Jack Hiluta’s victory in the Spanish Amateur Championship begins England’s climb back up the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
England was well represented in the upper echelons of the WAGR table until Andy Sullivan, Tom Lewis, Jack Senior, Steven Brown and Stiggy Hodgson turned professional after last year’s Walker Cup. Garrick Porteous is currently the highest ranked Englishman at 44th in the world order. However, Hiluta’s Spanish triumph moves him 257 places to world number 69, making him the second highest ranked English player.
Hiluta overcame in-form German Marcel Schneider to become the third straight Englishman to win Spain’s national title after Tommy Fleetwood and Laurie Canter. Hiluta was two up after 18 holes of the scheduled 36-hole final, and went on to win 4&2. The 22-year-old recently played college golf for the University of South Alabama, and previously represented Great Britain & Ireland in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
Schneider, recent winner of the Australian Amateur Championship, moves 14 places on this week’s ranking inside the world top 20 to 15th.
Frenchman Julien Brun won the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedre, Florida. The student at Texas Christian University returned rounds of 68, 71 and 72 for a 54-hole total of 211, five under par, good enough for a one shot victory over teammate Johan de Beer.
Brun moves one place on this week’s ranking to 12th in the world. De Beer improves his status 94 places to 205th.
Matt Hoffenberg of the US won the North Ranch Collegiate at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake, California. The San Diego State player took the tournament by the scruff of the neck with an opening four-under-par 66. He added two consecutive 73s for a 54-hole total of 212, two over par.
Hoffenberg moves 1,192 places on this week’s ranking to world number 2,104.
Alex Stewart saved her best for last to win her first college golf tournament in style. The second year student at the University of Colorado returned a final round five-under-par 67 to win the Allstate Sugar Bowl Women's Intercollegiate.
Stewart compiled rounds of 71 and 73 at English Turn Golf & Country Club in New Orleans to enter the final round in fifth place. However, seven birdies and just two bogeys took her to the top of the field. Her five-under-par total of 211 gave her a one shot victory over Cassy Isagawa of Oregon. Isagawa began the final round in the lead but slumped to a 76.
Stewart moves 13 places to 50th. Isagawa’s runner-up finish helps her into this week’s top 100. She moves 145 places to world number 86.
Germany’s Karolin Lampert moves into this week’s top 50 following victory in the Spanish Ladies’ Amateur Championship at El Valle Golf Club, Murcia. Lampert defeated Ileen Nieuwenhuis of The Netherlands 4&3 in the final.
Lampert improves her ranking 50 places as a result, moving to 43rd. Nieuwenhuis jumps 164 spots to 344th in the world.
This week’s top 10 sees two significant changes. Fifteen-year-old Charley Hull of England moves two places to world number six, while Austin Ernst, recently selected for the United States Curtis Cup team, moves four spots into the top ten in ninth place.
Hull and Ernst are two of five amateurs selected to play in the first women’s major championship of the year along with Jutanugarn sisters Ariya and Moriya and Jaye Marie Green. They will tee it up in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, from 29 March to 1 April.