Sam Done made the cut at the English Men’s Amateur Golf Championships, but fell at the first hurdle of the matchplay phase on Thursday.
The Kenwick Park golfer would have gone into the national championship in confident mood on the back of his Midlands Series win at the Lincolnshire Poacher just a week before.
The 22-year-old duly qualified for matchplay after finishing tied for 59 from the two rounds of strokeplay, but he was then beaten 5 and 4 in the next round by George Saunders, of the Meon Valley Golf and Country Club, Southampton.
The 288-man field were tasked with a round of strokeplay at both the North Hants GC and Hankley Common GC over two days, with the top 64 and ties qualifying for the matchplay rounds.
The Louth golfer opened at North Hants and endured a mixed bag of a round, carding two birdies and three bogeys on the front nine, and then adding another two birdies with two bogeys for a one-over par round of 71.
Aiming to make the cut for the second year running, Done made a solid start last Wednesday’s second round with five straight pars, but then bogeyed the two par fives to reach the turn at three-over overall.
He picked up both dropped shots with a brilliant eagle two at the 11th only to make his third six of the day at the par-five 13th.
Done bounced back with a birdie three at 14, but the inconsistent pattern continued with a bogey at 15.
But a run of three pars proved vital, finishing with a two-over par 73 for the round and a three-over total which eventually proved the final cut mark.
With a big group of 21 golfers finishing either side of 64th spot on +3, a preliminary round was needed to determine the final eight places, involving golfers placed 56th to 72nd.
Done had suffered a narrow 2 and 1 defeat at the last 64 stage last year, but returning the following morning, Done could not live with Hampshire golfer Saunders in the preliminary round tie, slipping to a disappointing 5 and 4 defeat.