KENT, England – For the second time in the last three years, ETSU's Mateusz Gradecki advanced into match play at the 122nd British Amateur Championship, which got underway Monday from Royal St. George's and Prince's Golf Club.
Gradecki carded a 1-under-par 141 in the 36-hole stroke-play event en route to placing him in a tie for 54th, which secured him a spot in match play. Gradecki began the tournament by posting an even-par 70 on Monday at Royal St. George's, following that up with a 1-under-par 71 in Tuesday's round at Prince's Golf Club. Over the two-day stroke-play event, Gradecki totaled 10 birdies and 18 pars, with six of those birdies coming in Tuesday's round. Gradecki registered three birdies on the both the front and back nines on Tuesday, which included a key stretch of three consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-15.
Gradecki – who also advanced into match play back in 2015 – will take on Royal Liverpool's Matthew Jordan Wednesday morning at 2:27 a.m. Eastern. The winner of that match will advance into round two, which will also be contested on Wednesday. The matches will be played at Royal St. George's Golf Club.
Irishman Caolan Rafferty led the 288-player field in stroke play as he recorded a 10-under-par 132 (70-62).
The cutline was set at 1-under-par.
The field is made up of 288 competitors from 40 countries.
The winner earns a spot in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale in July, the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock and by tradition, and invitation to play in the Masters Tournament.
Almost two-thirds of the field (65%) will travel to the southeast of England from as far afield as Australia, China, South Africa and the United States. A total of 100 players from Great Britain and Ireland will compete, including 51 golfers from host nation England.
The first stage of the championship comprises two qualifying rounds of stroke play, one round on each course, before the 64 players with the lowest scores and ties for 64th place progress to the match play stage at Royal St George's. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the final, which will be over 36 holes.
Several Champion Golfers of the Year have played in The Amateur Championship over the years, including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson. 2017 Masters Champion Sergio Garcia won The Amateur at Muirfield in 1998.