Heartbreak for Cleary on 21st hole in Boys Amateur


Donnacha Cleary (Photo by Luke Walker/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Irish interest came to an end at the R&A Boys Amateur Championship as both John Doyle and Donnacha Cleary bowed out.

American star Alex Papayoanou pipped Fota Island’s Doyle in the last-32 on Friday morning before he notched up an impressive afternoon win to advance to the last-8.

Cleary went one better than Doyle in progressing to the last-16 but he suffered an agonising 21st hole defeat to Oscar Bach of Norway.


Also into the quarter-finals at Ganton are Michele Ferrero of Italy, Oscar Couilleau and Hugo Le Goff of France, Vaclav Svub from the Czech Republic, home hope Kris Kim and Spain’s Marcel Fonseca.

Papayoanou was up against it in the early stages of his Boys’ Amateur round of eight match with Sintes Navarro and was four down at the turn.

A missed short putt by the young Spaniard at the 10th and a hooked drive into the gorse at the 11th offered the Houston native a way back into the match and he grasped the opportunity to turn things around, winning three holes in a row from the 13th. The 18-year-old completed the comeback to win by 2&1.

“It feels great to get through, especially after being four down through nine. I was completely lost on the front nine. It was the worst golf I have played out here since I have been here.

“I just kind of told myself the back nine here is really tough, if I can be even on the back nine I have a chance to send it to extra holes or even win it on the last. I ended up getting it to two down through 12 and then won three in a row and won 17 to win it which was nice.

“The front nine is definitely way easier and I have been playing it much worse. I don’t think it’s anything too bad. If I keep playing the back nine the way I am and play better on the front I shouldn’t have a problem.”

Svub continued his impressive run deep into the championship with a 2&1 triumph over Oliver Toyer from St Neots. The young Czech was four up on the back nine but held off a comeback from his English opponent to progress to the quarter-finals.

Kim has reached the last eight for the second consecutive year after a 3&2 win over Erik Sabelstrom Holmberg. The 15-year-old from Walton Heath was three down after six holes but showed grit and determination to claw his way back into the match and overturn the deficit.

Ferrero edged a close all-Italian affair at the 20th hole against Giovanni Daniele Binaghi and Frenchman Couilleau secured a one hole win over Spain’s Alvaro Pastor Roman.


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