Generous Jack Rogan showed sportsmanship still exists as the Longniddry lad bowed out of the Lothians Championship at Musselburgh.
The 17-year-old conceded a putt of close to three feet at the last in losing by one hole to Glencorse’s Sean McGarvey in the second round.
Three down early on, Rogan had battled his way back, pitching in at the short 11th then making another birdie at the next.
He was still trailing on the 18th tee but hit a majestic approach to the heart of the green to give himself a chance of forcing extra-time.
In fairness, McGarvey played a lovely pitch from short and left of the green, though he himself didn’t actually see how close it was.
“Jack had thrown my ball back to me before I got up there,” he admitted after Rogan had come up a tad short with his birdie attempt to keep the match alive.
Among those looking on, Rogan’s clubmate David Rudd announced he wouldn’t have conceded such a putt, especially when it was for a victory.
But it was refreshing to see, as was the pace another youngster, host club hope Lewis Bain, played at as he moved into the last eight.
Up against West Linton’s Scott Walker, the 19-year-old also came to the last one down but hit an even better second shot than Rogan to around six feet.
He didn’t have to putt after Walker failed to get up and down then won the 19th with a par after his opponent three-putted from the front edge.
From close to where McGarvey had played his shot earlier, Newbattle’s Stuart Thorburn pitched in for a birdie-3 at the last to beat Iain Melville from Glencorse. “When you don’t hit it as far as these young guys, you’ve got to have a good short game,” said a smiling Thorburn.
It followed him three-putting both the 16th and 17th in a match that the eventual winner reported had been a “yo-yo” affair.
Broomieknowe’s Sean Marc also attributed some good work around the greens as he recovered from being two down after three to record a 4&3 win over 15-year-old Rudd. “My short game is generally my strength and I got up and down a couple of times when I needed to,” said Marc, a three-times club champion at Broomieknowe.
Glencorse have two representatives in the last eight after McGarvey emulated clubmate Derek Thomson by winning on the 18th against namesake Ross from Gullane.
“That’s my boy,” said the winner of that one as he received a celebratory hug from his proud mum at the back of the green.
Of the players left standing, only Dunbar’s Stephen Simants has reached this far before in the LGA’s flagship event.
It is interesting to note, in fact, that not one of the players in the last 16 were involved in the same stage 12 months ago.
Simants, who was an absentee then due to the event clashing with his sister’s wedding, made it to the quarter-finals for either the third or fourth time with a 2&1 win over Liberton’s Daniel Eardley. “The plan now is to try and finally get my name on that trophy,” declared the East Lothian man.
Following Walker’s exit, Stephen Smith has been left to fly the West Linton flag. With Simon Mackenzie’s youngest son Callum on the bag, he backed up his win over title holder David Miller by beating the host club’s Calum Burgess.
Happily, there were no sparks flying in the remaining match, which saw Richard Moffat (Turnhouse) come out on top against Deer Park’s Keith Wilson in a clash between two electricians.
Results: Calum Burgess (Musselburgh) lost to Stephen Smith (West Linton) 3&2; Ross Thomson (Gullane) lost to Derek Thomson (Glencorse) one hole; Keith Wilson (Deer Park) lost to Ricky Moffat (Turnhouse) 2&1; Sean McGarvey (Glencorse) bt Jack Rogan (Longniddry) one hole; Stephen Simants (Dunbar) bt Daniel Eardley (Liberton) 2&1; Sean Marc (Broomieknowe) bt David Rudd (Longniddry) 4&3; Iain Melville (Glencorse) lost to Stuart Thorburn (Newbattle) one hole; Lewis Bain (Musselburgh) bt Scott Walker at 19th.