Rhys Nevin of Cheshire aims to finish his amateur career on a high note after taking a stunning three-stroke lead in the third round of the Walton Heath Trophy on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, who recently completed a five-year stint at the University of Tennessee, tops the list of qualifiers for the final 36 holes over the New and Old Courses, after hitting a 68 with his first 67 for a halfway mark of 135. .
Nevin, from the Sandiway Golf Club near Northwich, said: ‘I’m hoping for more of the same in the last two rounds that will set me up nicely for the English Amateur Championships in Moortown next week. After that, the plan is to become a pro, although at the moment there is nothing in stone. ”
Nevin, whose nine among the total provide a solid cushion in the final day of the sun-drenched Walton Heath Trophy, is an enthusiastic supporter of the event, which has been played since 2005.
He said: ‘I like everything about this championship. It’s really well organized and both courses are excellent, which probably explains why I did pretty well in the two or three times I played in it. I also like that the members come out and support us. ”
Three years ago, Nevin was also part of the final group in the third and fourth rounds after scores of 68, 70 and 71, but closed with an 82 when his partner, Tom Thurloway, grabbed the impressive Michael Lunt Salver.
Nevin was a five-year graduate in politics and sociology in Tennessee, representing him as an All-American in the golf team. He had the halves of 33 and 35 in his 68 over the old. The key to his score – as on Tuesday over the New – was his ability to handle the parishes.
“I birded all four parishes today and did the same on the New Course yesterday,” he explained. “It takes a lot of pressure off the rest of your game if you can do two feet for birds like I did on the 13th.de, 14de and 16de. ”
Second place finishers on the final day are Matt Gauntlett of West Herts and Don Bradbury of Wakefield at 138, six below par. The 71 of Gauntlett contained four birdies, but the map was somewhat damaged by closing boogies on the 17de and 18de.
Bradbury, on the other hand, finished strong by taking shots on the 13thde, 16de and 18de in his 68, along with Nevin the best round over the challenging Old Course.
A quartet of players is tied for fourth place, including current Walker Cup player Jack Dyer of Boyce Hill in Essex, along with Alfie Forisky of Maidenhead, George Mason of Rotherham and Aaron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) at 139.
From the Walton Heath contingent, 22-year-old Harvey Byers made it halfway comfortably at 142, two below par, despite a second round 74 to trot his opening 68. Harvey’s round was derailed by a triple seven on the fifth hole but he registered a few birdies on the way home and marked for the day a score of two above par.
Club champion Mark Justice restored his stance after an opening 76 over the New Course. Mark registered four birdies and three bogeys in an excellent sub-par round of 71 for a total of 147.