March 06, 2017.

Jack Davidson became the first Welsh golfer to win the Spanish Amateur Open, following in the footsteps of players such as Darren Clarke, Jose Maria Olazabal, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willetts.

The are all former winners of the Copa de El Rey, Llanwern teenager Davidson joining that illustrious list after a strong second round helped him beat England's Marco Penge in the 36 hole final at El Saler golf club near Valencia.

It capped a stunning week for the Wales international, who qualified for the match play stages in 32nd place out of 32 but then set up his charge to the title by beating number one seed Christopher MacLean of Scotland.

It followed a run of good form which saw him come third in the South American Amateur in January and seventh in the Portuguese Amateur on February.

He was one down after the morning round against England's Walker Cup squad player Penge, but turned his fortunes round in the afternoon with the help of two eagles on the front nine before a level par run on the back nine brought a 4 and 3 win in windy conditions on the Spanish coast.

“Jack has been knocking on the door for a big international win for a while so this is not a surprise,” said Golf Union of Wales director of performance Gillian O'Leary.

“This is one of the best individual wins on the international stage for some years for a Welsh male golfer, probably since Rhys Pugh lifted the European Amateur.

“It has followed a really strong start to the year for Jack, both in South America and in Europe and can only bode well for the rest of the season.

“It is testament to the hard work he has put in and the support from Wales national coach Neil Matthews. He also had a lot of support from the other Welsh players at the event, including Josh Davies caddying for him. There was a good Team Wales attitude.”

The preliminary Walker Cup squad for the September match against the USA included two Wales players in Llanwern colleague Owen Edwards and David Boote, but there is still time for Davidson to force his way into contention.

Posted on 6 March 2017 at 12:00

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