Robin Dawson falls to Jovan Rebula in final of British Amateur
Tramore golfer loses 3&2 in decider at Royal Aberdeen
Ireland’s Robin Dawson finished runner-up to South Africa’s Jovan Rebula in the British Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images
Rebula, a nephew of Ernie Els, was never behind in the final and went on to complete a 3&2 win over Dawson to become the first South African to win the coveted title since Bobby Cole at Carnoustie in 1966. His victory will earn the 20-year-old invitations to this year’s British Open at Carnoustie and next year’s Masters and US Open.
Rebula took command of the final early on, striking the first blow to go 1up with a birdie at the par-5 sixth hole. He then took advantage when Dawson bogeyed the seventh and eighth to go 3up. However, Dawson, a member of Tramore Golf Club, pulled one back immediately with a birdie of his own to cut Rebula’s lead to two holes at the turn.
The match was extremely close at that point and Dawson, who won the Irish Open Amateur Championship at Royal County Down in May, closed the gap further when Rebula conceded the 13th hole. With Rebula at 1up, the finalists headed into the break with everything to play for.
After fighting his way to 3up in the early stages of the afternoon, Rebula stamped his authority on the match by winning the 26th and 27th holes, which included an incredible 25-foot putt for birdie.
Rebula was in cruise control with a lead of 5up with six to play and looked certain to secure the championship before nerves kicked in and Dawson claimed two holes back.
It took until the 16th where he made a clinical save from the sand to win and etch his name in history.
“It’s unreal. It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but it’s an unreal feeling,” said Rebula. “It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different.”
Dawson, 22, admitted his frustration at getting so far but he is looking forward to the rest of what has been a brilliant summer .
“I am pretty happy. If you offered me finishing second at the start of the week I would have definitely taken it but then again when you get so close it’s frustrating so I have a lot of mixed emotions.
“I’ve some nice tournaments coming up so that’s what I’ll go away and try to focus on.
“I wasn’t really clawing my way back into it in the end, Jovan was giving holes away. But to be fair to him, it was a great up and down on the 16th to win it. He’s definitely a very worthy winner this week.”