- Connor McKinney wins 6&4
- Matthew Jackman, Archie Davies and Joe Pagdin all win on the 20th hole
- Tom Gueant wins 5&4
Leading qualifier Connor McKinney is through to the second round of match play at the 93rd Boys’ Amateur Championship at Saunton.
McKinney, the Australian-based Scot, defeated England’s Billy Groom 6&4. It was a convincing victory for McKinney who said it was important to limit mistakes in windy conditions with birdie opportunities hard to come by on the East Course.
“With this wind you can’t go for too much or miss in the wrong spots so it was a case of hitting into the middle of the greens or even away from flags because the wind was so strong,” said McKinney.
“I only had two birdies and a bogey out there. It was just one of those days where there wasn’t a lot of birdies out there and if you made a lot of pars you were going to be close.
“A 6&4 win is generally good for the confidence, so I am looking forward to the next round.”
Jackman fights back
The 17-year-old will now play Matthew Jackman, who claimed a win over Frenchman Charles Larcelet. Jackman, who was down by three with five holes to play, fought back to take the match to extra holes, eventually winning with a birdie on the 20th.
“I was three down with five to play, before that I was just trying to stay in the match but I started to come alive and wasn’t as scrappy. I fought hard on 17 and 18 to get it back to All Square after being dormie,” said Jackman.
“We both parred the 19th hole and then on the 20th hole I ended up making a birdie with Charles (Larcelet) making par. It was a big sigh of relief, I couldn’t believe it, I was buzzing.”
There was a sense of déjà vu for Jackman, who advanced last year following a tough first round match before being defeated by eventual champion Connor Gough.
“It happened to me last year too, I was four down through five in my first match and ended up winning on the last, so this does boost my confidence. I have always had the fight in me so it should be a good match with Connor (McKinney) tomorrow,” added Gough.
“I’ll try to play as I have done today, keep grinding away and not let Connor being the highest ranked qualifier affect me.”
Gueant cruises to second round
Frenchman Tom Gueant, who led the qualifying after the first round, recorded a convincing 5&4 victory over England’s Oscar Doran. Following a challenging finish yesterday, where he dropped six shots in his closing seven holes, Gueant was determined to come out firing in his match today. He was five up after six holes and never looked seriously threatened.
“I played well on the first nine holes; my driver was still not very good today but I was putting well,” said Gueant.
“I was five up after six holes, right from the beginning I was winning holes and after that I just tried to keep control of myself and my game.”
Gueant will face another Englishman tomorrow when he takes on Dominic Clemons who advanced after defeating Italy’s Simone Armando Colozza 5&3 today.
Davies seizes opportunity
Archie Davies, who was tied second in the stroke play qualifying, reached Friday’s second round after forcing Spaniard Alvaro Morales Aparicio into extra holes. The door opened for the Welsh Amateur Champion on the 18th hole when his opponent missed a 5ft putt. Davies then went on to make a birdie on the 20th hole to seal the win.
“It feels pretty good, it was hard fought. If I am honest, I thought it was game over on 18, my opponent had a five-footer to win and then he missed and I won on the 20th so it was awesome,” said Davies.
“I was pretty nervous on the last putt. I am pleased I got it over with. I always thought I had the edge but it was tricky.”
Davies will play Ireland’s Sean Doyle in the second round after he also required 20 holes to defeat Javier Neira Garcia of Spain.
Pagdin progresses after skipping US Amateur
Having elected to skip the US Amateur Championship to compete in his final R&A Boys Amateur Championship, Joseph Pagdin, the highest ranked player in the field was relieved to advance to Friday’s match play rounds.
“I am ranked 30th on the WAGR so I was in the US Amateur but I took the view that I was here playing the Boys’ Home Internationals for England and I have been playing great this summer in match play and I love this event, the way its run so I wanted to give it my last shot,” said Pagdin.
“I knew I had a good chance to go deep into this tournament and I am going to have many more years to play at the US Amateur.
“I just love coming back here and hopefully I can get it done.”
After 18 holes the Englishman was All Square with Sweden’s Rasmus Hjelm. Chipping out of the thick rough on the par-5 2nd, the 20th hole of the match, Pagdin made a clutch up and down birdie to move into the second round.
“It was a great battle with Rasmus we had four or five birdies throughout the round, he had one bogey. That was one of the toughest matches I have had in a long time,” added Pagdin.
“I got a bit lucky on the last, I was able to get free relief from an animal hole but I still made birdie.”
The Englishman will now play compatriot Harry Crockett, who defeated France’s Nathan Trey on the 19th hole.
For day three results/day four draw please click HERE.