Amateur roundup: Chesters wins 2nd Euro Am
Ashley Chesters made history in the European Amateur Championship by becoming the first player to win the title twice, and the first to successfully defend the title.
The 24-year-old Englishman shot 69-72-69-72 for a 2-under 282 at the Dukes Course in St. Andrews. He was the only player to finish under par, winning by three shots over Germany’s Max Roehrig and Gary Hurley of Ireland.
The victory came only a week after the native of Shropshire, England, had to withdraw from the English Amateur Championship due to food poisoning.
Chesters, who won last year at El Prat Golf Club in Spain, left St. Andrews with a dilemma: turn professional or remain amateur and accept an invitation to next year’s Open Championship at St. Andrews. He already has one Open Championship under his belt. Chesters played in the game’s oldest tournament at Royal Liverpool, but missed the cut by a shot.
The England international had planned to turn professional later this year, but will forgo the Open invitation if he does.
“I’m going to have to have a think,” Chesters said. “The Open at St. Andrews would be hard to turn down, and it’s one of my favorite courses. I enjoyed Hoylake so much, as The Open is special. I’ve had worse problems.”
The European Amateur Championship was first contested in 1986, and includes Victor Dubuisson (2009) Rory McIlroy (2006), Carl Pettersson (2000), Sergio Garcia (1995) and Stephen Gallacher (1994) among its past winners.
“There are a lot of good names on the trophy and to have won it twice is amazing,” Chesters said.
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BAYLOR'S DAVIS POSTS BIG WIN: Hayley Davis will return for her final year at Baylor University as English Women’s Stroke Play champion after winning the title by six shots at Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey.
The 21-year-old built her victory on a superb third-round performance. After opening with scores of 73-71, Davis notched a 7-under 64 to take an eight-shot lead into the final round. A closing 1-over 72 saw her record a 4-under 280.
Davis has already won the English Women’s Amateur Championship and English Girls Championship. She has one victory in her Baylor career. She finished her junior year ranked 89th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
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LAS VEGAS' EXBER HOLDS ON: Las Vegas native Brady Exber won the Seniors Amateur Championship in testing conditions at Ganton Golf Club in England. The 58-year-old entered the final round with a one-shot lead and managed to hang on for the victory in winds that gusted to 40 mph.
Exber returned a closing 7-over 78 for a 54-hole total of 11-over 224 to win by four shots over England’s Stephen East. Americans John McClure and Michael Mercier were equal third along with Tony McLure of England, five shots behind Exber.
“I really think this is the hardest day I have had on a golf course,” Exber said. “I said to my friend and caddie, Doug, going down the 15th, ‘this is all the nasty stuff I’ve seen on TV.' Ganton is a great course and I’ll definitely be back to defend at Royal County Down next year.”
The 2015 Seniors Amateur will be played August 5-7 at Royal County Down Golf Club.