Connor Syme and Grant Forrest in Australian Amateur last eight

Grant Forrest has made it to the last eight. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

Grant Forrest has made it to the last eight. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

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Two Scots - Grant Forrest and Connor Syme - are through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Amateur Championship after a gruelling day at The Metropolitan in Melbourne.

Forrest, beaten finalist in last year’s Amateur Championship at Carnoustie, stepped up his bid to go one better in this match-play event with two-hard earned wins.

The second, a last-green success, came at the expense of compatriot and Walker Cup team-mate Jack McDonald (Barassie) after the 22-year-old Craigielaw player had earlier won at the 19th against Welshman Owen Edwards.

“I had two really tight games today,” admitted Forrest. “For the last 15 holes of each match there wasn’t more than one hole in it.”

Referring to his clash with McDonald, he added: “It’s definitely strange when you’re on the other side of the world and playing against someone you know - let alone sharing a room with.

“It’s makes it a bit tougher to get in the right mindset to do what you’re there to do.

“It turned out to be a good match. We both missed some chances and I managed to make a nice birdie on 18 to get through.

“Obviously I’m happy to be in the quarters but it’s a shame one of us had to go out.”

Syme also progressed to the last as he beat two Australians, following up a 4&3 morning success over Dylan Perry with a 2&1 triumph against William Heffernan.

“Both games were pretty difficult, but I played nicely today,” said the 20-year-old Drumoig Golf Centre player.

“I holed about a 10 footer for par on 12 this morning to stay one up then made three birdies in a row.

“I then played probably my best golf of the trip in the afternoon. It was another tight game, but I made a great birdie on 15 again to go two up.”

Like Forrest, Syme has good match-play form, having reached the semi-finals of the 2103 Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush, where he lost to compatriot and eventual winner Bradley Neil.

“This event actually has a similar feel to that one as there was a weather delay in the stroke-play qualifying then, too,” recalled Syme.

“I feel pretty good about how things have been going and tomorrow’s plan is just to stick to the same game plan, which I feel is good for this course.”

Both Scots face Australian opponents in the last eight - Forrest taking on Travis Smyth and Syme up against Harrison Endycott.

Carnoustie’s Eric Ramsay, who lifted the title in 2005, was the last Scot to win the Australian Amateur Championship.

His success came just two years after Kilmarnock man Jack Doherty had also claimed the crown.

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