amateur golf
Dateline London:
amateur golf

The British Amateur Championship
Report: 3rd Day of Knockout
At Royal Liverpool GC
Colin Callander, Special Correspondent

Tomorrow (Saturday) Finland’s Mikko Illonen and Germany’s Christian Reimbold will become the first two golfers from the Continent of Europe ever to contest a final of The Amateur Championship.

Illonen and Reimbold will both be hoping to become just the fifth Continental, after France’s Philippe Ploujoux (1981), Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal (1984), Sweden’s Christian Hardin (1988), Holland’s Rolf Muntz (1990) and Spain’s Sergio Garcia (1998) to win the world’s oldest national amateur event.

Illonen, the 1999 Finnish Amateur champion, and a man who finished second behind Australia’s Kim Felton in the individual event at the 1998 World Amateur Team Championship in Chile, secured his place in the final when he defeated English international, Zane Scotland by one hole in the quarter-finals and then beat Australian, Andrew Webster by 3 & 2 in the semi-finals.

His opponent, Reimbold, a 22 year-old law student from Cologne, made it through to the final after hammering Holland’s Guido van der Valk 5 & 4 in the morning and then edging past the last home-based player, Englishman David Ryles, by one hole in the afternoon.

Sadly, though, his run in this year’s Amateur, unexpected as it was, will not gain Reimbold a place in Germany’s team at the World Amateur Team Championship in August. That side has already been selected and, in his own words, he was “nowhere close.”

“I can’t believe that I’ve won and will play in the final tomorrow,” he said. “I was a very lucky winner out there. I didn’t play very well and, to be honest, I didn’t really deserve the win.”

The match was a ragged affair right from the start with the decisive moment coming when Ryles hit two shots out of bounds at the 16th. The German then won the 17th with a bogey and sealed the match with a regulation par on the last.

The quarter-finals proved to be an unhappy ground for Scotland with Forfar’s Stuart Wilson also joining Patrick on the sidelines.

Wilson, 22, got off to a dream start against the Australian, Webster, winning three of the first four holes, but eventually lost 2 & 1.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “I started off extremely well but, after that, didn’t hole enough putts. But, all credit to David. He didn’t let my start bother him and, in the end probably just about deserved to win.”


D. Ryles (West Hill) bt D. Patrick (Moretonhall) 3 & 2

C. Reimbold (Ger) bt G. van der Valk (Hol) 5 & 4

A. Webster (Aus) bt S. Wilson (Forfar) 2 & 1

M. Ilonen (Fin) bt Z. Scotland (Woodcote Park) 1 hole


Reimbold bt Ryles 1 hole

Ilonen bt Webster 3 & 2