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Raymond advances at Brookline
12:13pm Thursday 15th August 2013 in Sport
Hampshire's Neil Raymond held on over the tough closing holes at Brookline to advance into the second round of the US Amateur Championship.
Raymond, 27, playing in his first USGA championship, took his first lead on the 10th hole and edged 31-year-old Californian Jason Anthony by one hole after firing his approach at the 18th to 25 feet and making par.
“I had a pretty poor start today, actually,” said the Corhampton member, who won the 2013 St Andrews Links Trophy at the Old Course. “I bogeyed the first two holes and after that I knew it was going to be a pretty long day.
“I think it being windy actually played to my benefit a little bit. Obviously, playing in GB&I the majority of the year it's windy every day. I felt comfortable out there. Getting through those first couple of holes was tough but after that, I felt pretty good, and I played a really nice back nine.”
Raymond fell behind three times on the front nine, having been two down after two, but his fortunes changed when both players failed to make par at the monster ninth hole, the American's double bogey giving the hole to his English opponent, who only made five.
The Walker Cup hopeful then birdied the long 10th to go in front for the first time and a par in five at the 12th extended his lead to two.
A bogey five at the 15th from the two-time Brabazon Trophy winner set up a tense finish, but Raymond hung on over the Boston course which staged the 1999 Ryder Cup.
The Titchfield Common-based England international will now face US Southern Amateur champion Zachary Olesen in the second round. He tees off at 12.30pm UK time today.
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