Macpherson in British Amateur quarters
Australian Bryden Macpherson has progressed to the quarter finals of the British Amateur after defeating Marc Dobias of Switzerland 2&1 at Hillside Golf Club north of Liverpool.
The US based Aussie had previously qualified in a tie for 25th following the two round qualification series completed last Tuesday to be the only Australian from five starters to make the championship proper.
Bryden Macpherson (Credit: Anthony Powter)
In progressing to the remaining eight players in this championship from 228 hopefuls Macpherson, ranked 38th in the world and a sophomore for University of Georgia, accounted for Henry Smart on the 21st hole in the opening round and Patrick Spraggs, 4&2, in the round of 36.
“It was fun today,” said Macpherson.
“I played really solid in parts. There were times were I let my opponents in a little, but I got it done in the end.”
Macpherson is confident with his game and where he’s now placed in these championships.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing and all I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and see what happens.”
With two days of the Championship remaining, the place in The Open at Royal St George’s and the invitation to the Masters Tournament that await the British Amateur champion are just three matches away.
For Macpherson the opportunity to win the British Amateur and to possibly play in his first Major is something he’s worked towards achieving for many years.
Macpherson already has an international credit to his name after winning the 2009 New Zealand Amateur stroke title the same year he won the Australian Amateur stroke championship, yet is in the hunt for this British Amateur championship, a title which is dear to his heart.
“It means a lot to be here,” said Macpherson following his fourth round win over Marc Doblas from Switzerland.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s the most prestigious, and it’s called the Amateur Championship for a reason. So, to be in the hunt still is fantastic.”
Macpherson will play Spain’s, Antonio Hortal, ranked 45th in the world and a winner back home in Spain with the Copa Nacional Puerta de Hierro championship.
Tom Lewis, who won the Amateur Medal last December at the Australian Open and was runner-up to Peter O’Malley at the NSW Open, reached the last eight by virtue of a resounding 6&4 victory over world number 13 Andrew Sullivan.
Lewis has gone one better than he did in 2010 at Muirfield, when he lost in the fourth round to eventual winner Jin Jeong. Fresh from his win a fortnight ago at the St Andrews Links Trophy the world number 3 will take some stopping.
Lewis will meet Scot, Michael Stewart, ranked 20th in the world and the current South African Amateur champion in the top half quarter final encounter.
In the other top-half quarter final, Sebastien Gros from France will play Norway’s, Joakim Mikkelsen, with the winner facing the outcome of the Stewart/Lewis match.
Should Macpherson progress through his semi final encounter against Hortal he’ll meet either Scotland’s Greg Paterson, ranked 90th in the world or Alastair Jones from Wales ranked 141st in the world in the afternoon semi final and be just one match away from the championship final.
Tim Stewart was the last Australian to reach a British Amateur final when in 2007 he narrowly lost 2&1 to American Drew Weaver.
Douglas Bachli was the last Australian to claim the title in 1954 at Muirfield, while Jim Ferrier in 1936 was defeated in the championship final.