Lopez-Pizarro takes Reid Trophy back to Spain
A 25 foot putt on the final green, the only birdie of his round, proved enough to earn Inigo Lopez-Pizarro from Spain the English Boys under 14 Open Championship for the Reid Trophy at a sun drenched Blackwell Golf Club in Worcestershire.
It gave the 14 year old a closing 74 for 214, four over par, and a two-stroke winning margin over Matty Lamb from Northumberland, who shot 71, with Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan and Kevin Leblanc from Ireland joint third on 218.
It is the second time the title has gone overseas and although Lopez-Pizarro speaks little English, he let his golf do the talking after being near or on top of the leaderboard throughout. (image © Tom Ward)
“I am very happy,” he said through his manager. “I knew I had to hole that last putt to be sure of winning and I felt great when it went in.”
Although he began the final round on level par and with a four shot lead over Leblanc, the young Spaniard saw that drift away with three front nine bogeys to be out in 38 and he dropped two more shots before that dramatic last hole birdie.
Lamb made his presence felt by going out in 33 with a run of three successive birdies from the seventh and he added further birdies at the 12th, 14th and 17th. But a bogey at 15 and two double bogeys saw them stand on the 18th tee with the Spaniard one in front.
Although Lopez-Pizarro pushed his drive close to a tree he found the green, while Lamb left his approach from the fairway on the left fringe. It was a tricky swinging putt which finished four feet right of the pin.
But his chance was taken away as his rival holed his uphill 25-footer for victory.
“I knew I was ahead during the round but the two doubles on the back nine were crucial,” said Lamb. “I’m disappointed but if I’d known at the start of the week that I’d be runner-up I’d have taken it.”
What was equally disappointing was that Lamb was on the brink of two doubles. He was seeking to add the English title to the Scottish under 14 Championship he won a few weeks while a win would have seen the under 14 title join the under 16 championship in Northumberland following Jake Storey’s victory in the latter.
The under 13 title went to Teodoro Soldati from Italy with a closing 71 for 219 and fifth place overall.
Not only did the two titles go to foreign golfers but there were nine continentals in the top 14.
Other Europeans to take the plaudits were Giovanni Tadiotto from Belgium, who returned the best round of the week, a four-birdie 68 for 222, 12 over par, while Denmark’s Oscar Etlar achieved a hole-in-one.
It came at the 160-yard sixth hole when the four-handicapper sank his five-iron tee shot. It was his first ever ‘ace’ and the lad from Lynge said: “I knew the shot was close but I didn’t see it go into the hole.”