Sunday, 07 May 2017
Quarter-Final Highlights - Golf Sixes

Scotland cruised into the semi-finals with an emphatic 3-0 win over Portugal on another day of firsts at the inaugural GolfSixes.

The fans had once again turned out in big numbers for the knockout stages of the revolutionary new event at the Centurion Club, with the remaining eight teams battling it out in a greensomes format over six holes in glorious sunshine.

Every match so far had gone the entire six holes but Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren needed just four to progress, making two birdies and an eagle to defeat Ricardo Gouveia and José-Filipe Lima 3-0.

They will next face Australian pair Scott Hend and Sam Brazel, who won the first match to go to the play-off hole 3-2 against Thai pair Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee.

Italy will take on Denmark in the other semi-final after Matteo Manassero and Renato Paratore defeated the English pair of Andy Sullivan and Chris Wood 2-1, and Thorbjørn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregaard beat Frenchmen Grégory Bourdy and Alexander Levy by the same score.

A brilliant approach to the second from Ramsay helped move Scotland 1-0 ahead and when Warren returned the favour on the third to set up a tap-in eagle, it was 2-0.

An excellent 20-foot putt from Ramsay on the fourth then made it 3-0 and the players shook hands with Scots advancing in just 45 minutes.

"To play the way we played this morning was pretty cool," said Warren. "We had four threes in a row to win the match so that was pretty nice."

"I'm pretty consistent," added Ramsay. "Marc can go for the big shots and I know that when I hit it on the green, there's a good chance he's going to hole it.

"We got to finish them off early which was good."

Aphibarnrat's excellent approach to the second set up a birdie and a 1-0 lead for Thailand but Australia responded brilliantly with Hend rolling in a 30-footer for an eagle on the third to make it 1-1.

Hend had clearly got the putter going and when he holed one from the edge of the fifth green, Aphibarnrat could not hole his effort and Australia took a 2-1 lead up the last.

Both teams found the bunker with their second shots but it was Thailand who got up and down with Jaidee holing a clutch putt. He could not repeat the feat on the play-off hole, however, after Brazel had holed out for birdie.

"They're a great team," said Brazel. "It was nice to get away with a win.

"I think this format has been sensational. It's great for the crowd and great for us. I'm loving it."

I think this format has been sensational. It's great for the crowd and great for us. I'm loving it - Sam Brazel

Hend added: "It's pretty awesome. To put it in perspective, those last two holes felt like we were coming down a proper 72-hole tournament, having to produce and stay in front and then to try and win on the play-off hole, the adrenalin is going."

In the other half of the draw, Sullivan and Manassero both missed short putts on the first to keep the match scoreless but Paratore holed an excellent right-to-lefter from 15 feet to put Italy 1-0 up on the second.

England responded in perfect fashion on the third as Sullivan found the middle of the fairway, Wood put an approach to 12 feet and Sullivan found the bottom of the cup for an eagle.

Paratore ramped up the pressure on the fifth as he put his tee-shot to tap-in range but Sullivan holed an excellent clutch putt to send them up the last tied at 1-1.

Italy had gone birdie-eagle-birdie on the sixth the first three matches and after Paratore hit a 342-yard drive, Manassero put the approach to 19 feet and another three followed to seal victory.

"There's a nice atmosphere," said Manassero. "They had a lot of support and they are two amazing players so maybe we were slightly the underdog but we played so well yesterday and we go along really well together. We knew we could have done well."

An excellent tee-shot from Bjerregaard allowed Olesen to put Denmark 1-0 up and after the next three holes were halved, Levy's tee-shot to six feet on the fifth allowed France to level the scores.

Eagles on the last were clearly the order of the day and after Bjerregaard put the second shot on the green, Olesen - who won the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf alongside Søren Kjeldsen - rolled in the putt for a 2-1 win.

"It wasn't pretty the entire way," said Bjerregaard. "We made a good birdie on one to get one ahead and kind of held on to that. Thorbjørn had a nice chip on three to keep us in there and then they made a nice little birdie on five.

"To finish it off the way we did feels pretty good."

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