The R&A - Working for Golf

Title defence on track for Falko Hanisch

Defending champion Falko Hanisch booked his spot in the third round of the 91st Boys Amateur Championship after defeating leading qualifier Darren Howie by 2 holes at Nairn on Wednesday.

Hanisch, who lifted the trophy last year following his 37th hole victory over Alejandro Aguilera at Muirfield, came back from two down against the Scot to progress to the next stage of the championship.

 
 

The German kept his composure after falling behind early in the match to bring it back to all square at the 13th. Hanisch followed that up with two birdies at the 15th and 16th to go two up before Howie pulled one back at the 17th. With a one-shot advantage going down the last, his opponent put his approach to the green out of bounds and conceded the hole, and the match, to Hanisch.

“I feel pretty good. It was a difficult match but I played pretty solid,” said the 2017 German boys champion.

“I was two down pretty early in the match but it was good to play so many birdies on the second nine! I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Falko Hanisch

Elsewhere, England’s Alex Fitzpatrick, younger brother of three-time winner on the European Tour Matthew, won his match over his countryman Nicholas Elmey 5&3. France’s Aymeric Laussot goes through to the third round after defeating England’s Adam Syed 3&2.

A two hole victory over Italian Gianmarco Manfredi saw last year’s finalist Aguilera come through his tie, as did Sweden’s David Nyfjall, a 2016 semi-finalist, with a 2&1 victory over England’s Harry Plowman-Ollington.

2016 Junior Open winner at Kilmarnock (Barassie) Pedro Lencart joins them in the third round. Having never made the cut in the championship before now, the Portuguese youngster defeated England’s Tomm Stagg by one hole to continue his good form.

Two Scots, Eric Mackintosh and John Paterson, will play in Friday’s third round after wins over Italy’s Felippo Celli (5&3) and England’s William Dodds (5&4).