Ferrier and McDonald Fly Scottish Flag at Royal Troon
Paul Ferrier, the 2007 Scottish Boys’ champion, and local lad Jack McDonald will fly the flag for Scotland tomorrow after progressing to the last 32 of The Amateur Championship at Royal Troon.
On a day when fellow countrymen Brian Soutar, James White, Daniel Young and James Ross all exited, Ferrier and McDonald progressed to round three in the 117th staging of the biggest individual amateur event in golf.
Ferrier, the 23-year-old from Baberton who only last week returned from America after finishing a four-year scholarship at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, was in superb form as he disposed of Rushmore’s Ben Stow 7&6.
Ferrier, playing his fourth Amateur Championship but only into the knockout stages for the first time, won four of the first five holes and was then six up at the turn as he dominated.
The Boys’ winner at Dunbar five years ago, who plans to turn pro later this year and compete on mini-tours in North Carolina, said: “I’ve just tried to take everything out of play. I hit 4-irons off most tees and didn’t use my driver until the 10th.
“Keeping it in play seems the best way to succeed here and it’s worked well for me so far. It was good fun today, I started solidly and kept it going.”
University of Stirling student McDonald, 19, has been in fine form this year, winning the BUCS Student Tour Finals at West Lancs in April.
Familiar with the links game playing out of Kilmarnock (Barassie), McDonald was one down after six holes in his last-64 clash with Mathias Eggenberger, but rallied to lead by a hole after 12 and two holes after 15.
His Swiss opponent stayed in the contest, before the Scot saw the match out on the last to win by a hole. McDonald will continue to attract much local support tomorrow.
Earlier, on another glorious day at the famous Ayrshire links, SGU National Men’s Squad players Soutar (Leven GS) and White (Lundin) both came up short.
Soutar started poorly against Aussie Jordan Zunic in their preliminary match play tie. The South African Amateur champion was four down after 11 and chipped in from 30 yards at the 12th to avoid going five down.
The Fifer then fought back bravely, only to lose out 2&1. “I was two under for 17 holes and played quite nice, but Jordan single-putted 13 of the first 15 holes so fair play to him.
“My game is in good shape, I’m happy with my course management and feel assured so I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead.”
White, meanwhile, had a tight contest against Spaniard Juan F Sarasti, but “gifted” his opponent the 11th and 13th holes. Last year’s SGU Men’s Order of Merit champion again came up against a player who putted “great” as he lost 3&2.
Ross, from Royal Burgess, also lost his preliminary tie, beaten 5&3 by Max Orrin of North Foreland, while Craigie Hill’s Daniel Young went out 3&2 to Daniel Schmieding (Germany).
England’s Craig Hinton pulled off the surprise of the day when he defeated Daan Huizing to make it through to the last-32.
Dutchman Huizing entered the championship as the highest ranked player in the field at No 5 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and had high expectations after winning the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots and the St Andrews Links Trophy by 14 respectively.
But Hinton, himself, qualified for last year’s Open Championship and won this year’s Welsh Amateur Stroke Play Championship, helping him reach number 251 on the WAGR.
“He’s a great player but it’s match play so anyone can beat anyone,” Hinton said after winning at the 19th. “I knew if I played well on my day I could beat him. There’s no point putting him on a pedestal.”
Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup player Alan Dunbar also made it through to the last 32. He defeated Spain’s Borja Virto by one hole, while GB&I team-mate Rhys Pugh also progressed after defeating England’s Joshua White 6&4 and then saw off Argentina’s Franco Romero 4&2.
Sweden’s Daniel Jennevret, the No 1 seed, lost to former British Boys’ champion Emilio Cuartero by one hole, while Frenchman Joel Stalter had a hole in one at the iconic 125-yard, par-3, 8th hole, “The Postage Stamp” in a one hole loss to American Tyler Raber. New Scottish Stroke Play Champion Paul Barjon also takes his place in the last 32.
The increasing cosmopolitan nature of The Amateur Championship was reflected in the players who made it through to the match play stages.
Twenty-five nations were represented, with 53 of the 78 players from outside Great Britain & Ireland. Sixteen nations are represented in the last 32.
Same-day highlights of the 117th Amateur Championship will be shown on Sky Sports on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Please check various listings.
Ferrier meets Dane Victor Henum at 8am tomorrow, while McDonald faces American Will McCurdy at 10.15am.