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Summerhays Takes European Amateur Lead in Denmark

The 2024 European Amateur Championship got off to a sunny start on Wednesday in Denmark.


The number-one ranked player in the field, Preston Summerhays, showed why he merits his ranking on Day 1 and sits alone at the top of the leadeboard.




With the highest ranked players out early in Round 1, the American got off to a hot start, turning in four-under-par to take the lead early in the day.


Three further birdies on the back-nine lead to an opening 67 (-5) and the solo lead.


Day 1 Wrap: 2024 European Amateur Championship


Although an American is yet to win the European Amateur title, it looks as though two players will be in with a chance to break that spell this week. Tommy Morrison (USA) was the only player in the field to go bogey-free on Wednesday around the tight New Course layout, and with four birdies on the card, sits just one stroke behind Summerhays.


Three other players, all from GB&I, managed rounds of 68 (-4) and sit in a tie for second. Ireland’s Max Kennedy, Scotland’s Gregor Graham, and England’s Charlie Forster will also enter Round 2 just one shot behind the leader.


Thomas Georg Schmidt (GER) and Alfons Bondesson (SWE) are currently the leading players from the Continent of Europe, two shots back on 3-under-par. The former jumped 10 spots on the leaderboard thanks to his closing hole, making one of just two eagles all day on the par-5 18th.


Santiago De La Fuente (MEX), the reigning Latin America Amateur Champion and one of the highest ranked players in the field, also got off to a steady start with a 69 (-3) of his own and looks like he could contend for a second major amateur title of the year this week.


Defending champion, Jose Luis Ballester (ESP), got off to a slow start by his standards, finding himself one-over-par after six holes. Three birdies in the four holes that followed kept him in pace with the lowest scores of the day, however a costly double-bogey on the 14th would hurt the Spaniard’s score. A birdie-birdie finish still put the Spaniard into red numbers on one-under-par and in a tie for 15th.



Recently crowned Amateur Champion, Jacob Skov Olesen (DEN), who played alongisde Ballester and De La Fuente in the featured group of the opening rounds, had a similar day to his Spanish playing partner. A late double-bogey would mean an opening 72 (par) for the Scandinavian member, which is nevertheless impressive following nine rounds of competitive golf last week in Ballyliffin. Still only just five shots back from the leaders, Olesen is anything but out of contention this week.


In total 23 players managed to sign for a red number on the opening day, and are all within just four shots of the lead.