Saturday 23 September 2017

Dunbar plays it cool as date with destiny awaits

Alan Dunbar will today attempt to become the first Irish winner of the British Amateur Championship since Brian McElhinney seven years ago -- and the first from Ulster since Michael Hoey in 2000.

Standing between the 22-year-old Walker Cup star from Rathmore and glory is Austrian Matthias Schwab, who ended Scottish hopes in the semi-finals.

Dunbar does not appear to be fazed by the pressure of big events, and there are huge potential rewards from today's final -- places in the British Open, US Masters and US Open -- not to mention that victory would put him in great heart for his assault on the Irish Open at Royal Portrush next week.

First, the former St Andrews Links Trophy winner disposed of Swede Robert Karlsson 4&3 without ever being in any sort of trouble and then he put paid to the hopes of Scot Paul Ferrier with a 3&2 success.

"I am not thinking about winning. Throughout the week I have taken every game as it has come and my secret is I have lots of patience and do not get fazed by the big occasion," said Dunbar, who has a stunning stroke-play record but is still to make a major breakthrough in match play.

Schwab (17) edged out Kilmarnock (Barassie) teenager Jack MacDonald on the last green in the semi-finals. Schwab was never behind in the game and closed out the match when MacDonald was bunkered at the last.

Irish Independent

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