England are flying high after winning the silver medal with a battling performance at the World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico.
The team of Jamie Bower from Yorkshire, Scott Gregory from Hampshire and Alfie Plant from Kent finished on 19-under par for England’s best-ever result in the Eisenhower Trophy.
Plant, who tied third in the individual table on 12-under par, vaulted England into second place when he holed a six-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.
“Once I knew I had to make the putt for birdie, I just went through my routine to make sure you make the best putt you can, and it just went in,” said Plant (Sundridge Park), who made seven birdies in his final round of five-under 66.
“It’s been a great week, we’ve recorded our highest finish in the event as a team, and I’m playing good golf as well. It’s great to get up on the stage for a medal.”
England captain Kevin Tucker added: “We’re absolutely delighted, the good thing is that all three players have contributed. It’s the first time England has medalled and we’re over the moon.”
The championship was won in magnificent style by Australia who were 38-under and claimed the title for the fourth time. Austria and Ireland tied third a stroke behind England.
“The boys did a great job,” said Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director. “It was a great team effort and we’re very pleased as we had an awful lot of work to do after two rounds.”
After the first round England were tied 11th on three-under, with counting rounds of 69 from Plant and 70 from Gregory (Corhampton), the 2016 Amateur Champion and world number seven.
In the second round, Gregory’s 70 and Bower’s 71 moved the team into a share of eighth place on six-under, 13 shots behind new leaders Australia and five behind second-placed USA.
In the third round they jumped up to fourth on 13-under, with scores of 70 from Gregory and 67 from Plant, who gave the team a boost with an 18th hole birdie. By then, the Australians were on 32-under and clearly heading for the title, but England were only three shots behind second place.
In the final round it fell to Bower, the Brabazon Trophy champion from Meltham, and Plant, the Lytham Trophy winner, to provide England’s counting scores of 70 and 66 respectively.
Bower’s highlights included a chip-in for birdie on three and a fine par save on six where he holed from 15ft. He set up a two-putt birdie when he reached the long 13th with a drive and a four-iron and then holed a 35ft putt for birdie on 16.
On the last he took a three-wood from the tee, but pulled his six-iron approach to the left of the green. However he chipped up to 12ft and holed the putt for a vital par.
Plant made three twos in the final round and, when necessary, kept his round going with an excellent touch around the greens, for example getting up and down from 30 yards for par.
He bogeyed the 17th but showed his class at 18 with a drive that split the fairway and a great second with a six iron to 6ft. He holed the putt for a birdie to set up the silver medal.
Supporting the players, in addition to Edwards and Tucker, were England men’s coach Graham Walker, Tucker’s wife, Liz, and Alfie’s parents, Darren and Emma. “The whole team was just great!” said Edwards.
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Caption: (from left) Nigel Edwards, Kevin Tucker, Scott Gregory, Jamie Bower, Alfie Plant and England coach Graham Walker.