DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Devil sophomore Mads Soegaard and 2013 Duke grad Tim Gornik collected match-play victories Wednesday to move on to the round of 32 at the 118th Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Soegaard recorded a hard-fought 19-hole victory over Nathan Kimsey, the highest ranked English player in the field. Soegaard secured the win on the first extra hole after playing a nine-iron to three feet and making birdie, while Kimsey, who is ranked 11th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and is a hopeful for this year’s Walker Cup match in Southampton, New York, missed a lengthy birdie attempt from the back of the green.
“I went for the perfect shot and I couldn’t mishit it or I knew it would be in the water,” said Soegaard. “It was an awesome feeling pulling that off. It was really intense. It always gives you a confidence boost to win a match like that. I am getting into the match play groove and just trying to stay alive.”
Gornik posted the most lopsided win of the second round with a commanding 5&4 victory over Robbie Van West.
Extra holes were required to settle the match between Neil Raymond, the St Andrews Links Trophy Champion, and fellow Englishman Max Williams. Raymond, the 27-year-old from Corhampton, won at the 20th hole after playing his approach to within two feet. Scot Adam Dunton edged out England’s Charlie Bull 2&1 after a tight match. Poland’s Adrian Meronk, the joint leader after the stroke play stage, made it through to the last 32 after defeating Danish player Thomas Sorensen 4&3. After going six up with six to play, Ireland’s Paul Dunne was made to work to seal his win over Ashton Turner, from Kenwick Park, who won four consecutive holes before succumbing 2&1 on the 17th. Local favorite Max Orrin defeated fellow Englishman Ben Stow 4&3 and, in a good day for the home nation, Paul Kinnear, from Formby, overcame Australian Cameron Smith, ranked 12th in WAGR, by 4&2.
Soegaard advances on to play Jim Liu Thursday, while Gornik squares off against Pontus Gad in the round of 32.
Twenty nations were represented in the match play stage and players from 15 nations reached the last 32 demonstrating the global appeal of The Amateur Championship.