Saturday, May 19, 2018

Forrest and Johnston reach last eight of Andalucia 9-hole Match-play

Scots Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) and Liam Johnston from Dumfries have won their way through to the last eight of the European Challenge Tour's Andalucia Costa del Sol nine-hole match-play tournament at Valle Romano Golf, Estepona, Malaga.

Forrest won by one hole against Steve Webster (England) and will now play Jerome Lando Casanova (France).
Johnston, pictured, won by one hole over Ben Eccles (Australia) and will play Welshman Stuart Manley for a place in the semi-finals.
A third Scot in the last 16, Ross Kellett, lost by one hole to Manley.

Jerome Lando Casanova (Fra) bt Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Spn) 2 and 1.
Grant Forrest (Sco) bt Steve Webster (Eng) 1 hole.

Jacopo Vecchi Fossa (Ita) bt Steven Tiley (Eng) 2 and 1.
Manuel Quiros (Spn) bt Adri Arnaus (Spn) 1 hole.

Jose Felipe Lima (Portugal) bt Michael Hoey (N Ireland) 1 hole.
Alfred Garcia Heredia (Spn) bt Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 1 hole.

Liam Johnston (Sco) bt Ben Eccles (Australia) 1 hole.
Stuart Manley (Wales) bt Ross Kellett (Scotland) 1 hole.



Second seed Stuart Manley continued his brilliant form to book a place in the final day at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9, following three wins in the knock-out stage.
The Welshman came into the knock-out stage full of confidence, following rounds of 64 and 69 put him at the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of stroke play. But with 64 players involved in the innovate tournament, it was back to square one on Saturday.
Hugo Leon, the number one ranked player in the knock-out stage, was beaten in his opening round, so the onus fell on Manley as the second seed to show his impressive form once again.
In his opening match, the 39-year-old beat Spaniard Mario Galiano Aguilar by two holes without dropping a shot and picked up three birdies in his nine holes. Galiano Aguilar pegged Manley back at their third hole but the Welshman retook the lead on his sixth hole and a birdie at the last sealed his progression.
The knock-out stage quickly entered the round of 32 and Englishman John Parry suffered the fate of in-form Manley. Two birdies ahead of an eagle on the sixth hole before the Welshman holed another birdie saw him advance with a 4 and 2 victory over Parry.
After dominant opening rounds, Manley dropped his first shot of the day during his round 16 match against Scotland’s Ross Kellett on the second hole. However, the bogey only spurred him on as he claimed the next two holes.
Manley moved further ahead with success on the seventh hole and even Kellett’s triumph on the eighth did not affect him, as he won by one to head into Sunday’s final-day shoot-out of knock-out games.
Manley, who will play Spain’s Alfredo Garcia Heredia in the quarter-finals, was thrilled with his work during the day and believes his name could be on the title in Spain.
“I believe I can win this. It’s only a few more games so why not,” he said. “My form has been good. I led the qualifying which was good. I’ve been playing quite well for the last month or so, so I’m pretty happy and, hopefully, I can keep it going for one more day.
“I made one mistake in 25 holes, and I think I was eight under. This afternoon I was a little bit scrappier, but it was a tense, tough match. Ross is a really gritty player with a lot of match-play experience, so I knew it would be a tough match"
Also in Sunday morning's round of the last eight are Jérôme Lando Casanova who will play Jacopo Vecchi Fasso – at No 56 the lowest ranked player left in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9.
José-Filipe Lima, who narrowly missed out on success at last week’s 56˚ Open de Portugal @ Morgado Golf Resort, will play Scotland’s Liam Johnston. While fellow Scot Grant Forrest will go head-to-head with local Spaniard Manuel Quiros.
Johnston played all 27 holes to progress, but the Doonhamer is enjoying his time at Valle Romano Golf after registering four eagles so far during the event.
“I was good, but it was tiring. I played all 27 holes out of the available 27, so I’m looking forward to Sunday – it should be good fun,” he said. 
“I like that eighth hole. I had two 2s on it in a row and I managed to hole a wedge on the sixth in the second round of the stroke play. The course is nice. You’ve just got to get it in play off the tee and then it’s really scoreable from there.”




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