Christo Lamprecht takes the Open by storm with an opening 66

Amateur golfer Christo Lamprecht upstaged his seasoned rivals, snaring a share of the lead with a fine 66. Tommy Fleetwood drew from wildly cheering home fans to work his way to the top of the leaderboard.

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Christo Lamprecht

Hoylake, 20 July 2023: The Open thrives on drama and stories. And the 151st Open wasted no time ushering in a new chapter early on Thursday. South African amateur golfer Christo Lamprecht showed remarkable composure and imagination to produce a thrilling 66 to claim the early lead. Tommy Fleetwood feels at home at Hoylake, coming as he does from nearby Southport. He matched the score for a share of the lead even as the rough edges of Royal Liverpool kept the others at bay.

Lamprecht marked his path to the Open by following in the footsteps of his compatriots, who are making a habit of winning the Amateur Championship. The 6’8″ giant turned in a stellar performance to own the opening round honours, before Fleetwood joined him a little later in the day. A long birdie putt at the third marked his potential, but even his mentor Louis Oosthuizen may have found it hard to predict the eventual outcome. The 2010 champion was playing in the same group as Lamprecht. The young man would acknowledge that it helped him calm down and focus on the job at hand.

Tommy Fleetwood
Tommy Fleetwood (Photo by Stuart Kerr/R&A via Getty Images)

Eventually Lamprecht shot seven birdies, for a five under score through 18 holes. Fleetwood drew wild cheers as crowds took to his group with gay abandon all around the course. His card contained six birdies and a lone bogey at the par-3 sixth hole.

Club member Matthew Jordan played some phenomenal golf to the utter glee of his loud followers, all from Merseyside. He shot 69 for a tie in eleventh with Jordan Spieth, Si Woo Kim and Alexander Bjork.

Adrian Otaegui and Antoine Rozner were right behind the leaders in T3. The two men shot six birdies each as they worked their way to a four-under 67. Stewark Cink, all of 50, showed no signs of ageing. He produced a spotless 68 to join US Open Champion Wyndham Clark and Alex Noren, T6 at 68.

Shubhankar Sharma enjoyed back to back birdies at four and five, but conceded a stroke at the seventh, where he needed three putts. He was one-under through eight holes at the time of this story, about 1100 pm in India.