Teen Oliver Betschart wins historic Port Royal Championship
Teenage golf prodigy Oliver Betschart underlined his potential after becoming the youngest player to win the Port Royal Golf Club Championship at the weekend.
The fourteen-year-old won the 36-hole event by two shots over nearest rival Andrew Yates, with Sheldon Chychrun rounding off the podium finishers a further shot back.
Betschart began the back nine in the final round trailing overnight leaders Jevon Roberts and Scott Barnett by a solitary stroke and took full advantage of the favourable conditions at the par 71 Southampton layout to win the title at the second attempt.
“My first nine holes started good and then I bogeyed 16, 17 and 18, which left me 4 over through 9,” Betschart told The Royal Gazette. “I knew then that I had to play a bit more aggressive, but still smart.”
The strategy ultimately paid off as Betschart played the remaining holes at one-under on the way to carding the lowest round of three-over 74.
“I shot 1 under which left me with 74 for the day,” he added. “I didn’t know where I stood but I thought that it would be close.
“When the final group came in people started to congratulate me, but I still was not sure until I heard it from Mr Lambert [Port Royal head professional Steven Lambert Jr], at which point I found out that I had shot the low score of the day and finished two shots in front of second place.
“I also want to congratulate senior champion Ian Page and women’s champion Kathryn Lloyd-Hines and also thank Port Royal Golf Club and the groundstaff.”
Betschart carded an 84 during the opening round, which was contested in strong gales and took its toll on the entire field.
“I was standing on the first tee and it was blowing between 30 and 40 knots from the north west,” he said.
“I did not play too bad getting it to the green, but putting was difficult. The wind was so strong it was just hard to keep balance.
“The wind was just pushing me and my putter all over the place, I can’t even remember how many times I stepped off putts. The ball would rock a bit sometimes but it never rolled away. The key was to mark it quickly.
“On 9 I was on the green in two and then four putted-that was the worst.”