Conor Gough became the first English player to win the Boys Amateur Championship in six years when he triumphed at Royal Portrush this month.
Starting two ahead, the 15-year-old swapped the lead with Jose Luis Ballester throughout the final match-play round. The matter was settled at the 30th hole. All square, both players had holed long puts at the previous hole. And it looked as if Ballester was well placed to take the lead when Gough chipped in to rack up an eagle.
Ballester never regained the lead and finally conceded after taking a drop and landing in the rough.
‘I feel incredible. It’s a dream come true’, said Gough after his victory. ’I never thought it would have happened this year. I knew I was playing well but I didn’t quite think I’d go this far. Now I’m here the winner so I’m really happy with myself’.
Gough, who has two previous wins this season, has already been named as one of five England players in the nine-strong GB&I team for the Jacques Leglise Trophy. He will join Carris Trophy winner Barclay Brown, who captains the side, Max Hopkins, Joe Pagdin and Robin Williams. All five were in England’s winning team at the recent Boys’ Home internationals.
Other team members are Archie Davies from Wales, Tom McKibben and Connor McKinney of Scotland, and Mark Power – the oldest member of the team, at 18 – from Ireland.
The match against a Continent of Europe team, takes place at Kytäjä Golf in Finland on 31 August and 1 September. GB&I last won the trophy in 2014, followed by a tied match in 2015. The Continent of Europe have won the last two encounters.
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