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Oliver Betschart sets early standard at Amateur Stroke Play

Oliver Betschart (File photograph by Ras Mykkal)

Oliver Betschart shot a superb three-under 68 to seize early control of the Bermuda Amateur Men’s Stroke Play Championship at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday.

The teenager capitalised on the favourable conditions, carding four birdies and a solitary bogey to top the leaderboard.

Betschart was even at the turn and hit top stride coming in on the back nine, where he rattled in three of his birdies to cap a good opening round at the par-71 Southampton golf course.

“I felt really good today, It wasn’t too windy and I really felt comfortable with the course and scoring was definitely out there,” Betschart told The Royal Gazette.

“I am happy with my results today, only one bogey and still got four birdies in. Played really solid.

“Could have made more putts, could have scored lower. Got a couple of unlucky breaks, but I think that’s for everybody in the field.”

Betschart’s ball-striking was also up to par as he hit 11 fairways and 15 greens in regulation.

“I really liked how the course was set up,” he added.

Looking ahead to the remaining 36 holes, Betschart added: “I realise there’s still a lot of golf left to play, so I am just keeping my head in the game making sure I am prepared for these next couple of days over the weekend. Keep playing golf like I am and keeping up the good work.

“I am looking forward to some good competition now over the weekend. It should be a great weekend.”

Two shots back in second is past winner Adam Perry, who carded four birdies and three bogeys on the way to one-under 70.

A farther shot off the lead pace in third is Butler University student Kenny Leseur, who produced an even-par 71 which included three birdies.

“Overall I struck the ball very well,” he said. “I putted very well and got quite unlucky with few lip-outs.

“However, my goal was just to have a smooth first round, and I did that, so I am confident going into tomorrow.”

Defending champion Will Haddrell is tied for fourth after coming in with a one-over 72.

Among those finding the going tough was multiple winner Jarryd Dillas, who carded 78 which included five bogeys and a double bogey at the par-four 4th.

Scott Clark, from Columbus, Georgia, shot an impressive 69 to take a three-shot lead in the senior division.

Bermuda’s Rod Forrest sits in second and Richard Neame third, another two shots off the pace.

Commenting on this year’s tournament, Bermuda Golf Association president Craig Brown said: “The Amateur Stroke Play is one of the premier events on the Bermuda golf calendar. As our stroke play mational championship, this event qualifies for World Amateur Golf ranking points.

“This year we are grateful to have Lindo's come on as a sponsor, offering support to our community.

“The quality of the field in all the divisions is strong, and we expect fierce competition with some high-quality golf over the remaining two days."

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Published June 22, 2024 at 7:56 am (Updated June 22, 2024 at 7:47 am)

Oliver Betschart sets early standard at Amateur Stroke Play

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