Jack Bigham looks to secure R&A title double at British Amateur
Jack Bigham (Royal and Ancient Photo)
Jack Bigham (Royal and Ancient Photo)

Jack Bigham’s bid to add another R&A title to his collection gathered pace as the Walker Cup player surged into the quarter-finals of The 129th Amateur Championship at Ballyliffin.

The 20-year-old Englishman, who won the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship in 2021, stayed on course for a notable double with two contrasting match play victories over the Glashedy Links.

Bigham had been three-down at the turn in his second-round encounter with South Africa’s Jordan Burnand but reeled off four birdies on the back-nine to turn the match around and seal a hard-earned 3&1 victory.

The Florida State University student carried that momentum into his third-round duel with Ukraine’s Lev Grinberg in the afternoon and won four of the first five holes to forge a commanding lead on his way to a 5&4 victory.

Bigham is currently ranked No. 153 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings.

Bigham’s compatriot, Dominic Clemons, also has another silver lining in his sights after sweeping into the last-eight with a 4&3 win over Walker Cup player James Ashfield of Wales.

Clemons, who has posted a series of impressive results on the US college scene this season, made a significant statement of intent earlier this month when he won the Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Muirfield by an extraordinary 17 shots.

Ashfield had won his opening two ties by a 6&4 margin, but he met his match in Clemons, who recorded a convincing win highlighted by a 40-foot birdie putt on the 9th hole which put him four-up.

Germany’s Laurenz Schiergen claimed the scalp of the top qualifier, Connor Graham, in round two before securing a quarter-final berth for the second time in three years with a win on the first extra hole against Charlie Forster.

In a closely fought joust, Schiergen was holding a slender one-hole lead after a steady run of 15 pars and one birdie but a bogey on the 17th, only his second in two matches during the day, allowed Forster to draw level.

The Englishman’s own bogey at the first extra hole proved costly, however, as Schiergen, aiming to become just the second German to reach the final after Christian Reimbold in 2000, set up a last-eight match with Clemons.

Walker Cup player Calum Scott continued his fine form to keep hopes of a first Scottish win since 2014 alive.

In a tight third-round encounter with Dylan Shaw-Radford, the 21-year-old, who was a quarter-finalist at his home course of Nairn in 2021, made a telling late thrust and birdied the 14th and 15th holes en route to a 3&2 victory.

Luke Sample’s excellent debut in The Amateur Championship was rewarded with a place in the last-eight as the New Yorker beat Harry Crockett 5&3. 

Earlier in the day, Sample had thwarted the ambitions of Walker Cup player, Conor Gough, with a 3&2 win in the second round.

Sample is the last remaining player from the United States of America after the towering Tommy Morrison bogeyed the 18th to lose by one hole to England’s Matthew Dodd-Berry, who has his 15-year-old brother as his caddie.

Spain’s Marcel Fonseca, who beat Iceland’s Arni Gunnlaugur Sveinsson by one hole, and Denmark’s Jacob Skov Olesen, winner after two extra holes against Tom Osborne, make up an intriguing quarter-final draw.

The Amateur Championship is one of the biggest and most prestigious amateur championships in the world and features a starting line-up of 288 players.

The winner of Saturday’s 36-hole Final will secure exemptions into The 152nd Open at Royal Troon next month, the US Open, and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament

Results: British Amateur
WinDenmarkJacob Skov OlesenDenmark1800
Runner-upEnglandDominic ClemonsEngland1200
SemifinalsEnglandJack BighamEngland900
SemifinalsNYLuke SampleNew York, NY900
QuarterfinalsGermanyLaurenz SchiergenGermany700

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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