Rising to the occasion once again in the cut and thrust of match-play, Robert MacIntyre and Ewen Ferguson both progressed to the last eight in the Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl, where the two Scots will meet in the semi-finals if they can win matches this morning.
While there was last-16 disappointment in South Wales for both leading qualifier Connor Syme and Grant Forrest, last year’s beaten finalist, MacIntyre and Ferguson stayed on course to back up past match-play triumphs in the 2015 Scottish Amateur and 2013 British Boys Championships respectively.
Left-hander MacIntyre beat two Australians to keep his title bid alive, following up a 5&4 morning victory with a 2&1 success over David Micheluzzi, the latter being turned aroubd by the Scot with birdies at the 11th and 12th after finding himself one down with seven to play.
“At the end there it was just find the fairway and find the green,” said MacIntyre. “If you have got the honour you have got to try to take advantage by finding the fairway and trying to make him work.”
The 19-year-old, who is a member of Glencruitten in Oban, now meets Spaniard Ivan Cantero, who ended Forrest’s hopes of going one better than last year’s event at Carnoustie as he fought back from one down with five to play to beat the Craigielaw player by two holes.
“I’m in the quarter-Finals but it is just one more guy in front of you so you have just got to take care of them and hopefully it is enough,” added MacIntyre. “That is potentially three games away but I have just got to take one at a time just now.”
After changing the course of his all-Scottish clash with Alasdair McDougall with a burst around the turn, Bearsden’s Ferguson, also 19, didn’t trail as he then beat Englishman Jamie Bower 4&3 in the afternoon.
“It was a really good win because it’s one of the biggest amateur events in the world and your whole season is based around this event,” said Ferguson. “I drove really well this morning and this afternoon. It just puts the guy under pressure straight away. I managed to hole a few nice putts when I really had to.”
Ferguson, who claimed a notable scalp in beating Maverick McNealy as helped Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup last September, now meets Irishman Paul McBride.
The top half of the draw lost its Scottish presence after Syme, having earlier defeated compatriot Jamie Savage 2&1, lost at the 20th to Frenchman Nicolas Maheut, who won the 16th and 17th with birdies after being two down with three to play. Maheut’s reward is a quarter-final clash with Adrian Meronk, the first Pole to reach the last eight.