2010 at The R&A
In 2010, the sporting world’s focus once again fell on St Andrews, as The Open celebrated its 150th Anniversary at the Home of Golf. And months of preparation by over 65 St Andrews Links Trust greenkeeping staff had ensured that the game’s most famous course would be presented to the world’s best golfers as immaculately as it had been at any of its 27 previous Opens.
Difficult conditions characterised the week, from both competitor’s and organisers’ points of view. High winds halted play on the Friday, two days after heavy rain had forced the cancellation of The Open Champions’ Challenge. But Past Champions were present, nevertheless, to watch a young South African, Louis Oosthuizen, claim as dominant and impressive a victory as any before him.
12 strokes behind Oosthuizen, Silver Medallist Jin Jeong, one of three Korean amateurs at St Andrews, had produced a professional performance to finish in tied-14th place. Just one month earlier at another Open venue, Muirfield, he had become the first Asian winner of the Amateur Championship. Incredibly, his first taste of links golf had come in May.
Jeong’s was not the only Asian success on Scottish links in 2010. At Lundin Golf Club, Japan’s Kenta Konishi won the Junior Open Championship, following in the footsteps of the 2008 Champion, Moriya Jutanugarn. Back on home soil in October, he would go on to finish 12th at the second Asian Amateur Championship.
It was another Japanese teenager, Hideki Matsuyama, who took the title, earning an invitation to the 2011 Masters Tournament, as well as a place in Open Championship International Final Qualifying. An initiative developed by The R&A, the Masters Tournament and the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, the Asian Amateur Championship has, in two short years, become one of the amateur games most high-profile events.
Joining Matsuyama at Augusta National will be reigning US Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein, winner of The R&A’s 2010 Mark H McCormack Medal for the player occupying the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking at the culmination of the amateur season. Uihlein took over from Jeong as number one in August, becoming the latest in a list that includes Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, both of whom excelled this year, particularly when competing for their respective teams at October’s Ryder Cup.
In September, the number of play