Five nations represented in last eight at Boys Amateur

The Boys Amateur ChampionshipTwo Frenchmen, two Germans, two Irishmen and one player from each of Spain and Scotland have reached the quarter-finals of the 2010 Boys Amateur Championship at Kilmarnock (Barassie). Two rounds of match play were played today, reducing the field from 32 to just eight.

The winner of stroke play qualifying, France’s Julien Brun, registered his second 5&4 victory of the day against England’s Paul Lockwood, having comfortably defeated Spaniard Jon Rahm in his morning match.

“That was the best I have played all week. My strategy was good and I made almost no mistakes,” said the 18-year-old, who made just one bogey in 28 holes today. “Each match play game is different, so I will play one game at a time. But I think I’m playing good enough to win.”

Ewan Scott receives the Peter Garner Bowl from R&A Tournament Director Keith Andrews.Brun, who is joined by fellow Frenchman Stanislas Gautier in the next round after Gautier defeated Germany’s Moritz Lampert 4&3, will face Adrian Otaegui tomorrow morning. The Spaniard defeated Scott Gibson of Scotland by just one hole, after making a 30-foot putt for birdie on the 18th green.

Gibson’s compatriot, Ewan Scott, also suffered a one-hole defeat, to Ireland’s Dermot McElroy. However, as the highest-placed under-17 at the Championship, Scott was awarded with the Peter Garner Bowl, a trophy which counts Sergio Garcia and Sandy Lyle amongst its former winners.

“I’m a little bit disappointed because I feel like I could have won,” said the 15-year-old, “but I’m obviously delighted to get my name on this [trophy]. Sergio Garcia, especially, has been a hero of mine for the last five or six years, so it’s brilliant.”

Chances of a home win now rest with Conor O’Neil, who completed a one-hole victory over Andrew Scrimshaw of England. The 18-year-old’s morning match had been decided on the 20th hole by a four-iron struck to five feet from 210 yards, which O’Neil described as “the best shot of my career”.

Conor O'Neil“Anything can happen now,” he said. “For the first few rounds you just have to beat the guy in front of you, but from now on you have to play good golf.”

Germans Aaron Leitmannstetter and Max Rottluff impressed in their last 16 matches, recording wins of 3&2 and 2&1 over Christoph Korbler of Austria and Denmark’s Mads Sogaard, respectively.

“It’s good that there are two of us [Germans] through to the quarter finals,” said Rottluff. “We are pleased that we have got this far and we hope to have a good day tomorrow.”

In the final match of the day, Jeff Hopkins defeated Englishman David Blick by one hole to ensure that there would be two Irish quarter-finalists. It is possible that Hopkins and McElroy, Brun and Gautier, or Leitmannstetter and Rottluff could meet in all-Irish, all-French or all-German final.

Full results from today’s play, along with Saturday’s draw, can be found here.