Golf: Turnbull adjusts his sights: Amateur Championship

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The Independent Online
ALLAN TURNBULL did not have great expectations of making serious progress in the Amateur Championship. Before the tournament began he shot a rabbit and the incident nearly backfired on him. He spotted the poor creature from his car and in his haste to shoot it he bruised his ribs with the shotgun.

Turnbull took painkillers and yesterday he won another two matches to reach the quarter-finals, which will be contested by four Scotsmen, two Englishmen, including the 17-year-old Carl Duke, and two Swedes. Turnbull, 27, from Peebles, had never gone beyond the first round in seven appearances in the blue riband Championship, and he did not expect to do so here. So confident was he of making an early exit that he had arranged to work yesterday and today.

Turnbull is a freelance curtain fitter in Edinburgh, and his success here has cost him pounds 50 a day in lost earnings. In the fourth round he was two holes down after five against Michael Welch, of Hill Valley in Shropshire, and then, as befits a curtain fitter, he pulled himself together.

He won five of the next six holes and completed a 3 and 2 victory when he pitched to within a foot at the 16th after Welch had found a bunker. 'I'm not expected to win and I'm just chuffed to be here,' said Turnbull, who has replaced the painkillers with pints of lager. In the first quarter-final this morning he plays Martin Erlandsson, a 20-year- old Swede who defeated another Scotsman, Barclay Howard, by one hole in the fourth round. It was the performance of an even younger Swede, the 18-year-old Kalle Brink, that produced the most spectacular result. Even allowing for the much kinder weather yesterday (the wind died off the Moray Firth and the waterproofs were discarded) Brink's scoring was remarkable.

Graham Homewood, a beaten finalist at Royal Dornoch in 1985, was blown off the links 8 and 6 and there was nothing he could do about it. Brink, a senior Swedish international despite his age, opened with an eagle two at the first by holing with a sand- wedge from 103 yards. Then he went 4, 4, 2, 4, 2, 5, 4, 3: birdie, par, birdie, par, birdie, par, par, birdie. He went to the turn in 30, six under par, by which stage he was five up. For good measure he also birdied the 10th and 11th and a mere par at the 12th was sufficient to send his opponent homeward.

Brink, who won 5 and 4 in the morning, needed to play only 26 holes yesterday, while Craig Watson, of East Renfrewshire, and Bradley Dredge, of Bryn Meadows, were engaged in a marathon duel in the fourth round. Dredge, the last surviving Welshman, was two up with three holes to play but lost the 16th and 18th by driving his ball into the fearful whins that lie in wait off the fairways. He who strays loses in the whins and Dredge was finally beaten at the fifth extra hole, where he missed a four-foot putt.