Perry shines; Europe dominate amateur event
Perry and Australian Cameron Smith combined for their team’s sole point in the foursomes, with a 1-up win over Robert Karlsson (Sweden) and Thomas Detry (Belgium) this morning (NZT).
The New Zealander, again playing with Smith, then roled in a 20-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to square their afternoon fourballs match with the Europeans’ No 1 pairing of Daan Huizing (Netherlands) and Manuel Trappel (Austria).
Jake Higginbottom (Australia) and Khalin Joshi (India) had a commanding 7 and 6 win in the fourballs, but otherwise is all Europe on a cold and windy day as they streaked away to a 13.5-6.5 lead, having led by just two points after the first day.
The result means that the Asia-Pacific team needs to win 10 of the 12 singles matches at the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club tomorrow to win the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy.
“We need to beat them 10-2 in the singles so it’s a stretch,” said the 24-year-old Mathew Perry, one of two Kiwis in the Asia-Pacific team.
“It was cold, wet and windy today so it played right into the Europeans’ favour, they are used to those conditions, and maybe if we get a calm, warm day we have a shot.”
The other Kiwi in Portugal, Ben Campbell, went down in the morning foursomes before having a rest as one of the two players on rotation in the afternoon.
All players will line up in tomorrow’s must win singles matches.
Perry, the 2011 NZ amateur champion, is disappointed with the team score but happy with his own form this week in Portugal, where he has managed two wins, a half and a loss in a losing side.
He had a hole-in-one yesterday.
”That hole in one is a shot I am not going to forget in a hurry. Getting to play Europe’s best in a matchplay format, you see where you need to get better by watching them.
”Their whole approach is more professional and their short game and putting is so solid. When they miss a green they get everything up and down and their birdie putts always have a chance of going in.”
The Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy is a matchplay championship between elite amateurs from Europe and Asia -Pacific and is played over three days.
The first two days of the tournament comprise of five foursomes and five four-ball matches, with all 12 players from each team then competing in singles matchplay on the final day.
A bi-annual competition, Europe trail in the list of all-time wins with only two to the Asia-Pacific’s four.
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