The Boys Amateur Championship

The Boys Amateur Championship was inaugurated by two members of Royal Ascot Golf Club in 1921 and played by competitors under the age of 16, before the age limit was raised to 18 two years later. In 1948, The R&A were invited to take over the administration of the event.

Championship 2017

The Nairn and Nairn Dunbar
15-20 August 2017

Nairn Dunbar's Club Captain Stuart Henderson

 

Pedro Lencart wins the 91st Boys Amateur Championship

Portugal’s Pedro Lencart defeated defending champion Falko Hanisch 5&4 to win the 91st Boys Amateur Championship at Nairn on Sunday.

Lencart, who won The R&A’s Junior Open in 2016, becomes the first player since Sergio Garcia to win both titles. He will now play in the 123rd Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links, and gains an exemption into Final Qualifying for The 147th Open as a result of his victory.

The 17-year-old teed off for the second round of the final 6up over Hanisch after a blistering opening 18 holes that included nine birdies. Hanisch, who lifted the trophy at Muirfield in 2016, struggled to deal with Lencart and faced an uphill battle if he was to become the first player since 1930 to win back-to-back championships.

The German did not give up easily, however and threatened to stage a comeback when he reduced the deficit immediately with a birdie at the 19th. Lencart returned to 6up after his opponent conceded the 21st and went further ahead on the following hole thanks to a birdie on the short par 3.

 

At 7up, the growing crowd sensed victory was close but Hanisch had other ideas and responded with a birdie at the 23rd hole. At the 27th, an unlikely bogey by Lencart gave the defending champion a much-needed boost. The pair matched each other at the next but wins for the German on the 29th and 30th, where Lencart found the thick gorse twice, saw him cut the lead to just three holes with 6 holes to play.

The comeback was on as the finalists approached the 31st tee but Lencart regained his composure quickly and moved 4up with another excellent display of putting. When he dropped his tee shot on the right side of the green at the 32nd and Hanisch found the left-hand rough the pendulum swung back in his favour. Lencart did not hesitate from there and holed out from 6ft to seal an impressive 5&4 victory.

“I’m really happy. It has been a long week. It was really tough on these courses and in this weather but I am really happy with the way I handled it,” said Lencart.

“It was a good start. I played really well, especially on the back nine. I made a lot of birdies – it was good to start like that because Falko played well the second 18. It was tough to keep tying holes and keep staying at that level.

On winning both the Junior Open and the Boys Amateur Championship, Lencart said,“I like these types of courses, I like playing here. It’s two tournaments on links courses, although this one is a bit different to Kilmarnock (Barassie), but it’s nice to have won both.”

Hanisch congratulated his successor, saying, “I’m not sad – He played really good. In good moments, he made birdies. I had a good comeback on the third nine holes but unfortunately for me he just played too good today.

“We talked a lot to each other. He’s a cool guy. It didn’t feel like it was a final where you couldn’t talk to your opponent – it was a cool round of golf. So, it was good atmosphere.”

Meet the Finalists

Falko Hanisch to play Pedro Lencart

 

Defending champion Falko Hanisch will face 2016 Junior Open winner Pedro Lencart in the Final of the 91st Boys Amateur Championship at Nairn on Sunday.

Hanisch set up the chance to become only the third player to win back-to-back championships – the first since 1930 – thanks to a 4&3 victory over England boys internationalist Robin Williams. He overcame Benjamin Jones by one hole in his earlier quarter final tie.

Falko Hanisch

Hanisch, who lifted the trophy at Muirfield after an enthralling final with Spain’s Alejandro Aguilera that went to the 37th hole, was never behind in the match against Williams. A birdie at the 2nd was his first strike before moving two ahead with another at the 5th. Even a bogey 6 at the 7th did not derail his efforts and he was back to 2up at the turn.

Hanisch looked to have halved the 10th when he chipped in but the German incurred a one-stroke penalty after he lifted his ball which was resting against the flagstick but had not been holed. Hanisch followed that with a bogey to bring the match to all-square.

Hanisch regained his focus winning the next hole with a par. He then showed his steely determination with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th. Hanisch followed that up with an eagle at the 15th to close out the match and book his spot in the final for the second year running.

Pedro Lencart

Lencart is the player that stands in the way of Hanisch’s attempt to re-write the history books. The Portugese player won The R&A’s Junior Open at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in 2016 but has never made the cut at the Boys Amateur Championship before now. He disposed of George Saunders in his morning quarter final match 2&1 before coming through a tough tie with Spain’s Miguel Angel Herrero-Baeza, defeating the Spaniard by 2 Holes.

