• Australian Dylan Perry books place in final after 3&2 win over Argentinian Alejandro Tosti
• England’s Harry Ellis follows him with same score victory against Italy’s Luca Cianchetti.
• Perry and Ellis go head-to-head in 36-hole final for chance to lift the trophy and secure spot in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale.
Dylan Perry will face Harry Ellis in the final of The 122nd Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s tomorrow.
Perry played steady golf and was never behind in the semi-final as he eliminated Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti 3&2 to become the first Australian to reach the final since Bryden Macpherson, who went on to lift the trophy at Hillside in 2011.
Ellis came from behind to defeat European Amateur Champion Luca Cianchetti 3&2 to give himself the chance to follow in the footsteps of his former Hampshire Boys teammate, 2016 Amateur Champion Scott Gregory.
Perry, who recently won the Riversdale Cup in his homeland, moved in front at the 4th hole after Tosti made a bogey. Although the Argentine pulling it back to all square on the 5th, Perry went ahead again at the 6th and never looked back.
The 22-year-old, who plays his golf on the Gold Coast, went further ahead following another Tosti bogey at the 8th and then put himself three ahead with a superb birdie three at the 409-yard 9th hole. The Argentine pulled a hole back at the 11th but Perry regained his three-hole lead when Tosti hit two balls out of bounds at the 14th and the match was concluded two holes later.
“I am overwhelmed, that’s for sure,” said Perry. I’ve been patient all day, all week really. It’s nice to get the outcome and get into the final tomorrow. I’m stoked.
“I had never played with him (Alejandro Tosti) before and he was definitely a gritty competitor. It’s always a good win to be a player of his standard.”
The Australian added, “Anyone is going to be nervous playing in The Amateur Championship final but I am just going to play like I have been all week. I’ll be patient and just enjoy it. It’s an experience in itself. I’ll go out tomorrow and do what I’ve done all week and see what happens.
On his recent success, Perry said, “I won the Riversdale Cup in March and it would be unreal to follow that up with a win here. It would definitely top the year – that’s for sure.
After going ahead early in the second semi-final, Ellis, who became the youngest player to win the English Amateur Championship aged just 16 in 2012, trailed for most of the front nine but moved in front again at the 11th after Cianchetti bogeyed the par 3. Ellis capitalised immediately and went 2up on the next hole with an excellent birdie at the 12th.
The Englishman, who plays golf for Florida State University and recently represented Europe in the Arnold Palmer Cup, held his resolve and completed his victory over Cianchetti at the 16th.
“The golf I played today was pretty classy”, said Ellis. “Even when I look back on some of the shots now. The way I stuck in there and kept giving myself chances is really what got me the two wins today. I’ve had some tough matches this week and I am very proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m just excited to still be able to play for the championship.
“It’s very exciting (opportunity to play in The Open) but someone told me last year when I was playing in this, ‘You are playing to win The Amateur Championship’, and that is what I’m playing for. Whatever comes with that is fantastic. I know what comes with it in the back of my mind but I want to win The Amateur Championship and that will be my main aim tomorrow.
On trying to emulate Gregory’s win last year, Ellis said, ““I played with Scott (Gregory) in some Hampshire teams. His win last year was phenomenal and a huge achievement for him because he put a lot of time and effort into his game and he saw the rewards of it. He thoroughly deserved to win. He’s had his year where he has been able to enjoy all the benefits that come with winning The Amateur Championship. We’ve known each other for a long time.”
In the morning quarter-finals, Perry saw off the challenge of Norwegian Jarle Kaldestad Volden by one hole and Ellis booked his semi-final berth after a two hole victory over Ireland’s Paul McBride.
The winner of The Amateur 122nd Championship receives an exemption into The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, the 2018 US Open and, by tradition, an invitation to the 2018 Masters Tournament.
The 36-hole final gets underway tomorrow at Royal St George’s at 8.30am. For scoring and updates visit www.Randa.org.