Hertfordshire’s Jack Bigham gained the 94th R&A Boys’ Newbie Championship after beating Italy’s Riccardo Fantinelli on the primary additional gap of play off within the matchplay ultimate held at Royal Cinque Ports Golf Membership in Kent.
After the pair couldn’t be separated after the regulation 36 holes, it was the England worldwide Bigham who held his nerve in a sudden demise shoot-out to elevate the most important title of his budding beginner profession.
Bigham, who’s a member at Harpenden Golf Membership, capped off a unbelievable particular person week after progressing by the stroke play stage because the main qualifier and continued a high-quality run of type within the match play phases the place he went on to say victory within the championship’s centenary yr.
He now joins a protracted listing of well-known names, together with José Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and Matt Fitzpatrick, to elevate the trophy and positive factors exemption into subsequent yr’s Newbie Championship, the US Junior Newbie Championship and Closing Qualifying for the one hundred and fiftieth Open at St Andrews.
Each gamers settled into the ultimate rapidly, with a pair of pars easing the nerves. Bigham then made essentially the most of a intelligent method shot into the par 4 2nd with a birdie three to take the early initiative. He remained one-up earlier than seizing management of the competition early on with one other birdie, this time on the sixth.
Nevertheless, the Italian took the chance to mount an early fightback after errors by Bigham on the ninth led to a double-bogey. An additional bogey was to observe two holes later to go away the match all sq. after 11 holes, earlier than Fantinelli produced a birdie of his personal on the next gap to see him lead the match for the primary time. That lead remained intact up till the ultimate gap of the morning’s play, with Bigham rolling in a birdie on the 18th to go away the match all sq. once more on the midway stage.
It was Fantinelli who got here out of the blocks after the restart, making birdie on the nineteenth with a 3 to regain his benefit. Nevertheless, Bigham responded with a birdie of his personal two holes later to deliver the match degree but once more. Nip-and-tuck golf continued with neither participant managing to create a sizeable lead, however it was Fantinelli who started to claim his authority going into the remaining 9 holes.
A bogey on the twenty eighth gap for Bigham put the Italian again in entrance and that lead remained in place all through the subsequent 5 holes, the place a bogey 5 from the Englishman on the thirty third gap put Fantinelli two up with simply three holes to play. Nevertheless, a bogey from Fantinelli on the par-5 sixteenth, the thirty fourth of the match, opened the door for Bigham to mount a final ditch fightback. Regardless of lacking a golden birdie alternative on the thirty fifth gap, he greater than made up for it by making a clutch birdie three beneath stress to ship the match to additional holes.
A topped tee shot from Fantinelli led to a state of affairs from which he couldn’t get well and was unable to match Bigham’s par 4 to present the Harpenden member the primary win of his beginner profession.
Bigham stated:“What a second after holing that putt on 18, notably after the horseshoe putt on 17. I’m over the moon, clearly. I used to be enjoying nice within the stroke play and simply continued during to the ultimate. I used to be slightly bit sloppy in some areas at the moment, however I managed to get the job accomplished. It’s my solely win and I’m so pleased do it at it was my final junior occasion.”