Four emerge from closely-fought quarter-finals
Seventeen year-old Harrison Greenberry from Exeter ended the challenge of Oliver Carr when he defeated the England international by 3&2 in the quarter-finals of the Boys Amateur Championship at Burnham and Berrow. The Devon County player got off to a dream start when he won four of the first six holes and then withstood an onslaught from Carr before finishing the match with a regulation par on the 362-yard par-4 16th hole.
Greenberry will now play Germany’s Jeremy Paul in the semi-finals after Paul withstood a late fightback from his compatriot Steffen Harm before winning on the 18th hole.
The other semi-final will be between Belgium’s Thomas Detry and England’s Patrick Kelly. Detry defeated 17-year-old Callum Mackay, the No. 2 seed from Burhill Golf Club, while Kelly had to go a marathon 23 holes before overcoming Irish international, John-Ross Galbraith, in an utterly engrossing contest.
Carr started his match as favourite against Greenberry but, as often happens, it did not go with the script. The diminutive Exeter play won the first with a par and was four up by the time Carr got two holes back on the seventh and eighth. The crucial moment in the whole match probably came on the 155-yard par-3 ninth where Carr hit his tee shot into 4-foot but then contrived to three-putt. That put him three holes in arrears and while he won the 11th he then lost both the 12th and the 14th to all but seal his fate.
“That was a very tough match but I suppose they are all going to be at this stage in the competition,” said Greenberry. “I was lucky because I got off to a good start and then managed to keep Oliver at bay after that. “This is a big win for me because Oliver is a very good player.”
The battle between the two Germans also looked to be finishing early when Paul raced into a three hole lead only to lose the 13th, 14th and 15th. He went one up with a par on the 16th and then clung on to confirm his semi-final spot against Greenberry.
Detry had taken some fine scalps on his way to the quarters-finals and he added another when he ended the hopes of 16-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick from Hallamshire Golf Club in the quarter-finals. The English international’s consolation is that he wins the Peter Garner Bowl, awarded to the leading under-17 competitor in the field.
The 18-year-old Belgian won the first hole with a birdie and was never behind after that. He increased his lead to two with a birdie four on the 511-yard par-5 fifth, lost both the sixth and the seventh, but then made a decisive move when he won the 11th, 12th and 15th holes to seal a spot in the last four.
Kelly’s battle with Galbraith turned out to be the longest to date in this year’s Championship. The Ulster Boys champion was heavily out-hit from the tee but displayed a magical touch round the greens which was evident when he holed a 45-foot putt up and over the steep slope on the 16th green to stop going two down. He went on to win the 18th with a par and then on the 19th played a masterful lob from a downhill lie to the right of the green to halve the hole. In the end, the English international was a mightily relieved man to seal the win with a somewhat anti-climactic bogey four on the fifth extra hole.
“I’m just glad I’ve got through,” said the 17-year-old from Boston West Golf Club in Lincolnshire. “At the moment I’m feeling relieved more than anything else because I should have finished it earlier. But you have got to hand it to JR because he refused to go down without a fight.”
The semi-finals are now underway, click here for live scores.