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Fleetwood, Higginbottom in NSW Am Final

(Photo: Anthony Powter)
England's, Tommy Fleetwood, will play Jake Higginbottom in tomorrow's final of the NSW Amateur Championship at Royal Sydney.

Fleetwood, winner of the 2009 Scottish Open Amateur and a quarter-finalist at last year's British Amateur, accounted for Jin Jeong in his morning quarter-final match on the 23rd hole, and then went on to defeat Luke Humphries in their afternoon semi-final, 4&3.

Higginbottom's progression to his first major amateur championship final came after winning his quarter-final match against Alex Pitty on the 19th and then followed that with a solid 4&3 semi-final win in the afternoon over Long Reef's, Patrick Wilson.

Higginbottom, 16, is currently ranked 820 in the world and will have his work cut out in tomorrow's final against Fleetwood, ranked 16th in the world. He will certainly start the underdog for the final, however, that should not be taken as any indiction that Higginbottom cannot take the title out.

Originally from the Newcastle region, Higginbottom currently plays out of The Australian Golf Club in Sydney. His best international result to date is a runner-up finish at the 2009 Aaron Baddeley International Junior.

As a 15-year-old Higginbottom qualified for the NSW Open and in 2006 he won his age group in all 25 Jack Newton Junior tournaments he played. The signs of a promising amateur career where early and at just 13 years-of-age, Higginbottom shot an impressive 8-under-par 64 around Waratah Golf Club to claim the Lake Macquarie Junior Classic.

Fleetwood, 19, in contrast, is a seasoned major amateur player. The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup representative has already to his credit three international amateur wins and in 2008 was a finalist at the British Amateur Championship loosing, 3&2, to Reiner Saxton from the Netherlands at Turnberry.

It promises to be an interesting 36-hole final to the NSW Amateur Championship. Higginbottom, a local youngster eager to claim his first main amateur title, against a truly international match-pay exponent in Fleetwood.

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