Match-play quarterfinals set for British Amateur Championship

Carnoustie, Scotland — Get ready for a David versus Goliath battle in the fourth round of the Amateur Championship at Carnoustie.

Sean Towndrow faces Jack McDonald in a fourth round England versus Scotland battle that pits the 6-foot, 7-inch Towndrow versus the 5-foot, 7-inch McDonald.

Both have the experience of reaching the latter reaches of the world’s oldest national championship. Towndrow lost in the semi-finals of last year’s championship at Royal Portrush, while McDonald was a losing semifinalist at Royal Troon in 2013.

Both are battlers. Lesser competitors would be on their way home, but the two men staged tremendous comebacks to book their place in the fourth round.

Towndrow was 3 down after seven holes in his third round match against Poland’s Mateusz Gradecki, a golfer at East Tennessee State. He won the eighth to reduce the deficit to two holes, and decided to set himself a little goal rather than focus totally on the state of the match.

“He played really well early on and I just felt I had to stay in there even though I was three down,” Towndrow said. “After eight holes I said to my caddie that if I could come in level par then I had a chance.”

Towndrow did better than that. He played the last 10 holes in 3 under par to earn a one-hole win.

Towndrow is a different player than last year at Royal Portrush. “Last year I didn’t sleep as well. I feel like I’ve got a little bit more experience this year.”

That experience could ultimately earn him a place on this year’s Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, and invitations to the Open Championship, Masters and next year’s U.S. Open, the perks that go with winning the Amateur Championship.

McDonald is looking for the same rewards. The recent Stirling University graduate showed his match-play nous in a tense morning battle with Stanford’s David Boote. McDonald, who studied applied maths at Stirling, was 2 down with two to play. He dug in to win the final two holes and then won the match at the 20th.

The 2012 Scottish Golfer of the Year had an easier time in the afternoon against compatriot Robert McIntyre, a student at McNeese State. McDonald won 4 and 3.

“I am drawing on the experience I had at Troon,” McDonald said. “Hopefully I can keep going and keep doing what I’m doing. I just want to stick to the game plan and see what happens.”

Grant Forrest, a recent graduate of the University of San Diego, is also through to the last eight. He defeated double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters. Forrest, who studied finance at San Diego, was 3 up after three holes and ran out an easy 4 and 3 winner over the Englishman.

“I knew it would be tough, and getting off to a good start obviously helps but I made a couple of good putts here and there,” the 2012 Scottish Amateur champion said.

Forrest faces off against Greig Marchbank in an all-Scotland fourth round contest.

Four Frenchmen are through to the fourth round, with a guarantee that two of them will be in the semifinals. Alexandre Daydou plays Antoine Rozner, while Romain Langasque faces Robin Sciot-Siegrist. They are bidding to become the first French winner since Julien Guerrier at Royal St George’s in 2006, and only the third French winner since the tournament began in 1885. Philippe Ploujoux won at St Andrews in 1981 to become the first French champion.

John Oda ended the hopes of a first America winner since Drew Weaver in 2007 at Royal Lytham. The UNLV player lost heavily to experienced French player and TCU rising senior Paul Barjon, suffering a 6-and-5 defeat in the second round.

Show Hide