It’s becoming more a question not of what Ben Schmidt might win this year in amateur golf – but what he won’t.
The teenager, who became only the fourth golfer in history to win both the Brabazon and Carris Trophy in the same season last year, recorded a thumping victory at the prestigious New South Wales Amateur Championships at St Michael’s, in Sydney.
Schmidt beat England Golf stablemate Callum Farr 7&5 in the 36-hole final, bringing to an end a week where he dominated the longer it went on.
Superb start to 2020 for @benboschmidt New South Wales Champion couldn’t be more proud @EnglandGolf @YUGCUK @RotherhamGC @WaterfrontGolf @adidasGolf @PINGTourEurope @TinCupCarter pic.twitter.com/Mgb5Z47lYl
— Philip Schmidt (@schmidtpj) January 24, 2020
Qualifying in tied 10th place following the strokeplay, after rounds of 66 (at co-host The Coast) and 74, the 17-year-old’s biggest scare came in his opening matchplay encounter. It took until the 20th hole to prevail over Callan Barrow.
He then crushed Mako Thompson 7&5, eased past Harrison Crowe 2up and proved too much for Jayden Ford (3&1).
Schmidt was 3up at the turn against Farr and had a five-hole advantage at lunch. When he went six ahead, with a par at the 5th in the afternoon round, it was simply a matter of keeping up the momentum.
It was yet another success in a stunning 12 months that has seen Schmidt emerge as one of the world’s most exciting amateur golfers.
He joined Patrick Hine, Sandy Lyle and Peter Baker as the only players to do the Brabazon/Carris double in the same season.
Schmidt also made Open final qualifying, won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and destroyed a talented field by 15 shots to take the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championships.
Even so, Schmidt, whose victory follows fellow Yorkshire player Charlotte Heath’s success at the Australian Women’s Amateur, said he needed to play near flawless golf to prevail in the all-English final.
“I have played really well all week and felt comfortable out on the course and was able to continue that feeling into the final,” he told England Golf.
“To be honest I played pretty flawlessly and against a player of Callum’s standard that had to be the case.”
Schmidt, who is in Australia with six other England players, will bid to add to his trophy haul at the Avondale Amateur next week.
“The whole experience of being in Australia and coping with travel, time differences and style of golf courses has been amazing,” he added.
“I’ve played four courses now and they all have different features, different types of grass and that’s all part of learning the game.
“Hopefully, all the England players can show up well again in the Avondale.”
Pictures courtesy of NSW Golf
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