Brian McElhinney wins British Amateur

BY | European Amateur Tour | 2005 British Amateur Championship | Wrap | 05 Jun 2005
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Brian McElhinney, the 22-year-old from Co Donegal who won the Irish Match Play last year, added the prestigious Amateur Championship title to his list of successes with a 5 and 4 victory over Scotland’s John Gallagher in the 36-hole final at Royal Birkdale. "That won’t do my chances of getting in the Walker Cup team any harm," he said at the finish.

McElhinney was four holes up after the morning round and went further ahead when Gallagher had to take a penalty drop from a bush to the left of the ninth. Gallagher immediately hit back, taking the 10th after the Irishman found a greenside bunker.

But the recovery was not to last and the Scot double-bogeyed the 408-yard 11th. Holes were then halved until the match ended on the green at the short 14th.

“When you’re four up then the result is in your own hands,” said McElhinney, “but anything can happen in match play. I’m used to playing in the wind and that favoured me today. I’ve really not played very well this year, but that was a lot better.”

Gallagher, the Lothians champion who plays with his left hand below the right, said: “It’s a hell of a hard game when you’re down all the time and although I’m disappointed I’m also delighted with how far I got. I putted well all week, but lost the pace of the greens today. It’s a long week when you play 10 rounds and I just ran out of steam.”

But reaching the final of the Amateur Championship may well help him achieve a lifetime ambition. “I’ve always dreamed of playing for Scotland,” said the 24-year-old greenkeeper who has taken a year out to play full-time golf.

Marc Leishman finished the best of the Australasians, and the only player to make it through to Match Play, after being eliminated in the third round by Walker Cup player Nigel Edwards of Wales, the margin 2 & 1.

Other Australasian Results (Matchplay Cutoff – 147)

  • Ashley Hall AUS (76-72 = 148)
  • David Lutterus AUS (72-77 = 149)
  • Jamie Arnold AUS (73-76 = 149)
  • Michael Sim AUS (76-75 = 151)
  • Mark Smith NZL (75-77 = 152)
  • Tristan Lambert AUS (78-74 = 152)
  • John Ayoub AUS (75-78 = 153)
  • Nicholas Fry NZL (75-84 = 159)
  • Richard Pegg NZL (77-82 = 159)

Doug Bachli’s win in 1954 is still the only occasion that an Australian has won the British Amateur title.

Source – RANDA

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