McKibbin, Power & Boucher all advance at The Amateur

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Mark Power Picture by Pat Cashman

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Tom McKibbin, Mark Power and Marc Boucher form a strong Irish trio primed for the last-32 of this year’s Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Kilkenny’s Power advanced past Jannik De Bruyne after getting the better of the German 2&1 in their last-64 tussle. Power, who claimed a podium finish last week at the Brabazon, will now face off against England’s Jack Dyer for a place in the last-16.

“At the start of the week we were all watching that video of (Padraig) Harrington hitting that five wood on 17,” said Power.

“I was standing on the 17th tee two-up and it was a big moment, as I was considering if I should take it on or not. It’s just cool to be playing these type of golf courses that all the greats have played on. It’s a magnificent golf course, the back nine is so tough, pars are great scores out there.

“I have played Jannik before and I knew how good he was and that it would be a tough game. We both probably didn’t have our best stuff today, but it was a good battle. To know that even when I’m not playing my best, I can win gives me a lot of confidence.”

Holywood ace McKibbin also came through a tight affair, besting German Laurenz Schiergen 2UP on Thursday to set up a last-16 tie with England’s Barclay Brown.

Completing the successful Irish trio was Carton House member Boucher who showed England’s Enrique Dimayuga a clean pair of heels with a 3&2 win. He now plays England’s Matty Lamb on Friday.

With six Irish in action on Thursday, it proved to be a 50% success rate with Castle’s Robert Moran going down 4&3 to England’s Thomas Plumb before Hermitage’s Rowan Lester was soundly beaten 6&4 by Brown.

Malone’s Matthew McClean was last to fall, going down narrowly (I down) to Englishman Mason Essam.

England’s Benjamin Schmidt, the top ranked player in the field, has comfortably advanced in his quest to win the 125th renewal.

Taking on Brandon Dietzel of Germany, Schmidt who is ranked 35th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR®), played solid golf to record a 3&2 victory across the famed Birkdale links.

The 18-year-old advances to meet Callan Barrow in tomorrow’s third round after the Englishman, who finished runner-up in the English Men’s Amateur Championship, defeated Lewis Irvine of Scotland 2&1.

There will be disappointment for the leading qualifier Ruben Lindsay of Scotland. The 16-year-old was knocked out of the Championship 2&1 by Ilari Saulo of Finland who also disposed of England’s Sam Bairstow 3&1 in the first round of matches in the morning.

The Finnish Amateur Champion will now go head-to-head with Victor H. Sidal Svendsen of Denmark who won by 1 hole to progress past Ben Chamberlain of Wales.

Full scoring HERE

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