Cutler storms through
Paul Cutler reproduced the sort of form yesterday that has brought him so many honours over the past couple of years to sweep into the third round of the British Amateur Championship at Hillside on the Lancashire coast.
The 22-year-old reigning Irish Close champion and West of Ireland title-holder from Portstewart gave a stunning birdie-packed display to overwhelm France's Victor Perex 5&4.
Cutler, the 2010 Lytham Trophy winner, got off to a flying start, winning two of the first three holes, and was five up at the turn. He then won the 11th before suffering his only setback at the 12th.
Halves at 13 and 14 saw him into round three, where he will this morning face Austrian Philipp Fendt for a place in the last 16.
Cutler, a quarter-finalist last year, said: "I played really well and made hardly any mistakes. It was my best performance of the week and I must now keep it going."
Cutler is the only Irishman left in the competition following the exits of Garth McGee and James Fox.
McGee (19), son of Malone club professional Michael, was three up after eight holes on Norwegian Joakim Mikkelsen, having had three birdies and an eagle.
Although McGee played solidly after that with a succession of pars, his opponent squared matters at the 14th and the Ulsterman was beaten at the first extra hole.
Portmarnock's Fox, brother of veteran international Noel, never got really going as he went down 4&2 to New Zealander Lyndon Edwards.
Top qualifier Gregory Eason made an early exit, losing 2&1 to Matthew Wallace. Details in factfile