YORKSHIRE’s run of three successive title wins in the English men’s amateur was only ended last year by an unfortunate semi-final defeat for Nick Poppleton, of Wath.
White Rose hopes of making it four wins in five appear strong, however, after eight players reached the match play stages at Formby and Hesketh – with two of them joint leaders after 36 holes of stroke play qualifying.
Hallowes’ Sam Bairstow (68 70) and Lindrick’s Sam Rook (69 69) were the two Yorkshire players at the head of the field while Poppleton – the English stroke play champion – progressed in third with scores of 69 70.
Bailey Gill, also Lindrick, tied 13th by following his opening 70 with a 71 and Poppleton’s England international team-mate David Hague (Malton & Norton) soared into the top 20 after a disappointing 75 on Monday by shooting an unblemished four-under-par 67 at Hesketh.
Rotherham’s Lewis Hollingworth (73 71) and David Houlding, of Moortown (74 70) got through with two shots to spare, while Fulford’s James Cass (75 70) was on the cut mark thanks to a birdie at 16 and an eagle at the 484-yard 17th at Formby.
Howley Hall’s Ben Hutchinson (77 69) fell just short despite playing the last four holes at Formby in four under par while a bogey at the last at the same course denied Lindrick’s Nathan Fell (74 72) a place among the top 64 and ties who begin the match play stages that will culminate in Sunday’s final.
Lindrick’s Nicola Slater (83 79), the English women’s open match play champion, missed the cut by two in the English girls’ championship at East Devon.