British Mid-Amateur: second round complete

SOUTHPORT & AINSDALE (August 18, 2006) -- Leading qualifier George Cowan from Northumberland continued his good form with a second comfortable victory in the British Mid-Amateur Championship at Southport & Ainsdale to reach the last 16 where he will play Edward Richardson of Southern Valley tomorrow, and three-time champion John Kemp was two up and poised for victory over Andrew Inglis on the 16th as darkness descended.

Cowan, a 26-year-old plus-two player from the Bellingham club beat Richard Kilshaw from Chorley in the second round 4 & 3, getting off tto a flying start when he hit a four-iron to four feet at the first for a birdie. He slotted home a 30-footer for another winning birdie at the 10th, then won the 12th when Kilshaw got in the heather off the tee and the14th with a birdie three when he sank an eight foot putt.

Richardson fought back from being two down against veteran American Jay Blumenfeld to win by one hole.

John Carroll from Huyton and Prescot claimed his second big win of the day when he beat Geoff Nixon of Brampton 6 & 5 after his 8 & 7 win over Craig Hughes of Kent in the morning. Carroll lost the first but then won six in a row to go five up only to lose the ninth when Nixon got his only birdie. But he was only delaying the inevitable, Carroll winning the 10th and the 12th then halving the 13th to take the match. He now meets Craig Elliot of Carrickvale in the third round after Elliot beat Bryan Innes from Murcar Links in Aberdeen by one hole.

Morpeth’s Sandy Twynholm knocked out Hamilton’s Euan Moir 5 & 4 in the second round, putting an end to the Scot’s exciting challenge which began with a course record 65 in the first qualifying round.

Local hero Mark Rabone, who beat defending champion Daniel Perrett in the first round had a 2 & 1 victory over Andrew Stracey of Littlestone and now meets Brian Harris, one of only two Americans left in the championship.

The other is Jay Poletiek who had to go all the way to the 18th before beating Coventry’s Matthew Cryer by one hole.

Stephen Machin from Cowglen beat last year’s losing finalist Steve Sansome from Cosby 5 & 4 but then had to pull out through illness, presenting a place in the last 16 to Cheshire county player Kevin Kean from Ashton-on-Mersey.

Daniel Perrett’s bid to become the first man to win a hat-trick of British Mid-Amateur titles fell at the first match-play hurdle when he missed an eight-foot putt on the last to keep the game alive and lost by one hole to Mark Rabone, a one handicap member at the host club Southport & Ainsdale.

In a tight struggle Perrett, who had never been beaten in this championship having won on his only two appearances at Muirfield last year and Royal Liverpool in 2004, found himself two down after five. Rabone won the long second with a birdie and Perrett conceded the fifth when he found the right hand rough and hit a tree with his third shot.

Perrett won the sixth with a 10-foot birdie putt and the seventh with an eagle to Rabone’s birdie, the Somerset man sinking a 40ft putt to square the match.

Perrett took the lead for the first time with another long putt at the 13th only for Rabone to get out of jail at the 14th when he got up and down out of deep rough at the side of the green, sinking from 10 feet for his par, while Perrett took three from the front of the green to lose the hole.

The S&A man fell behind again to a birdie at the 15th but immediately got it back with a birdie at the long 16th. He then went ahead when Perrett took four to get out of a bunker at the 17th and triumphed when Perrett missed his birdie chance at the last.

Leading qualifier George Cowan moved smoothly into the second round with a 3 & 2 win over Brian Moore from Largs. The 26-year-old Northumberland county player from Bellingham, who led the qualifiers on 135 after a record equalling second round of 65, halved all the holes with his Scottish opponent on the front nine, but took the lead at the short tenth when his chip and putt for par was good enough.

He went two up at the 11th when he put is five-iron second to eight feet and sank it and increased his lead at the short 13th when a par was again good enough, Moore failing to get up and down from off the green. Moore won a hole back with a birdie at the next but immediately lost it again when he drove into a gorse bush at the 15th and had to take a drop.

Euan Moir from Hamilton, who took the lead on the first day of qualifying with a course record 65, beat fellow Scot Laurie Phillips from Cruden Bay 4 & 3 and Bryan Innes from Murcar Links, a semi-finalist last year, beat Martin Young from Brokenhurst Manor 3 & 2.

Three times former winner John Kemp from John O’Gaunt beat Giovanni Airaga from Italy 5 & 4, but last year’s beaten finalist, Steve Sansome from Cosby, lost to Sephen Machin from Cowglen by the same score.

For complete match results, click on the tournament link above.

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