amateur golf
amateur golf

English Amateur Championship:
Henley stung by Smithies

By Bill Meredith
Electronic Telegraph


ROGER SMITHIES, a 35-year-old scratch golfer from Manchester, fired life into the English Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes yesterday by beating seeded Darren Henley, 20, on the last green. Out, too, went Walker Cup player Philip Rowe, England cap Richard Finch and Matthew King, holder of the St Andrews Links Trophy, while international David Griffiths and defending champion Paul Casey hung on by their fingertips.

It was a day of glittering hope and dashed dreams as the 256-strong field was reduced to 32, but Smithies takes pride of place for his display of gritty golf against an opponent on top of his game and with his confidence boosted by a hole-in-one on the 162-yard ninth hole.

That put Henley all-square at halfway but Smithies hit back to win the 10th with a par and the 11th with a birdie. Henley won the 12th and grabbed a birdie three at the tricky 17th to go to the last all-square but lost when he three-putted the last.

Smithies is showing the cream of young English golfing talent, most of whom play the game full-time, that the old-time working amateur can still teach them a trick or two.

Stephen East, 41, was another of the more mature golfers to shrug aside the handicap of years as he gave Casey a fright before losing on the final green. East held his own until three-putting the 11th and then, in his words, "making a mess of the 15th". He birdied the par-four 16th and took a decidedly shaken Casey down the last.

Rowe was never in front in his match with James Holmes, 21, from Crewe. After winning on the 17th, Holmes, the Portguese amateur champion, has now claimed two major scalps in Rowe and England boy cap David Porter. King, who had been playing smoothly through the field, came unstuck against Jonathan Evans, from Guildford. Griffiths, a former Daily Telegraph/Center Parcs junior champion, was taken to the 20th before shaking off Peter Wheatcroft. David Skinns reached the last 32 with a three and two win over Nick Bell, of Carlisle. Finch went out at the 21st against Simon Young, of Seascale.

Details ENGLISH AMATEUR CH'SHIP (Royal Lytham & St Annes).- 2nd rd: D Griffiths (West Herts) bt S Hollins (Purley Downs) 3 & 2, P Wheatcroft (Worksop) bt R Fisher (Wentworth) 7 & 5, G Legg (Dudsbury) bt A Gee (Leatherhead) 3 & 2, M Kanski (Hesketh) bt J Field (Sandy Lodge) 7 & 6, R Brown (Wrekin) bt J Prince (Ashbourne) 5 & 4, M Housego (Wycombe Heights) bt C Hall (Hillsborough) 2 hls, M King (Toft Hotel) bt D Barnes (Dudsbury) 2 & 1, J Evans (Guildford) bt G Condon (Northampton) 5 & 4, P Thornton (St Annes Old Links) bt M Payne (Brickendon Grange) 1 hl, A Ward (Whittington Heath) bt A Smith (Enville) 4 & 3, N Bell (Carlisle) bt B Smith (East Berkshire) 2 holes, D Skinns (Canwick Park) bt M Thomas (Hallamshire) 4 & 3, G Cant (Wanstead) bt R Dinwiddie (Barnard Castle) 2 hls, D Ryles (West Hill) bt J Ruebotham (Welwyn Garden City) 1 hole, R Finch (Hull) bt S Jackson (Bramall Park) 6 & 5, S Young (Seascale) bt R Walker (Walton Hall) 3 & 2, O Wilson (Coxmoor) bt R Oldaker (Braintree) 1 hole, G Wolstenholme (Kilworth Springs) bt C Russell (Whittington Heath) 1 hl, L Godwin (Chart Hills) bt K Ollington (Addington Palace) 4 & 2, R Hynson (Walton Heath) bt N Peek (Sand Moor) 3 & 2, G Keates (Northampton) bt W Morgan (Sunningdale) 4 & 2, S Grewal (Heswall) bt R Hughes (Caldy) 4 & 2, J Kemp (John O'Gaunt) bt R Roper (Catterick) 2 & 1, A Richardson (St Annes Old Links) bt D Peel (Stockport) 2 & 1, J Phelps (Ruislip) bt G Davies (Abbeydale) 1 hl, R Perrett (Clevedon) bt S Lewton (South Beds) 2 & 1, T Whitehouse (Maxstoke Park) bt A Paisley (Stocksfield) 5 & 4, M Bugg (Selby) bt D Wood (Sand Moor) 1 hl, N Soto (Northamptonshire Co) bt R Ramskill (La Moye) 2 & 1, L Corfield (Burnham & Berrow) bt N Webb (Faversham) 3 & 2, S Bell (Northcliffe) bt M Hayward (Doncaster Tn) 4 & 2, C Shave (Cosby) w/o J Blome (Wanstead).

3rd rd: S Dobbins (Sandy Lodge) bt J Franks (Shirley Park) 3 & 2; N Dougherty (Shaw Hill) bt M Cox (Royal Birkdale) 2 & 1; B Barker (Reddish Vale) bt M Nester (Hollinwell) 1 hole; J Lupton (Middlesbrough) bt G Nixon (Brampton) 7 & 6; B Kruze (Warwickshire) bt A Colley (Ladbrook Park) 1 hl; E Butler (Lansdown) bt S Parry (Bolton Lostock) 1 hl; R Cannon (West Derby) bt R MacGregor (Perranporth) 2 & 1; J Holmes (Crewe) bt P Rowe (West Cornwall) 3 & 1, P Casey (Burhill) bt S East (Moortown) 1 hl; S Mitchell (The Ridge) bt J Godbold (Howley Hall) 3 & 2; R Smithies (Manchester) bt D Henley (Stoneham) 1 hole; P Bird (Southport & Ainsdale) bt P Kenyon (Hillside) 3 & 1; T Jackson (Blackburn) bt N Bennett (Kidderminster) 4 & 2; J Morgan (Clevedon) bt T Whittaker (Astbury) 7 & 6; D Heard (Wanstead) bt R Rea (Royal Mid-Surrey); G Harris (Reading) bt P Bradshaw (Gainsborough) 3 & 2, Griffiths bt Wheatcroft at 20th; Kanski bt Legg 2 & 1; Housego bt Brown 2 & 1; Evans bt King 3 & 2; Ward bt Thornton 2 & 1; Skinns bt Bell 3 & 2; Ryles bt Cant 5 & 3; S Young bt Finch at 21st, Wolstenholme bt Wilson 3 & 2; Godwin bt Hynson 4 & 2; Grewal bt Keates 3 & 2; Kemp bt Richardson 3 & 2; Phelps bt Perrett 3 & 2; Whitehouse bt Bugg 2 holes; Bell bt Shave 7 & 6.





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