Adrian Meronk led from the front as he secured his place in the Quarter-Finals of The 121st Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl today.
The Polish East Tennessee State University player took charge early in his match against Australia’s Dylan Perry, winning four of the first five holes as his opponent struggled to find his rhythm. Perry reduced the arrears to two holes with a birdie at the 10th but a bogey at the 13th left him with too much to do. Meronk, who was the leading qualifier at the 2013 Amateur Championship, holed a 12ft putt for par at the 16th to seal a 3&2 win and will face Nicolas Maheut of France tomorrow.
Stormy weather once again buffeted the South Wales coast, with a threat of lightning forcing a one-hour suspension of play in the late afternoon, and the conditions were challenging for the players.
“I was 4 up through five and was just playing my game, hitting fairways and greens and that was enough,” said Meronk.
“And then he started making some birdies, some putts and he came back to two. I was only 2 up after 11 holes and then they stopped the play. I had a little bit of time to slow down and eat something in the break and then I came back pretty strong and played very well in the last few holes. I’m very happy I advanced to the next round.”
Maheut trailed for most of the match against leading qualifier Connor Syme and was two behind with three to play but the Frenchman birdied the 16th and 17th to get back to all square. The match went to the second extra hole and the 26-year-old from Rouen holed from 7ft to secure his place in the last eight.
Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson was unperturbed by the weather and enjoyed a comfortable 4&3 victory over England’s Jamie Bower and will face Irishman Paul McBride, who edged out Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist by one hole.
“It was a really good win because it’s one of the biggest amateur events in the world and your whole season is based around this event,” said Ferguson.
“There is so much practising and hype around it. To go out and actually play well in the stroke play and qualify really comfortably – to go on and keep playing well it feels good knowing I can cope with the pressure.
“I drove really well this morning and this afternoon. It just puts the guy under pressure straight away. I managed to hole a few nice putts when I really had to.”
Robert MacIntyre became the second Scot to progress when he ended Australian interest in the championship with a 2&1 win over David Micheluzzi.
“I’m in the Quarter-Finals but it is just one more guy in front of you so you have just got to take care of them and hopefully it is enough. That is potentially three games away but I have just got to take one at a time just now.”
World number five Ivan Cantero showed his mettle in fending off the challenge of last year’s runner-up Grant Forrest to win by two holes. Trailing by one hole coming down the last, Forrest lost his ball from the tee and conceded the match.
Cantero said after the match, “I’m very happy with this today because I plaedy in the afternoon with a very good player and the win is important. I knew it was going to be difficult because he (Forrest) is a very good player.
“The putter has been amazing this week. It’s was the most important thing in my game today.
“Tomorrow I want more, another match – and when I’m finished that – another match.”
Scott Gregory came out on top against his fellow Englishman Harry Hall. The 2016 Spanish Amateur Championship finalist won the first with a par and stayed in front for the remainder of the match to win by 4&3. He will face Spain’s Javier Sainz tomorrow after he defeated his compatriot Alejandro Del Rey at the second extra hole.
For the full fourth round results and the draw for the Quarter-Finals tomorrow visit championships.randa.org.