Sunday, January 17, 2016

Scotland’s Connor Syme is the 2016 men’s Australian Amateur champion.
The rising  star from Drumoig Golf Centre, Fife, owned by his professional father, Stuart, said he couldn’t wait to get back to play this year’s Emirates Australian Open after seeing off Sydney’s Travis Smyth 3 and 2 after an epic 34-hole battle in the final of the week-long championship at the Metropolitan Golf Club, Melbourne.
The two traded birdies for the best part of eight hours and, in the final analysis, it was Syme’s steadiness and superior driving that held sway.
He had birdie putts on 15 and 16 that would have ended the match, but both shaved the cup and left the match on Smyth’s putter.
The St Michael’s, Sydney player gave himself a 2m putt on the 16th to win the hole and push the match to a 35th, but it slid by and the Scot rejoiced.
“I can’t believe it, to be honest. It’s been a great week and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet but it’s absolutely fantastic,” Syme said.
“We both played some pretty fair golf and Travis is a great competitor, so I’m very happy to have come out on the right side of it.
“I cannot wait to get back here for the Open – I love this place.”
Smyth played some miraculous shots to stay in touch after Syme extended his halfway 3-up lead to five with birdie on the 8th hole.
He birdied the par-4 12th from deep in the left trees, then went within centimetres of an ace on the 13th to keep in the hunt.
A birdie and win on the 14th hole narrowed the margin to three, but the New South Wales state team member ran out of holes.
Syme is the third Scot to win the Australian title, following in the footsteps of Carnoustie's Eric Ramsay (2003) and Glasgow's Jack Doherty (2005

St Andrews-born Stuart, who moved the Syme family from Dumfries in 2014 to take over the running of the Golf Centre at Drumoig, said: “We are totally thrilled for Connor, he really deserves this. He dedicates himself to his dreams and he is just a pleasure to help along his way.
 “Drumoig has been huge for his development as we have such a terrific facility for him to use and he has taken advantage of that. But it’s a team effort and his mum, Deborah, and sisters, Megan, Leah and Rachel, are as important to him as I am as his father/coach. 
"We all stayed up all night and followed the scores online. He called us a few seconds after winning and the celebrations were loud!”
Syme, meantime, will leap up the world amateur world rankings from 146th spot this week and has put down an early marker in the three-way fight to represent Scotland in the World Amateur Team Championship later in the year in Mexico.

Click here for all the match play results.
 Click here for qualifying results.  
Click here for competitor information.


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