Gleeson makes miraculous comeback from 86 in Argentina; Galbraith also into matchplay

Gleeson makes miraculous comeback from 86 in Argentina; Galbraith also into matchplay
 Alex Gleeson (Castle) show his delight after winning the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship on the 17th green at Ballyliffin Golf Club (20/08/2016). Picture by  Pat Cashman

Alex Gleeson (Castle) show his delight after winning the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship on the 17th green at Ballyliffin Golf Club (20/08/2016). Picture by Pat Cashman

Alex Gleeson dug deep after his horror opening 86 and birdied the last for a level par 72, then won a playoff to squeak into the matchplay stages of the 121st Argentinian Amateur Championship.

The Irish Close champion looked out for the count after his 14 over par opening effort at Estancias Golf Club in Buenos Aires. But he birdied the par-five 18th to get around in level par for a total of 158, then edged out the Francisco Sojo (81-77) in a playoff

Gleeson took the 64th and final place in Thursday's first matchplay round and if he can see off leading qualifier Kyle McLatchie, he will be hoping now to go all the way to Sunday's 36-hole final.

He captured the AIG Irish Amateur Close at Ballyliffin last year by beating Whitehead's John-Ross Galbraith in the final.

Galbraith is also in Argentina and while he missed the cut in the Copa Tailhade last weekend with a 20 over par total, where Gleeson had a Top 10 finish, he qualified for the matchplay stages in sixth place on four under par after a second successive 70 and faces Javier Pintos.

South Africa's McLatchie succeeded Robin Dawson as the winner of the Copa Kenneth Gordon Davis when he added a 65 to his opening 67 to edge out overnight leader Andrés Schonbaum (66-68) by two strokes on 12 under par for the leading qualifier honour.