After a day of upsets in the New Zealand Amateur Championship in round two the big names from the women’s draw have survived close battles in the quarterfinals in miserable conditions at the Russley Golf Club.
Both Cecilia Cho and Lydia Ko were given huge scares in the wet and cold conditions before they progressed to the semifinals.
Defending champion Cho, who is looking to become the first player in a century to win the title three times in a row, was two down for most of the match against Laura Hoskin (Arrowtown) until a late resurgence on the back nine kept her alive.
Cho, who won by 2 and 1, admitted to feeling nervous after seeing favourites Ryan Fox and Ben Campbell sent home yesterday and believed in matchplay the pressure is always on the favoured player.
“It is hard because everyone expects you to win and the other player has nothing to lose,” said Cho who has gone unbeaten in the New Zealand Amateur since 2009.
“Laura played really well today and she kept holing all of the pressure putts.
“I made a good birdie on the 16th and she made a mistake on the 17th which was the match.
“I was shocked to see Ryan and Ben go out yesterday and I am happy to survive today in a tough match.”
Similarly, Lydia Ko was two down on the front nine in her match against Filipina Love Lynn Guiguio.
She rallied to win comfortably in the end by a margin of four and two but it wasn’t always a sure thing.
“I was playing really awful to start today,” said Ko.
“I holed a good birdie putt on the 9th which was a turning point and from there on I played solid golf hitting fairways and greens in regulation and it was good enough.
“A lot of the Filipina golfers have good records in the Queen Sirikit Cup and Love Lynn is a great player so I am happy to get through.”
Ko will face Filipina Chihiro Ikeda, who knocked her out of the New Zealand Amateur in the semi-finals last year, and Cho will face fellow Pakuranga member Caryn Khoo.
Khoo, who was never in the lead throughout the match with Jayvie Agojo (Philippines), made a magical bunker shot on the 18th hole for eagle to keep the match alive. She went onto win at the 20th hole.
Meantime in the men’s, Steven Heyes, who knocked out Fox, beat Cameron Jones 1up with a fine par save on the 18th.
Mathew Perry overcame 2008 New Zealand Strokeplay champion James Betts by 3 and 2, Josh Munn beat Vaughan McCall at the 20th hole in a gripping contest.
“It is pretty rough out there,” said Munn (20).
“The wind is picking up and it is really cold – it is totally different to how it has been here so it’s a good test.”
The final match saw Takaka golfer Blair Riordan miss a two foot putt on the 18th to allow Sam An back into the contest. Riordan won the match at the 19th with a well made birdie from six feet.
Heyes will play Munn, while Perry will meet Riordan.
New Zealand Amateur Quarterfinal Scores:Men: Steven Heyes (Russley) bt Cameron Jones (North Shore) 1up, Josh Munn (Castlecliff) bt Vaughan McCall (Gore) at the 20th hole, Mathew Perry (Hamilton) bt James Betts (Paraparaumu Beach) 3 and 2, Blair Riordan (Takaka) bt Sam An (Titirangi) at the 19th.
Women: Lydia Ko (North Shore) bt Love Lynn Guiguio (Philippines) 4 and 2, Chihiro Ikeda (Phillipines) bt Julianne Alvarez (Manor Park) bt 4 and 3, Caryn Khoo (Pakuranga) bt Jayvie Agojo (Phillipines) at the 20th hole, Cecilia Cho (Pakuranga) bt Laura Hoskin (Arrowtown) 2 and 1.