Thursday, June 20, 2019

THE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP - Euan Walker through to all Scottish quarter final.

Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) will face Scottish international team mate Sandy Scott (Nairn) in the quarter finals of The Amateur Championship at Portmarnock on Friday, 21st June, after the two won their third and fourth round matches on Thursday.

In the third matchplay round on Thursday morning, Walker faced Riccardo Leo (Italy).

Despite going one behind with a bogey five at the second hole, walker squared the match at the fourth before racing into a three hole lead by the turn when his opponent ran into a string of three successive bogeys.

A birdie two at the twelfth extended walker’s lead to four holes and he went five ahead with five to play at the thirteenth when Leo bogeyed the par five hole.

A half in birdie threes at the next hole was enough for Walker to close out the match by 5 & 4.

In the round of 16 on Thursday afternoon, Euan Walker played Jonatan Jolkkonen from Finland and staged a spirited fightback before claiming his place in the last eight courtesy of a win at the second extra hole.

Walker was one down after one when he bogeyed the first hole, and birdies from his opponent at the fourth and sixth saw him slip three behind before a birdie three at the ninth reduced the deficit to two holes as the players turned for home.

Walker reduced the deficit to one hole with a birdie three at the eleventh, only to slip two behind again after thirteen, where he could only manage a bogey six to his opponents par five.

With his opponent two up after thirteen, Walker’s supporters hoped that the old golfing adage of ‘Two up with five to play never wins’ would come to pass, and so it proved to be.

Bogeys by Jolkkonen at the fifteenth and seventeenth allowed walker to square the match with one to play and after the players fought out a nervy half in bogey fives at the last, the tie moved into extra holes.

The nineteenth was halved in par fours and another par four at the twentieth was good enough for Walker to go through when Jolkkonen could only manage a five.

Sandy Scott’s progression to the last eight was similar to Walker's when, having beaten Englishman Daniel O’Loughlin by 2 & 1 in the morning, he was behind for the majority of his fourth round tie in the afternoon against Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra from Spain, going ahead for the first time at the fifteenth before closing the tie out with a birdie three at the seventeenth for a 2 & 1 win.

The two Scots play their quarter final match on Friday morning, teeing off at 08.45 am, with the winner progressing to play either Ireland’s Ronan Mullarney or Benjamin Jones from England.

The other quarter final ties feature the leading player in the field, David Micheluzzi from Australia who is ranked seventh in the world rankings, who is up against Cameron Sisk of the USA, whilst Koen Kouwenaar of The Netherlands takes on the second Irish player still in the competition, James Sugrue.

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