Course Open

16 August 2018, Portrush, Northern Ireland: Leading qualifier Robin Williams is through to the second round of match play at the 92nd Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.

Williams, who was a semi-finalist last year, defeated Wales’ Archie Davies 5&4. The pair enjoyed a close tussle until reaching the 12th where Williams, in a fine display of driving, moved up a gear to open a gap and see out the match at the 14th.

The 16-year-old England boy internationalist will now play Scotland’s Aidan O’Hagan, who recorded a two-hole victory over the Netherlands’ Kiet Van Der Weele. The 14-year-old, playing in his first Boys Amateur Championship, held his resolve to deal with the wind and come through the match in style.

Mark Power, second in the stroke play qualifying, reached Friday’s second round with a 2&1 win over countryman Alex Maguire. The two-time Irish Boys Amateur Champion started well with two birdies and an eagle to be three up after five holes. Maguire looked to stage a comeback with birdies on the 12th and 14th but, as the dark clouds rolled in and the heavens opened, Power kept his cool and secured the win at the 17th.

Nicolai Højgaard, who moved into the top ten of the World Amateur Golf RankingTM this week and is the highest-ranked player in the field, also secured his spot in the next round following an impressive 4&3 victory over his good friend Eduard Rousaud.

The Dane will now play Australian-based Scot Connor McKinney, who defeated Russia’s Artem Yalovenka 4&3. The 16-year-old is another making his Boys Amateur debut following his family’s relocation from Dunfermline in Fife to Perth in Western Australia three years ago.

Højgaard’s twin, Rasmus, exited the championship after a close match with Conor Gough that required four extra holes. The 15-year-old England boy internationalist recorded one bogey throughout in a match that was testament to the high quality golf played by both players. He now takes on countryman Matthew Jackman on Friday.

Defending champion Pedro Lencart is still on track to become only the third player to win back-to-back championships, and the first since 1930, thanks to a 2&1 victory over England’s James Cooper. The 18-year-old from Portugal, who also won the Junior Open in 2016, is playing in his final Boys Amateur Championship after lifting the trophy last year at Nairn.

West Lancashire Member Aidan O’Hagan

“I hit it well today. It’s difficult in the wind though so I’m happy to get through.

“I was very happy to make the cut. I played well in qualifying and I’m hoping to continue that into the match play.

“The championship is run very well and the courses are amazing to play. They are in perfect condition, so I can’t ask for much more.”