Schmidt's winning ways...
Ben Schmidt’s golfing stock continues to soar following his latest win in Australia’s NSW Amateur championship. He underlined his reputation as one of England’s finest prospects with a dominant display of golf in the 36-hole final at St Michael’s Golf Club in Sydney.
The 17-year-old from Rotherham was never headed in the final against fellow England squad member Callum Farr, easily winning 7&5.
Schmidt shot to prominence last year when he became only the fourth golfer in history to win both the Brabazon and Carris Trophy in the same season.
The Wath Academy golf scholar also made Open final qualifying, won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and spread-eagled a talented field by 15 shots to take the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf Championship.
Rounds of 66 (at co-host The Coast) and 74, saw him qualify for the matchplay stages in 10th position and his biggest challenge came in the opening round where he needed two extra holes to overcome Callan Barrow at the 20th. He then dominated Mako Thompson winning 7&5, closed out Harrison Crowe 2up and proved too good for Jayden Ford (3&1).
Schmidt was 3up at the turn against Farr and had a five-hole advantage at lunch. When he went six ahead, with a par at the 5th in the afternoon round, it was clear he had one hand on the trophy.
He said: “I have played really well all week and felt comfortable out on the course and was able to continue that feeling into the final. To be honest, I played pretty flawlessly and against a player of Callum’s standard that had to be the case.
“My main goal before I started today was to treat the 36-hole final as two separate matches. It helped to narrow it down and focus on a shorter target. I was able to win the first hole of the day hitting two good shots into the green and from there I just grew in confidence."
Schmidt was full of praise for Farr and admitted it was tricky taking on a pal in such an important final.
“Callum’s a great mate and we get on really well,” confirmed Schmidt. “There were no hard feelings – we both knew we had to compete, and someone had to win. Callum’s had a great week too and it’s great for English golf.”
Schmidt was a very pleased young man after the win saying he stuck to his game plan all day.
“Me and Sean, my caddy, had a great game plan and we stuck to it all week.
“I hit some great golf shots and didn’t make many mistakes, and the result shows what happened out there,”
“You’ve got to hit it in the right places out here.”
Schmidt said the NSW Amateur win should set his year up nicely.
“I did all right last year,” he smiled. “It’s good to get my first win for this season under my belt. It’s a massive confidence boost.”