Christo Lamprecht shares the Open lead after producing a stunning round at Hoylake that see’s his star status rise

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Christo Lamprecht shares the Open lead after stunning round at Hoylake… with Peter Crouch labelling the 6ft 8in amateur South African a ‘hero’

  • Christo Lamprecht produced a brilliant performance on the first day of The Open
  • The South African giant used his frame to full effect around the Hoylake course
  • Lamprecht shares the competition lead after shooting a five-under-par round 

After introducing himself to the world it was time to introduce himself to the press. Christo Lamprecht, the South African giant who had just leapt to the top of The Open leaderboard, approached the mixed zone where scores of journalists awaited the first major story of the major. 

‘Duck’ – or words of a similar effect – came the call from a quick-thinking R&A official and Lamprecht, at 6ft 8, duly obliged. In doing so he avoided the fate suffered by compatriot, playing partner and mentor Louis Oosthuizen who had seconds earlier cracked his head on the low ceiling at the entrance. 

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Had Lamprecht followed suit it would have been a rare misstep on a morning that started with the 22-year-old a relative unknown and ended with him receiving praise from Peter Crouch.

‘Lamprecht is my hero’, tweeted the beanpole former Liverpool striker after a stunning, five-under 66 gave the newcomer an early lead. ‘It can be done’.

It certainly could. Lamprecht had used his frame to full effect. His long levers deliver drives of huge distance. Indeed, Bryson DeChambeau, who would know a thing or two about big-hitting, was moved to comment on Lamprecht’s ball-speed during a ferocious practice round that served as a pre-cursor.

Christo Lamprecht produced a stunning five-under 66 round to share the Open lead

Christo Lamprecht produced a stunning five-under 66 round to share the Open lead

The South African amateur was relatively unknown before his opening day heroics in Liverpool

The South African amateur was relatively unknown before his opening day heroics in Liverpool

Being tall has other advantages. On the fourth, after almost driving a par four green, Lamprecht found himself in a pot bunker, his ball in a tricky spot. The big man stood with one leg in the sand and one extended in the grass above it, back turned away from the pin. 

His unorthodox chip eased him away from a bogey. Size mattered. A clip, featuring announcers joking that it was a ‘good thing this man has a 38-inch inseam’ quickly surged viral.

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The man from the Western Cape clearly has a taste for the north-west of England. Lamprecht’s Amateur Championship, which secured his spot here, took place just down the coast at Southport. 

That victory also hands him entry to next year’s Masters. It may be too soon for the jacket-makers to nervously check their supplies of green material but his performance will certainly not have gone unnoticed not too far from Augusta.

While born and raised in South Africa, Lamprecht is a student at Georgia Tech, where he is majoring in business administration. Having enrolled in 2020 he had to study remotely for the first few months thanks to the pandemic. He quickly made up for lost time, becoming a two-time All American. 

Out of 99 career stroke-play rounds, he has carded 70 at par or under and is the third-ranked amateur on the planet. His performance here, the second-lowest opening day round by an amateur in the tournament’s long history, may not have come as a shock to those watching back in the peach state.

After dodging the hazardous roof, the papers wanted to know his shoe size. ‘It’s a US 13 so nothing out of the ordinary,’ he responded. 

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It also emerged that Lamprecht is a fan of pickleball, which he plays on his days off and that tallness runs in the family with a great grandfather who stood at 7ft. His favourite player, bar Oosthuizen, is Rory McIlroy.

Lamprecht shares the lead the top of the Open after his stunning round at Hoylake

Lamprecht shares the lead the top of the Open after his stunning round at Hoylake

The 22-year-old (left) was hailed as 'a hero' by Peter Crouch after his opening day performance

The 22-year-old (left) was hailed as ‘a hero’ by Peter Crouch after his opening day performance

Lamprecht added that he was the subject of mickey-taking from his childhood friends because his accent now sounds American. There was however, no mistaking his confidence when asked if it was a surprise to see his name at the top of the leaderboard.

‘In my own head, no, it’s not,’ he said. ‘I think I’m very hard on myself, and I think I earned my spot to be here. I think the way I played today I earned to be on the top of the leaderboard.

‘It’s not a cocky thing to say. I just personally think I believe in myself, and I guess stepping on to the first tee box if you’re a professional or a competitor, you should be believing that you should be the best standing there.’

A big man with big ambitions.

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