North Devon golfers battling it out with the country’s best

Jimmy Mullen is back in action this week at the English Amateur Championship.

The Royal North Devon golfer is still on the crest of his Open Championship wave after winning the Bronze Medal for making the cut at Muirfield.

19-year-old Mullen is aiming to beat the man who took pipped him to the silver medal – Sheffield’s Matthew Fitzpatrick – and win the prestigious event at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire.

He faces a very different challenge to the Open last week – the EAC is played across two courses, with one round played on each in the first two days. Then, the top 64 players progress to a matchplay format to determine the champion.

Mullen is hoping to add his name to a fine list of former winners, which includes six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo and more recently Ryder Cup player Paul Casey and European Tour players Richard Finch and Danny Willett.

Mullen started his quest on Monday with a first round 71 on the ‘red’ course, before hitting the blue course on Tuesday as the North Devon Gazette was going to press.

Fitzpatrick performed better in round one, carding a 5-under 67on the blue course.

But Mullen was outshone by Saunton golf club’s David Ashley in the battle for top North Devon amateur in round one, as he shot an impressive 66 on the red course for a share of the lead at -6.