A stunning up and down for birdie from 90 yards on the 18th gave Mark Power a 1UP win over Australia’s Jack Buchanan as he set up an all-Irish tie with East of Ireland champion Alex Maguire in the last-32 of the 127th Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham.
After finding his ball nestled behind a bush in the right rough, Power hacked at the ball and managed to leave himself 90 yards for. his third into the par-5 and he stitched a wedge to gimme range to take the tie away from Buchanan after an absolute birdie fest on Wednesday.
“I struggled with my tee shots just toward the end,” said the Kilkenny native. “ I played great all round but just towards the end I couldn’t quite hit the fairway and I hit it right on 18 and it was right on the edge of bush. I didn’t think I would be able to hit it but I had no really other option. I couldn’t really drop because I was in the hay. I said I would take a swipe at it, and luckily it came out perfect into the middle of the fairway and left myself a perfect number of 90 yards. Thankfully hit that to a foot to get the win.
“We are both almost feeding off each other. I started to make some huge putts and Jack would hole out for me. We were kind of just laughing about it because sometimes matches can get tense and just a little bit uneasy.
“But we were both feeding off each other. We were laughing, smiling. We just knew whoever was going to win deserved to win. It was just a really fun game. One of the best games I’ve had ever, really,” added Power who made the semi finals in 2020.
The Wake Forest feels he has some unfinished business after a 3&2 loss in the 2020 semi finals and he believes the key for him to go that step further this week is to stay in the moment and not dwell on any dreams of winning the title and the luxuries of the Open Championship and Augusta that come with it.
“I mean, big thing for me this week was mainly trying to stay out of my own way and stay in the present because I do have an active mind and I can get carried away sometimes, and it maybe has held me back in the past.
“So I’m just trying to take everything as it comes but I was just telling someone there, the first match is always the hardest one. That was a really tough game. Hopefully I can get a couple more easy wins. But well, I’m going to have to play some good golf, and so I’m just going to stay focused on tomorrow’s match and see what happens.”