Jovan Rebula will face Robin Dawson in the final of The 123rd Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen on Saturday.
Ireland’s Dawson came through his match with countryman Conor Purcell after recording a 3&2 win. Taking the first hole of the semi-final, the 22-year-old never looked back as Purcell failed to recapture the form that saw him defeat top ranked Australian David Micheluzzi in the morning.
Rebula, who plays collegiate golf in Alabama, moved in front at the 2nd hole after Waite conceded. He continued to build on his lead and found himself 5up at the turn. The Englishman, who struggled throughout, pulled one hole back with a birdie at the 11th but the prospect of a comeback was dealt a swift and sudden blow when Rebula recorded a birdie of his own on the par-5 12th.
The 192nd world ranked golfer closed out the match at the 14th in clinical style with the perfect approach shot to secure victory and progress through to the final, where he will attempt to become the first South African to lift the historic trophy since Bobby Cole at Carnoustie in 1966.
“It’s a bit of mixed emotions as everything happened so quickly this morning," admitted Rebula. "This is all what we play for, this is all what we’ve been preparing for for months. I’ve been working hard towards this so being able to reach the final is such a big thing and hopefully I can take it a step further tomorrow."
On the chance to play at The Open he said, “I’ve honestly not even had the time to think about that (The Open) and I’ve just been taking it as it comes."
Dawson, who won the Irish Open Amateur Championship at Royal County Down in May, showed maturity and patience to book his spot in Saturday’s 36-hole final. The R&A Foundation Scholar made himself difficult to beat boasting a bogey-free card.
Despite Purcell’s attempts to impose himself on the match, pulling a hole back at the par-3 8th to cut Dawson’s lead to 2 holes after he went 3up at the 6th, Dawson’s victory was never in doubt. The GB&I St Andrews Trophy squad member was made to wait however when Purcell produced an excellent birdie at the 14th.
But Dawson, ranked 35th in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM , held his resolve and completed his victory over Purcell at the 16th.
“Today was great but it wasn’t easy. They are both good friends of mine from being in Ireland teams in the past but we had a couple of good friendly matches out there today," said Dawson on facing back-to-back matches against his fellow countrymen.
On how he played Dawson said, “I had a good strategy in place and was just hitting decent shots. My swing was good and I was in my own little world at times out there, which was great."
In the morning quarter-finals, Rebula saw off the challenge of England’s Tom Sloman 2&1 and Dawson booked his semi-final berth coming through another all-Irish tie with recently crowned St Andrews Links Trophy champion John Murphy, also 2&1.
The winner of The Amateur 123nd Championship receives an exemption into The 147th Open at Carnoustie, the 2019 US Open and, by tradition, an invitation to the 2019 Masters Tournament.
The 36-hole final gets underway tomorrow at Royal Aberdeen at 8.30am. For scoring and updates visit www.Randa.org.