SEVILLA, Spain (March 1, 2009) -- Reinier Saxton of the Netherlands claimed the title of champion of the International of Spain Mens Amateur. But it wasn't easy.
Saxton -- the reigning British Amateur champion -- beat Sam Hutsby of England 2 & 1 at the Real Club of Golf of Seville in a duel that looked to be completeley one-sided over the course of the first half of the match. After winning the first four holes and posting the equivalent of a stroke play 67 (with the usual concessions), Saxton took a 5-up lead to lunch and won two of the first three holes in the afternoon to get to 7-up.
Hutsby birdied the 5th to get to 6-down, but when Saxton made birdie at the 7th it was seven up with only eight holes to play. He birdied 11, 13, and 14 to keep his hopes alive, then got some help when Saxton went double bogey-bogey on Nos. 15 and 16. When the pair split the par-3 17th with bogeys, Hutsby had run out of holes.
Saxton, in addition to taking one of the most prestigious European amateur golf titles, will be exempt to play the Spain Open in 2009 at the PGA of Catalonia. And before that he will play in the Masters in April, an invitation he gained with his victory at the 2008 British Amateur in Turnberry. Top finishing Spaniards in the mostly UK-based field included Madrilenian Pedro Oriol (who lost in England's Tom Lewis), Antoni Ferrer, Antonio Catalan Hortal, Carlos Pigem, and Sergi Nogué.
Reinier Saxton (NED) wins to Sam Hutsby (ENG) by 2/1