Defending champion Ewen Ferguson of Scotland is through to the Quarter Finals of the Boys Amateur Championship after a decisive 8&7 victory over Germany’s Max Schmitt in the last 16 at Prestwick.
The 18-year-old is bidding to become the first player since 1930 to successfully defend the Boys Amateur title in a year that has seen him win both the Scottish Boys Stroke Play and Scottish Boys Match Play Championships.
Ferguson, from Bearsden, had earlier faced England’s Oliver Clarke in his third round match. The pair traded birdies and bogeys throughout the morning before Ferguson edged out the Englishman with a birdie on the 18th hole to win by one and earn his place in the fourth round.
He made short work of his afternoon match, sending Schmitt home after 11 holes. Ferguson started strongly on the first hole, hitting a wedge shot to within six feet and rolling in for a birdie while Schmitt double-bogeyed. It would set the tone for the rest of the match as Ferguson played steadily throughout and Schmitt struggled to find his form.
The Scot will now face England’s Lewis George of Delamere Forest who defeated Denmark’s Morten Toft Hansen 4&3. The 2013 Cheshire Boys’ Champion birdied the first hole to go 1 up, won the 4th hole with a par and then went 3 up after an excellent 3-iron approach to the par three 5th. Despite losing the 7th with a double bogey Lewis kept his composure and sealed the match on the 15th hole. The victory was another confidence boost for the 17-year-old who defeated his compatriot Ashton Turner 3&2 in the morning’s third round.
Sweden’s Oskar Bergqvist continued to dominate his matches on Friday, producing a bogey-free round against Norway’s Jarand Arnoy to win his third round match 4&3. He then faced England’s Billy Watson and opened with a pair of birdies to take the early lead. Both players dropped shots in the remainder of the front nine but the Swede found his stride after the turn winning the 12th and the 14th holes with birdies and securing a 5&3 win. He will play Norway’s Christoffer Bring in the Quarter Finals.
Elsewhere, Ireland’s Rowan Lester enjoyed a 3&2 win over England’s Matthew Myers and was joined by Wales’ Tim Harry who won by the same margin against England’s Louis Lazarus. Bradley Moore defeated his fellow English international Jamie Li by two holes.
Ewen Ferguson said: “From the word go I was just hitting it awesome all day. I have just been trying to hit the best that I possibly can hit on the one shot that I’m standing over instead of getting ahead of myself.”
“I hit a lot of long irons really close to the hole, which I think made it hard for Max to play well because I was putting so much pressure on him. I don’t think he gave the match to me, I just think I played really well on the day. On another day he could have beat me.”
Lewis George said: “Obviously I’m a bit nervous playing the defending champion tomorrow but I don’t have much to lose so I’m just going to give it my best shot.”
“I didn’t make many mistakes and just holed a few good putts. I sometimes struggle with stroke play but in match play I seem to come into my own.”
Oskar Bergqvist said: “My confidence level is high, I have played very solidly. I’m hitting balls very well and my putting is really good at this stage. I have shot under par in every round which is good.”
“My game plan for tomorrow is to be very aggressive and hit a lot of fairways and just go for the pin.”
The Quarter Finals will commence at 8:00 am on Saturday followed by the semi-finals at 1:00 pm. The 36-hole final will be played in morning and afternoon sessions on Sunday. For a full round-up of all scoring and results from the Boys Amateur Championship please visit Championships.RandA.org.