Ross bids adieu to national amateur golf bid

The last two surviving area golfers packed their bags Wednesday after they were eliminated from match play at the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.

Christopher Ross of Dundas was defeated 4&2 by current Canadian Junior Champion Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C. Ross was seeded 39th going into the tournament and Taylor was ranked 23rd.

Georgetown’s Robbie Greenwell, seeded 52nd, went down 5&4 to Weyburn Sask., player and National Amateur Team member Graham DeLaet, ranked No. 4.

Meanwhile, Richard Scott asserted himself at the Mississaugua Golf and Country Club.

The defending champion from Kingsville, Ont. showed he is the man to beat as he cruised to a third-round 4&3 victory over Victoria’s Craig Doell at the 102nd playing of the championship, conducted by the Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA).

After struggling in qualifying medal play, Scott has found the match-play grove that guided him to a pair of Canadian Amateur titles in the past three years. After knocking out number-two seeded Kris Wasylowich in his morning match, Scott took care of Doell – his National Amateur teammate – to earn a berth in Thursday morning’s quarterfinals.

“I’m hitting the ball a lot better and am working on keeping my pace out there,” said Scott, whose previous Canadian Amateur victories came at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in 2003 and last year at Bell Bay Golf Club in Baddeck, N.S. “My key to match play is taking it a hole at a time, trying to build momentum and concentrate on not giving holes away. When that happens I know I can (win) do it.”

Scott had help on the bag during his afternoon match as his University of Georgia teammate Chris Kirk offered to help shoulder the load. Kirk, the number-two ranked collegiate amateur, was upset in his morning match by long-hitting Calgary native Ryan Yip. Kirk isn’t the first big-name amateur to loop for Scott as the Kingsville native had a helping hand from former amateur standout James Lepp during last year’s Amateur victory.

Ryan Yip proved that his morning upset of the world-ranked Kirk was no fluke as he followed it up with an impressive 5&3 victory over Winnipeg’s Matthew Johnston during Wednesday’s afternoon round of 16.

Taylor of Abbottsford, B.C. is also sending a message to the country’s top amateurs as he continued his impressive run in his third round match. Before eliminating Ross, Taylor sent last year’s junior champ, Mitchell Fox of Okotoks, Alta., home after the morning round.

Taylor will look to copy Fox’s magical run from last year’s Amateur in Baddeck, N.S. that saw the former Junior Boys champion advance all the way to the semi-finals.

Local standout Greg Doherty of Mississauga had his own impressive run stopped Wednesday afternoon as the former Juvenile Boys champion lost out 6&4 to Australian Ashley Hall. Hall, the top-seeded player remaining in the championship will look to become the first non-Canadian to win the title since American Dillard Pruitt in 2002. Hall heads into Thursday as the lone remaining international competitor in the hunt for Canada’s national amateur title.

DaLaet’s fellow National Amateur teammate James Love had his run ended Wednesday afternoon as Kevin Blue of Don Mills, Ont. beat out the long-hitting Calgary native 3&1.

The following are third-round afternoon match results for Wednesday, August 16 at the 2006 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.

As part of the RCGA’s Pathway to Champions, the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship will also see a pair of exemptions earned into the 2006 Canadian Open. Both the champion and runner-up will compete against the PGA Tour’s finest September 4-10 when Canada’s national Open championship marks its much-anticipated return to the Hamilton Golf and Country Club.

The amateur championship consists of both stroke and match play with the 36-hole final match set for Friday.