Calm Dunbar books his final place in convincing style

 

BRITISH AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIPALAN DUNBAR today attempts to become the first Irish inner of the Amateur Championship since Brian McElhinney seven years ago – and the first from Ulster since Michael Hoey in the year 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.

Laid-back Dunbar has the possibility of huge rewards today – places in the Open, Masters and US Open – and victory will put him in great heart for his bid for the Irish Open in his own backyard at Royal Portrush next week.

First the former St Andrews Links Trophy winner disposed of Swede Robert Karlsson 4 and 3 without ever being in any sort of trouble and then he put paid to the hopes of Scot Paul Ferrier with a 3 and 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 yet to make a major breakthrough in match-play contests.

Dunbar says his game has improved as the week progressed. “I did not play all that well on Wednesday but got through, then was good yesterday in both my matches and today it’s been fine, this morning and most of the afternoon.”

Schwab, a 17-year-old coached by Willie Hoffman, who coached Bernhard Langer, edged out Kilmarnock (Barassie) teenager Jack MacDonald on the last green in the semi-finals.

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