Otaegui has chance to emulate Olazabal & Garcia

Adrian OtaeguiSpain’s Adrian Otaegui has the chance to follow in the footsteps of countrymen Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia if he can defeat Germany’s Max Rottluff in tomorrow’s final of the 2010 Boys Amateur Championship. Since Garcia’s victory in 1997 a further three Spaniards have won the event: Alfonso Gutierrez in 1999; Pablo Martin in 2001; and Emilio Cuartero in 2007.

The 17-year-old, who finished second in the Coupe Murat and third at the Brabazon Trophy earlier in the year, defeated Aaron Leitmannstetter 4&3 this afternoon to reach the final, which will be contested over 36 holes at Kilmarnock (Barassie) tomorrow.

“I played well today. I was very consistent: I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and I putted well,” said the current World Amateur Golf Ranking number 236. “I’m excited about the final, but for the moment I’m just going relax, get a good sleep and wait for tomorrow.

“I don’t really have a game plan. It will depend on the wind and the pin positions if I am aggressive or not. I really like links courses and my golf is good, so I think tomorrow will be a good day.”

Finalist Rottluff is congratulated by Leitmannstetter.Having been all-square after 10, Otaegui, who needed 22 holes to overcome France’s Julien Brun in his quarter-final, won the 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th holes after Leitmannstetter lost the form that had seen him take an early one-hole lead.

“I didn’t play so bad this afternoon but I made a few mistakes – two bad drives – and then I couldn’t get back,” explained the German. “I have enjoyed playing on this course and I will caddie for Max tomorrow.”

Compatriot Max Rottluff, winner of May’s Scottish Youths Championship at Monifieth by 10 shots, secured his passage to the final with a 2&1 victory over Ireland’s Jeff Hopkins. In a closely-fought encounter, the lead was exchanged three times before 18-year-old Hopkins’ challenge finally ended in the gorse, right of the 17th fairway.

Jeff Hopkins found trouble on the 17th.“I played a bit better this afternoon than in the morning. Tomorrow it has to be better again,” said Rottluff, who, like his opponent tomorrow, needed extra holes to win a quarter-final encounter against Scotland’s Conor O’Neil. “It’s a long week, of course, but at the moment the adrenaline rush is keeping me going. We’ll see what happens in the final, but at the moment I feel great!

“It’s been another very good Championship for Germany. I think this has been the best year for the team for a long time. So we hope for the best tomorrow.”

Defeated semi-finalist Hopkins said: “Just at the end there, a tired swing crept in and I started leaking it right. It’s been a good week. He was just better on the day.”

Tomorrow’s 36-hole final begins at 8.30am (BST), with the second round due to commence at 1.00pm.

Live scores and live text commentary will appear on RandA.org throughout the day.

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