Both traded holes in a very close match until Lencart seized the initiative with a birdie at the 15th. He kept his cool to stay 1up as he approached the 18th. Herrero-Baeza conceded the win when he found a fairway bunker and required another three shots to reach the green. Lencart now has one final match to compete for the title tomorrow.

Defending champion progresses to quarter finals

Defending champion Falko Hanisch progressed to the quarter finals of the 91st Boys Amateur Championship after defeating England’s James Swash 3&2 at Nairn on Friday.

2016 Junior Open winner Pedro Lencart, Pierre Pineau, ? and four English players; Benjamin Jones, Robin Williams, Thomas Plumb and George Saunders join him in the quarter finals on Saturday morning.

Title defence on track

Hanisch, who lifted the trophy last year following his 37th hole victory over Alejandro Aguilera at Muirfield, came back from losing the first hole after his ball found the left-hand rough, to record three consecutive birdies and put him in control of the match. A fifth birdie at the 11th saw him go 4up and despite losing the 13th, he was able to close out the match at the 16th hole and become the first to advance to the next stage of the championship.

“I’m very happy – it was a great match today. I made probably six or seven birdies so I really enjoyed the round. I’m really looking forward to being in the quarter finals again. For me, match play is much easier in the head to just play a good game.”

Not since 1930 has the championship been won back-to-back. On that occasion J Lindsay achieved the feat, and five years before that RW Peattie was the first two record two consecutive victories. “I’m not thinking about the final,” said Hanisch after being asked if he could lift the trophy again just a year after his Muirfield triumph.

“I’m just taking it shot by shot and if I hit every shot perfect until Sunday evening then it could be possible. But I’m just looking from match to match. I’m pretty solid right now so I’m really looking forward to this.”

Hanisch will now play Benjamin Jones from England, who came through his match with Austrian Paul Kamml 2&1.

Title defence on track for Falko Hanisch

Defending champion Falko Hanisch booked his spot in the third round of the 91st Boys Amateur Championship after defeating leading qualifier Darren Howie by 2 holes at Nairn on Wednesday.

Hanisch, who lifted the trophy last year following his 37th hole victory over Alejandro Aguilera at Muirfield, came back from two down against the Scot to progress to the next stage of the championship.

The German kept his composure after falling behind early in the match to bring it back to all square at the 13th. Hanisch followed that up with two birdies at the 15th and 16th to go two up before Howie pulled one back at the 17th. With a one-shot advantage going down the last, his opponent put his approach to the green out of bounds and conceded the hole, and the match, to Hanisch.

“I feel pretty good. It was a difficult match but I played pretty solid,” said the 2017 German boys champion.

“I was two down pretty early in the match but it was good to play so many birdies on the second nine! I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Elsewhere, England’s Alex Fitzpatrick, younger brother of three-time winner on the European Tour Matthew, won his match over his countryman Nicholas Elmey 5&3. France’s Aymeric Laussot goes through to the third round after defeating England’s Adam Syed 3&2.

A two hole victory over Italian Gianmarco Manfredi saw last year’s finalist Aguilera come through his tie, as did Sweden’s David Nyfjall, a 2016 semi-finalist, with a 2&1 victory over England’s Harry Plowman-Ollington.

2016 Junior Open winner at Kilmarnock (Barassie) Pedro Lencart joins them in the third round. Having never made the cut in the championship before now, the Portuguese youngster defeated England’s Tomm Stagg by one hole to continue his good form.

Two Scots, Eric Mackintosh and John Paterson, will play in Friday’s third round after wins over Italy’s Felippo Celli (5&3) and England’s William Dodds (5&4).

Howie leading qualifier at Boys Amateur Championship

Scotland’s Darren Howie led the qualifiers for the match play stage of the 91st Boys Amateur Championship at Nairn and Nairn Dunbar today.

The 17-year-old carded a level par round of 72 at Nairn to finish on an eight-under-par total of 136 for the two stroke play qualifying rounds, one shot clear of Frenchman Aymeric Laussot and England's Alex Fitzpatrick.

Darren Howie

Howie, who represented Scotland in last week’s Boys Home Internationals, got off to a great start with three birdies in his opening five holes but lost momentum with dropped shots at the 6th and 7th. A birdie at the 15th was sandwiched by two more dropped shots but it was enough for the Peebles player to retain the lead.

“I’m a little frustrated. I felt like I could have been a lot better,” said Howie. “I was off to a good start again - three-under through five holes – but I sort of struggled from there. I just kept things going – it wasn’t like I was under too much stress. It wasn’t the best I’ve played but it was still solid enough.

