Tom Lewis and Peter Uihlein proved that the best amateur golfers are not that far from the world’s elite with excellent performances in The Open Championship.
Lewis and Uihlein fought it out for the coveted Silver Medal over a tough Royal St George’s course, in sometimes inclement weather. Lewis, number 13 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, bettered Uihlein by three shots to take the amateur prize. The 20-year-old from Welwyn Garden City, Sir Nick Faldo’s hometown, finished in joint 30th, but not before threatening to make a more lasting impression on the game’s oldest Major.
An opening 65, five under par, saw the precocious Englishman take the first round lead alongside Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn. Lewis is the first amateur since Sir Michael Bonallack in 1968 to share the first round lead.
Lewis has a big future in the professional game, and could have easily made the jump to the paid ranks off the back of his impressive performance. However, he gave much succour to Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain Nigel Edwards by pledging to stay amateur until after the Walker Cup at Royal Aberdeen, September 10-11. That’s good news for GB&I’s attempt to win back the cup after three straight defeats.
Uihlein is certain to make second consecutive appearance in the biennial match. The world number two and reigning US Amateur champion gave Lewis a good fight at Sandwich before finishing in equal 48th place.
Harris English will likely join Uihlein at Royal Aberdeen following his impressive victory in the South Amateur at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. English, who has just graduated from the University of Georgia, trailed by three strokes going into the final round. However, he returned a tournament-best 65 to win by three shots. English moves five places on the WAGR table to world number six.
England’s Lauren Taylor continued a remarkable run this summer with victory in the Riverwoods (Dutch) Junior Open. The 16-year-old from Woburn Golf Club, Ian Poulter’s home club, took the title by a stroke.
Taylor won the Ladies British Amateur Championship last month. That victory earned her an invite to the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship at Carnoustie next week. She also qualified for the Ladies’ Slovak Open on the Ladies European Tour earlier this year. Moreover, her most recent win earns her a spot in next year’s Deloitte Ladies Dutch Open.
Taylor moves five places on the World Amateur Golf Ranking to 23rd.
Aaren Ziegler defeated Lovelyn Guioguio of the Philippines 5&4 to win the 110th Pacific Northwest Amateur Championship at Port Ludlow Golf Club in Washington. Ziegler, from Canby Oregon, has just completed her first year at the University of Wisconsin. She held a five-hole lead after the morning round of the scheduled 36-hole final and did not put a foot wrong in the afternoon to win comfortably.
Ziegler was previously unranked on the WAGR table, but now takes her place at world number 1506. Guioguio moves 30 places to world number 104.
Hyo-Joo Kim of Korea won the Callaway Junior World tournament for girls aged 15-17 over the North Course at Torrey Pines, California. Rounds of 71, 74, 68 and 68 gave Kim a 15-under-par total of 281, good enough for a five shot victory over Lina Aquillon of Columbia.
Kim is the world’s 14th best amateur.
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn is the only player this week to break into the world top 20, moving one place to 20th. Manuela Carbajo Re of Argentina and Karen Chung of the United States break into the world top 50. Carbajo Re moves five places to world number 47, while Chung improves her ranking 23 spots to 49th.