YORKSHIRE will have six representatives in the final 32 of the English Amateur Championship match play stages at Alwoodley after eight - including Huddersfield’s defending champion Nick Marsh – fell at either the first or second hurdles.
Walker Cup hopeful Dan Brown (Bedale), buoyed by his recent Dutch Junior Open win, carded eight birdies as he defeated Rhys Nevin-Wharton (Sandiway) 3&2.
“I was five under through eight and only one up,” said Brown of a high quality contest.
Meltham’s Jamie Bower showed both composure and class, refusing to be bowed by his opponent’s start which included a birdie and chip-in eagle in the first three holes. A bogey at the fourth meant Bower was three down, but he turned the match around superbly, playing sub-par golf to beat Seb Crookall-Nixon (Silloth on Solway) 4&3.
Lindrick’s Joe Dean (Lindrick) swept aside Matthew Lamb (Hexham) 6&5.
He played some superb golf, including holing his second shot on the 12th for an eagle two to get to six under par, having already eagled the long third. His only bogey was on the short ninth, which was also the only hole he lost.
Dean, 21, said: “I’ve been playing my B or C game all year, I haven’t hit it well and I’ve been relying on my putting and chipping. (Wednesday) was the first time I’ve felt really confident on the golf course over everything.”
The turnaround was sparked by following advice from England coach Graham Walker. “I went to the range after a scrappy finish on Tuesday, but Graham said the best thing to do, instead of hitting balls, was to go home and play a few holes at my own club and get my confidence back.”
He did that, played 10 holes with his caddie and returned to Alwoodley on top form.
Dan Wasteney (Bondhay) defeated Abridge’s Bobby Keeble 2 up.
Ben Firth, of Moortown, won 2&1 against Paul Waring (Felixstowe), who had beaten Bawtry’s Ben Brewster’s by one hole in the first round.
Nick Poppleton (Wath) won 3&1 against Jack Berry (Birstall) after beating Luke Johnson (Kings Lynn).
Firth’s club-mate David Houlding lost by two holes to Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall),
Damon Coulson (Fulford) was defeated 3&2 by Steven Anderson (Royal Jersey), and Jack Lampkin, of Ilkley, went down on the 18th to James Willis (Penn).
James Walker (The Oaks) lost to Alfie Plant (Sundridge Park) 6&5 after beating Hull’s Steve Robins by one hole.
Ealing’s Pavan Sagoo placed his foot firmly on champion Marsh’s throat by winning the first two holes with birdies and simply kept squeezing by finding greens in regulation and holing putt after putt.
Marsh’s A-game eluded him, but he showed the same dignity in defeat that he has throughout a year as England’s standard bearer.
Sagoo, who represented England at boys’ level and is now at university in California, said he had been “ramped up” to be playing the titleholder.
His putter, which only made its way into his bag on Monday, was red hot throughout, but he admitted to being a serial switcher when it comes to the flat stick.
“I have three or four and just chose this one because it has a bigger head,” he said.
Thursday’s matches with Yorkshire involvement:
7.46: Joe Dean (Lindrick) v Tomasz Anderson (Brocket Hall).
8.10: Dan Wasteney (Bondhay) v Jeremy Larcombe (Burnham & Berrow).
8.26: Dan Brown (Bedale) v James Allan (Chelmsford).
8.42: Jamie Bower (Meltham) v Harry Hall (West Cornwall).
9.14: Nick Poppleton (Wath) v Tom Robson (Weymouth).
9.22: Ben Firth (Moortown) v Paul Kinnear (Formby).