Maguire does it the hard way to make last-32 at the Amateur Championship

Ronan MacNamara

Alex Maguire (Photo by Richard Martin-Roberts Getty Images)

The in-form Alex Maguire gave his Walker Cup chances another boost and showed that he can grind it out as he came from three down after 9 to beat Jakob Melin on the 18th and book his place in the last-32 of the Amateur Championship.

Maguire was 288th after an opening round 74 at Hillside before playing his last four holes in four-under-par at Southport & Ainsdale to shoot 66 and make the top-64 by one on three-under-par.

Last year’s semi-finalist saw his battling qualities put to the test again this morning after he staged another late, late show to edge Melin with a 15-foot birdie on 18 to keep his chances alive.


“It was a hard battle yesterday just to a make the cut, shooting two over in round one and not even playing that bad, just missed a few putts and then they all came at the right time yesterday to make it on three-under. I was pretty lucky to not have to play the preliminary round this morning,” explained the St Andrews Links Trophy champion.

Maguire found himself three down at the turn to his Swedish opponent but a crucial up and down on the 10th for a half swung the momentum his way and he won three of the next four holes to draw level before some clutch scrambling and a superb birdie on 18 saw him go ahead for the first and last time.

“This morning I was OK, just missed a few birdies on the front nine and I knew on the back nine it was either play well or go home! I was thinking how early am I going to lose this because I didn’t have it on the greens.

“10 was the big turning point, I made a 15-footer for a half to not go four down, if I don’t get the par there four down is almost impossible. Then birdied 11 and 12 to go back to one down. Level on 14 after a par and then I scrambled my way back in with up and downs on 15, 16 and 17 to stay in it and then hit the two best shots of the week for me. Hit a 4-iron off the tee then a gorgeous six iron from 225 to maybe 15-feet and I knew I had to make the putt to get through and not make a playoff.

“It was more relief to come back, I need to have a comfortable round tomorrow to ease the stress and keep my family’s heart rates down!”

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