box you couldn’t really feel the wind but as soon as the ball got above the trees it would shoot off.”

He started with a good par save on the first and went on to notch up three birdies, including a chip-in on the 15th. “I didn’t enjoy finishing with three-putts on 16 and 17 but two over for the day is fine,” he remarked.

After tomorrow’s second round the field will be cut to the leading 70 players and ties, who play the final round on Thursday.

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