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  • Writer's pictureRonan Kleu

The Amateur Championship

WOW! What a tournament. Last week I spent 8 days in the Merseyside region playing in the Amateur Championship, one of the most prestigious amateur golf tournaments in the world. After a practice round on each of the two host courses, Hillside and Southport & Ainsdale, my first commenced in the afternoon at Southport & Ainsdale. My National Coach, Richard Adby, kindly caddied for me and we got off to a quick start – birdie, birdie. Two bogeys followed on the front before I made another two birdies before the turn. After the rather colourful front nine, I made nine pars in a row to shoot 69, despite giving myself some very good looks. I looked to capitalize on the solid first day by playing well the next morning at Hillside to achieve the preliminary goal of making the cut and into the matchplay stage. I certainly did as I played the first six holes in rain but then took advantage of the softer conditions and shot my lowest round of recent history – a bogey-free 64! This put me into 2nd place out of 288 players in the strokeplay portion.

In my first match I faced Tom Gueant – a back and forth match which I managed to turn into my favour with a critical eagle on the 17th hole. My next match was just as close against Riccardo Fantinelli as I scrambled a par with a lost ball on the 17th and then secured the win on the 18th hole. Next up was Clement Charmasson, a match I won 5&3 with some stellar approach play and very good putting. It was incredible to have two Swiss players in the quarterfinals with Max Schliesing, making Switzerland the most represented country at that point! I performed solidly during the quarter- and semifinals against Tobias Jonsson and TK Chantananuwat, picking smart targets and applying pressure by making very few mistakes. I was later told that I did not lose a single hole in either match. It became apparent quickly that playing the final with a lot of media attention, large crowds and three majors on the line would require discipline, sticking to my processes and gameplay and embracing the moment. I received a considerable number of messages and support and I wanted to thank everyone, as well as my caddie Gianluca Patuzzo and everyone involved in my golf progress. Christo Lamprecht, who was the highest ranked player in the field, and I played some good golf, trading birdies and occasional bogeys in a match that would be 2-up to him after the first 18 holes. Thereafter, I didn’t take advantage of the necessary situations that arose due to some short lag putts and loose drives to finally lose on the 34th hole 3&2. I was proud of my birdie-birdie-birdie push on holes 30-31-32 but would like to congratulate Christo on staying resilient to the pressure and on his win.

Although it stung for an evening as I reflected on the chances I didn’t take in the final, I realized later that it should be viewed as a successful and positive week: 2nd in the Matchplay AND 2nd in the Strokeplay. I was honoured to receive the Silver medal and can truly say that it was a special tournament that reminded me what I am capable of and created memories that I will remember for a long time.

You can watch the full coverage of the quarters and semis here:

And of the final here:

Next up, European Individual Championship in Estonia.

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