Matthias Schmid defended his European Amateur title in Zurich
Germany once again took charge at the European Amateur Championship in Zurich, with 2019 champion Matthias Schmid holding on to defend his title over his fellow countryman Nick Bachem.
The duo lit up Zurich Golf & Country Club in Switzerland in yesterday's third round, with Bachem matching the course record of 63 (also posted by yet another German player, Philipp Katich) against Schmid's 64. That put the pair tied at 12-under; making it likely that the title would go to a German player for the third time, but it would be anyone's guess as to which German player it would be.
On a more difficult scoring day today, Schmid hung on with a 1-over 71, finishing the week at 11-under 273 for the victory.
Bachem almost took himself out of the equation altogether after a disastrous triple on No. 1 followed by a bogey on No. 2. That lead to a 42 on the front nine and put him a full four shots behind Schmid. As if he woke up at the turn, Bachem put some pressure on Schmid by closing the day with a 2-under 33 on the back nine for a round of 75.
Haider Hussain of England was making a run in front of the leaders, starting the back nine eagle-birdie-birdie and posting 67 on the day to finish solo third at 6-under. But he was too far back at the start to truly put pressure on the German duo.
Clearly, the tournament was Schmid's to win or lose, and after shooting an amazing 29 on the front nine in round one for 66, he had a run of his own, going eagle-birdie-birdie on hole Nos. 12-14 to provide himself a relatively easy run to the finish.
But not quite that easy - a double bogey on the last meant the defending champ's margin of victory was a bit smaller, than it might have been. Three shots was the end margin over Bachem.
Rounding out the top five were David Ravetto of France in solo fourth at 4-under, and Austrian Niklas Regnar at 4-under in solo fifth.
With his win, Schmid moves up to No. 8 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com Men's World Ranking.
The goal for all players, beyond hoisting the trophy was simple: participation in "The Open". As a European amateur champion you are allowed to participate in golf's oldest major. The event was cancelled for 2020 -- it will return next year to England's Royal St. George's from July 15-18, 2021.
Whether Schmid's exemption was going to be carried over from 2020 or not, he won't have to worry about it. You might say by defending the European Amateur title that he "validated."
ABOUT THE European Amateur
The premier championship in
conducted by the European Golf
which is comprised of 38 member
hole stroke play format. After 54 holes the field is cut
to the leading 60 players and ties. The winner earns
a spot in the British Open.
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