Alex Maguire (left) advanced to the quarter-finals (R&A photo)
Ireland’s Alex Maguire reached the quarter-finals of The 128th Amateur Championship at Hillside after a thrilling victory at the 23rd hole against Daniel Rodrigues from Portugal.
On a dramatic day of last-32 and last-16 matches on the fast-running links, Maguire maintained his title hopes with a notable win. After bunker troubles at the 17th looked to have ended his hopes, the 22-year-old battled back from the brink of defeat to prevail at the fifth extra hole. Maguire, a semi-finalist at Royal Lytham & St Annes 12 months ago, has continued the form that saw him win the St Andrews Links Trophy recently.
Estonian teenager Richard Teder continued his dream week at Hillside to reach the last-eight. The 18-year-old, who had earlier knocked out last year’s semi-finalist and the top-ranked Great Britain and Ireland player John Gough by one hole, came through a high-quality match with American Tommy Morrison. The pair shared ten birdies in the opening 11 holes of their last-16 tussle before Teder finally edged out the Texan at the first extra hole.
South African Christo Lamprecht, the highest-ranked player in the field, maintained his form to reach the quarter-finals. The 22-year-old, sixth on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) and recently a competitor in the Arnold Palmer Cup, came through 2&1 against Sweden’s Adam Wallin as he aims to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner from South Africa, Aldrich Potgieter.
England’s Frank Kennedy holed his second shot at the 14th for an eagle en route to his narrow last-16 win over Irishman Marc Boucher. The 17-year-old, who won the Lytham Trophy in April, boosted hopes of a home win by edging through on the 18th thanks to also recording five birdies.
Switzerland’s Max Schliesing was the first player to secure his place in tomorrow’s matches, defeating Wales’ Caolan Burford 3&2 after two birdies in the opening five holes.
His compatriot, Ronan Kleu, is also into the last-eight as both aim to become the first Swiss player to claim The Amateur title. Kleu, who finished in a tie for second in stroke play qualifying, achieved a comfortable 5&3 win over Frenchman Clement Charmasson.
Thailand’s TK Chantananuwat – the 16-year-old who was runner-up in the R&A Junior Open last summer - also shone in England’s north-west. After beating Ireland’s Caolan Rafferty 2&1 in the morning, he progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3&2 success over England’s William Hopkins.
Tobias Jonsson from Sweden is into the last-eight after ousting Joshua Greer 2&1. Greer had earlier won an all-Australian meeting against Jasper Stubbs and was aiming to emulate compatriot Bryden Macpherson, the last winner of The Amateur at Hillside in 2011, but birdies at the 12th and 14th helped Jonsson through.
The winner of Saturday’s 36-hole Final will secure exemptions into The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool next month, the US Open, and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament. Notable previous winners of The Amateur include Bobby Jones, Sir Michael Bonallack, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia.
The R&A will provide coverage of the quarter-finals and semi-finals from Hillside tomorrow and the 36-hole Final on Saturday. This can be watched on www.randa.org as well as its YouTube channel. The live stream will begin at 8.10am on Friday and 8.25am on Saturday. Live coverage of the morning sessions on Friday and Saturday is also being broadcast by Sky Sports Golf, with live updates during the afternoon action.
Spectators are welcome to attend The Amateur Championship with tickets available to purchase at www.randa.org. Adult tickets are available from £10.
To encourage children and young people to attend The Amateur, The R&A will continue the successful ‘Kids go Free’ programme which provides children under-16-years-old free entry to the Championship when accompanied by a paying adult. Half-price youth tickets are also available for 16-24-year-olds.
View match play scoring from The Amateur Championship here.
Alex Maguire, Ireland
“I could feel my legs sort of caving in on me on the par-3 there just before the finish, so the 22nd hole. It was an absolutely amazing match. Daniel played so good and I matched him on a lot of holes. It really could have gone any way but lovely for myself it went my way.
“I don't think I'm going to try to change what I'm doing just because I'm playing well. It's all to do with just staying in the moment and committing to the process that you have for each shot.”
Ronan Kleu, Switzerland
“It's awesome to have two Swiss players in the quarter-finals. We travel as a team. Two out of the eight players, so one quarter of all the guys through are Swiss. I’m really proud of that and it's a privilege to be able to represent Switzerland.
“I would say my approach play and putting has been key. I've been working a lot on my putting the last couple weeks and my approach play has always been my strength. Hillside requires a lot of good second shots.”
TK Chantananuwat, Thailand
“I was just really patient. I mean, this week, no matter what happens tomorrow, I've taken back a very valuable lesson and that's patience. Honestly, if I weren't patient, I would have already missed the cut after the very first round. I easily could have shot anywhere near 80.
“If I’m tired, the other guy is tired. Like today the second round of golf was definitely a different type of golf than the first round. That 19th to 36th hole was definitely different than the first 18. It's the same for everybody.”
Christo Lamprecht, South Africa
“I think I've been playing really good golf. So I'm very pleased with how I'm conducting myself on the golf course and then playing accordingly. It's fun to be here.
“I think my experience helps a little bit but besides that it's match play and you just have to go out and beat the guy next to you no matter what he's ranked or what he's done before. When you step on the tee, you guys are equal.”
Story courtesy The R&A
ABOUT THE British Amateur
This championship, along with the US Amateur Golf
Championship, is considered the most important in
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
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