Irish exit Amateur Championship

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) bowed out to Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale) 4&3 in round three of the Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Picture: David Lloyd /

Irish interest in the Amateur championship ended on Friday when Cormac Sharvin, Robin Dawson and Chris Selfridge all made their exit.

Ardglass' Sharvin and Faithlegg's Dawson reached the last 16 oat Royal Portrush as Moyola Park's Selfridge bowed out in the third round.

Selfridge fell to England's Toby Tree by 3 and 2 as Sharvin beat Victor Fasmer Henum of Denmark by 5 and 4 and Dawson ousted Portugal's Joao Carlota 2 and 2 while Sharvin.

In the last 16, Sharvin lost to England’s Paul Howard by 4 and 3 as Dawson fell by one hole to Scotland's Conor Syme.

Sharvin enjoyed a strong local following 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-4, eighth hole when Sharvin bogeyed the hole. Then Howard stepped up the pressure. The plus 5 handicapper birdied the 10th, 11th and 14th holes 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 7-iron to two feet at the 10th to go two up.”

Howard hit another 7-iron into the 11th and holed a 25-foot birdie putt. At the par-3, 14th hole, he hit a high 4-iron to 15 feet and holed that putt too. A half at the next saw him win 4 and 3.

Selfridge's nemesis Tree lost 2 and 1 to England's Sean Towndrow who now faces Daniel Brown, who is on track to double up as leading qualifier and Amateur Champion.

Brown overcame two-time Walker Cup player Rhys Pugh 3 and 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.”

Dawson was two up after two against Syme but lost the third, eighth, ninth and 16th to find himself two down with three to go.

He claimed the 14th and 15th in par to square the match but then bogeyed the par-five 17th as the Scot made birdie and bowed out on the final green with a half in par.

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