Michael Hoey storms into last eight

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Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey cruised into the quarter-finals of the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay today.

Hoey thrashed France’s Gregory Havret 7&6 at Murcar Links and will face Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the last eight, Aphibarnrat beating South Africa’s Thomas Aiken 4&3.

“I didn’t expect that but I had six birdies again and it was good golf,” said Hoey, who was six up at the turn after covering the front nine in 31. “I put Greg under a bit of pressure and he didn’t have his best day.

“It feels like you’re leading a tournament when you’re ahead and you’re just trying to keep the pressure on. The start is important, trying to get up early and keep the pressure on and I haven’t been down in any match so far.

“The conditions suit me. I’m remembering some shots from a long time ago when I won the British Amateur (in 2001) and I’m trying to get used to playing little low, controlled shots in the wind.”

Former Ryder Cup player David Howell also reached the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 2&1 win over Scotland’s Chris Doak, who had knocked tournament host Paul Lawrie out in the second round.

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