Boys & Girls Amateur: Match-Play Day 1 Report

Boys Amateur Championship

Leading qualifier Robin Williams is through to the second round of match play at the 92nd Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.

The 16-year-old England boy internationalist will now play Scotland’s Aidan O’Hagan, who recorded a two-hole victory over the Netherlands’ Kiet Van Der Weele. The 14-year-old, playing in his first Boys Amateur Championship, held his resolve to deal with the wind and come through the match in style.

Aidan O’Hagan: “I hit it well today. It’s difficult in the wind though so I’m happy to get through.

“I was very happy to make the cut. I played well in qualifying and I’m hoping to continue that into the match play.

“The championship is run very well and the courses are amazing to play. They are in perfect condition, so I can’t ask for much more.”

Nicolai Højgaard, who moved into the top ten of the World Amateur Golf Ranking this week and is the highest-ranked player in the field, also secured his spot in the next round following an impressive 4&3 victory over his good friend Eduard Rousaud.

The Dane will now play Australian-based Scot Connor McKinney, who defeated Russia’s Artem Yalovenka 4&3. The 16-year-old is another making his Boys Amateur debut following his family’s relocation from Dunfermline in Fife to Perth in Western Australia three years ago.

Connor McKinney: “I played pretty solid, I didn’t let him get many chances. I stuck to my game plan.

“I was born in Scotland and I only moved to Australia three years ago. I play at a parkland course in Australia, so this is something a bit different. I’ve adapted well to playing in the wind.”

Also through to round 2 of the match-play stages is Castle Park’s Connor Wilson, who defeated Italy’s Massimiliano Campigli 4&3.

Unfortunately, there were first-round defeats for Kirkhill’s Lewis Irvine, who lost to England’s Josh Hill (2-holes) and Blairgowrie’s Gregor Graham, who lost to Norway’s Bard Bjornevik Skogen 4&3.

Girls British Open Amateur Championship

Broomieknowe’s Hannah Darling is through to the last-16 of the Girls British Open Amateur Championship after coming through two tough ties on the first day of match-play at Ardglass County down.

Darling, the Girls Under 16 Open champion, beat England’s Jess Baker 2&1 in Round 1, then overcame Annabel Wilson (Lurgan) in Round 2, where she won three holes from the 10th as the 15-year-old turned around the tie prevailing on the 18th.

Hannah Darling

Hannah Darling: “The four-foot putt on the last to win was nerve wracking but I stroked it like I do in practice, went through my routine and it was a great feeling to hole it.

“I wasn’t happy in the morning so came out in the afternoon and played the course rather than my opponent. I focused on making pars. Hopefully I can go all the way now although you never know as it’s match play after all.”

Darling will play Switzerland’s Yael Berger in tomorrow’s last-16.

West Kilbride’s Louise Duncan defeated Germany’s Nina Lang 2&1 in the Round 1, however late in the afternoon narrowly lost to England’s Sophie Johnson by 2-holes.