The R&A - Working for Golf

Aguilera and Hanisch reach Final of The Boys Amateur Championship

Alejandro Aguilera will play Falko Hanisch in the 36-hole Final of The 90th Boys Amateur Championship at Muirfield tomorrow.

Aguilera defeated Sweden’s David Nyfjall 2&1
Aguilera defeated Sweden’s David Nyfjall 2&1

Aguilera defeated Sweden’s David Nyfjall 2&1 in the first semi final this afternoon and was never behind in the contest.

The Spaniard, who earlier this year finished runner-up in the Campeonato Abierto de Madrid and fourth in the Madrid Junior Open, won four of the first twelve holes, only to be pegged back by Nyfjall after the Swede won the 4th, 10th and 13th to be all-square going into the latter stages of the match.

However, two bogeys by Nyfjall, who recently finished third in the Skandia Junior Open, on the 14th and 16th holes handed the advantage back to Aguilera, and the 16-year-old made sure of his place in the Final by halving the 17th with a birdie.

“I have to play my own game and not get nervous”, said Aguilera. “I need to just play golf as if I was playing on my own golf course with my friends. I need to think that it’s just another match, to play with no fear and pressure.

“My father is coming over tonight to watch the final tomorrow. He told me that if I reach the final, he will take a plane over to come and see me. I am happy that he is coming.

“It would be a dream to win the Championship, it would be unbelievable. I cannot believe it.”

In the second semi final, Hanisch secured a narrow win by one hole against Adrien Pendaries of France to reach Sunday’s Final.

The 16-year-old German led for much of the front nine against Pendaries, but found himself level at all-square after a bogey on the par-4 10th hole, and fell behind on the next hole after conceding to the Frenchman, who won the 2015 Irish Boys Open and finished tied for fifth in the French Amateur Championship earlier this year.

However, a birdie on the 15th hole by Hanisch ensured that parity was restored to the encounter and the match was eventually decided on the final hole when Pendaries found himself in trouble on the fairway bunker leading to a double bogey six on the 18th.

“I feel very happy”, said Hanisch after the match. “It was such a tough day today, my opponent played very nice. I don’t know how but I am in the final tomorrow. It is the best day of my life.

“My putting has been very good this week and because it is so windy here you have to feel the putts and hole your putts.

“It’s a long day tomorrow, I have to play 36 holes against a very great golfer and I just need to take it shot by shot. I will give my best and hopefully I can win it. I need to have fun, not feel the pressure and just play golf.”

Hanisch secured a narrow win by one hole against Adrien Pendaries of France
Hanisch secured a narrow win by one hole against Adrien Pendaries of France

In the morning quarter finals, Aguilera’s match against Danny Daniels went to the 22nd hole, where the Englishman’s bogey ended any hope of a winner of the Championship from Great Britain and Ireland.

Nyfjall produced a remarkable comeback from four holes down to reach the semi finals with a dramatic 3&1 win over Lucas Becht, while Pendaries secured a 3&2 success against Matias Honkola to make it to the last four. Hanisch made it through to the penultimate stage of the Championship following a win by one hole over Charlie Thornton.

The first round of the 36-hole final between Aguilera and Hanisch begins at 8:30am on Sunday with the second 18 holes to be played at approximately 1:00pm.  Admission and parking is free for spectators at Muirfield.

For the match play draw and scoring please visit championships.randa.org.