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Potgieter books spot at The Open & The Masters with Amateur Champs win

Potgieter, 140th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has secured a place in the field for The 150th Open at St Andrews next month and the 2023 US Open, along with an invite to The Masters next April

Last Updated: 18/06/22 5:53pm

     Aldrich Potgieter won The Amateur Championship

    Aldrich Potgieter won The Amateur Championship

    South African teenager Aldrich Potgieter withstood a stirring comeback from Sam Bairstow to claim a dream win in The 127th Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

    In the 36-hole final over the Lancashire links, Potgieter secured a nail-biting 3&2 victory over the Englishman to become the youngest winner of The Amateur since Matteo Manassero triumphed in 2009 aged 16.

    After a superb bogey-free four-under-par 66 in the morning session gave Potgieter a seven-up lead, Bairstow, 23, mounted a superb comeback to claw back to two down with four to play.

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    There were echoes of Laird Shepherd’s comeback from eight down at Nairn last year, but Potgieter displayed a maturity beyond his years and an exceptional short game to seal a memorable win on his first visit to the UK.

    Potgieter, 140th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has secured a place in the field for The 150th Open at St Andrews next month and the 2023 US Open, along with an invite to The Masters next April.

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    “I’m really excited,” Potgieter said about his future major appearances. “I played the Old Course recently [in the Links Trophy] and it was really amazing. I think the course is going to get in better shape so I’m really looking forward to that.”

    Bairstow’s bogey at the second gave Potgieter the early advantage and he doubled his lead after a birdie at the third, with the Englishman dropping shots at the fourth and sixth to leave him four behind.

    The Amateur Championship

    June 22, 2022, 8:00pm

    Live on Sky Sports Golf HD

    The South African rolled in a short putt at the ninth to go five ahead and increased his lead when Bairstow fluffed a chip at the 11th, as Potgieter picked up a hole at the 12th and responded to losing the next by winning the 18th to find himself seven ahead at halfway.

    An errant tee shot from Potgieter at the 21st saw him make his first bogey, allowing Bairstow to win just his second hole and reduce his arrears to six down. Bairstow holed a 35-foot putt at the 24th but lost the 26th to a Potgieter birdie, before sparking a late fightback to put pressure on his opponent.

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    Bairstow birdied the 28th and reduced the deficit with three consecutive holes won from the 30th, only to double-bogey the 33rd and allow Potgieter to close out victory with a par.

    The 17-year-old joins a roll of honour that also includes Jose María Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and Romain Langasque, while Potgieter will also be invited to play in an event on the DP World Tour.