Preston Summerhays walks on the field at the European Amateur

Preston Summerhays walks onto the field at the European Amateur

Preston Summerhays (photo from European Golf Association)

Preston Summerhays (photo from European Golf Association)

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

The number one player in the field, Preston Summerhays, showed why he deserves his ranking on Day 1 and sits alone at the top of the leaderboard. With the highest ranked players eliminated early in Round 1, the American got off to a good start, turning four under par to take the lead early in the day.

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

Although an American has yet to win the European Amateur title, it appears two players will have a chance to break that spell this week.

Tommy Morrison (USA) was the only player in the field to go bogey-free around the tight New Course layout on Wednesday, and is just one stroke behind Summerhays with four birdies on the card.

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

Thomas Georg Schmidt (GER) and Alfons Bondesson (SWE) are currently the leading players from mainland Europe, two shots back at 3 under par. The former rose 10 places in the rankings thanks to his final hole, which left him on the lead all day par-5 18th was one of only two Eagles.

Santiago De La Fuente (MEX), the reigning Latin American 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 be in contention 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 and found himself one over par after six holes. Three birdies in the four holes that followed kept him level with the lowest scores of the day, but a costly double-bogey at the 14th would damage the Spaniard’s score.

A birdie-birdie finish still left the Spaniard in the red at one under par and T15.

Recently crowned amateur champion Jacob Skov Olesen (DEN), who played alongside Ballester and De La Fuente in the main group of the opening rounds, had a similar day to his Spanish playing partner.

A late double-bogey would mean an opening score of 72 (par) for the Scandinavian member, which is nevertheless impressive after nine rounds of competitive golf last week in Ballyliffin. Still just five shots back of the leaders, Olesen is anything but out of contention this week.

On opening day, 23 players signed for a red number, and they are all within just four shots of the lead.

View results for European Amateur

ABOUT THE European amateur

The most important championship in Europe, run by the European Golf Association, which consists of 38 member states. 72 holes stroke play format. After 54 holes, the field is reduced to the 60 leading players and the score is tied. The winner earns a spot at the British Open.

View full tournament information