Aymeric Laussot

With wind speeds strengthening throughout the day, few players managed to make much headway but Laussot defied the conditions with an excellent six-under-par 66 at Nairn Dunbar to move to a seven-under-par total. The 17-year-old closed off his front nine with a pair of birdies and picked up further shots at the 12th and the 15th before putting his 210 yard approach at the par five 16th to 10ft and holing out for an eagle.

Commenting after is round, Laussot said, “It was a very good round and I played great golf. I just played in a good zone. I’m very, very happy because this year I have worked very hard. I just wanted to make the cut and it’s cool to be second. Now it is another tournament in the match play and I hope I will win all my matches.”

Alex Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of three-time European Tour winner Matt, drove the green on the par four 15th at Nairn and holed from 13ft for an eagle on his way to a three-under-par 69 to finish on the same mark as Laussot.

“I’m pretty pleased. I really didn’t think that going out and shooting three-under again would be possible with the wind today but I played it safe, stuck to my game plan and seemed to hole my putts – so it’s a pretty good score.”

Fitzpatrick said brother Matt has been in touch to give his support. ““He sent me a text yesterday just saying ‘keep smashing it’ so hopefully he’ll see what I can do in match play!”

The Hallamshire golfer led a clutch of Englishmen who were among the leading qualifiers with Danny Daniels on five-under-par, alongside Sweden’s David Nyfjall who reached the semi final of the Boys Amateur last year, and William Dodds and Curtis Knipes a shot further back.

They were joined on four-under-par by the 2016 Junior Open champion Pedro Lencart and Frenchman Clement Charmasson.

The cut fell on two-over-par with 74 players progressing to the match play stage. A preliminary round will be held first thing tomorrow before the second round gets underway. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes before concluding with a 36 hole final on Sunday.

Darren Howie leads at Boys Amateur Championship

252 of the world’s leading young amateur golfers from 28 countries are taking to the links at Nairn and Nairn Dunbar to compete in the prestigious championship this week.

The first stage comprises two qualifying rounds of stroke play before the leading 64 players progress to the match play stage. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes including the Final.

Howie, fresh from representing Scotland at the Boys Home Internationals, will now head to Nairn on Wednesday in a strong position to qualify for match play.

After a rollercoaster front nine in which he did not make par until the 7th hole, Howie capitalised on an eagle at the 9th to gain momentum and record five birdies on the way in. He picked up the first at the 12th before adding further at 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th.

Howie holed out for par on the 18th to sign for a 64, one stroke off equalling the course record, and establish a three-stroke lead over the chasing pack on five-under-par.

“I feel solid the way my game is going but as mad as it sounds there’s still some things I need to improve on,” said Howie after his round. “I had three bogeys on the first six holes which doesn’t help but from there on in I was eight-under for the last 12 holes and that was what kept me going.”

Howie, who is playing in his third and final Boys Amateur Championship, is looking forward to teeing off early at Nairn tomorrow. He said, “The courses are fairly similar. If you drive the ball well and your iron play is on you can give yourself chances.

“Top 64 was the main aim and it still is so I’m not going to think too far ahead. This is my last year in the Boys Amateur Championship and I haven’t done well in this the past couple of years so hopefully I can improve that.”

Last year’s finalist Alejandro Aguilera was pleased with his start – a three-under-par 69 – at Nairn. The Spaniard was defeated on the 38th hole by Germany’s Falko Hanisch in an enthralling final at Murifield in 2016.

“It was a good first round. The important thing is to make the cut. I really like the course (Nairn) – it’s close to the sea and that’s awesome. The rough is not as tall as it was year ago (at Muirfield) but that is good. I really link links courses. It’s been a great year. I won the Spanish Boys also so that was really good.”

On his championship debut, local golfer Jamie Mackintosh posted a three-over-par at his home course Nairn. The 18-year-old bemoaned missed putts but was still positive about his chances, saying, “I felt I was good but a few dodgy putts let me down on the back nine. The back nine was playing down wind and I shot over par. The wind was tough and I played well in the wind so things are positive for tomorrow. I am looking forward to shooting a good round and making the cut.

“Nairn Dunbar is sort of my second club. I play there once every two weeks and I’m pretty familiar with it – so I am hoping to shoot a good one.

“It feels weird to be playing the Boys Amateur Championship at my home course. I just tried to treat it like a medal round. I was nervous on the first tee but once I got out there I was fine.”