sport

Chesters makes his mark

Shropshire amateur Ashley Chesters put in an early bid to win the Silver Medal at the Open after carding an opening round of 70 at Hoylake.

The 24-year-old carded six birdies to end his first round on two-under-par and establish himself as the man to beat in the contest to finish as the leading amateur.

Chesters was among the early starters, teeing off at 7.31am alongside the experienced Branden Grace and Freddie Jacobson, and he admitted the magnitude of the occasion almost overcame him early on.

"I was pretty nervous on the first tee, the most nervous I (have) been,\" he said.

"I was just happy to make contact but it went straight, so that helped, and then I holed the putt, so even better. I was nervous for four holes but after that I was fine."

Chesters bogeyed four holes but there were numerous highlights for the youngster, who won last year's last year's International European Amateur Championship.

He said: "The birdie putt on 11 was the longest putt I have holed for ages, more than 40 feet. It's got to sink in first but it's great. I couldn't have dreamed for a better start.

"People out there kept cheering for me and I kept seeing people I knew, which was nice. The only person I didn't see was my mum. I think she might have been hiding somewhere.

"But it's only one round. I've got to go out and try to do the same again. I just want to try to play well, see where that gets me."