20 June 2015, Carnoustie, Scotland: Frenchman Romain Langasque saw off the challenge of Scotland’s Grant Forrest to win the 120th Amateur Championship at Carnoustie today, writes the R&A.
Langasque was in commanding form as he won the 36-hole Final by 4&2 and he has secured a place in next month’s 144th Open at St Andrews. His victory also gains him a place in next year’s US Open at Oakmont and, traditionally, an invitation to the Masters Tournament.
The 20-year-old Frenchman sealed the win on the par three 34th hole when Forrest conceded the hole and the match after his tee shot had gone through the back of the green and his chip coming back went past the hole with Langasque facing a 10ft birdie putt.
Langasque, who hails from Cabris in southern France, took charge of the early proceedings in the morning round and won the par four 3rd hole after splashing out from a greenside bunker to a foot from the hole.
The Frenchman notched up three consecutive birdies, holing three putts in the 20ft range, from the 8th hole to go four up and take a grip on the match. Forrest bogeyed the par four 11th hole to fall five behind but showed his battling qualities to bounce back with an excellent drive and approach for an eagle on the par five 12th to win the hole.
Langasque kept up the pressure and restored his five-hole lead by winning the 14th after Forrest put his drive out of bounds.
Forrest recovered to win the 15th with a birdie and the 16th when Langasque failed to get up and down with his chip from left of the green. On the 17th, Forrest pulled his approach into thick rough left of the green and, when he could only find the edge of the green with his first chip and his next went past the cup, the hole was lost.
On the 18th, Langasque lost the hole after driving into a bunker on the right of the fairway and finding a greenside bunker before hitting his escape out of bounds to the left of the green. He finished the morning round with a three-hole lead.
In the afternoon round, Forrest’s hopes of mounting a comeback were severely dented when his opening drive found a bush in the rough to the left of the fairway and he lost the hole. He fell further behind when his tee shot again found the rough on the left on the 20th hole and Langasque birdied the par four 21st after driving the green. Langasque moved seven holes ahead on the 23rd hole, after Forrest missed the green to the left, and things looked ominous for the Scot.
The Craigielaw player won the 24th with a birdie and the 26th after Langasque found a bunker with his tee shot. His recovery continued on the 30th hole when he holed a near 60 ft putt for eagle and then on the 32nd when Langasque found a bunker with his tee shot and then two other bunkers to let Forrest win the hole with a birdie four.
On the 33rd hole, Langasque hit a wonderful seven iron shot 190 yards from a fairway bunker on to the green to ensure the hole was halved and he went on to secure his victory at the next hole with a precise four iron approach to 10ft.
Langasque becomes the third Frenchman to win the Amateur Championship after Philippe Ploujoux in 1981 and Julien Guerrier in 2006.
“This is just a dream for me. It is just incredible that I am going to play at St Andrews in one month’s time for The Open.
“When I came here I played my first practice round and played really well at Panmure maybe six or seven-under-par and then when I played my practice round here at Carnoustie I was maybe six or seven over so when it came to the first round I just tried to do my best on every shot.
“I played ok for the first two rounds and then the more the competition advanced the more I played well. This morning was my best round of the championship and I played really well.”
“The start this afternoon really killed it for me. Coming back from seven down was always going to be a tall order.
“The bunker on the 15th (the 33rd) is one of the few bunkers on the course you can move the ball forward from and he hit a great shot. I ended up getting a half. If I had won that hole then two down with three to play is a lot different.
“This week has been a great confidence boost for me which is just what I needed at this point. My confidence was a bit low because I hadn’t been playing well. I am disappointed not to have won but it is good to see that I can compete in a championship like this.”
For the full results from the championship please visit championships.randa.org.