MacPherson Survives British Am

Bryden MacPherson is the only surviving Australian left in the British Amateur following the completion of the second qualification round being held at Hesketh and Hillside Golf Clubs, north of Liverpool.

MacPherson fired rounds of 75-70 to finish at two-over-par to qualify in a tie for 25th position, with the US based Aussie well inside the top 64 and ties qualifying for the championship proper.

MacPherson will play Englishman Henry Smart ranked 1203 in the world. Finding himself positioned in the lower half of the draw, along with England's David Coupland, New Zealand's Landyn Edwards and France's Adrien Saddler, MacPherson has arguably landed in the better half of the field for the championship after tournaments favourites Andy Sullivan and Tom Lewis qualified in the upper half.

Gregory Eason from England secured medalist honours with a three-under-par 68 at Hesketh Golf Club, adding to yesterday's 71 at Hillside, for a four-under-par second round total.

For remaining five Australians competing in this championship, their tournament has unfortunately come to an abrupt end.

Current Australian Amateur champion, Matt Stieger, finished the next best Australian behind MacPherson with rounds of 77-74 for an eight over par and a tie for 129th position.

Brett Drewitt had opened with a solid 72 around Hesketh to look promising at these championships only to find the golfing gods leaving him in the second round to card a 81 around the challenging Hillside layout. Drewitt would eventually finish in a tie for 172nd position.

Ryan McCarthy also finished with Drewitt with a ten over par total following rounds of 80-73, as did Kalem Richardson with the fellow Tasmanian recording rounds of 77-76.

Chris Wood rounded out the Australian contingency at these championships with rounds of 79-82 to finish well down the field.

For the New Zealanders this British Open is looking very promising as they go in search of a maiden win at the British Amateur since the championships first induction in 1886 at St Andrews.

Talented Ben Campbell is well positioned in the match play segment after finishing the stroke play qualification series in a tie for fourth at one-under-par after rounds of 73-69.

Campbell will meet Conor O'Neil in the second round of the championship and should progress from there.

With his confidence growing with each round following a bout of sickness after arriving in the UK a fortnight ago and a solid top-10 finish last week at the St Andrew's Links Trophy, Campbell should feature strongly at these championships.

"My game is feeling really good at the moment, my swing is feeling great and short game is feeling solid," said Campbell who was one of the big movers on day two climbing from a share of 14th to fourth in the qualifying.

"I am focused on taking every match as it comes," says the world number 10.

"I want to commit to every shot and do the best I can. If it is good enough, it will be good enough. The game is feeling solid, so I will just take every shot as it comes. There is still a very long road ahead."

Campbell finished runner up in the Australian Amateur final in March to Matt Stieger and was then knocked out by Joshua Munn in the second round of the New Zealand Amateur in Christchurch. He is better for the experience.

"I learnt a lot from both of those tournaments, says Campbell.

"The main thing is to just always make the other person make a putt to win the hole or make him have to hit a good shot. It is important to not give any holes away."

With two of the tournament favourites, England's Tom Lewis and Andy Sullivan, progressing safely through to the match play theses championships remain an open affair

Lewis will play Garrick Porteous in the second round and should progress from their to set up a possible fourth round encounter with fellow countryman, Andy Sullivan.

Sullivan, who had runner up finishes this Australian summer at the Master of the Amateurs and the NSW Amateur as well as winning the NSW Amateur Medal, carded rounds of 72-17 to easily qualified for the match play segment in a tie for 10th position and is off a win at the Scottish Open Amateur a few week's back.

You would expect both to challenge for this title, then again I would not discount MacPherson's chances either.

MacPherson is a class player in these bigger events and is a seasoned competitor having played the tough US Collegiate circuit over the last eighteen months and his secured international victories at the Australian and New Zealand Amateur stroke championships back in 2009.

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