Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Dartford Golf Club’s Mason Essam drops out of Final Qualifying contention during round two at Royal Cinque Ports; Martin Rohwer and Thomas Detry lead the field at Kent venue

Mason Essam was Kent’s best hope for Open qualification on Tuesday after a brilliant first round at Royal Cinque Ports - but he couldn’t sustain it.

Dartford Golf Club amateur Essam was one of several players in the county hoping to land one of the 19 places up for grabs over four links courses during Final Qualification.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal was one of four venues for Final Qualifying ahead of this month's Open Picture: R&A Media
Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club in Deal was one of four venues for Final Qualifying ahead of this month's Open Picture: R&A Media

Essam scored a brilliant 71 in the first round on the Kent coast to tie second but struggled when he went back out for the second round, signing for 76 to leave him three over.

Five places were available at Royal Cinque Ports for the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool later this month.

Essam had advanced to the Final Qualifying after finishing second at Rochester & Cobham last week. There were 288 players competing over 36 holes for the prize of Open qualification over the four courses.

England’s John Gough – the leading European in the World Amateur Golf Rankings – and Sweden’s Albert Hansson were among those at Royal Cinque Ports but it was South Africa’s Martin Rohwer and Belgium’s Thomas Detry who finished tied for first, three under par after two rounds.

Steven Tiley, from Royal Cinque Ports, got Final Qualifying under way with an early start, hitting the opening tee shot at Royal Porthcawl at 6.30am on Tuesday. It wasn’t the best of starts for him, however, as he double-bogeyed the first hole in what were tricky conditions for the early starters

Tiley shot rounds of 74 and 72 to finish four over in Wales.

At the same course, Rochester & Cobham’s Nick Panting had rounds of 76 and 80 to finish +14 overall

Nevill Golf Club’s James Whyte improved on his disappointing first round score of 81 with a second-round 75 to finish +14.

Abe Bignell (Kings Hill) shot a first-round 79 and signed for an 80 during round two to finish on +17.

It was dry and bright in Kent for the early starters, with American Jonathan Sanders storming to the top of the leaderboard with three birdies on his opening three holes.

A host of Kent golfers were in action with Matt Ford (CK Facilities Management), Max Brackley (North Foreland), Joshua Bristow (Ashford), Daniel Smith (Faversham) and Rochester’s Jack Colegate (Kings Golf Studio) hoping to land a prize spot at The Open.

Brackley had rounds of 73 and 76 for +5 overall while Smith was seven over after an impressive second round score of 73.

Eight over after two rounds was Ashford’s Bristow, improving on his first round 77 with a 75 second time around.

Ford carded rounds of 74 and 79 to finish +9 while Colegate’s challenge faltered with two rounds of 82 for a +20.

Jordan Godwin of Rochester & Cobham retired and Alfie Plant of Sundridge Park recorded a no return.

Fifteen-year-old French player Aaron van Hauwe impressed early on at Royal Cinque Ports before slipping back with a double bogey on the 12th

Essam recovered well at the 10th after a wayward drive to finish on par and keep in the hunt. He moved into a share of the lead with a birdie on the par-3 13th. He bogeyed two of his final three holes to slip back to one-under heading into round two.

A strong wind made life trickier during round two but Essam got back on top of the leaderboard at two-under - recovering from six shots on the first - but had a trio of South Africans pushing. Rohwer, Grace and Charl Schwartzel were all looking strong.

An eagle for Grace at the par-5 third put him out infront but Belgium’s Thomas Detry was on a charge, eventually taking the lead with a run of four birdies over five holes to take him three under.

Grace had created history by shooting the lowest round in Open history at Royal Birkdale in 2017, becoming the first man to shoot 62 in a major during his third round, holing eight birdies and finishing without a blemish on his scorecard.

As Essam faded on the back nine, Rohwer birdied the 17th to move into a share of the lead on three under alongside Detry, both with second-round 69s. Schwartzel, Grace and Frenchman Antoine Rozner completed the top five, finishing on -2.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More