Thursday 18 July 2019

Ronan Mullarney and James Sugrue keep Irish hopes of Amateur Championship alive at Portmarnock

Ronan Mullarney of Galway Golf Club putts on the 7th green during day four of the R&A Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Ronan Mullarney of Galway Golf Club putts on the 7th green during day four of the R&A Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Phil Casey

Ronan Mullarney and James Sugrue kept hopes of a home victory very much alive after advancing to the quarter-finals of the Amateur Championship at Portmarnock.

Mullarney beat Sweden's Ludvig Aberg in the last 32 before edging past England's Matty Lamb on the 18th, while Sugrue recovered from three down with four to play to defeat Sweden's Christoffer Palsson and then thrashed Spain's Sergio Parriego Cornejo 5&3.

"It's a feeling of relief, absolutely," Mullarney said. "I was five up in the quarter-final and hit it slightly heavy into the par-three 12th and Matty won that hole. He then just kept clawing away and played lovely on the back nine. It was a great match.

"I've played in front of good-sized crowds before and it was great to see them supporting me. It's brilliant to have two Irish players in the quarter-finals. There are plenty of matches left to be played and I can't look too far ahead to the prizes that come for the winner at the end of this championship."

Sugrue now faces Holland's Koen Kouwenaar in the last eight and Mullarney faces England's Benjamin Jones as they try to become the first Irish winner of the title since Alan Dunbar in 2012.

James Sugrue of Mallow Golf Club lines up a putt on the third green during day four of the R&A Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
James Sugrue of Mallow Golf Club lines up a putt on the third green during day four of the R&A Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club in Dublin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Australia's David Micheluzzi, who is the top ranked player in the field, will face American Cameron Sisk in the quarter-finals, where there is an all-Scottish tie between Sandy Scott and Euan Walker following their narrow wins over Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra and Jonatan Jolkkonen respectively.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals take place on Friday, with the winner of Saturday's 36-hole final gaining exemptions into the Open at Royal Portrush next month, the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot and an invitation to play in next year's Masters.

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