England’s Garrick Porteous ended Irish interest in the 118th Amateur Championship when he beat Greystones’ Paul Dunne and Castlerock’s Aaron Kearney to advance to the quarter-finals at Royal Cinque Ports.
The 23-year-old Bamburgh Castle player, who beat Irish Close champion Cormac Sharvin in the second round, saw off East of Ireland champion and Irish Close finalist Dunne by 3 and 2 in the third round before seeing off Kearney by the same margin in the last 16 in the afternoon.
“I’ve played really well all week,” said Porteous, who is 39th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and considered a likely pick for September’s Walker Cup match against the United States in New York.
“The key is being strategic on this course and staying on the right side of the fairway. Around the greens you just can’t short side yourself.”
Advice from the 2009 Amateur champion Matteo Manassero helped highly rated Italian Renato Paratore join Porteous in the quarter-finals.
The 16-year old, who won the last three holes to beat Stackstown’ Richard Bridges 4 and 3 in the second round, won a close match against Iceland’s Haraldur Franklin Magnus at the 19th hole to follow his win over Poland’s Adrian Meronk in the previous round.
Speaking through an interpreter, the 16-year-old said: “I know Matteo from playing on the Italian team with him a few times. He has been a big help. He was good on telling me how to play links golf. He told me how to play in the wind and how to play punch shots. He knows how it works and how to make it happen because he won this tournament.”
Neil Raymond led a home charge with a comfortable 7&6 victory over Tim Gornik, from Slovenia, and was joined by fellow English players Max Orrin, Nick Marsh and Porteous in the last eight.
Raymond took charge from the off against 22-year-old Gornik and was 4up after six holes. He turned the screw with three consecutive birdies from the 9th and closed out the match when both players carded bogey fives on the 12th.
“I have a lot of confidence from last week and I feel happy with my game,” said Raymond who defeated Scotland’s Adam Dunton earlier in the day.
“I am just trying to give myself as many chances as I can out there because down the stretch you are not going to have many birdie opportunities.
“Taking advantage of the first few and the middle few holes when you have got some wedge shots is quite crucial round here. I’m really happy with the way I played. It’s nice to not have to play the full round so I can get a bit more rest.”
Royal Cinque Ports member Orrin maintained his good form ousting Australia’s Jordan Zunic 3&1 to follow an earlier 3&2 win against fellow Englishman Paul Kinnear.
“I’m overjoyed. At the start of the week I knew I was playing well but I didn’t expect to come all this way or to keep playing so well and keep the game there,” Orrin said.
“I’m just really looking forward to tomorrow now. More and more people have turned up from my club to watch me and family and friends so it’s really nice. I do appreciate all the support.”
Rounding off the English representation in the last eight will be Huddersfield’s Marsh who edged out Callum Shinkwin, from Moor Park, by one hole.
Paul Barjon went one stage further in this year’s championship after being knocked out by the eventual winner Alan Dunbar at the corresponding stage last year.
The 20-year-old Frenchman won a close match with Ashley Chesters, from Hawkstone Park, by two holes. Earlier in the day he defeated Edward Richardson, from Rye, at the 19th hole.
American Jim Liu was the scourge of the Danes as he followed his morning win over Mads Soegaard with a two hole victory over Kasper Estrup.
The Quarter Final line-up for The Amateur Championship will see Paratore facing Liu, Raymond taking on Porteous, Barjon playing Hakula and Orrin against Marsh.
The matches will be played tomorrow morning starting at 8.15am followed by the Semi-Finals in the afternoon.