Lancs players lead way in Amateur

SOUTHPORT & Ainsdale clubmates  Paul Howard and Sean Towndrow led the way into the quarter-finals of the  Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush today.


BIG HIT: Sean Towndrow

The England internationals booked their places in the last eight with impressive victories. Howard defeated local player and R&A Scholar Cormac Sharvin, while Towndrow overcame strong English opponent Toby Tree.

Sharvin enjoyed a strong local following cheering him on as a member of Ardglass Golf Club in nearby County Down but Howard showed his character to take an early lead in the match.

The 23-year-old went two up after four holes, but bogeys at the sixth and seventh saw his lead wiped out. He pulled ahead again at the par four eighth when Sharvin bogeyed.

Then Howard stepped up the pressure. The plus five handicapper birdied the 10th, 11th and 14th  to take an unassailable four-hole lead.

“It’s the best I have played all week,” Howard said. “Today was the most confident I have been on the golf course. The shot that got me going was a seven iron to two feet at the 10th to go two up.”

Howard hit another seven iron into the 11th and holed a 25-foot birdie putt. At the par three, 14th, he floated a high four iron to 15 feet and holed that putt too.

A half at the next saw him win 4&3.

Towndrow also went ahead early against Tree and was feeling in control of the match. “I was two up after five holes and that gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.

Tree reduced the arrears when Towndrow stepped on his ball on the 10th hole to incur a one-shot penalty and lose the hole. Towndrow lost the 11th when Tree birdied but he hit straight back when he hit a 60-yard lob wedge to eight feet at the 15th and holed the birdie putt. Pars on the next two holes gave him a 2&1 victory.

Daniel Brown is still on track to double up as leading qualifier and Amateur Champion. Brown overcame two-time Walker Cup player Rhys Pugh 3&2 to earn a spot in the last eight. The 19-year-old dropped four straight shots from the sixth hole but still found himself three up through that stretch.

“It was a scrappy match,” Brown admitted. “My ball striking hasn’t been as good over the last two days as it was in the qualifying so that’s something I need to sort out. My putting inside 10 feet has been a lot better though. I holed a lot of putts inside 10 feet to keep the pressure on him.”

In the later matches Scotland’s Bradley Neil defeated Frenchman Leonard Bem 2&1 and Neil’s fellow Scot Jamie Savage eliminated Switzerland’s Mathias Eggenberger by a 3&1 margin.

For the latest results and Quarter-Final draw please visit


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