Joe Long (R&A)
Joe Harvey and Joe Long make up the first all-England final for the first time since 1999 when Graeme Storm bested Aran Wainwright 7&6 at Royal County Down when both Harvey and Long were still in diapers.
Both Harvey and Long are familiar with one another’s games as they are usually found practicing together at The Kendleshire. However, this go around, there is much more than just bragging rights on the line. The winner of Sunday’s championship match will receive exemptions into the 149th Open at Royal St. Georges, the 2021 U.S. Open, and the 2021 Masters.
Harvey cruised to the semifinals with a morning session quarterfinal win over Denmark’s Victor Svendsen 4&3. I the semis, Harvey met Ireland’s Mark Power.
3 up after six holes of play against Power, Harvey turned up the heat on the back nine. Tallying a win on the par-4 10th, Harvey’s lead was trimmed on the par-3 12th, his first loss since No. 7. Recouping the 4 up advantage on the 14th, Power simply ran out of holes following his win on the 15th, losing the match 3&2 to Harvey after a halve of the 16th.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Harvey told the R&A. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion right now. I played great out there today. He [Power] had a go at the end when I went four up, and I nearly messed it up. But I got a good up and down on 16 to halve the hole and win.”
On his path to the final, Joe Long absolutely dominated his quarterfinal match, winning 6&5 over fellow Englishman Barclay Brown.
In the semifinals, Long sought battle with another countryman, Jake Bolton. Putting up a much better challenge against Long, the two Englishmen duked it out through the 17th green with Long coming away with a 2 up victory.
“Jake was playing quite nicely,” Long said. “He had a birdie putt on the 4th and I just kept it in play. I missed a few putts but I didn’t let that get to me because I committed to the shot. I just kept on trying to hit it in the fairway and trying to make pars. That was the main thing. I had a few birdie chances which I missed but, overall, I just stuck with it really. I battled hard. That’s what you have to do.”
With both finalists being good mates, there is a sense of comfort as the pair head into the 36-hole championship match on Sunday.
“A couple of weeks ago we [Long and Harvey] were actually just playing in a midweek medal together,” said Long. “So, we’ve known each other for a while and we are really good mates. This is going to be played in great spirits and we’ve got to both go out there and enjoy it really. Enjoy the experience and enjoy the challenge.”
ABOUT THE British Amateur
This championship, along with the US Amateur
Championship, is considered the most
The first stage of the Championship involves
288 players each of whom plays two rounds of
18 holes, one to be played on each of the two
courses. The 64 lowest scores over the 36
holes and ties for 64th place will compete in
the match play stage of the Championship.
Each match will consist of one round of 18
holes except the Final which will be over 36
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