Guernsey Press

Top-seed Eggo lives to fight another day

THE top seed breathed a sigh of relief on the 18th green at L’Ancresse last night as he scraped through into the second round of the Island Men’s Championship.

Bobby Eggo putting on the 12th green against Wayne Harwood. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 32141705)

Bobby Eggo was behind the proverbial eight-ball for much of his clash with preliminary-round winner Wayne Harwood and at 3 down with four to play, the odds were very much stacked against the 11-time champion.

However, he has overcome such odds many times before and he managed to do so again, with perhaps his reputation as much as his skill proving key on this occasion because as the chance to cause a major upset became more realistic, so mistakes crept into Harwood’s game.

Things had looked so promising for him when he was 4 up through 10 and even though he lost the next two holes, he got back on track by rolling in an excellent birdie putt on the 13th green to re-establish a three-hole lead.

A half on the 14th moved him ever closer, but Eggo then applied some pressure with a fine approach to the 15th. Understandably, Harwood felt he had to give his own birdie attempt a decent run at the hole, but it meant that when he missed, he had left himself with an awkward return putt once Eggo also failed to make a three and a par was good enough for the top seed to reduce his arrears.

On the next green, Harwood powered his par putt through the break and another hole was lost. Suddenly his lead had dwindled to just one.

Eggo continued finding greens in regulation and it paid dividends.

Going up the 17th, Harwood hit his tee shot through the fairway and from the left-hand rough he missed the green to the left.

In the circumstances, he played a decent chip, but his par putt dived across the front of the cup and they went to the last all-square.

Eggo was safely on board the green from the tee, but his opponent came up short in the hollow to the front of the green and from there he was unable to get up-and-down – so near yet so far from the biggest scalp of the lot.

Tim Halden will be the next man to get a shot at Eggo after he overcame Nigel Vaudin while Sean Mills came through a hard-fought clash with Jack Mitchell to set up a meeting with Daniel Griggs, who was a comfortable winner against Adam Martel.

Tim Halden chips onto the 11th green during his win over Nigel Vaudin. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 32141707)

The reigning champion is safely through as Jamie Blondel defeated Neil Tanguy in 15 holes and he now faces an intriguing match with Rory McKenna, who needed an extra hole to get past the ever-improving Harry Bushby.

Jayden Tucknott and Mick Marley were the other two to progress and will now go head-to-head.