Christo Lamprecht Wins Amateur Championship After Thrilling Finale

The South African claimed a three-hole win over Switzerland's Ronan Kleu at Hillside Golf Club

Christo Lamprecht with the trophy after winning the 2023 Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club
Christo Lamprecht beat Ronan Kleu to take the 2023 Amateur Championship title
(Image credit: Getty Images)

South African Christo Lamprecht has followed in the footsteps of greats including Bobby Jones, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia to win the Amateur Championship.

Lamprecht, who began the tournament at sixth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, claimed a 4&2 victory over Swiss player Ronan Klue in the 36-hole final.

Lamprecht began the day at Hillside Golf Club as he meant to go on, going 1up after the first hole of the match play thanks to an assured birdie putt downhill to steady his nerves. However, any thoughts that he would have things all his own way against the World No.376 were quickly put to one side.

After tying the second, Kleu won the next two holes to move into the lead. The nip-and-tuck affair continued, with Lamprecht’s par on the sixth enough to see him tie the lead following Kleu’s bogey.

Kleu once again responded well, winning the seventh hole to regain the lead, and it got even better on the ninth helped by a beautiful 50-yard pitch shot that left him a two-foot putt, which he duly holed.

That was as good as it got for Kleu, and by the 11th, the pair were all square again. Lampreht then regained the lead on the 12th after winning his third hole in succession.

The duo were back to all square on the 14th as the enthralling contest continued after Lamprecht failed to two-putt. However, if that indicated a sign of nerves on his part, they weren’t in evidence for long as Lamprecht claimed wins on the 15th and 16th, with the remaining two of the first 18 halved to go 2up at the halfway stage.

Lamprecht extended that lead to three on the 19th, and he rarely looked like giving the title up from that point.

The next four holes were halved before Kleu reduced the deficit on the 24th. However, further wins on the 27th - including a shot of the day contender onto the green - and 28th left Lamprecht 4up with a maximum of eight to play.

See more

Kleu still didn’t give up the fight, and moved to within two with after winning successive holes on the 30th and 31st, but any hopes he had of applying even more pressure on Lamprecht dissipated on the 32nd, when the leader once again secured a three-hole cushion.

Kleu knew there was no more margin for error, but he couldn’t quite do enough. The 34th hole was halved to leave the gap at three, and that was enough to hand Lamprecht the title with no way back for Kleu.

Christo Lamprecht celebrates after his winning putt in the 2023 Amateur Championship at Hillside Golf Club

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Afterwards, Lamprecht explained his delight at winning the title. He said: "I'm kind of over the moon. I haven't kind of won something big in a long time and it's one to win definitely for sure. I'm ecstatic. I cannot kind of comprehend my feelings right now. I'm just over the moon."

See more

As well as cementing his name into the history books as the 128th Amateur Championship winner, the victory also ensures Lamprecht qualifies for the 2024 Masters at Augusta National, US Open at Pinehurst No.2 and this year's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

Lamprecht's win also made him the second successive winner of the title after Aldrich Potgieter in 2022.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.