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Lamprecht chasing historic East triumph at Baltray

Christo Lamprecht. Photo: Super Shots
Christo Lamprecht. Photo: Super Shots

Brian Keogh

South Africa's Christo Lamprecht can become the first overseas winner of the East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at a firm and fast Baltray today.

A product of the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy and the youngest winner in the 110-year-old South African Amateur Championship last year, the six feet seven inch 17-year-old followed a first-round 66 with a 68 to lead by a stroke on 10-under par from Oughterard's Devin Morley with Massereene international Tiarnan McLarnon just a shot further back after a 70.

"This is a really nice course and a great test," said Lamprecht, who started with a bogey at the 10th but birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th and then reeled off three birdies in a row from the fourth before finding the left rough and dropping a shot at the ninth.

"I had a good round today and hit a lot of greens but the driver was off and I missed a few fairways here and there.

"Like all links courses, you really have to keep it in short grass if you want to control the ball. You have to be in the right place to come into the greens in the right spots for some of these flags."

Former Boys international Morley (20) has made major strides in his first two years at the University of Louisville and if he continues to drive the ball well in the final two rounds today, he could lift his first senior championship.

"I had a nice run of three birdies in a row from the 18th to the second," Morley said after adding a 69 to his opening 66.

"I was disappointed to three-putt the third for par but that stretch got my round going. My game feels good, so I'm excited about tomorrow."

McLarnon (26) got to 10-under par with two holes to go but finished with two bogeys for a 70 that leaves him just two strokes behind on eight-under par.

Dundalk international Caolan Rafferty (69,) County Sligo's TJ Ford (69), Cairndhu's Marc McKinstry (71) and Cork's John Hickey (72) are lurking in a tie for fourth on six-under.

Eight of the 12 Irish senior panellists made the level-par cut with Kilkenny's Mark Power (68) and Hermitage's Rowan Lester (71) nicely placed in a share of eighth on five-under alongside Malone's Matthew McClean (73), Argentina's Marcos Montenegro (71) and Black Bush talent Sean Doyle (73).

Irish Independent

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