Alan Dunbar wins Amateur Championship

Northern Ireland's Alan Dunbar defeated Matthias Schwab of Austria by one hole to win the 117th Amateur Championship at Royal Troon in Ayrshire.

Alan Dunbar wins Amateur (Getty Images)

Northern Ireland's Alan Dunbar defeated Matthias Schwab of Austria by one hole to win the 117th Amateur Championship at Royal Troon in Ayrshire.

The 23-year-old from Portrush has become the third Northern Irish winner of the event, following Garth McGimpsey and Michael Hoey. He is the first player from GB&I to win the Amateur since Ireland's Brian McElhinney in 2005.

In a fascinating final, the lead changed hands five times over the course of 36 holes and the contest went the distance, the first final to cover all 36 holes since 2002.

Schwab looked to have taken control when he went one-up through 16 holes in the afternoon round. But the young 17-year-old from Salzburg was let down by his short game on the closing two.

On both the 17th and 18th holes, Schwab failed to get up-and-down to save par while Dunbar made two solid pars to sneak the contest by one hole.

"My putting was great all week," Dunbar said. "I struggled with the long game as the week went on and I had to rely on my putting."

With the victory, Dunbar will receive a spot in the Open Championship at Lytham, a start in next year's US Open and he will be given an invite to play in next April's US Masters.

Schwab was obviously disappointed to fall at the final hurdle, but the youngster was proud of his achievements through the week.

"It was good for me to see that I can compete with the best amateurs in the world," he said. "I'm happy to be second. I came here to make the cut and made the final so there's no need to be negative."

Next year's Amateur Championship will take place on 17-22 June at Royal Cinque Ports and Princes in Kent, England.

Where next? European Tour - Danny Willett wins BMW International Open

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?