Moyola Park’s Chris Selfridge romped into the second round of the Boys Amateur Championship at Royal St Georges , Sandwich on the Kent coast yesterday with an out in the country victory over English teenager Nathan Bateman.
The 17-year-old schoolboy did not lose a hole in demolishing Bateman from Weston-Super-Mare by six and four — and now faces a real examination against French boy Stanislas Gautier, winner of the 2008 European Young Masters.
Selfridge, who played for Ireland in both the European Team championships in Holland and the Home Internationals at Hankley Common made the ideal start by winning the first two holes and being three up at the turn.
Following three halves in a row the Irish lad won the 13th and 14th to close out the match.
“I did not play my best, but it was still solid match-play stuff and getting through is the main thing,” said Selfridge.
Malone's Garth McGee moved into round two without striking a ball in anger .
He was given a walk-over after his scheduled opponent Yorkshire's Lewis Cooper was disqualified on the first tee for using a distance measuring device.
“It was made perfectly clear to all the competitors that there was a ban on any form of of measuring device,” said a spokesman for the R&A.
Ballymena's Dermot McElroy was disappointed to be eliminated by Dane Thomas Suneson despite playing solid golf. He lost three of the first four holes and always had to play second fiddle.
The 16-year-old McElroy hit some loose shots at crucial times and was still three down with five to play, but was thrown a lifeline when Suneson went out of bounds at the 14th.
However the reprieve was short lived as the Dane held on for a two and one win.
Dubliner Jeff Hopkins, who is now a student at Colchester Golf Academy, had a real battle with England international James Webber before going down two and one .
Hopkins, who plays out of Five Lakes in Essex but is still a member of Skerries, was never ahead in the game, but was always within catching distance of Webber who performed steadily to book his place in round two.
He is off to Malaga in Spain for six months of warm weather training in October.