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leaders at the open

‘It’s not a cocky thing to say’: Amateur ace Christo Lamprecht earns spot at Open summit

Imagine you’re an amateur on your major debut? Now imagine shooting a five-under round of 66 and sitting atop the Open leaderboard. That’s what Christo Lamprecht has done.

 

If Christo Lamprecht’s sky-high self-confidence wasn’t clear at the Amateur Championship, it was pure crystal in the first round of The Open Championship.

The young South African surged to the top of the leaderboard at Hoylake with seven impressive birdies.

But he earned this, and he knows it. The Silver Medal is what the amateurs aim for at golf’s oldest major, but Lamprecht is chasing a victory not achieved by an amateur since 1930 – the legendary Bobby Jones at that.

“It is surreal to see a lot of work behind the scenes pay off. It is something I hadn’t dreamt of yet, but it is pretty cool,” Lamprecht said.

“As an amateur, yes it is [surprising]. But in my own head, no it’s not. I think I am very hard to myself and I think I earned my spot to be here.

christo lamprecht

“The way I played today, I earned to be at the top of the leaderboard, as of now. It is not a cocky thing to say, I just personally believe in myself. Stepping onto the first tee, if you are a competitor, you should believe you are the best. I am very proud of it, a little surprised, naturally, but also I played good golf today.

“The first tee shot was the only bit of nerves I really had the whole day. I walked off the first tee after hitting my snap hook drive and my caddie just said ‘Hey you’re playing the Open as an amateur, there is no need to stress’, and we had some fun from there.”

Lamprecht got into the Open field after winning the Amateur Championship at Hillside earlier this year. Along with an invitation to the 2023 Open Championship, he will also feature at the 2024 Masters Tournament and the 2024 US Open.

His round of 66 was not without its drama, as the 6’ 8” 22-year-old had to play sideways from one of the many bunkers at Royal Liverpool.

ALSO: The 151st Open Championship field

Lamprecht played with compatriot Louis Oosthuizen on the opening day, in a draw he thought was fixed in his favour having known the 2010 Open Champion for a number of years.

“It helped a lot to my score today. Having someone that I know very well, a ginormous mentor for me, helped me feel a little bit more at home, and at ease,” he added.

“It was a nice draw. I thought they had rigged it by some means, but I loved it. Louis is by far my favourite. I grew up knowing him personally and watching him play, it is amazing.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever beaten him. I’ve played with him probably four or five times, nothing more than that. A couple practice rounds and pro events that I got into as a kid.

“I guess beating him today was really nice. But yeah, no, he’s an amazing support and he was supporting me the whole way through. He had a bad round today. I guess he unlucky a lot of times, but he was cheering me on and that means a lot.”

NOW READ: What clubs does Christo Lamprecht use?

NOW READ: Everything you need to know about the 151st Open Championship

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Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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