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Scot Craig Watson wins British amateur

June 7, 1997

SANDWICH, England (AP) _ Craig Watson of Scotland defeated 17-year-old South African Trevor Immelman 3 and 2 in Saturday’s 36-hole final to win the British Amateur championship at Royal St. George’s.

The 31-year-old Scot prevented Immelman, who led by two holes after the first 18, from becoming the tournament’s youngest champion in a event that dates back to 1885.

Watson’s victory made him the third Scottish winner in six years joining Stephen Dundas in 1992 and Gordon Sherry two years ago.

Immelman had won his last six tournaments in South Africa including the national senior and junior titles and made the halfway cut in the South African Open in February.

A key moment for Watson came at the 10th hole in the second round when his wild approach shot was stopped by a spectator’s backpack.

``It would have gone 30 yards down the hill,″ Watson said.

Instead, he was able to drop the ball without penalty on the spot, chipped on and then watched Immelman fail with four attempts to get out of a cavernous greenside bunker.

When the Cape Town golfer conceded and angrily threw his club away, he was two down and he could never recover.

The South African fell three behind on the 15th when he missed a putt from 8 feet and Watson dropped his from half that distance to win the hole.

The Scotsman wasted little time closing out the South African when both players got pars on the short 16th, giving him the 3 and 2 victory.

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