ANGUS, Scotland (June 17, 2015) – The good news for Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland) and Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Slaskie, Poland) is they both defeated their opponents in the opening round of match play on Wednesday at the 120th British Amateur.
The bad news…
One of them will have their run for a championship come to an end as they play each other in Thursday’s second round at Carnoustie.
Gradecki, who teed off 10 minutes before Kristjansson, defeated Germany’s Alexander Matlari 2-up, while Kristjansson beat Denmark’s Christoffer Bring 2&1.
From the start, it looked as if Gradecki would not have to go the distance as the ETSU rising junior was 4-up thru five, nine and 11 holes, however, Matlari fought back to extend the match. Gradecki, who won the first three holes to begin the day, was 3-up thru 14, but Matlari made his run by winning No. 15 and 17 to inch within one. Fortunately, on the par-4 18th, Gradecki birdied the final hole, while Matlari bogeyed to end the match.
Meanwhile, Kristjansson was playing behind his teammate and never trailed throughout his match. After both golfers parred the first hole, Kristjansson quickly went 2-up after winning No. 2 and 3, before Bring narrowed the gap to one by winning the par-5 No. 6. Again, Kristjansson won the next hole to go back up two, while he eventually went 3-up after claiming the par-3 13th with a birdie. Bring managed to keep the match alive following a win on No. 16, but both golfers parred the par-4 17th, to set up Thursday’s showdown with his Buccaneer counterpart.
Thursday’s match between Kristjansson and Gradecki gets underway at 4:14 a.m. EDT. The winner of that match advances to round three, which will also be contested on Thursday.
The Amateur Champion earns a spot in the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews and the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. Traditionally, an invitation is also extended to the winner to play in the Masters.
Several Open Champions and Ryder Cup players have played in the Amateur including Jack Nicklaus, José Maria Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie, Sir Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, who won in 1998.
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