R&A Scholar Cormac Sharvin remains on course at the Amateur Championship after a 5&4 victory over Denmark’s Victor Fasmer Henum. The Ardglass golfer carries Northern Irish hopes of a home victory into the fourth round.
The Stirling University student raced to a three-hole lead over his Danish opponent with three birdies in his first five holes.
“I got up early and that’s important in match play,” Sharvin said.Sharvin finished second in the Irish Amateur Championship last month, but came into the 119th Amateur Championship low on form after taking some time off for second year exams at Stirling University. He missed the cut in the St Andrews Links Trophy but spent the last two weeks preparing for Royal Portrush.
“I didn’t play well in Scotland but I practised hard at home and played a lot of golf at Royal County Down. I was scoring under par at Royal County Down, so I knew I had a chance of doing well here because I feel at home on Royal Portrush. I’ve played it a lot.”
Sharvin benefits from an R&A bursary to study at Stirling, where he is taking a degree in Sports Studies. “The R&A has been very generous to me. It’s been a big help towards my education and my golf.”
Two-time Walker Cup player Rhys Pugh holed putts of 50 and 60 feet to defeat England’s Luke Johnson 3&1. Pugh holed from 50 feet at the ninth for birdie to go two up after nine holes. He then holed a 60-foot birdie putt at the 15th to get back to two up after conceding the 13th to Johnson.
“I have always been a good long putter,” the Welshman said. “I like the greens here because they’re quite quick, and that’s what I’m used to in America.”
Pugh has just completed his third year at East Tennessee State University. The Welshman is still looking for his first win in college golf. He’s hoping to return for his final year as Amateur Champion. “Reaching the fourth round matches the furthest I’ve gone but I’d like to go further, much further.”
Pugh plays leading qualifier Daniel Brown in the fourth round. Brown continued his qualifying form with a 4&2 victory over Frenchman Thomas Le Berre.
The 19-year-old Englishman surged into a six-hole lead after seven holes and never lost control of the match.
“I think I rattled him early because I birdied the first two holes,” Brown said. The Yorkshire golfer is playing a patient game around Royal Portrush. “I’m hitting a lot of 2-irons and 3-irons off tees because you’ve got to keep it in play. I’m only hitting about four drivers. I’m not putting as well as I would like. My pace is good but I’ve missed a few inside 10 feet and I need to correct that.”
England’s Toby Tree continued his good play with a 3&2 win over countryman Chris Selfridge. “It’s probably the best round I’ve played so far,” Tree said. “I came in here with high expectations. My confidence is high. I felt at the start of the week that I had a good chance of winning.”
Bradley Neil defeated fellow Scot Chris Robb 3&1 to make it through to the fourth round. He managed to avoid the errors that nearly cost him his second round match.
“I learned from my mistakes yesterday,” Neil said. “I only made one birdie but I was much more solid and played more conservatively today.”
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club has two members through to the fourth round in Paul Howard and Sean Towndrow. Howard holed a 25-foot birdie putt at the 19th hole to defeat Scotland’s James Ross, while Towndrow overcame Ben Wheeler of Purley Downs Golf Club.
Mathias Eggenberger remains on course to become the first Swiss winner of the Amateur Championship with a 4&3 victory over Brocket Hall’s Tomasz Anderson. “It was just a case of keep making pars today because that’s sometimes good enough in match play,” Eggenberger said.
Eggenberger attends Stirling University and has Dean Robertson caddying for him this week. Robertson is Stirling’s high performance golf coach.