BARCELONA, Spain (March 6, 2011) -- Laurie Canter of England has won the 2011 Men's Spanish International Amateur, Copa Rey today at El Prat. Golf Club.
His margin of victory was a commanding 11 and 10 over the 36 hole final.
Canter took a huge lead in the morning round. His stellar play over the first 18 holes gave him a huge (9-up) match play margin that allowed him to enjoy the second round at the expense of his English opponent Stiggy Hodgson, who did not bring the same repertoire of good shots he displayed in previous days.
Just over a week ago, the No. 8 ranked (before this tournament) player in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com player rankings posted on his blog a hopeful statement about this tournament. Said Canter:
"After a disappointing putting display in Portugal last week where final round 75 to finish +3 put me back to 27th i'm looking to take forward what i have learnt and play well this week in Spain."
Canter, who won the 2010 South African Match Play and finished 5th in the prestigious Master of the Amateurs earlier this year, said he typically works on his putting 10 hours per week.
He also described the course as to his liking:
"I saw the course for the first time this year and as a golf course it is fantastic, one of the best inland courses i've seen for ages. I guess the fact that Sergio Garcia, Pablo Larrazabal and Jose Manuel Lara were all practising there today is pretty good testament to its quality."
With his victory, Canter gains an amateur exemption into the Spanish Open, to be played on the same El Prat. course.
Like last year, when Matt Haines took the title, two English players played the final.
In the semifinals Laurie Canter won with ease against Frenchman Arnaud Abbas (6 and 4) and Stiggy Hodgson did the same, albeit in a closer match, against the Dutchman Robin Kind (3 and 2).
The two Spaniards who had passed through the first two rounds, Arnaus Adria and Adrian Otaegui. In the quarterfinals, the first had a very hard match he lost to Laurie Canter, 3 and 2. For its part, Adria Arnaus fell in the same turn to Robin Kind, who won the match with a long putt on 16.
Arnaus Adria and Adrian Otaegui were the only two Spaniards who passed the first two rounds. Antonio Hortal, David Morago, Juan Francisco Sarasti, Carlos Pigem, Xabier Errea, Pep Angles and Alberto Fernandez fell in the first round, while Pastor Marcos did in the second.
Cups of Their Majesties the King and Queen were created in 1911-the Earl of Chimera and Ellen Powers were the first champions, but not played between 1936 and 1940 because of the Civil War. Except for the National Cup Puerta de Hierro, it is the oldest event on the amateur Spanish calendar, which gives it an added prestige that goes unnoticed by foreign participants.
World-class players such as Jose Maria Olazabal (1983 and 1984), Darren Clark (1990), Sergio Garcia (1998) and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (2003) have had their names inscribed on the Copa del Rey trophy.
Last year Englishman Matthew Haines, defeated compatriot Tommy Fleetwood on the 37th hole of the scheduled 36 hole final match.