FAIRHAVEN golfer Tom Mercer has progressed from the fourth round of the Gazette-Blacktax matchplay tournament – his win on the extra hole coming as a welcome change of fortune in the competition.
In his two previous tries in the event, he lost on both occasions – each of them on the 19th.
However, competing at his home club in 2012, Mercer defeated Andy Moore (St Annes Old Links) in a contest that went all the way – and beyond.
It was Mercer, playing off a handicap of six, who made the early running and by the sixth hole, he was four-up against Moore, a five-handicapper.
However, a couple of timely birdies saw Moore claw his way doggedly back into it.
By the 14th, the pair were all-square with everything to play for.
The next couple of holes were halved before Mercer went one-up.
However, he suffered a lost ball on the 18th, which meant that this keenly contested match went to the 19th, the pair battling it out on the par three 10th.
The outcome was settled when Moore put his ball into a bunker.
It was an unfavourable lie and after Moore took two to get out of the trap, they shook hands.
Mercer, who works as a documentation manager at Handelsbanken in Lytham, is now through to the next stage.
The match was played at Fairhaven, which had earlier tested the world’s best young players in the World Junior Open.
Mercer said: “The rough was very tough and if you got into it, then it was very hard to get out of.
He said of the matchplay event: “It is a really good competition to play in – not only do you get the chance to play on courses that you wouldn’t normally get to play, it is always played in the right spirit.”
Fourth round results: Peter Chamberlain (Blackpool park 17) beat Kevin Clough (Fleetwood 16), Tom Mercer (Fairhaven 6) beat Andrew Moore (St Annes Old Links 5), Brian Laverty (Fleetwood 6) beat Alan Armstrong (Blackpool Park 6).
John Walker (Fleetwood 6) beat David Wilson (Fairhaven 6), Glenn Wellard (Fleetwood 11) beat Justin Hatcher (Herons Reach 5), Paul Davison (Lytham Green Drive 12) beat Neil Giles (Fleetwood 6).
Guy Holland (St Annes Old Links: 5) beat Steven Sheard (Lytham Green Drive 5), Bradley Sarjantson (Herons Reach 7) beat Steven Hill (North Shore 13), Andy Nurse (Fleetwood 7) beat Gary Potter (St Annes Old Links 1), Ian Brown (Staining Lodge 9) beat David Nelligan (Herons Reach 10).