McBride falls in quarters at Sandwich

Paul McBride fell by two holes to Harry Ellis in the quarter-finals of the Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s.

The 21-year old from The Island, a beaten semi-finalist last year,  went two up after three and halved the fourth in bogey before losing five of the next eight holes to find himself two down.

Ellis, who went on to come from behind to defeat European Amateur Champion Luca Cianchetti 3 and 2 in the semi-finals and meet Australian Dylan Perry in Saturday’s final, made five birdies from the fifth to the 12th.

Both McBride and Ellis bogeyed the 15th but while the Irishman won the 17th in par, he bogeyed the last to bow out of the championship.

He may have done enough to put himself in the frame for a Walker Cup place but all eyes are now on the finalists at the Sandwich venue.

Perry played steady golf and was never behind in the semi-final as he eliminated Caolan Rafferty nemesis, the Argentinian Alejandro Tosti 3 and 2 to become the first Australian to reach the final since Bryden Macpherson on at Hillside in 2011.

Ellis has the chance to follow in the footsteps of his former Hampshire Boys teammate, 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory.

Perry, who recently won the Riversdale Cup in his homeland, moved in front at the fourth hole after Tosti made a bogey. Although the Argentine pulling it back to all square on the 5th, Perry went ahead again at the 6th and never looked back.

The 22-year-old, who plays his golf on the Gold Coast, went further ahead following another Tosti bogey at the 8th and then put himself three ahead with a superb birdie three at the 409-yard 9th hole. The Argentine pulled a hole back at the 11th but Perry regained his three-hole lead when Tosti hit two balls out of bounds at the 14th and the match was concluded two holes later.

After going ahead early in the second semi-final, Ellis, who became the youngest player to win the English Amateur Championship aged just 16 in 2012, trailed for most of the front nine but moved in front again at the 11th after Cianchetti bogeyed the par 3. Ellis capitalised immediately and went 2up on the next hole with an excellent birdie at the 12th.

The Englishman, who plays golf for Florida State University and recently represented Europe in the Arnold Palmer Cup, held his resolve and completed his victory over Cianchetti at the 16th.

In the morning quarter-finals, Perry saw off the challenge of Norwegian Jarle Kaldestad Volden by one hole and Ellis booked his semi-final berth after a two hole victory over Ireland’s Paul McBride.

The winner of The Amateur 122nd Championship receives an exemption into The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, the 2018 US Open and, by tradition, an invitation to the 2018 Masters Tournament.

The 36-hole final gets underway tomorrow at Royal St George’s at 8.30am. For scoring and updates visit http://www.Randa.org.

Dylan Perry

“I am overwhelmed, that’s for sure. I’ve been patient all day, all week really. It’s nice to get the outcome and get into the final tomorrow. I’m stoked.

“Anyone is going to be nervous playing in The Amateur Championship final but I am just going to play like I have been all week. I’ll be patient and just enjoy it. It’s an experience in itself. I’ll go out tomorrow and do what I’ve done all week and see what happens.

“I won the Riversdale Cup in March and it would be unreal to follow that up with a win here. It would definitely top the year – that’s for sure.

“I had never played with him (Alejandro Tosti) before and he was definitely a gritty competitor. It’s always a good win to be a player of his standard.”

Harry Ellis

“I’m very tired, my legs are starting to hurt a little bit. It’s quite tough walking with the ground being so firm with the weather we have had but at this point  it’s adrenaline that keeps you going.

“The golf I played today was pretty classy. Even when I look back on some of the shots now. The way I stuck in there and kept giving myself chances is really what got me the two wins today. I’ve had some tough matches this week and I am very proud of what I’ve achieved.I’m just excited to still be able to play for the championship.

“It’s very exciting (opportunity to play in The Open) but someone told me last year when I was playing in this, ‘You are playing to win The Amateur Championship’, and that is what I’m playing for. Whatever comes with that is fantastic. I know what comes with it in the back of my mind but I want to win The Amateur Championship and that will be my main aim tomorrow.

“I played with Scott (Gregory) in some Hampshire teams. His win last year was phenomenal and a huge achievement for him because he put a lot of time and effort into his game and he saw the rewards of it. He thoroughly deserved to win. He’s had his year where he has been able to enjoy all the benefits that come with winning The Amateur Championship. We’ve known each other for a long time.

from News – Irish Golf Desk http://ift.tt/2t4MUYK

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