Jovan Rebula became the second South African – and first in more than fifty years – to lift the Amateur Championship, with a 3&2 victory over Irishman Robin Dawson at Royal Aberdeen.
In today’s 36-hole finale at Balgownie, Rebula – who is the nephew of four-time Major winner Ernie Els – went in after the first 18 holes one up, despite twice having led by three holes.
Neither Rebula or Dawson had been at their best in the morning and this continued into the second 18 holes.
Dawson struggled with getting the desired distance from his irons, while Rebula duffed an awkward pitch on the day’s 24th hole while four up to hand a hole back to his rival.
It was more a case of players losing holes than winning them, until the ninth, where Rebula, having got back to four up on the eighth, holed a monster putt of more than 30 feet to go five up.
The George, Western Cape, native saw his putt for the match on 14 horseshoe the hole and this bump in the road extended into a knifed bunker shot on 15 and the deficit being reduced to three up.
However, the Auburn University student found his short game on 16, playing an exquisite shot from the left green-side bunker to five feet, before putting out for the tournament.
On top of an impressive trophy, 20-year-old Rebula will now also play in July’s Open at Carnoustie, as well as next year’s Masters and US Open.