Scotland’s Bradley Neil won the Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush yesterday after a closely fought final with South African Zander Lombard.
The title earned him a place in next month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay and a traditional invitation to the Masters.
bradley Neil clinched the match with a half on the par-5 35th hole for a 2&1 victory in the 36-hole final. The 18-year-old Blairgowrie golfer became the first Scot to win the Amateur Championship since Stuart Wilson at St Andrews in 2004.
Bradley Neil in fine company
Neil, who is currently ranked 38th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, has followed in the footsteps of players such as Matteo Manassero, Sergio Garcia and Mikko Ilonen in winning the Amateur Championship.
“To play in front of big crowds like this is incredible,” he said. “I would like to thank my caddie Michael Stewart. This win is not just for me it is for everyone that has helped me. I am so proud that my name will be added to the list of past winners.
“It means a lot to me to have the chance to compete with major champions in the Open. It will be fantastic it will be a strong test and it will be good to see how my game copes.
“Zander is a brilliant guy and we have been good friends for the last six months. He is a very strong, determined player. He didn’t make it easy for me. He’s got a lot of game and he is a really good talent.
“When he bogeyed 10 and 11, I think that really swung things in my favour,” added Neil. “I went two up and it was going to be tough for him to get back from that. When he lost a ball down 13, I went three up with five to go so it is going to be tough for anyone, especially when I then went four up with four to go. I really wanted it to be over but I’m just glad it is done now.”