Leading qualifier Jack Bigham is safely through to the second round of match play in the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports.
The England international, who raced through the strokeplay qualifying on eight-under-par, saw off last placed German qualifier Morris Schiefner 5&3 to book his place in the last 32.
Wrapping up the match on the 15th hole, Bigham was happy to get the job done with a minimum of fuss.
“I was five under for the first six holes and made a bogey. I think I was four under through 15 holes, so I played nicely again which was good,” Bigham said.
The shock of the day saw the second placed qualifier Jamie Mann crash out to Niall Shiels Donegan.
"I knew I was going to have a tough match, just because he had a bad day yesterday it doesn’t mean it was going to be an easy match.” - Josh Hill.
The 16-year-old from the United States of America, who narrowly made into the match play stage on a cut line of 10-over-par, produced an incredible fightback from being two holes down with three to play to claim victory on the 18th.
The American admitted he was halfway to London before he was sure he was going to be competing in the last 64, before receiving some words of inspiration from Craig Connolly, caddie for two-time major winner Martin Kaymer, ahead of the match play stage.
“We’re good friends with Craig. He has been really helpful throughout this entire journey, just giving me tips on how to play match play. He told me today to play the course, don’t play the man, and it was such a great help,” Donegan said.
Top ranked player in the field, Josh Hill, survived a scare to see off the challenge of Sam Johnson having been two holes down through the 12th, eventually winning the match by one hole. Hill was well aware of the threat that his opponent posed despite Johnson’s promising start in the first round of stroke play qualifying fading away yesterday.
“I have never met him before, but you have got to be a good player to shoot one under in those conditions in round one,” said Hill of Johnson. “I knew I was going to have a tough match, just because he had a bad day yesterday it doesn’t mean it was going to be an easy match.”
Harley Smith was also victorious with a 2&1 win over Cian O’Connor, clinching the match on the 17th after being 3up after 11 holes. Smith comes into the championship in good form having won the Carris Trophy and McGregor Trophy last month.
Elsewhere, there were commanding victories for English hopefuls Harry Malin and Ben Loveard. Malin defeated fellow Englishman Henry Daly 5&4, with the latter fighting off the challenge of Christian Johnson 4&3.
There were also victories for Scottish trio Alex Turlik, Calum Scott and Gregor Graham, who are all bidding to become the first Scottish winner of the Boys’ Amateur Championship since Ewen Ferguson at Royal Liverpool in 2013.