For the third successive year, the Spanish Amateur Championship is in English hands after Jack Hiluta beat Germany’s Marcel Schneider 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final at Alcanada, Majorca.
The 22 year old from Essex maintained England’s recent monopoly of the event which has seen Sam Hutsby from Hampshire finish runner-up in 2009, Matt Haines from Kent beat Lancashire’s Tommy Fleetwood in the 2010 final, and Somerset’s Laurie Canter lifted the title last year after defeating Surrey’s Stiggy Hodgson, his England team mate.
Hiluta, who was ninth seed after the 36-hole stroke play qualifying, beat Spain’s Toni Ferrer 3 and 2 in round one then put out fellow Englishman Ashley Chesters from Shropshire 3 and 1 to reach the quarter finals. A 2 and 1 win over Kenny Subregis of France booked a semi-final place where he edged past Dutchman Daan Huizing by 1 hole.
In the final, Hiluta lost an early lead and found himself behind after three holes. But he regained it by the turn and was 2-up at lunch. He increased that on the opening hole of the afternoon and although Schneider pegged him back to 1-up with nine to play, a concession at the 28th followed by a birdie at the long 29th restored his three-hole advantage.
A birdie-three at the 32nd put the Essex man 4-up and the title was secured at the next which they halved in par fours.
Hiluta, who has spent the last few years at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, was capped at under 16 and boys levels and represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
He was England boy captain in 2007, a member of the England A squad in 2009 and last year, when back from college, he finished third in the Berkshire Trophy.
Meanwhile, Jamie Clare, runner-up in last year’s English Amateur Championship at Woburn, reached the semi-finals of the South African Amateur at Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town.
The Somerset teenager was beaten at the 19th by Brandon Stone having defeated England colleague Toby Tree 1-up in the round of the last 16.