Mark Power booked a spot in the quarter finals of the 92nd Boys Amateur Championship with a back nine surge at Royal Portrush on Friday.
The Kilkenny golfer, who was the joint leader after stroke play qualifying, was the only Irishman to reach the last eight following his 4&2 victory over the Netherland’s Jerry Ji.
The two-time Irish Boys Amateur Champion found himself trailing Ji by one at the turn but found his form on the back nine, notching up four birdies, including one at the par three 16th to seal the win.
“Today I probably played some of the best golf I have played all week.” Said Power. “ I made some good birdies this morning in tough conditions. It was the same again this afternoon.
“Jerry is a really good player He wouldn’t go away. He was driving really well and made it tricky for me. I’m delighted to get the win in the end.
“I have had a few nice wins in the last few years and this year I have had two seconds and a third in men’s events so I just really want to finish off the year with a win and there is no better tournament to do it than in the Boys Amateur – this is the biggest one we play.
“There has been a lot of people out supporting me even though I am from a further bit down in the south and that has been nice. Hopefully everyone’s behind me for tomorrow.”
Power, who earlier defeated Italy’s Simone Armando Colozza 6&5 in the morning’s third round, will now take on England’s Joseph Pagdin after he progressed to the quarter finals following a 1-hole victory over Australia’s Jose de Souza.
Pagdin earlier knocked out the defending champion Pedro Lencart – who was bidding to become the first back-to-back winner since 1930 – in a match that went to the 19th.
Leading qualifier Robin Williams also departed after suffering a surprise 3&2 defeat to Scotland’s Aidan O’Hagan in the third round. O’Hagan, playing in his first Boys Amateur Championship could not maintain his form in the afternoon, however, when he ran in to an in-form Conor Gough who inflicted a 7&6 defeat on the young Scot.
The 15-year-old Englishman, who won the McGregor Trophy in July, will now face the highest-ranked player in the field, Nicolai Højgaard. Gough, who previously knocked out histwin brother Rasmus in the second round, will take on Højgaard in the first match of the day tomorrow.
Højgaard secured his own spot in the next round after a dramatic finish on the last in his match with Italy’s Lucas Nicolas Fallotico. Leading by one, the Dane found himself in the greenside rough with his second shot and pitched his third into a ditch. His recovery shot struck the flagstick settling around five feet from the hole.
The Italian was left with a five-foot putt for par to take the match to a play-off but failed to find the cup. Højgaard showed real composure to roll in his own for bogey and take the match by one hole. He earlier defeated Australian-based Scot Connor McKinney by 5&4.
England will have four quarter-finalists in total with Jensen Hull and Max Hopkins joining Pagdin and Gough. Hull defeated countryman Curtis Knipes 4&3, while Hopkins ended Portugal’s hopes by winning 5&4 against Daniel Rodrigues.
Gustav Andersson from Sweden secured his spot with a one hole victory over Italian Filippo Celli and Spain’s Jose Luis Ballester defeated Ireland’s Joshua Robinson 3&1.
For full results, draw and scoring visit click HERE. Admission and parking at Royal Portrush is free.