Dunbar and Schwab contest 117th Amateur Championship Final
Northern Ireland's Alan Dunbar and Matthias Schwab from Austria will contest the 36-hole final in the 117th Amateur Championship at Royal Troon. At stake is the Amateur Championship Trophy, a spot in this year's Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, a place in next year's US Open and traditionally, an invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National.
The two amateurs ended Scotland's hopes of a first all Scottish final since 1909. Dunbar defeated Baberton's Paul Ferrier, while Schwab ended the hopes of local Jack McDonald.
Dunbar is looking to become the first Northern Irish player to win since Michael Hoey at Prestwick in 2001 and Schwab can become the first Austrian to lift the Amateur Championship trophy.
Dunbar raced to a two-hole lead over Ferrier after playing Royal Troon's front nine in 33, 3-under-par. However, consecutive double bogey sixes at 10 and 11 brought the match back to all square. Dunbar turned the contest around by winning the 12th with a birdie and 13th with a par.
"I played well on the front nine and holed a few putts, but 10 and 11 were shockers," Dunbar said. "The momentum was with him after those two holes so to win 12 and 13 was important."
The 23-year-old hails from Portrush, and attended the Darren Clarke Foundation. Dunbar spent 12 months on the programme last year, and had the chance to play with Clarke at Royal Portrush in January. "He's around a lot now that he lives back in Portrush so I see him a bit, and it was great to play with him."
Dunbar helped Great Britain & Ireland win last year's Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen. He won two out of three matches to help defeat the United States 14-12.
Patience has been the key to reaching the final. "I'm quite a calm guy. I've got a lot of patience," he said.
Ferrier has just graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in psychology. He will rue the bogey he made at 15 to lose the hole after winning the 14th to get back to one down. Ferrier left Royal Troon with his head held high, despite not making the final.
"I've enjoyed every minute," Ferrier said. "I let it slip at 15 against Alan. Two down with three to play is always leaving you with a lot of work to do. I can take a lot from this heading into Regional Qualifying for The Open at Goswick on Monday."