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Maidstone golfer takes Open by storm

Tom Sherreard. Picture: Martin Forsyth
Tom Sherreard. Picture: Martin Forsyth

Amateur golfer Tom Sherreard is in with a chance of surviving the cut on his debut Open Championship.

Tom, 20, finished +7 on a tempestuous day at Royal Birkdale, on a day when even the world's top golfers were struggling to break par.

He finished the day in a tie for 90th place, ahead of established pros like Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh.

After nine holes Tom, who plays at Chart Hills, near Headcorn, was just three shots off the lead, at +3.

But the back nine proved punishing for many players, and Tom did better than many to only drop four shots in the gusty conditions.

He will play again tomorrow, before finding out if he qualifies to stay in the field for the weekend.

Tom is one of only five amateurs playing in the tournament, and earned his place by finishing joint first in a qualifying event in Liverpool last week.

His brother, Ben, 23, who is also a keen golfer, jokingly said that seeing his younger brother in action at the world-famous event was “absolutely infuriating”.

Ben, who is a Conservative councillor at Maidstone council, said: “The truth is that when we started playing I was better than him... for about one month!

"As a young golfer in England, you grow up wanting to play in this tournament. It is a dream come true for him - I don't think he can really believe it. He is having the time of his life up there.

"He played a practice round on Tuesday with Justin Rose, who made his name at the Open 10 years ago. What is important is not just learning how golfers conduct themselves on the course, but he is also staying in the same hotel as the other players and learning what life is like on tour.

"He had a very strange moment the other day when it was just him and Michael Campbell in the practice range, and about 20 people were watching. When Michael Campbell left they stayed, and when Tom finished practicing everyone asked him for an autograph."

He added: “The whole family is going up there to watch him. It is my last day in my job tomorrow, but I am cancelling my leaving meal to be there. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.”

  • Tom tees off at 3.15pm tomorrow. Check back for updates on his day two score. See the full first day leaderboard here.
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