Carton House star Marc Boucher isn’t afraid to dream big after advancing to the last-32 of the 128th Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club.
Boucher’s best showing at the Amateur Championship is a last-16 berth and now he is just two wins away from a quarter-final spot as he looks to live up to his own lofty expectations and become the first Manchester United man to strike gold on Merseyside in many a year.
“It’s the biggest week of the year so I had pretty high expectations of myself which I always do heading into events, whether you are on good form or slightly off form heading in, you are always hoping something will click so I always head into events as positive as I can be,” explained the Dubliner.
“I’m happy enough with how I’m swinging it at the moment so first things first was getting through the strokeplay and thankfully I did that. Once you get into the matchplay stages anything can happen so I said to myself ‘stick to the gameplay’ and thankfully I executed it today.”
After a record 90 players qualified for the knock-out stage, Boucher was placed into a preliminary round despite making the cut by two shots on three-under-par. The 1028th ranked amateur was a bogey-free five-under as he edged world number 139 Jack Bigham.
He then dropped just one shot as he romped to a 4&3 win over Frenchman Maxime Legros who qualified in 13th place.
“I was happy with how I played all day, played lovely for most of it. Had a tough game in the morning against Jack Bigham, there was plenty of birdies I was five-under and bogey free on my own card which was nice so I was happy to come out of that one on the 18th. It gave me good momentum heading into the afternoon.
“I was even more satisfied with how I played this afternoon think I only had one bogey so I was always asking the guys to beat me on a hole rather than giving holes away so overall I’m delighted to be through.
“I was unfortunate to be in the preliminary round with some of the three-unders being put back in. But I was saying to one of the guys that it worked out better for me because I got a run at the course and see what the conditions were like and see how the course was playing. I felt that gave me an advantage going into the afternoon match and thankfully it paid off. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week and hopefully more of the same golf as I’ve played so far.”
The former UNC Charlotte student has shown up well in championships this season with top-3 finishes in Abu Dhabi in the West of Ireland and he will have to be at his best once again to beat world number 94 Tyran Snyders of South Africa in Thursday’s last-32 tie.
“It’s such a long week and with how big the field is the two rounds of strokeplay are difficult with only 64 advancing from 288 odd players to that’s job number one is to get through that as either the first or 64th seed it makes no odds once you are through.
“I like the format I enjoy strokeplay and I enjoy the head to head aspect of matchplay, I’m a competitive person so whoever you put in front of me I’ll try my best to beat them.”