Semi-final agony for Towndrow

SOUTHPORT & Ainsdale’s Sean Towndrow was beaten in the Amateur Championship semi-final at Royal Portrush by South African Zander Lombard in a tight match that went to the wire.

The 2010 Lancashire County champion was two up after seven holes but his opponent levelled by the turn then won the 12th and 14th to give himself a cushion over the last few holes.

“It was a tight match but you expect that at this level” Lombard said. “It’s always going to be the one who makes the least mistakes.”

As with  Blairgowrie’s Bradley, who beat fellow Scot Conner Syme 2&1 in the other semi-final , he was struggling to come to terms with the enormity of the achievement.

“It’s the goal every amateur wants – to get to the final and have a chance to win The Amateur. I don’t think it’s hit me yet but it’s definitely a nice feeling to know I have beaten pretty much the best out there. Being in the final is just amazing.”

Lombard is bidding to become the second South African winner since Bobby Coles in 1966. He is the first South African in the final since Trevor Immelman lost to Scot Craig Watson at Royal St George’s in 1997.

Neil is the third Scot to reach the final in the last five years and is hoping to emulate Watson and Stuart Wilson. The latter defeated Lee Corfield at St Andrews in 2004 and was the last Scot to lift the Amateur Championship trophy.

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