The R&A - Working for Golf

Home successes in the first match play round of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie

Gusting winds greeted the players in the first match play round of the 120th Amateur Championship at Carnoustie today and the home players demonstrated their mastery of the blustery conditions to record some notable successes.

Scots Greig Marchbank, Craig Ross, Jack McDonald and Robert MacIntyre all achieved good wins against opponents from overseas while Grant Forrest (pictured) defeated fellow Scot Alexander Culverwell by 6&4. The University San Diego student was one-under-par for his round and never behind in the match.

"The first round of the match play is always tough because you don't know what to expect," said the 21-year-old. "I have played Zander before and I know what he is capable of but he just maybe never had his best day today. I played well and just focused on hitting solid golf shots and keeping the ball in play and I came out on top."

The Scots didn't have it all their own way, however, and Italy's Michele Cea won the first match of the day by 2&1 against Craig Howie, who was joint leader after the qualifying rounds. The Italian was two down at the turn but recovered to win the next three holes. Howie drew level again at the 14th but Cea won the next two holes and halved the 17th to clinch the match.

The Amateur 2015 Match Play Round 1 - Grant Forrest
The Amateur 2015 Match Play Round 1 - Grant Forrest

"It was a tough match against the winner of the qualifying," he said. "I had lots of fun out there.  I started pretty well. I was two up after two holes and then I started making some birdies.  I was one down at the 10th then I made three birdies in five holes and a really good par at 16 which helped me to win the match. I putted very well today and it was a really close match."

Welshman David Boote also saw off the challenge of Ewen Ferguson with a 2&1 win. Boote, who was named in the initial 20-man Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad for the match against the USA at Royal Lytham in September, won the first two holes and led for the remainder of the match before sealing the win with a par at the 17th.

The Amateur 2015 Match Play Round 1 - Vetle Maroy
The Amateur 2015 Match Play Round 1 - Vetle Maroy

Norway's Vetle Maroy upset Sweden's Marcus Kinhult, the highest-ranked player in the field at number three in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM with a one-hole victory. Kinhult, who won the recent Lytham Trophy, was never behind in the match until the last hole where Maroy calmly holed out from four feet for a par to win the hole and the match.

"With four to play I was actually three down," said the 20-year-old. "Marcus struggled a little bit on the last few holes and I did actually play a bit on his mistakes.  I made a birdie on 15 which was pretty good because he made a par there and on the last few holes he just didn't play as well. It's a tough last four holes and I played them one under so I played pretty well."

Two-time European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters defeated Australian Taylor MacDonald 3&2.  "It was so windy out there I was just making pars which were good enough to wins holes. I putted well and holed a lot of 10 footers which was important at some good times in the match," he added.

Chesters' fellow Englishmen Jack Yule and Jimmy Mullen enjoyed wins over Ireland's Dermot McElroy and Jeremy Gandon of France. Gavin Moynihan, the Irish Amateur Champion, beat Tom Gandy from Rowany by 2&1.

Elsewhere, America's John Oda won with a par at the first extra hole against Jaime Lopez Rivarola from Argentina. Germany's Yannik Paul won by two holes against Spain's Mario Galiano and, while his brother Jeremy was edged out 2&1 by Iceland's Andri Bjornsson, his compatriot Max Mehles ended the hopes of American Walker Cup player Jordan Niebrugge by 2&1.

The final match between New Zealand's Ryan Chisnall, who was joint leader after the qualifying rounds, and Alejandro Tosti from Argentina went to the 22nd hole with Tosti edging a close match with a birdie three to take his place in tomorrow's second round.

Key quotes

Grant Forrest

"The first round of the match play is always tough because you don't know what to expect," said the 21-year-old. "I have played Zander before and I know what he is capable of but he just maybe never had his best day today. I played well and just focused on hitting solid golf shots and keeping the ball in play and I came out on top."

Michele Cea

"It was a tough match against the winner of the qualifying. I had lots of fun out there.  I started pretty well. I was two up after two holes and then I started making some birdies.  I was one down at the 10th then I made three birdies in five holes and a really good par at 16 which helped me to win the match. I putted very well today and it was a really close match."

Vetle Maroy

"With four to play I was actually three down. Marcus struggled a little bit on the last few holes and I did actually play a bit on his mistakes.  I made a birdie on 15 which was pretty good because he made a par there and on the last few holes he just didn't play as well. It's a tough last four holes and I played them one under so I played pretty well."

Ashley Chesters

"It was so windy out there I was just making pars which were good enough to wins holes. I putted well and holed a lot of 10 footers which was important at some good times in the match."

For the full list of results and the draw for tomorrow’s second match play round please click here.