VICTORIA, Australia (January 20, 2017) -- Shae Wools-Cobb’s quiet run through draw at the Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts, is over.
The softly spoken Queenslander announced himself as a genuine title contender late on a marathon day at Yarra Yarra Golf Club when he took out impressive Korean Seung-taek Oh on the 21st hole.
Wools-Cobb, 20, has been a steady improver through the amateur ranks in the past three years and that was franked by two ice-cool putts right when it mattered most.
Firstly on the 20th green, the Maroochy River star calmly knocked in a slick 10-footer for par to extend the match.
Then, with Oh marginally closer after each hit great tee shots to the par-three 3rd, the Queensland state rep fist-pumped as another pure putt turned south before his opponent’s final miss.
“It was a pretty tough battle out there. I hadn’t really holed too much all day, but then I holed them in the in playoff.
“They grow legs those shortish putts in playoffs … so that felt good. He’d made a good one on me on the 19th hole, so that was even better.”
Wools-Cobb will next face Melbourne surprise packet Matias Sanchez, who played smart golf down the closing stretch to edge out fellow Victorian Zach Murray 2 up.
Sanchez held the lead early before Murray looked home as he strode to the lead on the 15th. But a couple of driving errors in the final three holes proved costly for the Wodonga ace as his Royal Melbourne opponent held steady and cashed in with pars.
Also in the top half, Welshman Evan Griffith caused another boilover when he toppled Sydney’s world No. 20 Harrison Endycott on the final hole.
Endycott had fought hard to get back from a big early deficit and couldn’t believe his approach to the last wasn’t hit by a strong left-to-right wind and found the left sand.
“That’s golf. We had a great match and he played well,” Endycott said.
In the bottom half of the draw, Min Woo Lee and Robbie Morrison will have an all-West Australian quarterfinal after each won 3&2 this afternoon.
Lee was pushed by Japan’s Gaku Tsukamoto, the last man into the final 64, but again showed his match play prowess when it mattered.
Morrison, of Scottish background and a member at Royal Perth, took another scalp when he toppled England’s Jack Singh Brar.
Fellow Perth star Kiran Day had a chance to force extra holes, but three-putted the last to cede a 1 up victory to Scottish star Robert Macintyre, who’s seeking to emulate countryman Connor Syme as the Australian Amateur champion.
But he’ll have to fight past the suddenly hot Travis Smyth, a 4&3 winner over impressive Canberra youngster Josh Armstrong.
Smyth was an estimated 2-under-par when the match was finished, but Armstrong also played some impressive golf to show good signs for the future, including keeping the match alive for three holes after Smyth reached 6 up with six to play.
Top-seed Kevin Yuan also remained alive with a 20th hole win in the Round of 32 over David Boote of Wales and a 2 up win over world No. 6 Scott Gregory of England in the Round of 16.
The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on Saturday.