Jack Bigham of England booked his place in the quarter-finals of the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship after defeating Kaito Redl of Austria 5&3 in the last 16 of match play at Royal Cinque Ports.
On the day where 32 players became eight, the leading qualifier continued his fine form throughout the championship with two victories that also included a commanding 7&5 win over Scotland’s Alex Turlik in this morning’s last 32 stage.
‘’I am really happy. At the start, we were all square through the first four, had one bogey and then after that when the wind picked up, I just tried to keep it in play as much as possible and just go for the middle of the greens. I then literally just kept making pars and that managed to do the job really’’, said Bigham.
Leading qualifier lives on
The England international certainly seems like the man to beat, with a lack of errors throughout Bigham’s matches apparently the key to his success.
‘’My confidence is really high, I am just playing good golf at the minute and not really making too many mistakes and when I am, I am recovering well from all of them and being smart really. It is going well, so I’m happy’’.
With the Austrian Redl bogeying three holes towards the turn, Bigham knew safe play would be enough to keep himself in front and take control of the match.
‘’I knew if I made pars, it is quite a tough job to make birdies out there so I thought pars would win quite a lot of the holes and that is what I kept doing. I made a couple of good par saves to obviously keep the momentum. He just made a couple of mistakes and I took advantage of it and kept putting pressure on him’’, said Bigham
English crash out
There were upsets for English duo Josh Hill and Harley Smith as both were knocked out of the championship at the last 32 stage.
The top ranked player in the field Hill was beaten 2&1 by fellow countryman Sebastian Cave, whereas Smith had to deal with the agony of defeat on the second extra hole at the hands of Scotsman Cameron Adam.
Scots still around
Two Scotsmen will be competing in tomorrow’s quarter final after victories in the last 32 for Adam and Daniel Bullen.
The left hander Adam overcame two enthralling battles; the first being his 20-hole showdown with Smith earlier in the day, and he followed that up with a 2&1 victory over Cave by wrapping up victory after his opponent bogeyed the 17th.
’’I’m relieved, it was really tough match out there. Seb (Cave) played some good stuff, we both played good stuff, I had to really grind it out to get through at the end there’’, said Adam.
‘’I always felt in control. I think I lost my tee shot down seven, and then went back to one, halved a few holes then Seb made eagle down the tenth, so you can’t do much about that on a 370-yard par four, added Adam.
Standing in the Scotsman’s way is leading qualifier Jack Bigham for a place in the last four and he is looking forward to the prospect of facing the England international.
‘’Jack (Bigham) has been playing very well, clearly by the scores and his wins. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough game, but I have got a lot of confidence in myself and in match play anything can happen so I have just got to and do my best and see what happens’’, he said.
Fellow Scotsman Daniel Bullen booked his place in tomorrow’s last eight with a commanding win over Harley Yates, defeating the Englishman 5&4.
The fighter lives on
United States of America’s Niall Shiels Donegan will be part of the last eight competing tomorrow after defeating Scotsman Ross Laird 3&2.
Despite being four down after four holes, the 16-year-old birdied three out of four holes at the turn before securing victory with a halve on the 17th.
This follows Donegan’s fightback from the depths of defeat in his last 64 match yesterday with the American hailing the beauty of match play for his comebacks.
‘’With match play it is one hole, one hole doesn’t affect the next. Being down four it isn’t ideal but Eric Mcintosh at the Scottish Men’s Amateur was four down after five and won two-up so anyone can do it’’, said Donegan.
There was also an impressive day for Italian Riccardo Fantinelli after backing up his last 32 victory over Harry Malin with a 5&3 win over Calum Scott.