Scotland’s Bradley Neil from Blairgowrie Golf Club has won The British Amateur Golf Championship for 2014 after a very close contest over 36 holes with Zander Lombard of South Africa by 2/1.
In doing so, the former Scottish Boys Golf Champion becomes the first Amateur Champion since former Walker Cup player and now Forfar Golf Club secretary, Stuart Wilson, won this very prestigious golf event in 2004. Neil, will now receive an invite to play in The Open Championship and 2015 US Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National, Georgia.
It’s been quite a season for the Perthshire & Kinross Men’s County Golf Team player. 18 year-old Neil, was runner-up in both the South African Stroke play Championship as part of a Scottish Golf Union warm weather winter training session and beaten in a play-off with compatriot, Grant Forrest, for the 2014 St Andrews Links Trophy.
2014 British Amateur Golf Final Match Report:-
It was a very close contest with the match all-square after the morning’s round at the Royal Portrush Links in Northern Ireland.
Lombard, won the fourth hole to go one up and it was very much ‘nip and tuck’ going into lunch, with Neil carding two birdies and the South African three sub par figures. Both players seemed focused on ensuring they were not gifting holes away and the finalists ground out pars until coming close to the clubhouse.
Neil, squared the match at the 5th and the following hole was halved in birdie 2′s. The South African birdied the 7th to be one up at the turn. On the way home, bogeys at the 12th and 16th by the South African meant the Scottish player was one up with two holes to go before lunch. Zombard,birdied the 17th and the final hole of the morning round was halved, to go in all-square.
In the a.m.round, both players were round in level par figures.
Neil, came out the blocks quick and birdied the second to move ahead once again. The Scottish golfer then ground pars out at the next ten holes to open up a two hole advantage, with Lombard carding bogeys at the 26th, 28th and 29th holes, plus the South African carded birdies at the 25th and 27th holes as he tried to turn the game around.
In the final analysis, a double bogey and bogey at the 31st and 32nd holes proved costly for the South African, who went four down with four holes to be completed of regulation play. To Lombard’s credit, he stuck in and birdied the next two holes but Neil closed the game out with a par figure at the 35th hole.
Neil, was approximately level par for the thirty-five holes played when the finalists shook hands.
Congratulations to both players on a closely contested final and some great play over a long week, disrupted by fog in the early stages. We look forward to seeing Bradley Neil competing in The Open and US Masters as The Amateur Champion 2014. Well done Bradley.