June 17, 2010
For the second year in a row, a Tennessee golfer is making a run at the British Amateur.
Former Vol Chris Paisley won a pair of matches Thursday for the second day in a row and finds himself in the quarterfinal round at the famed Muirfield links. Last year, it was current UT golfer Darren Renwick who advanced to the semifinals at this same event.
Paisley tied for 16th in the two rounds of stroke play that narrowed the field to 64 players earlier this week. He then opened the match play portion Wednesday with a 3 and 2 victory over Italy's Mattia Miloro.
The 24-year-old Stocksfield, England, native says his Walker Cup experience from last year has proved beneficial in the larger competitions.
"The Walker Cup gave me lots of confidence," explained Paisley, who graduated from UT last year. "I had two halves in the singles there, and both were really good games. It gave me confidence that I can play on a big stage like that."
Thursday, Paisley won both morning and afternoon matches over fellow countrymen to advance to the final eight. Paisley claimed a 2 and 1 victory over Toby Burden before climbing through the Round of 16 with a 19th-hole trimph against Billy Hemstock.
Another Italian, Andrea Pavan, awaits Paisley in Friday morning's quarters. The semifinals are set for Friday afternoon. Last year, Renwick was defeated in the semis by Italian 16-year-old sensation Matteo Manassero.
The 36-hole final takes place Saturday, with the winner receiving exemption into the 150th Anniversary Open Championship along with a Masters invitation for 2011.