Mads Soegaard pulled off an upset in the second match play round of the 118th Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports today when he eliminated Nathan Kimsey, the highest ranked English player in the field.
Soegaard edged a close match with a birdie at the first extra hole after playing a 9 iron to 3 feet and holing the putt as his opponent, who is ranked 11th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and is a hopeful for this year’s Walker Cup match in Southampton, New York, missed from the back of the green.
The 20-year-old, who is ranked 194th in the world, said, “I went for the perfect shot and I couldn’t mishit it or I knew it would be in the water. It was an awesome feeling pulling that off. It was really intense. It always gives you a confidence boost to win a match like that. I am getting into the match play groove and just trying to stay alive.”
Extra holes were also required to settle the match between Neil Raymond, the St Andrews Links Trophy Champion, and fellow Englishman Max Williams. Raymond, the 27-year-old from Corhampton, won at the 20th hole after playing his approach to within two feet. He said, “I didn’t hit the best tee shot, but I got the perfect 8 iron yardage and couldn’t have asked for a better number (165 yards) and that’s why I practise. For shots like that you don’t always get the perfect number so when you do you have to make the most of it.
“It was a good battle out there and that’s what match play is about. I’m delighted to win, Max is a quality player, one of the best ball strikers in the country.”
Scot Adam Dunton edged out England’s Charlie Bull 2&1 after a tight match. The turning point in the match came at the 16th when the 23-year-old from McDonald made a great recovery to get up and down from the greenside rough while Bull missed the putt to halve the hole. “I missed it left and short-sided myself in the rough,” said Dunton. “I played probably one of the best chips I have ever played. I was happy to get out of that and to be 1up with two to go.
“On the last few holes it is tough to make birdies so I kept telling myself to stick in and that anything could happen. Luckily I came through in the end.”
Poland’s Adrian Meronk, the joint leader after the stroke play stage, made it through to the last 32 after defeating Danish player Thomas Sorensen 4&3. After going six up with six to play, Ireland’s Paul Dunne was made to work to seal his win over Ashton Turner, from Kenwick Park, who won four consecutive holes before succumbing 2&1 on the 17th. Local favourite Max Orrin defeated fellow Englishman Ben Stow 4&3 and, in a good day for the home nation, Paul Kinnear, from Formby, overcame Australian Cameron Smith, ranked 12th in WAGR, by 4&2.
Twenty nations were represented in the match play stage and players from 15 nations reached the last 32 demonstrating the global appeal of The Amateur Championship.