TROON, Scotland – Sweden’s Daniel Jennevret and England’s Nathan Kimsey both made it through to the match-play stages of the British Amateur Championship, but it’s fair to say Jennevret is the only one who will have a spring in his step as he prepares for head-to-head golf. Kimsey desperately needs to get one in his.
Jennevret broke the amateur course record around Royal Troon with a 6-under 65 to finish as leading qualifier. Kimsey, meanwhile, returned a 73 around the Open Championship course, but it should have been one shot better.
Kimsey is the latest to fall on the wrong side of a tough clamp-down on slow play. He was docked a penalty shot after two bad times at Royal Troon. The Englishman was put on the clock on the 14th hole, then given a warning after taking too long to play his third shot to the par-5 16th hole.
Unfortunately, Kimsey didn’t pay sufficient attention to the first warning. He took too long over his tee shot at the 18th and Grant Moir, the R&A’s director of rules, hit him with a one-shot penalty.
Kimsey follows Morgan Pressel and Ross Fisher in incurring a penalty for impersonating snails. Pressel suffered a loss-of-hole penalty against Azahara Munoz in the semifinals of the Sybase Match Play Championship on the LPGA Tour. Fisher, meanwhile, was handed a one-shot penalty during the final round of the Wales Open.
No pain for Jennevret, though. He breezed around Royal Troon to finish at 6-under 136, two shots better than Australian Geoff Drakeford. Indeed, it looked as if Jennevret grew up on the west coast of Scotland rather than in Sandviken, Sweden.
The 22-year-old slipped up just once, with a bogey at the 503-yard, par-4 15th hole. He drove into the left-hand rough and could only chip the ball back into play. Other than that, he was peerless.
“I putted incredibly well,” said Jennevret, who recently finished his junior year at TCU. “It’s all about hitting fairways, too. I was good off the tee and hit 17 greens. This is one of the better rounds I have played.”
Jennevret is looking to join countryman Christian Hardin as the only Swedes to win the Amateur Championship. Hardin won the title in 1988 at Royal Porthcawl, and Jennevret wants the same reward that went to Hardin all those years ago: a place in this year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
“It would be huge to get into the Open Championship,” Jennevret said. “That’s what I’m aiming for.”
He would also get into next year’s Masters. However, medalists don’t always do well in the match-play stages of the Amateur Championship. Eight of the past 14 medalists have lost in the first round.
Seventy-eight players from 25 countries made it through to the match-play stages, with the cut falling at 3-over 145.
Daan Huizing, who is fifth on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was among those to qualify. He returned rounds of 71 at Glasgow Gailes to go with his opening 72 at Royal Troon and finished T-28 among the 288-man field.
The Dutchman warmed up for The Amateur by winning the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots and the St. Andrews Links Trophy by 14 shots. Huizing is keen to make it a British treble.
“I’ve been aiming to be ready for this for many months,” Huizing said. “I realize how big it is, and I’ve tried to be at my best. Hopefully I can win it.”
Other notables to qualify include World No. 9 Julien Brun of France, 2011 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup players Rhys Pugh and Alan Dunbar, former British Boys’ champion Emilio Cuartero of Spain and European Amateur champion Manuel Trappel.
World No. 7 Corbin Mills of Easley, S.C., did not advance to match play. Mills, who recently announced that he would forgo his senior season at Clemson and turn professional this summer, missed out by four shots after returning a second-round 77 at Royal Troon to finish at 149. Australia’s Jake Higginbottom, World No. 8, also finished with 149 to miss out.