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James Byrne and Jin Jeong contest final of the Amateur Championship
19th June 2010

Keeping it real: James Byrne is concentrating on Saturday's final when he faces South Korean Jin Jeong in the 36-hole final

He bogeyed only one hole as he first beat Frenchman Edouard Espana 2&1 and then Walker Cup player Chris Paisley on the 17th green.

But he admitted afterwards that he had a job trying to control his emotions towards the end of his semi-final.

 "I was thinking about playing in the Masters and the Open and all the rewards that the Amateur brings - it is easy to get ahead of yourself but I just tried to stay calm and thought about the wind and, to use the old cliche, I said to myself I must take one shot at a time."

The 21-year-old Byrne, who is about to start his last year at Arizona State University, lost only one hole to Paisley - the fourth - which he bogeyed to fall behind, but squared four holes later where he canned a 20-foot putt and was never again behind.

The Scottish international, who lives in Banchory, took the lead for the first time at the 10th when Paisley found the thick rough and a bunker and went two up three holes later before a succession of halves saw him home.

Jeong, 20, who has been living in Melbourne for the past three years, knocked out Northern Ireland 's Lytham Trophy winner Paul Cutler 3&2 and was then two under par in overwhelming Matthew Nixon, the former British Boys champion from Lancashire , 5&4.

Visiting the UK for the first time, Jeong has three significant victories to his credit this season and is 10th in the world rankings. He intends to turn professional but will delay the move if he wins today to compete in next year's Masters at Augusta .

Amateur Championship (Muirfield).-Qtr-finals: M Nixon (Ashton-under-Lyne) bt R Enoch (Truro) 3 and 2; J Jeong (S Korea) bt P Cutler (Portstewart) 3 and 2; J Byrne (Banchory) bt E Espana (France) 2 and 1; C Paisley (Stocksfield) bt A Pavan (Italy) 5 and 4. Semi-finals: Jeong bt Nixon 5 and 4; Byrne bt Paisley 2 and 1.

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