First there were six. Then four. Now there are only two. The good news is that Ireland is guaranteed a semi-finalist in the Spanish Amateur Open at Real Club de Golf de Sevilla where East and South of Ireland champion Stuart Grehan will face reigning North of Ireland champion John-Ross Galbraith in the first of the quarter-finals.
It was another excellent day for the Irish and while Naas pair Jonathan Yates (Jorge Maicas 1up) and Conor O'Rourke (James Walker 3/1) bowed out in round one, their presence in the matchplay draw said nothing but good things about the progress they have made in recent months.
Maicas turned out to be the last local standing after he went on to beat Dermot McElroy 2 and 1 with a solid all round performance in the third round.
The Ballymena man was one of four Irish winners in round one, beating Italy's Michele Cea 2 and 1 to set up a last 16 meeting with Aragonés star Maicas, who is in fine form.
Ireland's leading qualifier Colm Campbell took a big scalp in the morning with an impressive 4 and 3 win over Walker Cup player Grant Forrest of Scotland.
But the Warrenpoint man fell be one up to England's Scott Gregory in the afternoon.
Grehan only squeaked into the draw in 32nd place but he took down leading qualifier Owen Edwards of Wales by 4 and 3 before seeing off Bonallack Trophy bound Bradley Moore 2 and 1.
Grehan now faces Galbraith, who beat Austria's Luka Lipold at the 19th in the morning and then beat Spanish hopeful Sigot Lopez by 4 and 3 in the afternoon.