Greystones’ Paul Dunne and Castlerock’s Aaron Kearney were the only Irishmen to make it to the last 32 of the 118th Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports.
Reigning East of Ireland champion Dunne looked set for a comfortable won over Kenwick Park’s Ashton Turner when he stormed six up with six to play.
But the Irish Close runner up then lost four holes in a row before sealing a tense 2 and 1 second round win and a third round clash with Garrick Porteous, who beat Irish Close champion Cormac Sharvin of Ardglass 3 and 2.
Kearney will face Royal North Devon’s Jimmy Mullen in the third round following his 4 and 2 win over Kidderminster’s Henry James on an othewise disappointing day for Irish brigade that also brought defeats for Rathsallagh’s Jack Hume, Royal Portrush’s Matthew McAlpin and Carton House’s Shane McGlynn.
McAlpin and McGlynn were amongst the 16 players forced to contest the first round having only just made the top 64 and ties through strokeplay qualifying.
McAlpin lost by two holes to Italy’s Riccardo Michelini but while McGlynn beat Australia’s Geoff Drakeford at the 19th he went down to England’s world No 59 Callum Shinkwin by 4 and 2 in the afternoon.
Stackstown left-hander Richrd Bridges, who built in some excellent recent form by qualifying in 30th place after a pair of 73s, lost to Italy’s Renato Paratore by 4 and 3.
Hume qualified directly for the second round but lost 2 and 1 to Ashley Chesters from Hawkstone Park.
Elsewhere, Denmark’s Mads Soegaard pulled off an upset in the second match play round when he eliminated world No 11 Nathan Kimsey, the highest ranked English player in the field, at the 19th.
Extra holes were also required to settle the match between Neil Raymond, the St Andrews Links Trophy Champion, and fellow Englishman Max Williams.
Raymond, the 27-year-old from Corhampton, won at the 20th hole after playing his approach to within two feet.
Poland’s Adrian Meronk, the joint leader after the stroke play stage, made it through to the last 32 after defeating Danish player Thomas Sorensen 4 and 3.
Local favourite Max Orrin defeated fellow Englishman Ben Stow 4 and 3 and, in a good day while conpatriot Paul Kinnear from Formby overcame Australian Cameron Smith, ranked 12th in WAGR, by 4 and 2.
The strokeplay was disappointing for some of Ireland’s big guns with Reeve Whitson (73-75) and Rory McNamara (77-71) missing the four over par cut by a shot after a round each at Royal Cinque Port and Prince’s.
James Fox (74-75, five over), Richard O’Donovan (70-80, seven over), Andrew Hogan (76-74, seven over), Gary Hurley (79-71, seven over), Dermot McElroy (78-73, eight over), Nicky Grant (76-75, eigh tover) Geoff Lenehan (76-75, eight over), Robbie Cannon (76-76, nine over) and Harry Diamond (76-76, nine over) also failing to qualify.
Dunne led the Irish in qualifying by following a five over 77 with a six under 65 at Prince’s to qualify in fifth on one-under with Hume 10th on level (71-72) with Kearney (73-71) a shot further back in tied 17th.
Sharvin (72-73) was 24th on two over with McAlpin (78-69) and McGlynnn (75-72) in 53rd on four over.