Scots Success as Ferrier and McDonald Reach Amateur Quarter-Finals / Round-up
Baberton’s Paul Ferrier and Jack McDonald of Kilmarnock (Barassie) enjoyed a superb day on the links of Royal Troon today to progress to the quarter-finals of The Amateur Championship.
Ferrier, the 23-year-old who lifted the Scottish Boys match play crown at Dunbar in 2007, is enjoying the cut and thrust of the knockout game once more, while McDonald’s local knowledge and support is playing its part too.
Scotland now boast the biggest representation in the last eight tomorrow, with Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Austria and England also featuring players.
Ferrier and McDonald are bididng to become the first Scottish winner of the event since Stuart Wilson in 2004, with Michael Stewart and James Byrne beaten finalists in the last two years.
McDonald, the 2009 winner of the Boys’ Stroke Play at Ladybank and an ex-Scotland Boys international, battled tenaciously to reach the last eight after two gripping ties.
First, the University of Stirling student went to the 24th hole to finally see off the challenge of highly-rated Will McCurdy from America in their epic last-32 clash.
Helped by the presence of former European Tour pro Dean Robertson on his bag, the Men's High Performance Golf Coach at Stirling, McDonald had little rest for lunch before heading out to face Ireland’s Rory McNamara in the last-16.
McNamara made the better start but McDonald again dug deep and held his nerve to win by a hole.
“I knew I was playing well, stuck to my game plan. It was great to have Dean on the bag, he kept me hydrated and helped me focus,” said the 19-year-old British Universities champion.
“The local support has meant a lot to me too, it's been great to see my family out there.”
McDonald faces talented English 18-year-old Toby Tree (Worthing) in the quarter-finals, with the match beginning at 9am.
Ferrier, who last month completed four years at the University of Charlotte-North Carolina, was also on top form.
First he impressively saw off the challenge of Victor Henum (Denmark) by 4&3 and then maintained his composure to defeat Lorenzo Scotto (Italy) at the 19th.
Ferrier’s strategy of playing 4-irons off the majority of tees this week is clearly working.
The Lothians man starts the action at 8.15am tomorrow, facing Australian Matthew Stieger, who is ranked 154th in the world.
* Cochrane Castle’s Colin Edgar has been selected by the Scottish Golf Union for next month’s Junior Open Championship at Fairhaven Golf Club in Lancashire.
The Championship, held alongside the staging of the 140th Open Championship at nearby Royal Lytham & St Annes, takes place from Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 July.
Some 77 nations were represented at Lundin in Fife during the 2010 Junior Open, and it is hoped that there will be even more at Fairhaven. For many, it will be a first taste of international golf and of representing one’s country.
Edgar, the 16-year-old from Renfrewshire, will hope to impress. Edgar reached the fourth round of the Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys Championship at Murcar Links in April.
The Junior Open is played over 54 holes and the top 80 players after 36 holes will qualify for the final round.
In addition to the three days of The Junior Open, competitors and delegates are invited to attend the first two days of The Open Championship where the world’s best will do battle for the Claret Jug.
* Stephen Gallacher today fired a five-under-par 67 to sit in a share of 10th place after the opening round of the BMW International Open on The European Dear, while Comrie's Wallace Booth is two off the lead, thanks to a 66, following day one of the Scottish Hydro Challenge at Spey Valley.