JOE Brooks and Craig Howie signed for the joint lowest rounds of the day as the Daily Telegraph Junior Golf Championship, in association with Close House this year, returned to Britain for the first time since 1987.
Playing the Colt, recently voted one of the top 100 courses in England, Brooks, who represents Brickendon Grange, and Howie, of Peebles, impressively navigated the autumnal weather, carding level par rounds of 71 to lead the boys’ field by two shots going into today’s second round.
Brooks said: “This course is set up nicely for me, where a few of the holes you need to shape it are to my liking.
“I did OK out there but it was my mistakes which cost me.
“I had a few uphill putts which finished short but I will take three birdies and three bogeys.”
Emily Taylor of Hillside Golf Club is one shot clear in the girls’ section after carding a two-over-par 73.
Poised one shot back is Gabriella Cowley, of Brocket Hall.
Cowley said: “I only had one birdie but I didn’t do anything especially wrong.
“All the holes are tough but hopefully I can just keep in it and see what happens.
She added: “I have only been playing the sport for four years. I played county cricket for Essex before that but I was not really enjoying it so my dad said I should take up golf.”
The Whitley Bay club’s Kelly McNulty, a 16-year-old playing in an under-18 event, scored 80 in a tournament she regards as valuable experience.
She said: “I played pretty well, but a quadruple bogey at nine didn’t do much for my score!”
PADRAIG Harrington is halfway towards the £375,000 PGA Grand Slam title in Bermuda - just three days after being offered the chance to play.
The 41-year-old Dubliner, who lost play-offs at Mid-Ocean in 2007 and 2008, started with a five-under-par 66 at Port Royal to lead Masters champion Bubba Watson by two, US Open winner Webb Simpson by three and holder Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy’s replacement, by six.
(Colt Course, Par 71)
Boys: 71 Craig Howie (Peebles), Joe Brooks (Brickendon Grange); 73, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire), Bobby Keeble (Abridge); 75 Liam Orchard ((Sittingbourne & Milton Regis); 78 Thomas Butterworth (Harewood Downs); 79 Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park), Will Poole (Mendip Spring); 80 Joshua Garside (Prestbury); 81 Daniel Reeves (Old Padeswood); 82 Euan Walker (Barassie); 85 Nicky Frost (Boston Cow-Bridge).
Girls: 73 Emily Taylor (Hillside); 74 Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall); 75 Samantha Giles (St Mellion); 78 Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth); 79 Sarah Gee (West Wilts); 80 Kelly McNulty (Whitley Bay), Eloise Healey (West Lancashire); 85 Charlotte Leathem (Styal); 86 Emily Coleman (Trentham).