LANCASHIRE, England (Aug. 3, 2018) – Eagles and birdies were flying on an afternoon of upsets in the English men’s amateur championship at Formby which saw top seed Sam Rook and international Jake Burnage knocked out.
Burnage chipped in for eagle on the 17th to go all square in his match. But his opponent, Oliver Farrell birdied the 18th to win the close-fought game 1 up and take his place in the quarterfinals.
“Jake’s chip-in helped me a little bit,” said Farrell. “I told myself to respond in a good way and hit a great drive down the middle on 18. I had 99 yards left, which was perfect, I hit a 90-yard shot and let it release down to the pin to about 4ft away.”
Burnage’s approach was almost as good, finishing 6 feet away, but his birdie attempt lipped out.
Farrell, 21, is a student at Marquette University in Wisconsin and is playing in the match play stages of this championship for the first time.
“My game has been close all year,” he said. “Sometimes the results don’t reflect the way you are playing.”
Tomorrow he will play Callum Farr who knocked out the top seed Sam Rook, 3 and 2.
Farr was slow starting but once he got going, he was on fire. He lost the first to a birdie then, by his own account, made a mess of the second. After that he played the next 14 holes in 6-under par, with birdies on 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 13.
Farr, who celebrates his 20th birthday next week, is also playing in the match play stages for the first time and remarked: “It’s nice to beat the top seed, it shows you can beat anyone.”
Brabazon Trophy winner Nick Poppleton joins them in the quarterfinals, after defeating Jack Ainscough, 3 and 2.
Poppleton had a marathon match this morning, going to the 23rd hole to beat Matthew Nuttall. But the long game brought the added bonus of a fresh swing thought.
“I found something in the play-off holes and started to hit some better shots,” he said. “I played lovely in the stroke play but I haven’t been swinging it as great in the match play or putting as great. But this afternoon I played nicely and played some lovely wedge shots.”
He took an early lead, winning the first three holes when Ainscough found sand off each of the tees, and he had his chances to get to 4 under. But instead, it was Ainscough who made a move, getting back to 2 down after 15, only for Poppleton to convert a lovely 9-iron approach on 16 into a winning birdie.
Tomorrow Poppleton takes on Joe Long, who came through another marathon game. He finally beat Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle) on the 20th.
Tom Thurloway moved confidently into the quarters with a 4-and-3 win over Hexham’s Matty Lamb. His opponent will be Angus Flanagan who knocked out boy international Robin Williams. Flanagan finished with a run of birdies: on the 15th to get to 1 up; on the 17th to halve the hole; and on the 18th to win, 2 up.
The final quarterfinal will be between Jamie Li and Alex Ireland. Li was a 19th hole winner over England squad player Tom Sloman. Ireland, meanwhile, won the 14th, 15th and 16th with a par, birdie, par sequence to defeat Rhys Lawrence, 3 and 2.
ABOUT THE English Amateur
The English Amateur was played in its inaugural
year of 1925 at Hoylake when local golfer T
Froes Ellison captured the title. He successfully
defended the following year at Walton
Heath, a feat achieved by only six others: Frank
Pennink, Alan Thirlwell, Michael Bonallack, Harry
Ashby, Mark Foster, and Paul Casey. Sir Nick
Faldo is the most famous to have won the event
as the six-time major champion won the 1975
tournament at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
The tournament consists of two stroke
play rounds, after which the top 64 players
will advance to the match
play rounds, culminating in a 36-hole final
between two finalists.
View Complete Tournament Information