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The Loop

British Amateur champ Jeong starts with 68

July 15, 2010

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Will the British Open be the third straight major championship where an amateur golfer makes the cut? Thanks to a first-round 68 from Jin Jeong, the reigning British Amateur champion, it appears that just might be the case.

The 20-year-old South Korean made birdies on six of his first 14 holes Thursday at the Old Course, causing his name to surface on the leader board behind the 18th hole. While bogeys on two of the last three holes muted his performance somewhat, he remained inside the top 20 after 18 holes of play.

Jeong is already familiar to the U.K.'s more knowledgeable golf fans after his performance last month at Muirfield. A hot putter in the championship match against Scotland's James Byrne propelled Jeong to a 5-and-4 victory and the distinction of being the first amateur champion in the event's 125-year history to hail from Asia.

While born in Busan, South Korean, Jeong lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he's trained for a few years. While there, he has won the Riverside Cup, a prestigious amateur tournament down under, along with the Tasmanian Open. Could the low amateur medal at the British Open be next?

-- Ryan Herrington