Schmidt among 32 remaining at the 125th British Amateur
Ben Schmidt (R&A photo)
Ben Schmidt (R&A photo)

32 players remain in the 125th British Amateur Championship after the first day of match play was completed at Royal Birkdale.

The day began with 68 players who advanced from a stroke play qualifier shortened to one round by poor weather on day one. Unlike the U.S. Amateur, where a playoff pares the field down to exactly 64 players for match play, the British Amateur allows everyone tying for 64th place to enter match play, with a select group of players having to play a preliminary round of match play to get the field to 64. Four matches were played in that first round this morning.

Once the field was pared to 64, England’s Benjamin Schmidt, the top ranked player in the field, played solid golf to record a 3&2 victory over Brandon Dietzel of Germany.

The 18-year-old advances to meet Callan Barrow after the Englishman, who finished runner-up in the English Men’s Amateur Championship, defeated Lewis Irvine of Scotland 2&1.

16-year-old Ruben Lindsay of Scotland, who led qualifying and received the top match play seed, was knocked out 2&1 by Ilari Saulo of Finland who had previously disposed of England’s Sam Bairstow 3&1 in the first round of matches in the morning.

The Finnish Amateur Champion will now go head-to-head with Victor H. Sidal Svendsen of Denmark who beat Ben Chamberlain of Wales by one hole.

The most anticipated match of the day was one between two winners of prominent English titles.

Having qualified for the match play stage by a single stroke, Frenchman David Ravetto, who won the Brabazon Trophy last week, went head-to-head with the English Amateur champion Jack Cope. Opening with a birdie, Ravetto went one-up after the first before comfortably winning the match 5&4. He will now play Marc Hammer of Germany on Friday after he earned his place in the next round by winning his match 2&1 over Rasmus Karlsson of Finland.

Thomas Plumb, a member of the 2019 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team, got off to a fast start, taking a six-up lead at the turn and cruising to a 4&3 victory over Robert Moran of Ireland.

Plumb will now face fellow Englishman Callum Farr in the third round after he progressed by defeating Davide Buchi of Italy by one hole.

Drawing inspiration from Padraig Harrington, Ireland’s Mark Power won his match against Jannik de Bruyn of Germany thanks to a 2&1 victory. He advances to play England’s Jack Dyer in the last-32.

This is only the fourth time The Amateur Championship has been hosted at Royal Birkdale following the previous stagings in 1946, 1989 and 2005.

The match play stage continues tomorrow with the last-16 and last-eight ties, with the winner in Sunday’s 36-hole final gaining exemptions into The 149th Open at Royal St George’s next July and by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament and an exemption to the US Open.

Thanks to the R&A for the information in this report.

Results: British Amateur
WinEnglandJoe LongEngland1800
Runner-upEnglandJoe HarveyEngland1200
SemifinalsIrelandMark PowerIreland900
SemifinalsEnglandJake BoltonEngland900
QuarterfinalsDenmarkVictor SvendsenDenmark700

View full results for British Amateur

ABOUT THE British Amateur

This championship, along with the US Amateur Golf Championship, is considered the most important in amateur golf.

The first stage of the Championship involves 288 players each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes, one to be played on each of the two courses. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes and ties for 64th place will compete in the match play stage of the Championship. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the Final which will be over 36 holes.

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