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Power surge keeps hopes alive of an Irish victory at windy Royal Portrush

 

By Paul Kelly

Mark Power booked a place in today's quarter-finals of the 92nd Boys Amateur Championship with a back nine masterclass at Royal Portrush yesterday.

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 Dutchman 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.

Power will now take on England's Joseph Pagdin after he progressed to the quarter finals following a one-hole victory over Australia's Jose de Souza.

"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," said Power.

Pagdin earlier knocked out the defending champion Pedro Lencart.

Leading qualifier Robin Williams also departed after suffering a surprise 3&2 defeat to Scotland's Aidan O'Hagan.

O'Hagan, playing in his first Boys Amateur Championship, could not maintain his form in the afternoon, however, when he ran into an in-form Conor Gough who inflicted a 7&6 defeat.

The 15-year-old Englishman, who won the McGregor Trophy last month, will now face the highest-ranked player in the field, Nicolai Hojgaard.

Jensen Hull and Max Hopkins joined fellow Englishmen 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 Lisburn's Joshua Robinson 3&1.

Over at Ardglass, Austrians Emma Spitz and Isabella Holpfer defied wet and wild conditions to finish in style and secure their places in today's semi-finals of the 90th Girls British Open Amateur Championship.

Belfast Telegraph

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