Local member Calum Scott reached the last 32 of The 126th Amateur Championship at Nairn today. Photo courtesy of The R&A.
NAIRN teenager Calum Scott continued to make home advantage count on Wednesday as he moved into the last 32 of The 126th Amateur Championship.
On a day when the leading stroke play qualifier, Matthew Clark, and the top-ranked player in the field, Mark Power, were both knocked out, Scott helped maintain the Scottish challenge with a notable triumph in the opening match play stage.
The 17-year-old ousted Englishman Conor Gough, the 2018 Boys Amateur Champion and 2019 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team member, after an impressive 3&2 success.
Scott holed a 45 feet putt from the back of the 5th green to go one up and holed another long putt at the 6th as he made the most of his quick start to triumph and cheer the local members.
Over the renowned Moray links, Kilmacolm’s Clark was one up after three holes against Mason Essam before his English opponent from Dartford fought back for a fine 5&4 win.
Power, who played for GB&I in last month’s Walker Cup, had eased into the knockout stage but was unable to see off the challenge of 2018 Scottish Boys Champion Connor Wilson from Castle Park.
Irishman Power, ranked 33rd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and a semi-finalist at The Amateur last year, fought back from two down to square the match with three holes to play. However, Wilson’s birdie at the par-5 18th proved decisive for a one-hole victory after Power was bunkered off the tee.
Alan Fahy helped maintain the Irish challenge with a 4&2 win over Jamie Roberts, while there was a convincing 6&5 win for John Paterson over his fellow Scot, Derek Paton.
There was a silver lining for Paton, 57, in defeat, who dashed off to play in the Scottish Senior Men’s Open Championship at Duff House Royal in the afternoon.
England’s Jack Dyer, a GB&I Walker Cup player alongside Power last month at Seminole, eased into the last-32 with a comfortable 6&5 triumph over Norway’s Markus Braadlie.
With the match play stage continuing to Saturday’s 36-hole final, the winner gains an exemption into The 149th Open at Royal St George’s, the US Open and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament.
The 36 hole final round will be live broadcast on The R&A’s YouTube and Facebook accounts as well as on randa.org