Macpherson in Quarters at British Am

Australian Bryden Macpherson has progressed to the quarter finals of the British Amateur after defeating Marc Dobias of Switzerland 2&1 during the 4th round of the championship.

Macpherson had previously qualified 25th after the completion the two round qualification series completed last Tuesday to be the only Australian from five starters make it to the elimination match play segment and championship proper.

In progressing to the last eight of from 288 starters, Macpherson, ranked 38th in the world and a sophomore for University of Georgia, accounted for Henry Smart on the 21st hole in the opening round and Patrick Spraggs, 4&2, in the round of 36.

"It was fun today," said Macpherson.

"I played really solid in parts. There were times were I let my opponents in a little, but I got it done in the end."

Macpherson moved to the US Collegiate system in the beginning of 2010 and has never looked back from the experience.

"I needed at the time to put my life through a sieve back in Australia," says Macpherson.

"Moving to the US was also a bit of a 'life-grow-up' exercise as well for me. I got distracted and I was able to take everything out of my life that I did not want and just throw it away and start fresh."

The change has been invaluable and Macpherson is confident with his game and where he's now placed in these championships.

"I'm happy with the way I'm playing and all I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing and see what happens."

There's a lot at stake in these championships including a place in The Open at Royal St George's and the invitation to the Masters Tournament that await the British Amateur champion.

For Macpherson the opportunity to win the British Amateur and to possibly play in his first Major is something he's worked towards achieving for many years.

"It means a lot to be here," said Macpherson following his fourth round win over Marc Doblas from Switzerland.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's the most prestigious, and it's called the Amateur Championship for a reason. So, to be in the hunt still is fantastic."

Macpherson already has an international credit to his name after winning the 2009 New Zealand Amateur stroke title the same year he won the Australian Amateur stroke championship, yet is in the hunt for this British Amateur championship which has his immediate attention and focus.

Macpherson will play Spain's, Antonio Hortal, ranked 45th in the world and a winner back home in Spain with the Copa Nacional Puerta de Hierro championship.

In the upper half of the draw, Tom Lewis, who won the Amateur Medal last December at the Australian Open and was runner-up to Peter O'Malley at the NSW Open, reached the last eight by virtue of a resounding 6&4 victory over world number 13, Andrew Sullivan.

This was a massive victory for Lewis against one of the most tenacious match play exponents in the game and should give Lewis the lift to serious challenge for this title to add to his 2009 British Boys and English Boys Amateur titles

Lewis has gone one better than he did in 2010 at Muirfield, when he lost in the fourth round to eventual winner Jin Jeong.

Fresh from his win a fortnight ago at the St Andrews Links Trophy the world number 3 will certainly be the centre of attention as this championship unfolds.

Lewis will meet Scot, Michael Stewart, ranked 20th in the world and the current South African Amateur champion in their quarter final encounter.

In the other top-half quarter final, Sebastien Gros from France will play Norway's, Joakim Mikkelsen, with the winner facing the outcome of the Stewart/Lewis match.

Should Macpherson progress through his semi final encounter against Hortal he will meet either Scotland's Greg Paterson, ranked 90th in the world or Alastair Jones from Wales ranked 141st in the world in the afternoon semi-final.

Arguably Macpherson has the easier of the two pathways to the final compared to Lewis. Yet anything can and often does happen in match play.

In its 126 year history, the British Amateur has evaded Australian hands for the last 57 years, although Tim Stewart in 2007 went ever so close narrowly going down to Drew Weaver at Royal Lytham & St Annes, 2&1.

Douglas Bachli was the last Australian to claim the title in 1954 at Muirfield, while Jim Ferrier in 1936 was defeated in the championship final.

Hopefully things will change this week at Hillside, north of Liverpool, as Australian hopes of breaking this British Amateur drought rests with the talented and fearless Macpherson.

If ever there was an emerging Aussie golfer you would want in the breech looking at securing a main world amateur title it would be Macpherson.

As to what will eventuate, time will only tell, yet you quietly think the Melbournian has the game, experience, attitude and more importantly the self belief that he can take this title out.

Should it unfold into a Lewis/Macpherson final, what a final that would be and there will be many back home glued to their computer monitors during the early hours of Monday morning following the outcome.

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