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Jarryd Dillas sets himself up for Match Play by topping medal round

Jarryd Dillas cleared the first hurdle in his bid for a ninth Bermuda Match Play Championships title and first in two years at a windswept Port Royal Golf Course yesterday.

Jarryd Dillas was the medallist yesterday and starts the first round proper of the Bermuda Match Play Championships as the No 2 seed (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The 36-year-old amateur shot a two-over 73 in trying conditions to top the leaderboard in the 18-hole medal round.

“I thought I played OK,” Dillas told The Royal Gazette. “Today was just about getting a decent score up and putting yourself in position for the match play, which I did.

“I holed a few good putts, left a few shots out there and made a few sloppy bogeys. But overall I’m quite pleased and looking forward to the weekend.”

Dillas coped reasonably well in the breezy conditions.

“It seems like it’s always windy up here and I’m not the best wind player,” he added. “I played a couple of nice shots out there and I thought I managed my round quite well.

“I got out of position a few times. But I played 14, 15, 16 quite well and those were the three holes, 14 and 15 in particular, that really got me in the Bermuda Stroke Play Championships back in July. So I was pleased with that and hopefully I can keep that going through the weekend.”

Dillas will face Stephen Roberts in his opening match today at the par-71 Southampton layout.

“I think the field is strong,” said. “I think it’s a good field and definitely the winner will have to play some good golf over the next two days.

“I’m just going to try and put myself in position and hopefully I have a chance on Sunday. I will try to keep the ball in play, hit a lot of greens and try and put pressure on my opponent that way.

“I think the worst thing to do in match play is to give your opponent holes. I think that can give them momentum, so I just want to always be there or thereabouts and make them win holes with birdies as opposed to me giving them the hole with a bogey.

“I will try to hit a lot of fairways and greens; keep everything in front of me and see if I can have a good weekend.”

Only one shot separated the top three finishers in yesterday’s qualifier as Eric West and Adam Perry both carded three-over 74.

West, the former European Challenge Tour player, was delighted to be back on the golf course.

“I haven’t played at all, just working a lot,” the 37-year-old said. “And any day when you’re not in front of the computer on Zoom it’s great.

“I think the course is in great shape ahead of the Bermuda Championship. You have to work on the shots that you’ve got to hit when the course is in this kind of condition, and so it was really about getting a feel of the wind and the green. The areas around the greens are a bit fluffy so developing those shots to get them down when you’ve got a three-club wind.”

Summing up the medal round, Gary Venning, the tournament director, said: “I am very pleased that we were able to hold the event with Hurricane Larry threatening to cause problems. The weather turned out to be very good although it was still a little bit of wind left behind, which made the course challenging.

“But all in all I think we had a very successful day. The results are reflective of the slightly challenging conditions, and we’re all set for some very exciting matches starting tomorrow morning.”

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Published September 11, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 11, 2021 at 7:50 am)

Jarryd Dillas sets himself up for Match Play by topping medal round

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