McKinney progresses to second match play round at the R&A Boys' Amateur Championship

McKinney defeated England’s Billy Groom

Leading qualifier Connor McKinney is through to the second round of match play at the 93rd Boys’ Amateur Championship at Saunton.

“I only had two birdies and a bogey out there. It was just one of those days where there wasn’t a lot of birdies out there and if you made a lot of pars you were going to be close.”


McKinney, the Australian-based Scot, defeated England’s Billy Groom 6&4. It was a convincing victory for McKinney who said it was important to limit mistakes in windy conditions with birdie opportunities hard to come by on the East Course.

“A 6&4 win is generally good for the confidence so I am looking forward to the next round.

“With this wind you can’t go for too much or miss in the wrong spots so it was a case of hitting into the middle of the greens or even away from flags because the wind was so strong. I wasn’t really aggressive today but I also wasn’t defensive.”

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The 17-year-old will now play Matthew Jackman, who claimed a win over Frenchman Charles Larcelet. Jackman, who was down by three with five holes to play, fought back to take the match to extra holes, eventually winning with a birdie on the 20th.

“I was three down with five to play, before that I was just trying to stay in the match but I started to come alive and wasn’t as scrappy,” said Jackman. “I fought hard on 17 and 18 to get it back to All Square after being dormie.

“We both parred the 19th hole and then on the 20 th hole I ended up making a birdie with Charles (Larcelet) making par. It was a big sigh of relief, I couldn’t believe it, I was buzzing.

“It happened to me last year too, I was four down through five in my first match and ended up winning on the last, so this does boost my confidence. I have always had the fight in me so it should be a good match with Connor (McKinney) tomorrow.

“I’ll try to play as I have done today, keep grinding away and not let Connor being the highest ranked qualifier affect me.”

Frenchman Tom Gueant, who led qualifying after the first round, recorded a convincing 5&4 victory over England’s Oscar Doran. After a challenging finish yesterday, where he dropped six shots in his closing seven holes, Gueant was determined to come out firing in his first round match. He was five up after six holes and never looked seriously threatened.

Boys' Amateur Championship - McKinney moves to round 2
Tom Gueant of France progresses to the second round of match play at the 93rd R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship. Credit: The R&A

Gueant will face another Englishman tomorrow when he takes on Dominic Clemons who advanced after defeating Italy’s Simone Armando Colozza 5&3.

“I played well on the first nine holes; my driver was still not very good today but I was putting well,” said Gueant.

“I was five up after six holes, right from the beginning I was winning holes and after that I just tried to keep control of myself and my game.

“When the day has been bad, like yesterday, and you have those thoughts in your mind you want to release all of that and then today it was great.”

Archie Davies, who was tied second in the stroke play qualifying, reached Friday’s second round after forcing Spaniard Alvaro Morales Aparicio into extra holes. The door opened for the Welsh Amateur Champion on the 18 th hole when his opponent missed a 5ft putt. Davies then went on to make a birdie on the 20th hole to seal the win.


Davies will play Ireland’s Sean Doyle in the second round after he also required 20 holes to defeat Javier Neira Garcia of Spain.

“It feels pretty good, it was hard fought. If I am honest, I thought it was game over on 18, my opponent had a five-footer to win and then he missed and I won on the 20th so it was awesome,” said Davies.

“I was pretty nervous on the last putt. I am pleased I got it over with. I always thought I had the edge but it was tricky.

“I think I still have that confidence from the Welsh Amateur win so I hope to keep it going.

Having elected to skip the US Amateur Championship to compete in his final R&A Boys Amateur Championship, Joseph Pagdin, the highest-ranked player in the field was relieved to advance to Friday’s match play rounds.

After 18 holes the Englishman was All Square with Sweden’s Rasmus Hjelm. Chipping out of the thick rough on the par-5 2 nd , the 20 th hole of the match, Pagdin made a clutch up and down birdie to move into the second round.

The Englishman will now play compatriot Harry Crockett, who defeated France’s Nathan Trey on the 19th hole.

For full results and scoring visit www.Randa.org. Admission and parking at Saunton is free.

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