Macpherson wins British Amateur

Australia's Bryden Macpherson has won the 116th Amateur Championship, at Hillside Golf Club in England's north west. The 20-year-old from Melbourne defeated Scotland's Michael Stewart 3&2 in today's 36-hole final, to make sure of a place in The Open Championship at Royal St George's next month and an invitation to the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. Macpherson's victory broke a 57 year Australian winning drought at the championship and he becomes only the second Australian to win the Amateur Championship, the first being Doug Bachli in 1954. "I'm just so proud to be an Aussie," were the world's number 15's first comments shortly after the presentation. "The Amateur championship was the one that I really wanted to win. The whole day I was thinking about national pride. I just really hope everyone can appreciate how proud I am to be an Australian right now and how proud I am of this week." Despite being one down after the first hole of the day Macpherson kept his composure during critical stages of the final. After winning the sixth hole with a four, and likewise the ninth, he would establish a lead that would last until he closed out victory on the 34th green.
Arguably the difference between the two finalist came down the first hole after lunch where Macpherson made par with a sensational putt to save par and move to 3-up. This create the pressure buffer that he was after. Earlier the Scot had got within two of the Australian before Macpherson expanded the lead to three and just before the lunch break had won the 18th to be only 2-down moving into the afternoon eighteen. "My putter was the difference as I was able to hole some pressure putts, especially on the first hole after lunch," said Macpherson. "I was reading the speed of the ball well when I was off the green and was able to get the ball close to the hole. To be honest I'm, just so wrapped at the moment, it is just huge." For Stewart, it was a difficult day, characterised by a number of missed short putts and a number of shots pushed right into deep rough. "I didn't play well today," said the Scotsman, "I was dire, this morning. I don't know what it was. I just didn't feel comfortable over the ball. All credit to him, though. I was thinking that I had to make birdie to win a hole, because he was getting up and down all day. He putted absolutely fantastic." Unlike manny of the field this week at Hillside, Macpherson had no real links preparation leading into the championship, yet he'd certainly secured some positive match play results upon arriving in the UK. "I came into this championship with some match play form," said Macpherson, who only last week was instrumental with the University of Georgia making the finals of the NCAA Division 1 Championship at Karsten Creek. "The week at Karsten was windy, and you were forced to play a lot of knockdown shots and work the ball with the wind. You were punished when you missed a drive and looking back it was probably the best preparation I could have with the combination of tough match play matches and playing in the wind." The British Amateur championship title had evaded Australian hands for too long and it is fitting for Macpherson to be the one to change the history books. Macpherson has and continues to play outside his comfort zone and push himself towards achieving his goals Just two year's ago Macpherson made the decision to take his game to the next level and play the tough US Collegiate system. At the time he wanted and needed to make changes to his life and the transition from Melbourne to Georgia has proven invaluable. "This is huge," says Macpherson. "If anything I am just so proud to be an Australian at the moment. You never forget were you come from and to be looking towards playing the next two majors and winning the British Amateur, it's just an amazing feeling."

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