Marsh, Robb, Griffith win titles on mainland Britain
Nick Marsh, Chris Robb and Evan Griffith earned ultimate amateur bragging rights in their homelands by winning the national amateur championships of England, Scotland and Wales, respectively.
Arguably the biggest weekend of amateur golf on mainland Britain featured intriguing battles in the English, Scottish and Welsh Amateur Championships.
Marsh defeated compatriot Scott Gregory, 2 and 1, at Saunton Sands to land the biggest title in English amateur golf. The 19-year-old from Yorkshire was the favorite to win the final considering he was 3,807 places above Gregory on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Marsh began the final ranked 64th in the world, with Gregory ranked No. 3,871. Nevertheless, Gregory gave a good account of himself by taking the final to 35 holes.
“It was a ping-pong tussle with both of us winning holes at different times but to get this title is unbelievable,” Marsh said. “It means everything to me. I’ve been knocking on the door for some time. I’ve come close twice, in the Scottish and Portuguese and to get over the line at last is amazing.”
Marsh was second in both the Scottish Stroke Play and Portuguese Amateur championships this year. He was also second leading qualifier at Saunton, with a 36-hole score of 4-under 138.
Ryan Evans, the world’s highest ranked Englishman at No. 18 in the WAGR, was medalist for the match play stages after compiling a 5-under 137. He lost in the third round.
Robb began the Scottish Amateur at Downfield Golf Club ranked 149th in the world. However, he finished the tournament with a justifiable claim to the title of Scotland’s best amateur after overcoming Graeme Robertson, 4 and 3, in the final.
The 23-year-old Robb finished his college golf career at Chattanooga in June. He posted a third-place finish in the NCAA Division 1 Northwest Regional, and finished 15th in the NCAA Championship. He has been making headlines since returning home. He won the East of Scotland Championship at the end of June, and then won the Cameron Corbett Vase.
“It’s been a good run,” the Aberdeen native said. “I’ve won the last three tournaments I’ve played in, so I’d like to keep that record going.
“I played good finishing in the U.S. and from then on I’ve just kept it going. Once you can get a couple of good results, you just learn, build on it and get a bit of confidence going. Confidence is everything really.”
World No. 6 Bradley Neil, who won the Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush in June, lost in the quarterfinals.
Griffith took the Welsh Amateur with relative ease compared to Marsh and Robb. The member of Conwy Golf Club in North Wales defeated Ryan Davies, 7 and 5, at Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club to become Welsh National champion. Griffith began the championship at 737th in the world, with Davies ranked 2,737 places below him.