Stiggy Hodgson takes a firm grip of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy

As the tournament enters its final day the stage is set for a fascinating climax with Stiggy Hodgson heading a high-class leaderboard

As the tournament enters its final day the stage is set for a fascinating climax with Stiggy Hodgson heading a high-class leaderboard.

Stiggy Hodgson, one of England s brightest young prospects, has stamped his authority on the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy after a second round 71 left him three shots clear of the field. On a bright, breathless day the current Carris and McEvoy Trophy winner once again looked imperious on the Dundonald Links as he mixed three birdies with just two bogeys.

A cosmopolitan and high-quality leaderboard is gathered behind Hodgson though as the event heats up and heads into the final day. Ireland s Paul Dunne, who at 15-years-old is one of the youngest members of the field, shot a magnificent 2-under-par 70 to be just three off the lead.

In one of the performances of the tournament so far Thailand s Vasin Sripattranusorn, who has never played golf outside of Asia before, followed up his first round 73 with a level-par 72. I find the greens very difficult for my putting especially as they get drier but I am hitting it a long way, laughed Vasin. Meanwhile Spanish Amateur men and boys number one Carlos Pigem is lying menacingly in fourth after a second round 75 and vowed to get better tomorrow .

Another outstanding display of golf from debutant Laetitia Beck, from Israel, makes her leading lady, in sixth position over-all. The 16-year-old shot an error-free 73 to be five-over for the tournament. Beck, who is currently based in America, is being chased hard by 2007 Girls Champion, Giulia Molinaro. The +2.5 handicapper took full advantage of the calm conditions with her level-par round, six shots better than yesterday.

The attending Duke of York was delighted by the quality of golf on display and in particular by the progress the tournament has made in the last eight years. A lot of these young people are going to become something big in the game, they are heading for the pinnacle, confirmed the Duke of York. I am so impressed with what we have achieved in the last eight years and it s difficult to improve on it right now. One thing is for sure; this is a not a week I would miss!

However, once again it was Sunningdale-based Hodgson who stole the show with his immaculate ball-striking and unflappable self-belief. I got to the turn at two-under today and for some reason all I was thinking was course record I am just feeling so confident right now, said Hodgson. My rhythm is good and to be honest I can t wait for tomorrow.

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