Meet U.K.’s newest amateur champs

Michael Stewart during the 2008 Boys Home Internationals at Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

Michael Stewart during the 2008 Boys Home Internationals at Royal County Down in Newcastle, Northern Ireland.

Tommy Fleetwood, Michael Stewart and Alastair Jones became the kings of England, Scotland and Wales, respectively, when they won their national amateur championships on Saturday.

Fleetwood signed off his amateur career with a 1-up victory over Warren Harmston in the English Amateur Championship at Little Aston Golf Club. The victory lifted a huge burden for the 19-year-old. Fleetwood had lost in three national finals – the British Amateur, Spanish Amateur and New South Wales Amateur championships – before the English Amateur.

“I was due a win in a national event,” Fleetwood said. “All I was thinking all the way around, I didn’t want to end my amateur career on a low.”

photo

Tommy Fleetwood at the 2009 Walker Cup.

Fleetwood will try to gain his European Tour card through the European Challenge Tour for the remainder of the season. He already has excelled on Europe’s junior circuit. He finished second in the English Challenge at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club two weeks ago. Fleetwood lost by a shot to Australian Daniel Gaunt.

Fleetwood will make his professional debut in the Czech Open on Aug. 19-22.

The Scottish Amateur Championship turned into an East Tennessee State University alumni match when the final pitted Michael Stewart against Jordan Findlay. Stewart, the No. 3 seed, took the title over the unseeded Findlay, 3 and 2.

Stewart spent two years at ETSU before quitting this year to concentrate on playing full-time amateur golf at home in Troon, Scotland.

“It’s a great feeling to have won,” Stewart said. “Jordan didn’t give me any holes out there. I had to win them. I tried to put it to the back of my mind that we’re great friends and just played the best I could.”

Jones was a surprise winner of the Welsh Amateur at Tenby Golf Club. He entered the championship as the No. 7 seed and was a decided underdog to No. 1 seed Oliver Farr in the final. However, the plus-1.9 player from Radyr Golf Club on the outskirts of Cardiff took the title.

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