S&A pair stay in the hunt at Saunton

SOUTHPORT & Ainsdale duo Sean Blinkhorn and Sean Towndrow were the only Lancashire survivors to qualify for the second round of the English Amateur Championship at Saunton while Styal’s James McCormick was Cheshire’s lone survivor.

Blinkhorn will tomorrow face Rowland Castle’s Bill McKenzies and Towndrow, who won his first round match at the first extra hole, takes on Jamie Mist, from Hayling.

McCormick is up again host club player Jake Burnage.

Meanwhile, Ryan Evans confirmed his favouritism with a 4 and 3 victory over Devon’s own Harrison Greenberry.

But Evan’s England team-mate Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park Golf Club) was forced to pull out through illness without striking a ball.

“We are staying together and it must have been something we ate,” said Evans from Wellingborough. “My stomach doesn’t feel great but Ashley has been ill throughout the night and wasn’t fit to play.”

Chesters withdrawal meant a walkover for Oscar Granstrom-Livesey (Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club) while Evans will now meet Tom Gandy, who put out S&A’s Paul Howard.

There was little separating the pair through ten holes but Gandy, from Rowany, Isle of Man, won three holes in-a-row from the 15th to seal victory.

“Neither of us played that well but Paul unfortunately lost a couple of balls near the end,” said Gandy. “I won the 15th with a birdie, Paul conceded 16 when he lost his ball and I won 17 with a par when Paul missed the green.”

West Country hopes were given a lift by Harry Hall (West Cornwall Golf Club) and Jordan Smith (Bowood Golf & Country Club, Wiltshire), who both booked their places in round two after 3 and 2 wins.

Hall, who qualified fourth, celebrated his England call-up for next week’s Boys Home Internationals by overcoming Yorkshire’s Ben Brewster (Bawtry Golf & Country Club). Playing his first English Amateur having finished fifth in last week’s Carris Trophy, Hall laid the foundation for his victory with birdies at the fifth and sixth.

“Playing for England in the Boys Home Internationals was one of my goals for the year,” said Hall.

Smith, a semi-finalist at Silloth-on-Solway in 2012 and beaten by eventually winner Callum Shinkwin on the 20th at Frilford Heath last year, was involved in a see-saw tussle with Lancashire’s Ian Kenwright.

Although Kenwright (Haydock Park Golf Club) won the opening hole, Smith won the next three and after the remaining front nine holes were swapped, they reached the turn with Smith 2-up. The Wiltshire man won the 12th and although he lost 15, a chip-in on the next saw him through.

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