Five things: What we learned at the Amateur Championship
1. ANYONE CAN WIN AT MATCH PLAY
Before embarking on his victory at Carnoustie and Panmure, France’s Romain Langasque sat a lowly 72nd in the amateur rankings. He ï¬nished T20 in the strokeplay.
2. LANGASQUE IS AMBITIOUS
We wouldn’t like to say Romain Langasque has let the victory go to his head, but the Cote d’Azur born amateur certainly has big plans for his career.
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With victory at the Amateur Championship comes invitations to three Majors, but the 20-year-old said he may forego them in a bid to secure a place on the 2018 Ryder Cup team in Paris.
“I will deï¬nitely stay amateur to play in the Open at St Andrews, that will be incredible,” he said. “But I don’t know about the Masters or the US Open.”
Masters invites are rare and plenty go their entire career without gracing that hallowed turf, so Langasque has some tough choices ahead.
3. IT CAN BE LIFE-CHANGING
If Langasque decides against turning professional in the next year, he will be following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Scot Bradley Neil.
The Blairgowrie 19-year-old didn’t exactly set the world alight with his performances at the Open, the Masters and the US Open, missing the cut on each occasion.
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However, Neil ï¬nally made the jump into the professional ranks in the same week the Amateur Championship was played and said: “This past year has been a massive learning experience. I got to play three of the biggest tournaments in golf.
“Maybe not quite as well as I wanted to, but it’s a great learning curve.”
4. FEW AMERICANS PLAYED
With the Americans absolutely dominating the world rankings, their absence only served to weaken the ï¬eld at Carnoustie and Panmure.
Of the top 20 amateurs in the world, 12 are from the USA, and yet the highest-ranked American to turn out was Charlie Danielson, ranked 35.
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In contrast, a large number of British and European amateurs are expected to make the journey to the US Amateur, won in 2013 by Shefï¬eld’s Matt Fitzpatrick.
Only 12 Americans made the journey across the pond, which has become the norm. Drew Weaver was the last to win in 2007, and prior to that you have to go back to Hillside in ’79.
5. WHAT DID NIGEL SEE?
As for home players looking to impress the onlooking Walker Cup captain Nigel Edwards ahead of September’s match, the English disappointed. Only Sean Towndrow made it through to the quarters.
It was a much better week for the Scots, with losing ï¬nalist Grant Forrest all but guaranteeing himself a place.
His countrymen Jack McDonald (semis) and Greig Marchbank (quarters) also had impressive showings and will be hopeful of a call having excelled in matchplay – the format at the Walker Cup.
The same could not be said for Scotland’s Craig Howie who led the way after the strokeplay only to be knocked out in the ï¬rst matchplay round.
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