The cream has risen to the top as the new Stephen Gallacher Foundation National Matchplay event reaches the business end at Castle Park in East Lothian.
Four of Scotland’s top juniors – Cormac Sharpe, Cameron Adam, Gregor Graham and Ruben Lindsay – are the players left standing, with the quartet battling for bragging rights as well as individual glory.
Adam and Lindsay are both members of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation while Sharpe and Graham fly the flag for the Barrie Douglas Foundation.
“That is adding a bit of excitement,” admitted Blairgowrie 16-year-old Graham after progressing to the last four with a 2&1 win over American John Vogelpohl.
Graham found himself two down with six to play, having watched his opponent miss from five feet to go further ahead, before winning four holes in a row.
“I’m playing really well from tee to green but need to work on my putting as that is going to have to improve for a tough game,” he said of facing fellow 16-year-old Lindsay in the semi-finals.
Lindsay, winner of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy at Macdonald Cardrona last year, progressed with a last-green win over Oliver Mukherjee.
“It is definitely going to be an interesting couple of days,” he said of the players left in the mix.
“The fact two of us are Stephen Gallacher Foundation players and the other two are from the Barrie Douglas Foundation means it is a separate mini-competition.”
Sharpe beat Jack Mann 2&1 while Adam beat Alfie Robinson 3&2 to set up the other tasty semi-final tie.
“I’ve not been down in a match yet, having played really good,” said Sharpe. “And I will need to keep playing well with these three boys left.”
Adam, who holed a 20-foot birdie putt at the 13th to set up his last-eight win, reckons the decision by Gallacher to set up the event has been well and truly vindicated.
“It is all lined up for some good golf over the final two days,” said the 17-year-old. “These semi-finals would be big in any Scottish event in any year.”
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