Shanklin and Sandown Golf Club’s Ryan Harmer and Jordan Sundborg created a bit of history by both reaching the knockout stages of the English Amateur Championship at Ganton last week – but they could not emulate Hampshire team-mate Jamie Mist, who reached the semi-finals.
Harmer, who qualified in 38th place with rounds of 75 and 71 to finish 3-over par, was knocked out in the first round by George Bloor, from Cavendish GC, who eventually reached the final after beating Mist 3&2, last Friday (29th July).
Ryan, who has been picked for Hampshire’s team to face Surrey in the Daily Telegraph League at Brokenhurst Manor on Sunday, came off the 18th all square having been 2 up at one point against the 20-year-old from Derbyshire.
Harmer had a 25ft putt for birdie but could only make 4 and then watched Bloor hole his putt for a 3 from 20 feet to march into the last 64.
There was considerable consternation after the draw was made. In the past the top 64 and ties qualified with only the players with the highest scores going into the preliminary round playing off to leave 64 for the second round. But England Golf’s championship committee changed the rules so that just the top 32 were seeded with 26 players out of the 77 qualifiers going into the hat to be drawn in the first 13 matches and the remaining 19 getting byes and a few extra hours’ rest.
Harmer, who finished 3 shots better off than some of those 19 players after finishing in a share of 27th place, was unhappy with the new rules. But the 20-year-old, who plans to turn pro and become a PGA assistant with Shanklin head pro Peter Hammond in September, had few complaints about the outcome of his match with Bloor. He said:
“It was close all the way, but unfortunately I couldn’t hit the shots at the right time to clinch it in the final stages.”
Sundborg, who reached the quarter-finals of last year’s British Boys Championship at Royal Birkdale, was one of the players who scraped into the matchplay on the number after rounds of
The winner of the recent Faldo Series South Qualifier found himself up against Kent’s Max Jordan, who went 20 shots better in his second round at Scarborough’s South Cliff course after a nightmare 83 at the much tougher Ganton course, which hosted the knockout matches.
Sundborg could not shake Jordan off in regulation. Both made par 4 at the first extra hole and when Jordan was forced to take a drop after finding the rough on the left off the tee, the Hampshire Colt took his chance.
He found the heart of the green with his 9 iron and Jordan flew the green and could not get up and down in less than 5 before conceding the hole and the match with Sundborg sitting close to the hole in 3.
With a potential clash with Mist awaiting in the fourth round Jordan found himself playing Lancashire’s England international Paul Kinnear. But there was no giant-killing act by Jordan as there had been a year ago when he knocked out the English No. 1 ranked junior – he lost the 17th, a long 250-yard par 3, as Kinnear claimed a 3&1 victory as he booked his place in the last 16, only to lose to Mist by the same score as the Hayling man marched into the quarter-finals.
Sundborg has been recalled to the Hampshire team to face Surrey on Sunday, after playing in the defeat against Kent, in May.
The 18-year-old will be keen to improve on his record, having been unbeaten in his first 2 appearances in the South Division last season, and having picked picked up the half in the foursomes as Kent thumped Hampshire 101/2-11/2 at North Hants nearly 3 months ago.