Wind makes it third time unlucky for Sussex’s Sam

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Sussex Amateur golfer Sam Russell, a member of the Eastbourne Royal’s “Optimus” Squad, made the knockout stages of the Sussex Amateur Cup for the third time in as many years.

There was a strong wind rushing around Royal Ashdown Forest in the qualifying round - a wind which later returned to hamper Sam’s cause.

He started the day with a shot 72 on Royal Ashdown West course in the morning and 75 on the East Course after lunch, putting him in eighth place.

His opponent in the match play was Mike Bullen from Worthing. After the front 9, Mike was 1 up.

At the par 14th, Sam was 3 down with four to play and went for broke, trying to drive the green.

He had the necessary distance but an unkind bounce saw his ball end behind a tree and with it went Sam’s hopes of progressing, Mike getting home 4&3.

The “Optimus” knockout report showed Mark Taylor as losing his game on the par 5 18th but, in actual fact, he halved with his opponent who, after putting his tee shot deep in the trees, manufactured a shot to equal Bubba Watson’s at Augusta and incredibly greened his second effort.

He putted first and holed from several yards further from the hole than Mark, who had hit a huge drive and greened his second only to miss the putt to win his game and halve the match.