Marsh satisfied with opening 72

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Halifax-born Nick Marsh started his defence of his English amateur crown with a steady one-over par 72 at Alwoodley yesterday.

The 20-year-old former Lightcliffe and Elland member who now plays out of Huddersfield was satisfied with his efforts before torrential rain washed out play for the day at the Alwoodley and Pannal courses.

Marsh said: “Anything around one-under, level, one over round here is a good score.

“If you hit it offline you can rack up telephone numbers. It’s a beautiful golf course and such a good test.”

He’s enjoying his defence, with the added pleasure of playing in his home county: “I’ve never defended before, but it’s nice, it feels good and there’s no pressure,” he said.

The first round is due to be completed today with 112 players yet to finish 18 holes.

Qualification for the match play stage of the championship will now be decided on one round, with the top 32 players and ties from each course going forward to the knockout.

The match play is now due to start at Alwoodley tomorrow.

Despite the conditions Somerset’s Josh Hilleard (Farrington Park) managed to put the sparkle into the day with a round of seven-under par 65. He was at the head of a string of low-scorers at Pannal, where 16 players beat par.

Meltham and Huddersfield players filled the top six places in Sunday’s Halifax-Huddersfield Union stroke play competition at Woodsome Hall.

They were headed by Meltham’s Graham McLean, the scratch player shooting 72 and 69 for a one-shot win over Fixby’s plus two player Aaron Schnacke, who is from the Calder Valley and works at Halifax West End.