Marlborough Golf Club’s Ben Amor wins international under-18s championship
The England Golf’s prestigious Carris Trophy has been won by Marlborough Golf Club’s Ben Amor. The 72 hole, stroke play competition is open to boy amateur golfers of all nationalities who are under-18 at the beginning of the year.
Ben is the elder son of Simon Amor, Marlborough Golf Club’s resident professional. Ben was a former pupil at St John's Academy and has just finished a two year course studying at Filton College in Bristol. His brother Jamie is still at St John's.
Ben is Marlborough Golf Club's Juniors' Captain. His victory earns him the title 'English Boy Champion'.
For the second successive year, extra holes were required on the fourth day of the championship to decide the Carris Trophy at West Lancashire Golf Club. In the three-way, two hole play-off Ben Amor came up trumps to secure the biggest win of his young career.
Ben had finished tied on 286, two under par, with Italy’s Renato Paratore and Jamie Li from Bath. Paratore was eliminated with a bogey five after an errant drive at the par four tenth, which left a head-to-head battle between the two West Country boys.
At the short 17th, the second playoff hole, Li missed the green with his tee shot and took three more to get down for bogey while a solid par was enough to see Amor home.
“I’m in shock but this win means a lot,” said Amor. “Words can’t describe it, but it is special. It was nice to win it at the 17th because it would have been a little difficult going down the 18th again. Jamie Li is a fine player and hit some quality shots, but I suppose everything clicked for me at the right time.”
Amor began the day tied with Paratore and fellow Italian Lorenzo Scalise but after an eagle at the second and a birdie at the fifth he had opened a three-shot advantage. He turned in 34 and was still in charge.
But he faltered on the homeward stretch with three bogeys in the last seven holes and while Paratore wasn’t setting the course on fire, the gap closed and the Italian drew level with a birdie-two at 17.
They were tied with one to play but neither could land the knockout blow. Although both had birdie chances on the final green before signing for 73s and then finding that Li had set the target with a fine 70 to set up the three-way tie.
After sealing his win, Amor paid tribute to Andy McGeorge, who posted 78 before rushing to Amor’s side to take on caddying duties: “On the 17th in the play-off I wanted to hit a seven iron but Andy convinced me it was an eight. It worked perfectly and I can’t thank him enough.”
The three-way two hole play-off brought on some nerves: “But having worked so hard on my game and the backing I have received from my parents, it’s nice to see I’m getting some rewards.”
(Thanks to Leaderboard Photography for permission to use the photo. More Carris Trophy photos here.)