The American base Macpherson progressed to the championship match with
a 2&1 quarter-final victory over Spain's, Antonio Hortal, and followed
that with a 4&3 win against Scotland's, Greg Paterson, in the
Stewart's progression was at the expense of one of the tournament
favourites, world number 3 England's, Tom Lewis, with a solid 4&3 win
in their quarter-final with the Scot later disposing of France's,
Sebastien Gross, 5&4, in the semi-final to tee up the championship
match agains Macpherson.
In its 126 year history, the British Amateur has evaded Australian
hands since Douglas Bachli was the last Australian to claim the title
in 1954 at Muirfield. Jim Ferrier in 1936 was defeated in the
championship final at St Andrews by Scotland's Hector Thomson 2-up.
The last Australian to reach the final of the British Amateur was Tim
Stewart in 2007, with the Aussie narrowly going down to American Drew
Weaver, 2&1 at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Macpherson, who is based at the University of Georgia in the US, will
be looking to change this and create some history of his own.
"I'm very happy with where I am," says Macpherson, 20.
"It was really tough today, but patience has been the key. I've stuck
to my plan, kept doing what I do and trying not to force it. This is
my third Amateur Championship, and I would not miss this event for
anything in the world. It's the best amateur event there is. You can't
ignore the history of The R&A."
Macpherson has won internationally but should he be holding the
silverware Saturday evening at Hillside the British Amateur title will
easily, like any amateur competing this week, represent his biggest
In 2009 Macpherson collected the New Zealand Amateur stroke title the
same year he won the Australian Amateur stroke championship. His
maiden main amateur win was at the 2008 Dune Medal where he scorched
the demanding Dunes Links layout with a course record third round of
63 before going on to win the National Trial event wire to wire.
Unlike manny of the field this week at Hillside, Macpherson had no
real links preparation leading into the championship, yet he certainly
had some positive match play results upon arriving in the UK.
Macpherson had only left the US the week before the British Amateur
after playing a pivotal role for Georgia in the Division 1 NCAA finals
at Karsten Creek. Most of the field this week had being playing the St
Andrews Links Trophy and the Scottish Open Amateur in preparation for
these championship, yet Macpherson had remain committed to his college
and towards playing the NCAA finals series.
During the NCAA Finals Series which was held over three days
Macpherson had played stellar golf for Georgia, securing the opening
match in the final for Georgia against Augusta State with a 6&4 win
over Olle Bengtsson.
Georgia would eventually fall to the defending champions in the final,
yet Macpherson's match play during the series was simply majestic with
a 3-0 result.
His results in the tough US collegiate final was indication at to what
was to unfold across the Atlantic, yet following yesterday's
semi-final victory Macpherson was indicating his surprise as to how
he'd managed to progressed to the British Amateur final and to be one
of only four Australians to achieve such a result.
"If you told me at the beginning of the week I would be playing the
final, I would not have believed it," were Macpherson's remarks.
Those who have followed Macpherson's development to become one of our
most promising amateurs know he's a tenacious competitor and will
fight to the end once the glove is on.
The combined discipline of academia and playing US collegiate golf is
a factor not often considered by outsiders. There have been numerous
Australians who have either not made the grade academically or fallen
out because the going was too tough.
Macpherson is the exception and this will serve him well in the
Stewart will be no easy pushover with the Scot himself also steely
competitor. Currently ranked 11 in the world, Stewart has won the
South African Amateur earlier in the year to add to his 2011 Scottish
Victory would see him become the first Scot to hold both the Scottish
and British crowns since the Hector Thomson secured the pair in 1935
Macpherson had earlier scuppered hopes of a first all-Scottish final
since Freddie Tait met Samuel Fergusson in 1898, with a 4& 3 win over
Paterson. The Scot's have great memories and love a good fight.
There's little doubt the Scots be out in force and will be passionate
about their lad winning tomorrow's final. They'll outweigh easily the
number of Macpherson supporters at the final.
This won't phase Macpherson, if anything it will spur him on to break
the 57 year Australian winning drought at the British Amateur and
secure his place at next month's Open Championship, a place at the US
Masters next year, but more importantly a place in Australian amateur
Self belief is something Macpherson is not short of.
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