English ace bags two prestigious titles on recent trip ‘Down Under’
England’S cricketers might have struggled woefully to compete in Australia over the winter months but, where they toiled, one of the country’s most exciting young amateur golfers shone.
Ryan Evans, from Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, plundered two prestigious titles on a five-week stint Down Under, propelling himself into the top ten of the World Amateur Golf Rankings in the process.
First, the 26-year-old became the first Englishman in eight years to win the Lake Macquarie International. Then, just weeks later, he added victory in the Avondale Amateur Medal for good measure.
As a result, he climbed to eighth on the WAGR, still led by his compatriot and the reigning US Amateur champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
In the Lake Macquarie event, Evans closed with a fine 68 to finish on seven-under-par and two shots ahead of New Zealand’s Luke Toomey and Jarryd Felton from Australia.
The Englishman started the final round in a group of five players chasing Jordan Zunic, who held a three-shot lead.
However, when the Aussie fell away, eventually signing for a 74, that left the door ajar for someone to nip and take the spoils - with Evans proving up to the challenge.
He took that good form into the Avondale Amateur Medal where he laid the foundations for another win with a ‘best of the week’ 64 in round two. That, allied to his 68 in round one, left him just two shots adrift of the halfway leader, Australia’s Harrison Endycott.
A 75 in round three threatened to derail Evans’ challenge and left him with six shots to make up on Endycott in the final round.
As it was, however, he managed to do just that, a five-under-par round of 66 to Endycott’s two-over 73 seeing the Englishman over the finishing line first.
His win made him the first Englishman to take the title since MatthewCryer of Coventry won it in 2008, when the tournament was played over 36 holes.
There was more good news for England in the Avondale event this year when Harry Casey, from Enfield, made a late charge to finish in a tie for third.