Filippo Celli (Royal & Ancient photo)
showcased the full extent of his potential with a third successive under-par round to seal the Silver Medal as The 150th Open’s leading amateur.
The 21-year-old carded a two-over-par 74 on Thursday to leave his weekend participation in doubt, only to bounce back with a stunning 67 to extend his stay at St Andrews.
Successive 71s over the weekend took the European Amateur champion to five-under-par, six shots clear of his nearest challenger Aaron Jarvis
, with his Championship coming to a fitting conclusion when he birdied the 18th in front of his beaming parents greenside.
Celli also had an eagle to celebrate on Sunday, a superb approach at the par-5 14th setting up a routine putt that all but sealed the Silver Medal for the Italian.
The youngster outlined his Ryder Cup ambitions after his round on Saturday, with Rome to host the battle between Europe and the USA next year, and will feel he has the world at his feet after outscoring some global greats on the Old Course.
"It is unbelievable and an unforgettable moment," he said. "It is a dream come true just to play here, so to win the Silver Medal is amazing.
"I was a little bit upset because I had made a bogey at 17 but I wanted to enjoy the moment as it is amazing to walk up the 18th at St Andrews.
"Today my golf game was really good, like the last three days. And today I made a lot of stupid bogeys, I can say that.
"But that's okay, because I'm very happy because my dream was to play here, and I also won the Silver Medal. I can't ask for a better thing to win the Silver Medal at The 150th Open in St Andrews."
Jarvis, two years Celli’s junior, did the Cayman Islands proud on his Open debut, his standout round coming on Friday when he compiled a 69.
, so long the leader in the Silver Medal race, will not forget his opening-day 68 in a hurry and entered the weekend on six-under-par.
Successive scores of 77 and 75, including a particularly damaging run of five consecutive bogeys down the back nine on Sunday, put him out of contention but the 21-year-old can still be very pleased with his week’s work.
His compatriot Sam Bairstow
was in sparkling form having got Sunday’s action underway. Three birdies featured on a bogeyless card to take the Englishman to four-over-par for the week, with his family visibly emotional as he wrapped up a fine round on the 18th.
ABOUT THE British Open
The most coveted trophy in the game and one
of the most iconic in all of sport: more
commonly referred to as the Claret Jug.
minutes of winning the British Open, the
"Champion Golfer of the Year" gets his name
engraved on that cup, and a place in golfing
Amateurs have played an
important role in the tournament over the
years, with players like Sergio Garcia, Justin
Rose, and more recently Alfie Plant stepping
into the international limelight with their
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