Amateur Championship dream alive for Irish trio

Cormac Sharvin (Ardglass) during The Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush. Picture: David Lloyd /

Chris Selfridge, Cormac Sharvin and Robin Dawson battled their way into Friday's third round of the  Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush.

But there was disappointment too as Stuart Grehan, Jack Hume, Rory McNamara, Richard Bridges and Paul Dunne all bowed out.

Moyola Park man Selfridge had a 4 and 3 win over Welshman David Boote but faces a tough last 32 test against world No 64 Toby Tree of England, who saw off France’s Hubert Tisser and 3 and 1.

Ardglass talent Sharvin beat Scotland’s Calum Hill 2 and 1 to go one round better than 12 months ago when he lost to eventual champion Garrick Porteous in his opening round and now takes on Victor 

Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park) during round two of The Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush. Picture: David Lloyd /

Chris Selfridge (Moyola Park) during round two of The Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush. Picture: David Lloyd /

Faithlegg ace Dawson, a star for the Great Britain and Ireland Jacque Leglise team last year, had to come through a first round match against Finland's Miki Kuronen before beating Scotland's Liam Johnston 2 and 1.

Dawson now takes on Portugal's Joao Carlota, who ended the dream of Stackstown man Bridges with a two up win.

Tullamore's Grehan gave Scotland’s Bradley Neil a fright, coming back from four down after nine to take the St Andrews Links Trophy runner up to the 18th.

Neil, 18, gave a hole back with a double bogey six at the 10th, lost the 11th to a birdie and then a wayward drive off the 12th tee led to him losing the hole to Grehan’s bogey five and his lead was cut to one. 

He steadied himself to birdie the next hole and managed to par the last five holes to squeeze into the second round.

“That’s a match I never want to play again,” Neil said after his one hole win.

Dunne was never ahead as he lost 4 and 3 to England's Ben Wheeler while Hume bogeyed the 18th to lose by one hole to England's Hayden McCullen after a titanic battle, coming back from two down after three and six holes to level after eight and then halve every hole until the death.

England’s Jordan Smith pulled off an upset in the second round as he defeated highly rated Italian Renato Paratore 3 and 1.

“I got off to a bit of a flier with five birdies in the first nine holes to go four up,” said Smith, a member of the Great Britain & Ireland 2013 Walker Cup team. 

“I just played steady from there on in. I played for fairways and greens because I didn’t have to do anything special after the front nine.

“I played with him in the qualifying rounds and he was awesome. He putted really well so I knew I was in for a really tough match.”

“I couldn’t believe the length of putts I holed over the front nine. I putted really poorly in qualifying so I was surprised at how well I putted.”

Elsewhere, England’s Paul Howard claimed another surprise victory with a two-hole win over Belgium’s Thomas Detry, the current 12th ranked player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Daniel Brown, who led the 288-man qualifying field with an 8-under-par total of 133, continued his fine form with a 2&1 victory over American Myles Lewis to advance to the third round.

Spain’s Emilio Cuartero won’t follow in the footsteps of Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal and complete the double as Boys Amateur and Amateur Champion.

The 2007 Boys Amateur Championship winner lost 4 and 3 to Denmark’s Victor Fasmer Henum.