Five Irish golfers stay in hunt for Amateur glory

Rowan Lester

All five Irish qualifiers remain in contention at the 123rd Amateur Championship after they all secured their place in this morning’s round of 32 at Royal Aberdeen.

Rowan Lester will be the first of the quintet attempting to make it through to the last 16 when he takes on Englishman Ben Hutchinson.

Lester was in terrific form yesterday as he recorded a crushing 6&5 victory over another Englishman in David Hague.

The Hermitage man shot out of the blocks as he took the first three holes and never looked back and, four-up by the turn, went on to record a thumping victory on 13.

Mallow’s James Sugrue also made it through after he battled back from behind to seal a dramatic victory on the 19th over Australian Kyle Michel in his round of 64 encounter.

Sugrue found himself two down through six but rallied to take the next three holes to be one-up at the turn.

Mallow’s James Sugrue
Mallow’s James Sugrue

It was nip and tuck for the remainder but Sugrue held his nerve to edge through in sudden death and now faces Swede Christoffer Palsson.

Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell has probably the toughest test of the Irish contingent this morning as he takes on Royal Liverpool’s Walker Cup star Matthew Jordan – sixth in the world amateur rankings.

Purcell got through after beating Spaniard Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero Torres 2&1.

One down at the turn, Purcell then took three of the next six holes to turn the match on its head before going on to secure victory on the 17th green.

Meanwhile another Spaniard Victor Pastor now stands between Flogas Irish Amateur Open champion Robin Dawson and a place in the round of 16 after the Tramore man defeated David Ravetto 4&2.

Dawson, who took two of the first three holes, was four-up by the turn and five-up through 12.

The Frenchman then produced a late fightback to pull back to three down with three to play – before Dawson closed out the win on 16.

Also through is Kinsale teenager John Murphy after he saw off Worcestershire’s Oliver Farrell 4&2.

St Andrews Links Trophy champion Murphy found himself two behind early on but slowly began to assert his authority and was himself two up after 12 before going on to close out victory on 16.

Murphy now faces American Walker Lee this morning for a place in the last 16.

The 32 remaining will be whittled down to eight by this evening.

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