Raymond into British Amateur last eight

Quarter-final place: Neil Raymond
Quarter-final place: Neil Raymond
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

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Neil Raymond eased into the last eight of the British Amateur Championship at Royal Cinque Ports.

The Corhampton ace is bidding to become the first Hampshire player to lift one of golf’s most coveted titles – won by the likes of Bobby Jones, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal.

After victories over Surrey’s Max Williams at the 20th hole on Wednesday, and Scot Adam Dunton 3&2 in yesterday’s third round match, Raymond found his ruthless best with a 7&6 demolition of Slovakian Tim Gorkin.

The 27-year-old, from Titchfield, was two up after four holes, and won the fifth before picking up two more to sit comfortably at five up at the turn.

But he did not ease back, winning the 10th and 11th before a half at the 12th sealed the victory by the infamous margin dubbed the dog licence in golfing circles, after the price in shillings and pence.

Aside from the glory of one of the world’s top amateur prizes, there is a huge incentive for success on offer to the winner of this week’s event – a place in the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield next month and, potentially, the US Masters next April.

Raymond plans to turn professional in September, hopefully on the back of a Walker Cup appearance.

But if he does land the title, an invitation to Augusta next year could test his resolve on ending his amateur career.

Just three more victories now stand between him and the title ahead of his quarter-final showdown with Garrick Porteous.

But after his recent victory at the St Andrews Trophy, the double Brabazon Trophy champion is full of confidence and evidently in excellent form.

The last Hampshire player to reach the final of the British Amateur was Sam Hutsby who lost in 2009, at Formby, to Italian Matteo Manassero, the recent winner of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.