amateur golf
amateur golf

English Amateur Championship: Kruze in control to reach last eight
By Bill Meredith
Electronic Telegraph


IT WAS pure wizardry; right out of the Harry Potter mould. Ben Kruze, 16 last week, won six holes in a row from the second to beat Robert Cannon, of West Derby, 6 & 5, and reach the last eight of the English Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham and St Annes yesterday.

Three birdies and three pars meant the Warwickshire boys' captain was three under par after seven holes and Cannon's resistance was broken. Not bad for a young man who was only third reserve for this tournament and has now won five matches since Monday and been under par in four of them.

This morning he meets Barry Barker, 27, of Reddish Vale, Cheshire, who destroyed the hopes of Nick Dougherty, the 18-year-old from Lancashire considered one of the best prospects in the country. Dougherty, three down at one stage, made a long putt on the 17th to take the match to the last.

After this piece of magic, though, Dougherty came to grief on the 18th with a poor approach shot. "That was terrible," he said. "Missing the green from 112 yards after a perfect drive."

Another 16-year-old, Simon Bell, from Yorkshire, advanced to the quarter-finals with a 5 & 4 defeat of Tom Whitehouse, 20, the former England junior cap. Bellstarted playing golf aged seven and had a handicap of five by the time he was 13.

The England Schools champion, started like a fire engine and was three up after eight holes. He was four ahead at the 13th and any dreams Whitehouse might have had of saving the match were dashed.

David Ryles, of Surrey, beat David Skinns, the England boys cap from Lincolnshire, on the 13th green. Ryles, a semi-finalist at the Amateur Championship at Hoylake in June, won five holes in a row from the fourth while Skinns seemed to find every bunker.

There are now only four seeds left - Gary Wolstenholme, David Griffiths, John Morgan and the holder, Paul Casey. Wolstenholme, 39, needed all his experience to topple Sandeep Grewal 2 & 1, and Griffiths was taken to the 18th in a tight match with Jonathan Evans.

Casey had to battle hard to end a brave challenge from Roger Smithies to a halt on the final green but Morgan, 22, from Somerset, performed in style before the England selectors in beating Reading left-hander Geoff Harris at the 15th.

Details ENGLISH AMATEUR CH'SHIP (Royal Lytham & St Annes).- 4th rd: N Dougherty (Shaw Hill) bt S Dobbins (Sandy Lodge) 2 & 1, B Barker (Reddish Vale) bt J Lupton (Middlesbrough) at 19th, B Kruze (The Warwickshire) bt E Butler (Lansdown) 4 & 3, R Cannon (West Derby) bt J Holmes (Crewe) 2 & 1, P Casey (Burhill) bt S Mitchell (Ridge) 5 & 4, R Smithies (Manchester) bt P Bird (Southport & Ainsdale) 4 & 3, J Morgan (Clevedon) bt T Jackson (Blackburn) 3 & 2, G Harris (Reading) bt D Heard (Wanstead) 3 & 2, D Griffiths (West Herts) bt M Kanski (Hesketh) 2 holes, J Evans (Guildford) bt M Housego (Wycombe Heights) at 19th, D Skinns (Canwick Park) bt A Ward (Whittington Heath) 1 hole, D Ryles (West Hill) bt S Young (Seascale) 1 hole, G Wolstenholme (Kilworth Springs) bt L Godwin (Chart Hills) 3 & 2, S Grewal (Heswall) bt J Kemp (John O'Gaunt) at 19th, T Whitehouse (Maxstoke Park) bt J Phelps (Ruislip) 3 & 2, S Bell (Northcliffe) bt L Corfield (Burnham & Berrow) 3 & 2.





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