MacPherson wins battle of the champions

Amateur Champion Bryden Macpherson has defeated United States Amateur Champion Kelly Kraft of Dallas in the 15th Anniversary Georgia Cup Match at The Golf Club of Georgia.

An impressive putting display on the typically quick greens of the Lakeside Course saw Macpherson win the annual contest between the reigning Amateur Champion and his US counterpart, 2&1, ahead of next week’s Masters.

The Masters will be the last amateur event for both players, who are turning pro immediately after the season’s first Major.

“Obviously, my putting kept me in the match,” said Macpherson, who was two-down to Kraft after four holes, but rallied to take a one-up lead to the back nine.  “I was able to kind of grab control of the match by holing some putts and kept myself in it.”

After Macpherson went three-up through 13 with a par, Kraft came back with a seven-footer for par at the 14th to cut it to two-down. But it ended at the par-3 17th when Kraft left himself 40 feet to the hole for birdie, putted well past and Bryden lagged his 35-footer to a foot for a conceded par.

“I just never got the speed of the greens today,” said Kraft, the former SMU player who defeated top-ranked Patrick Cantlay of UCLA in the 2011 U.S. Amateur. “I just wasn’t able to make any putts. Now I know I have something to work on this week.”

Macpherson, who played two years at the University of Georgia, was thrilled to win an event that has featured players such as Sergio Garcia, Ricky Barnes, Richie Ramsay, Edoardo Molinari, Matteo Manassero and Peter Uihlein through the years. 

The Georgia Cup all-time series now stands at 8-7 in favour of the U.S. Amateur champions.

“It’s just another one of those things you can add to your list as top achievements as an amateur,” said Macpherson.  “Now I can say I’ve won the British Amateur and The Georgia Cup.”