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For Immediate Publication


17 June 2010, Gullane, Scotland: Eight players from seven nations are through to the quarter-finals of the 2010 Amateur Championship. All four home nations are represented, along with Italy, France and Korea.

First through to the last eight was England’s Matthew Nixon, defeating Tommy Fleetwood with a birdie-three at the 18th to win by one hole. The 21-year-old former Boys Amateur Champion, who earlier in the day had eased past Denmark’s Peter Baunsoe 3&2, faced an altogether tougher task against the world number nine.

“It was a bit of a struggle out there,” explained Nixon, “nip and tuck all the way. I hit a lot of greens today and I played quite well.”

Magnanimous in defeat, Fleetwood said: “I’ve played the Amateur twice before this, and I’ve lost to the winner both times. He’s one of my best mates, so I hope he goes all the way.”

Nixon will play Rhys Enoch in the fourth round. This morning, the Welshman was a three-foot putt away from making his Amateur Championship exit against Jordan Findlay of Scotland. Findlay would miss and hand the East Tennessee State student another chance, one he would grasp at the 19th hole. In the afternoon, Enoch would make no mistake, overcoming Bolivia’s Sebastian Maclean 2&1.

“I definitely feared the worst this morning. I was really struggling, but somehow I got through it and found something this afternoon,” he said. “My short game and putting is very sharp right now and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Scottish hopes are very much alive in the form of James Byrne, who negotiated his way through to the last eight after victories over Germany’s Stephan Jaeger and Englishman Alex Christie. The Arizona State University junior, 21, is hoping to become the first winner on home soil since Stuart Wilson at St Andrews in 2004.

“I had high hopes of doing well this week. I’m playing steady golf – I was about two under par today. I had a good summer last year and I feel like I’ve got the game to do well again,” said Byrne, a quarter-finalist last year at Formby.

Completing the quartet of home internationals is Northern Ireland’s Paul Cutler who made his way to the last eight courtesy of a one-hole victory over Scotland's Michael Stewart and a 3&2 triumph against Japan’s Yuki Usami.

Despite having had little links experience Jin Jeong has arguably been the most impressive international player this week. Today he defeated the 2010 Scottish Open Stroke Play Champion, France’s Romain Wattel, 4&3 this morning, and 2009 Boys Amateur Champio