Hermitage's Rowan Lester produced some sensational golf to move into the quarterfinals of the British Boys Amateur Open Championship at Prestwick.
The 18-year old, who represented Ireland at both the recent Boys Home Internationals and the European Boys Team Championships, will face Norway's Kristoffer Reitan at 8.30am on Saturday.
If he displays the same fighting qualities he showed when coming back from the ear to beat Denmark's Frederik Hedmark at the 19th and England's Matthew Myers 3 and 2 he could become just the fourth Irish winner of the title and follow in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen (Royal Birkdale 1936), Ronan Rafferty (Kilmarnock, Barassie 1979) and Leslie Walker (Seaton Carew, 1986).
His win over Hedmark was certainly a classic. Two down with four to play, he won the 15th in par and the 16th and 17th in birdie to go one up. A birdie at the last was not enough as the Dane made an eagle two to force extra holes. But it was the Dubliner who prevailed at the 19th with yet another birdie.
It was far less complicated against Myers with Lester racing four up at the turn in a facile 3 and 2 win.
Defending champion Ewen Ferguson of Scotland is also through to the last eight after a decisive 8 and 7 victory over Germany’s Max Schmitt.
The 18-year-old is bidding to become the first player since 1930 to successfully defend the title in a year that has seen him win both the Scottish Boys Stroke Play and Scottish Boys Match Play Championships.
The Scot will now face England’s Lewis George of Delamere Forest who defeated Denmark’s Morten Toft Hansen 4&3. The victory was another confidence boost for the 17-year-old who defeated his compatriot Ashton Turner 3&2 in the morning’s third round.
Sweden’s Oskar Bergqvist continued to dominate his matches on Friday, producing a bogey-free round against Norway’s Jarand Arnoy to win his third round match 4&3. He then faced England’s Billy Watson, securing a 5&3 win and will play Norway’s Christoffer Bring.
if Lester beats Myers he will face the winner of the match between Wales’ Tim Harry who won beat England’s Louis Lazarus 3 and 2, or Irish Boys Amateur Open winner, Bradley Moore, who defeated his fellow English international Jamie Li by two holes.