Scotland’s Bradley Neil won the Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush ahead of Zander Lombard, giving the Scot a place at the 2014 Open Championship at Hoylake.
18-year-old Bradley Neil from Scotland secured the first place at the Amateur Championship on June 22, beating South Africa’s Zander Lombard at the event played at Royal Portrush.
The Scot has now qualified for the 2014 Open Championship as well as next year’s US Open. Neil will also be invited to play in the Masters at Augusta National in 2015.
Neil, who is the first Scottish player in win the Open Championship as well as the youngest Scot to win the Championship, defeated South Africa’s Zander Lombard 2&1 in the 36-hole match play final at Royal Portrush.
Speaking on his victory, Neil said, “it means a lot to me to have the chance to compete with major champions in The Open. It will be fantastic, it will be a strong test and it will be good to see how my game copes
“To get to The Open is brilliant. It’s hard to put that kind of thing to the back of your mind. It’s better to use it as motivation every day, which is what I did.”
The first 18 holes in the morning saw both Lombard and Neil score level par rounds of 70, however the afternoon saw Lombard fail to make the birdie shots needed to clinch victory.
The 26th saw Lombard take bogey making Neil move four up on the 32nd hole.
The Scottish amateur follows in the footsteps of Italian Matteo Manassero who won the Amateur Championship in 2009 at the tender age of 16.
Manassero turned professional the following year and has since seen 4 professional wins on the European Tour, including the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.
Also qualifying for this year’s Open Championship at Hoylake, having forfeited his exemption after turning professional is Matthew Fitzpatrick.
The English born golfer finished T44th in 2013 at the Open Championship and received the Silver Medal for being the low amateur finishing up at +10.
Phil Mickelson will return to the tournament for the 20th time looking to defend his champion title.
Also set to return to the field is Tiger Woods, who has been recovering from back surgery since March. Woods won his third Open Championship title in 2006 at Hoylake, where the tournament will return this year from July 17 to July 20.