For the second year running Melbourne’s David Micheluzzi is into the final eight at the Amateur Championship in Ireland.
The World No.7 in the men’s amateur rankings knocked off English No.28 Tom Sloman 4&3 in the round of 32 at Portmarnock in the morning as his side of the draw began to open up.
Dane Alexander George Frances took down No.1 seed Thomas Plumb in a big upset and Micheluzzi capitalised in their round of 16 clash after an almighty scare.
Frances took a 2-UP lead at the turn and had Micheluzzi on the ropes, but the clutch Victorian won the 14th, 15th and 16th holes on his way to a brilliant 2&1 victory.
“It was a nice comeback and I’m over the moon. I’ve been down in every match now but it’s not over until it’s over,” Micheluzzi said.
“Fortunately for me, Alexander made a few bogeys in a row towards the end and I capitalised by making pars on those tough holes from 14 to 16.
“He was hitting it so good early on and I didn’t know how to compete with him but I showed real tenacity.”
Micheluzzi, who is the highest-ranked player still standing this week in Ireland, is looking to crack the top four in the world rankings for the first time.
Micheluzzi’s quarter-final opponent will be the only American to reach the final 32 this week, World No.186 Cameron Sisk.
The 19-year-old from Arizona State University needed 20 holes to overcome his opponent in the round of 16.
“Early in the week, I wasn’t hitting it great but I’m just starting to feel like I’ve got it now,” said Micheluzzi.
“I stayed really patient and it all clicked. I just want to get past a quarter-final tomorrow and try and push to the final.”
The highest-seeded player left in the 2019 Amateur Championship is third seed Sandy Scott of Scotland, with no other player finishing higher than 36th on the leaderboard following the two stroke play rounds.
The winner of Saturday’s final earns starts in next month’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush, as well as a place in the 2020 US Open and Masters fields.