Close friends Albert Hansson and Didrik Ringvall Bengtsson will meet in the Boys’ Amateur Championship final at Carnoustie tomorrow.
History will be made in the morning when the finals of the R&A Girls’ and Boys’ Amateur championships are played alongside each other for the first time at Carnoustie.Tomorrow’s 36-hole finals of both championships will also be live streamed for the first time and can be watched on The R&A’s website at www.randa.org as well as on The R&A YouTube channel.In glorious sunshine over the famous Angus links today, the semi-finals in the 95th staging of the Boys’ Amateur went the distance – and beyond.
In tight games, Hansson come through at the 20th against Frenchman Louis Anceaux with countryman Ringvall Bengtsson beating England’s Morgan Blythe by one hole. Hansson was two up after seven against Anceaux but then lost the next two holes in a see-saw tussle. Anceaux went one up at the 12th after Hansson’s concession, before they exchanged holes at the 13th and 14th as the Frenchman maintained a narrow advantage. Anceaux, however, conceded the 16th and the clash went to extra holes. At the 20th, Anceaux took three to get down from just off the green and Hansson holed from four feet for his winning par.Hansson said, “It was very tight the whole match. To get it done on the second play-off hole feels really good. I just tried to stay in there. I was one down through 14 and hit a pretty bad shot into the green so I just had to keep going and make a few putts in there.“All of the matches have been about playing the best you can and not giving anything to your opponent. I feel like I have done that pretty well. Me and Didrik are very close friends so I’m looking forward to the final very much.“I wouldn’t have thought of this at the start of the week, only in my dreams maybe, but it will be a lot of fun tomorrow.”
Lottie Woad, winner of the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters this year, was one of four English players to make the quarter-final stages and the only one left standing after her win over good friend Rachel Gourley in Saturday's semi-final.
Energy a factor
The meeting between Blythe and Ringvall Bengtsson proved just as tight. Blythe birdied the 1st but his opponent hit back immediately at the next. They traded holes again at the 4th and 6th to return to stay all square after ten holes, before Blythe birdied the 11th to go ahead. However, his bogeys at the 12th and 13th gave the lead to Ringvall Bengtsson and he stayed strong to close it out on the 18th.“My secret has been to stay in the present and not give any energy to my opponent,” said Ringvall Bengtsson. “I’ve tried to stay as calm as I can and when I’ve missed a shot let them fight for the hole. Match play in golf is like an energy game and I think I’ve managed to maintain my fitness.“I’ve tried to enjoy it as much as possible, just walking around hitting shot by shot and now here I am in the final. I’m really excited for tomorrow, it’s going to be a big day.“My family and friends will be watching the live stream. These are the days I practise for and I’m very thankful for that. It’s going to be a great day and I will try to enjoy it.”
In the morning’s last-eight ties, Anceaux came through a close contest with Jorge Siyan Hao from Spain, the leading stroke play qualifier. Hao pulled his approach shot out of bounds at the 18th to allow Anceaux to triumph by one hole, with the Frenchman recording 18 straight pars in his triumph.Ringvall Bengtsson was a narrow winner against Kris Kim from England by one hole, while his compatriot Hansson was a comfortable 5&3 victor over Caolan Burford to end Welsh hopes. Blythe had to fight all the way before seeing off Italian Eugenio Bernardi at the 19th.The Boys’ Champion tomorrow earns exemptions into The Amateur Championship, US Boys’ Junior, subject to age eligibility, and The Open Final Qualifying.The Girls’ Amateur final tees off at 8.15am tomorrow, with the Boys’ Amateur showdown following at 8.30am. The Girls' and Boys' Amateur championships are supported by EventScotland.Follow the live blog and scoring at www.randa.org.