Reinier Saxton wins British Amateur
BY Anthony Powter | World Amateur Mens Tour | 2008 British Amateur Championship | Grand Final | 22 Jun 2008
Reinier Saxton has won the 113th Amateur Championship on the Ailsa course at Turnberry.
The 20-year-old’s 3&2 victory over England’s Tommy Fleetwood makes Saxton the second Ducthman only to claim the championship in its 123 year history. Fellow countryman Rolf Muntz won the title in 1990.
Saxton secured the game’s oldest amateur tournament through excellent course management, which included eight birdies in 34 holes, and in the process ended his 17-year-old opponent’s dream of becoming the youngest player to win the British Amateur.
The final was a relatively close encounter with Saxton 2-up with two holes to play in the morning round, but he lost the 17th and 18th to go back to all square at lunch. The turning point came at the 11th, 12th and 13th holes. Saxton saved par from a bunker on the par-3 11th, then birdied the par-4 12th to win both holes and go 3-up.
“Of course you’re going to feel a little pressure over the last few holes,” said Saxton.
“I just had to stay focused whatever happened. Even when you’re three holes ahead you can still lose.”
Fleetwood was obviously desponded with the loss, yet was still able to keep this week’s experience in perspective.
“He just played much better than me,” said Fleetwood. “He deserved to win more than me. I can’t be disappointed. I did better than 286 other golfers, but I would have liked to have won.”
With a bright future ahead, Fleetwood will contest the British Boys’ Championship at Little Aston in August as a stern favorite. This week he also sent a stern message to English selectors about his standing for future team selections.
Fleetwood, who’s a member of the England Under-18 squad, missed selection in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and the opportunity to defend his title. Fleetwood entered the British Amateur instead. The team could have use him, England finished 6th in the teams event, after one stage holding the lead.
To the victor of the British Amateur, go the spoils.
Saxton was planning to obtain his European Tour card later in the year. Those plans will now be placed on hold.
“I was going to try for my European card later this year, but there’s no point.” he said after the presentation ceremony at Turnberry.
The reason is simple.
Why would you when you are starting in less than a month in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and have the next year’s US Masters to play.