Paul Wharton admits he’s having to pinch himself after fighting through to the quarter finals of the English Men’s Amateur Championships at the ripe old age of 59.
Wharton – who won his club championship at Woodhall Spa Golf Club on Saturday – now has a fighting chance of winning his national title after another day of heroics on his home patch.
Having beaten England international Sam Bairstow on Thursday, Wharton followed it up with victories against Richard Cheetham and William Hopkins to make the last eight at the Lincolnshire venue
Despite having scratched his eye putting in a contact lens in the morning forcing him to wear glasses on the course, Wharton continued to play with unerring accuracy.
“The fairytale continues!’ joked Wharton as he contemplated a cold shower rather than a cool beer after a gruelling day of action.
“I’ll be going home for a very early night.
“I played solidly. The course was trickier today but I’m having to pinch myself that I’m still here.
“I’ve exceeded expectations by a massive amount.
“I don’t know about playing like a youngster, but you play to your strengths. I get it on the fairway and green and try not to waste shots – I can’t afford to.
“This afternoon Will was 60/70 yards past me at times and I had to ignore it and focus on my own game.
“But there’s no description column on a score card! I’m a very happy man.
“I won’t get ahead of myself – it’s one round at a time.”
The 3&2 afternoon victory over fellow Lincolnshire county player Hopkins was one of the highlights of another brilliant day’s play.
Also through to the last eight are England internationals Joe Long and Sam Broadhurst.
Long’s play has been impressive all week and he edged out Alex Dixon by a 2&1 margin.
Broadhurst (pictured above) needed four extra holes to shake off the threat from fellow England player Charlie Thornton.
Enrique Dimayuga won a tight game against Jake Bolton on the 17th while Callan Barrow from Royal Lytham and St Anne’s was a comprehensive 7&5 victor over Jake Walley.
Sam Done, Jack Cope and Barclay Brown are also safely through to the quarters which will be played on Saturday morning before the semis follow in the afternoon.
Sunday’s final will be 36 holes of match play on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa – the home of England Golf.
Scores, videos, interviews, images and action can be found on the English Amateur Championships homepage.