Chesters ends England’s nine-year wait for European title

Ashely Chesters

Despite a closing round of 76, England international Ashley Chesters won the 26th European Men’s Amateur Championship at Real Golf Club El Prat.

The 23 year old from Hawkstone Park in Shropshire finished a shot ahead of David Morago, who shot 73 to win the silver medal, and two clear of Scott Fernández, both from Spain.

Chesters (image: DGV/stebl), who took the lead after shooting 65 in round two and went into the final day four shots clear, saw that advantage disappear around the turn. He bogeyed the ninth then took a double-bogey seven at the long tenth.

By this time Morago and Fernandez, playing ahead, had closed the gap, Morago being two behind, and everything was set for a dramatic finale.

Morago fell back with bogeys at 16 and 17 only for Chesters to drop further shots at 16 and 17, but the Shropshire lad was still one ahead playing the par five 18th, which he’d birdied in the previous three rounds.

Both Morago and Fernandez picked up shots there to level but Chesters kept cool and a further birdie from around four feet gave him the title.

Another England international, Jamie Rutherford also birdied the last to finish fourth on 289, while Seb Crookall-Nixon was joint 18th on 296.

Chesters, who was capped against France last year and has enjoyed several top ten finishes this year, is the first English player to win the European title since Matthew Richardson triumphed in Sweden in 2004.

He joins an illustrious list of winners which include Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia. Leading final scores: 284 A Chesters (Eng) 73 65 70 76 285 D Morago (Spa) 75 68 69 73 286 S Fernandez (Spa) 70 71 71 74 289 J Rutherford (Eng) 71 73 71 74