Wath's Nick Poppleton holes his first shot of the day and leads Brabazon Trophy

WATH'S Nick Poppleton spent all Thursday night contemplating a tricky chip shot that he was preparing to play when his first round in the Brabazon Trophy at Frilford Heath was halted by rain.

Wath's Nick Poppleton on his way to a 66 and a share of the first-round lead in the Brabazon Trophy (Picture: Leaderboard Photography).

Poppleton, recent winner of the Danny Willett Salver, had only completed one hole at that stage, the 10th, which he had birdied.

And despite his restless night he returned to hole the testing, uphill 20ft chip for a birdie two that proved the launchpad to a six-under-par 66 and a share of the lead.

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Round one was completed on Friday and, after playing the second round on Saturday, the top 45 and ties will return for the final 36 holes on Sunday.

Poppleton accrued four further birdies – at the 17th, first, second and sixth, and with no bogeys on his card he is tied at the top alongside Jay Beisser, of Braintree, and Jeong Ko, of Golf de Bussy, in France.

Poppleton, a member of England Golf men’s A squad, said: “I slept all night thinking about the chip shot – and then chipped it straight in. I thought, ‘that’s the way to go.’”

Commenting on his round, he added: “It was pretty solid.

“I scrambled nicely in places, getting up and down on the par-5s, and I capitalised on a couple of nice drives for birdie.”

Yorkshire’s seven other competitors in the event – the English stroke play championship, which was won in 2016 by Meltham’s Jamie Bower – all completed their rounds on Thursday.

David Houlding (Moortown) and Malton & Norton’s David Hague both shot four-under-par 68 and now sit eighth.

Leeds Golf Centre’s Ben Firth and Lindrick’s Bailey Gill carded 71, Sam Rook (Lindrick) 72, Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall) 74, and Pannal’s Ollie White 76.