HAMPSHIRE’S two Joe’s found themselves with two of the toughest draws in the first round at Ferndown Golf Club – and both were unceremoniously dumped out of the English Amateur Championship this afternoon.

Bramshaw Golf Club’s Texas-based college player Joe Buenfeld found himself up against Yorkshire’s Max Berrisford, the recent winner of The Berkshire Trophy, one of England’s top 72-hole strokeplay championships.

Meanwhile, Island Games Gold Medal winner Josef Hacker drew arguably the most successful English amateur of the season so far, when he found himself up against Woburn’s Mark Stockdale, who added the English U25s Championship at his home club last month to the West of England Amateur Strokeplay Championship he won in April at Royal North Devon Golf Club.

Hacker was into his stride winning the first two holes with a par and birdie, but gave back the third with a bogey of his own.

But the 2021 Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Champion had his two-hole lead restored by Stockdale’s bogey-five at the next.

The Woburn teenager, who started the year by reaching the quarter-finals of the South African Amateur Championship in February, hit back by winning three of the next four holes, making two bogeys along the way.

With a one-hole advantage at the turn, it was Hacker, from La Moye Golf Club, who won the 11th with a birdie three to level the match again.

But Hacker, who has played for Florida’s Jacksonville University, based at Sawgrass having started at Texas Midland in junior college golf, watched Stockdale picked up three more holes in a row in his favour.

Bogeys at 13 and 15 proved costly for Hacker, but the Dolphins ace hit back with back-to-birdies, which left the Hampshire first-team player one-down with one to play.

Needing to win the last to take the match down the 19th, Hacker missed a six-footer for birdie on 18, as Stockdale held on for the one-hole win to put his name in the second round draw.

Joe Buenfeld two

Bramshaw’s Joe Buenfeld lost to Woburn’s in-form Mark Stockdale for the second time in a month. Picture by ANDREW GRIFFIN / AMG PICTURES

Buenfeld found himself three down after 11 holes, despoite twice getting his game back to all-square with birdies at the fourth and seventh after a bogey five at the third put the Ilkley player ahead.

A birdie three at the eighth followed by back-to-back bogeys at the 10th and 11th by the former Hartpury College golfer left Buenfeld needing a strong finish.

But a two at the 14th extended Berrisford’s lead to four, and defeat came at the 15th against the runner-up in the English U25 at Woburn, where the New Forest golfer (pictured below) had finished two shots back in third.

Charlie Forster

Basingstoke’s Charlie Forster beat Hollinwell’s Killian Ryan 2&1 to reach the second round of the English Amateur, Picture by ANDREW GRIFFIN / AMG PICTURES

Earlier in the day, Stoneham’s Alex Talbot lost 3&2 to Essex’s England junior international Harley Smith, while South Winchester junior Harvey Denham lost 4&2 to Royal Lytham’s Kieran Hogarth, leaving Basingstoke’s Charlie Forster as the only Hampshire player left in the competition.

Last year’s beaten semi-finalist was behind against Nottinghamshire Matchplay and Strokeplay Champion Killian Ryan for the three holes after his bogey five at the first.

But a par four at the fourth tied the match as Ryan made bogey before gifting Forster the sixth with a double – only to bounce back with a birdie four at the seventh to restore parity.

The Southeastern Louisiana University winner, who has transferred to Long Beach in California for the 2023/24 season after being named Southland Conference Player of the Year, won the 11th with a birdie three after both made birdie at the par-five 10th.

Again Ryan, a member at Hollinwell and Coxmoor Notts two finest courses, fired straight back with a birdie two at the 12th, but could only bogey the par-five 13th as another birdie from the 2021 South of England Boys Open winner edged him in front again.

The former North Hants GC member doubled his lead at the 15th with his fourth birdie on the back nine.

And even when Ryan made his fourth birdie at the 16th, to get back to one-down, Forster saw his par at the next enough to book his place in the last 32 as Ryan dropped his fifth shot of the day.

The 2&1 win sets Forster up for a second round clash with Yorkshire’s Ben Brown, a past winner of the Fairhaven Trophy.

The Romanby GC member finished third in last year’s Peter McEvoy Trophy, one of the top junior events outside of the national championships at U16 and U18 level.


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