Jack Hermeston took a step towards his second national title in three years when he came through yesterday’s first matchplay round of The Boys Amateur Championship.
Next up at Hoylake in the last 32 today is a revenge mission for the City of Newcastle player on behalf of Northumberland against France’s Paul Elissalde.
Yesterday Elissalde chalked up a 4&3 win over Alnmouth’s Jake Storey, who last year followed Hermeston as the England Under-16 Open champion.
Hermeston is the only North East player left in the tournament, Boldon’s Rhys Thompson losing 5&3 to Somerset player Alister Balcombe.
With his irons and knockdowns well under control on the windswept seaside links, Hermeston still found himself one down after eight holes against Wiltshire’s Corey Sheppard. But while Newcastle’s finest saved par on the ninth with a 10-foot putt, Sheppard missed an eight-footer to lose the hole.
Suitably encouraged, Hermeston launched a barrage of four birdies in seven holes, starting at the tenth, to win 3&2.
In winning strokeplay qualifying on Wednesday, Hermeston’s seven-under 65 at Wallasey brought him long putts of 25ft (fourth hole), 35ft (sixth), 13ft (14th) and a stonking 63-footer at 17.
Yesterday he was within three inches of an ace at Hoylake’s 195-yard seventh with a stunning six-iron.
:: Mathew Webb dropped three places in the Europro Tour’s Sweetspot Classic at Longhirst Hall.
The Bedlingtonshire player is tied sixth after a one-over 71 left him five shots off the lead going into today’s third and final round.
Ireland’s Colm Moriarty is top on eight under.