Open 2014: Shropshire amateur Ashley Chesters makes good start

By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Hoylake
Ashley Chesters
Chesters became the first English player since 2004 to win the European Amateur Championship, at El Prat in Spain
The 143rd Open Championship
Venue: Royal Liverpool Golf Club Date: 17-20 July Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, online and mobile (UK only) and Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website (#bbcgolf) and mobiles; watch again on iPlayer

Shropshire amateur Ashley Chesters shot a two-under-par 70 on his Open Championship debut before admitting that he had never been so nervous before in his young life.

Chesters won his place at Hoylake by winning the European Amateur Championship 11 months ago.

"I was just happy that it hit the club face and went straight," said the 24-year-old from Hawkstone Park.

"I've never, ever felt so nervous as I did it on that first tee."

Chesters admitted that he might even have driven his mother into hiding.

"It was brilliant going round," he told BBC Radio Shropshire. "So many cheers and so much support from people I know.

"In fact, the only person I didn't see was my mum. But I think she might have been hiding somewhere as she didn't want to watch. She gets very nervous watching me play."

Ashley Chesters' support team
Ashley Chesters' caddie this week is his old pal from schooldays, Ricky Pharo, another member at Hawkstone Park.
Pharo, now a club professional, actually holds the course record, once held by Tony Jacklin, at Hawkstone Park - and the man whose record he broke was Chester's dad Nigel, by three shots.
Nigel Chesters is the men's captain at Hawkstone park, while Gina Chesters is the current ladies captain.

Roared on by the large following who had made the hour's journey up from Shropshire to Hoylake, Chester shot a birdie three at the 458-yard first hole.

He got another birdie at the long fifth, only for bogeys at 3, 7 and 9 to drop him back to one over at the turn.

But he then birdied the last eight holes, dropping another shot in between, to come home in 34.

In a week when he is very much using the experience to determine whether he now decides to turn professional, the last of his day's haul of six birdies came on 18, where he showed the gallery just what he is capable of doing on golf's biggest stage.

"It was just on the front edge so I could get my putter on it, but to get down in two putts to make my birdie was a great feeling," he admitted.

"It's just great to be here this week, but to shoot under par is even better."

Chesters' efforts actually gave him the honour of ending up as the day's leading Englishman by close of play.

He is one shot better off than Lee Westwood - and two clear of Justin Rose, David Howell and Ollie Fisher.

And he is also well placed in his bid to win the Silver Medal for finishing top amateur.

Quite apart from being on course to satisfy the first stipulation of making the cut - the Silver Medal winner has to complete all 72 holes - Chesters is already four shots better off than the next best amateur, Cheng-Tsung Pan, from Taiwan.

Sandy Lyle meanwhile, twice a major winner, and now 56, playing in his 39th Open Championship, closed on 10-over par.

The 1985 Open champion carded an 82, the second worst round of the day, which contained three separate double bogeys at the seventh, 11th and 14th.

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