LYTHAM & ST. ANNES, ENGLAND (June 22, 2007) --The final of the Amateur Championship will be between American student Drew Weaver and last year's Australian Amateur champion Tim Stewart over 36 holes of Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The only Australian to win the championship was Doug Bachli in 1954 and the last of 20 American victories was by Jay Sigel in 1979.
Weaver, a 20-year-old student at Virginia Tech who was on campus when the recent fatal shootings took place, had a 2 and 1 victory over Jason Shufflebotham of Wales in the semi-finals. Two down after two, he birdied the third from eight feet and hit a three-wood and wedge into the eighth for a birdie that squared the match.
Shufflebotham birdied the 10th, where Weaver missed from eight feet and both players got up and down from bunkers for a half at the short 12th. The Welshmen missed the green at the next to lose the hole to par and compounded the problem by three-putting the 14th to go one down. When he missed the green at the 17th the match was over.
"He got off to a fast start and that was a bit of a shock," said Weaver of his opponent who birdied the short first when he chipped in from the second tee having blocked his tee shot well to the right of the green. "I didn't start with any high expectations, " said Weaver. "That way you get shot down. I tend to get very high and my dad, who's a doctor, carried the bag for me. He talks me down and keeps me on a level keel."
Shufflebotham said: "It was a close match but I didn't convert the putts when I needed to. I carried my bag all week and I'm very tired. Maybe that was a mistake, but it's been a great week and maybe this is the start of better things for me."
Weaver's opponent in the final is Tim Stewart, the six-foot-six 22-year-old who won the Australian Amateur Championship last year, who closed out a high-quality match against Callum Macaulay by one hole. He opened with a birdie from 10 feet, they halved the second and sixth in birdies, but the Australian lost a ball at the third.
Macaulay reached the 555-yard seventh in two and his birdie put him one ahead at the turn. But he conceded the 14th after driving into heavy rough and dropped a shot to go one behind at the next. The 16th and 17th were halved.
At the final hole Stewart hit a one-iron tee shot into a bunker on the right and Macaulay followed him in. The half in five was enough to give the tall Australian the match and the chance to become only the second player from his country to win the title.
"It would be a hiuge honour to win this championship," he said. "But I don't want to get ahead of myself." He won his country's Amateur last year and this season captured the prestigious Riversdale Cup. He is currently at the Australian Institute of Sport.
Macaulay said: "Obviously I'm disappointed, but I made a great four at 17 to keep the match alive. Overall I'm happy with the way I played and it gives me something to build on for the rest of the year."
story courtesy R & A Golf Association