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British Open lead ‘surreal’ for unheralded amateur Lamprecht

A general view of the 18th green during practice ahead of the 151st British Open Golf Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Course in Hoylake, north west England. Paul ELLIS / AFP

HoylakeUnited Kingdom | AFP | Thursday 7/20/2023

South African amateur Christo Lamprecht said he had “earned” the early clubhouse lead at the British Open after a five-under-par opening round in his first major championship at Hoylake on Thursday.

Lamprecht, who stands 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 metres) tall, used his long levers to great effect around the Royal Liverpool course as he averaged the longest driving distance among the morning starters.

The 22-year-old, who qualified by winning The Amateur Championship last month, picked up seven birdies in his round of 66.

“It’s pretty surreal. It’s nice to see a lot of work behind the scenes pay off,” said Lamprecht, who outshone his playing partner and idol Louis Oosthuizen.

“It’s something I haven’t dreamt of yet, but it’s pretty cool.”

However, Lamprecht, who intends to remain amateur until completing his college degree at Georgia Tech next year, said he deserved to be top of the leaderboard.

“I earned my spot to be here. I think the way I played today I earned to be on the top of the leaderboard, as of now,” he added.

“It’s not a cocky thing to say. I just personally think I believe in myself, and I guess stepping onto the first tee box if you’re a professional or a competitor, you should be believing that you should be the best standing there.

“I’m very proud of it. I’m a little bit surprised, obviously, naturally, but I played good golf today.”

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