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Oliver Betschart makes triumphant debut in France

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Oliver Betschart, fourth right, pictured with fellow medal-winners at the prize ceremony following his victory on the Swiss Golf Junior Tour in France (Photograph supplied)

Oliver Betschart earned a trip back to the podium after making a triumphant debut at the Swiss Golf Junior Tour-Maison Blanche in Échenevex, France.

The 15-year-old amateur led a formidable field throughout the tournament at the Golf & Country Club de Maison Blanche on the way to an impressive three-shot victory in his first appearance at the 54-hole event.

“It was a strong field with the top Swiss juniors, so I am really proud of how I played,” Betschart told The Royal Gazette.

“The course was in great condition while the weather was on the cooler side. We had a bit of rain on all three days, which led to soft conditions.

“It was a challenging course, which had lots of elevations and narrow fairways, and the rough was long and thick.

“Just want to thank Swiss Golf and Golf & Country Club de Maison Blanche for putting on a great tournament and Bermuda Golf Association, Bermuda Olympic Association, Titleist, Puma and My Putter for all the support.”

Oliver Betschart shows off his medals after claiming overall and boys’ under-16 honours playing in a Swiss Golf Junior Tour event in France (Photograph supplied)

As well as securing overall honours, Betschart also won the boys under-16 title by a nine shots and earned vital world amateur golf ranking points up for grabs at the event.

The Bermudian seized early pole position with an opening round of three-under 69 on Friday, carding five birdies, including three in succession coming in on the back nine, and two bogeys.

“First round I played steady. I felt really good and I came in really strong,” Betschart added.

The 2023 Moongate Tour Championship winner retained his spot in the driver’s seat with an even-par 72, which included five birdies, in the second round on Saturday.

“Second round I was four under through the first seven holes and making the turn the wind picked up and just got a couple of unlucky breaks,” he said.

“Made four bogeys on the back to come in even, but I was still able to increase my lead.”

Luan Dopple, left, the under-18 runner-up, Marius Dupraz, the under-16 runner-up, and Oliver Betschart (Photograph supplied)

Holding a commanding five-shot advantage heading into the final round, Betschart carded 73 to close, with one birdie.

He was one over at the turn after making successive bogeys at the 8th and 9th holes and was a model of consistency coming in, as he played the remaining nine holes at even par to sign off with a combined total of 214.

“Going into the final round I was keen to increase my lead, but was only able to shoot one birdie and two bogeys on the front nine and shot all pars coming in to secure my win,” Betschart added.

“I was always aware of where I was, and just stuck to my game plan.”

Switzerland’s Luan Dopple finished runner-up and compatriot Paolo Fazzone third overall, a further four shots back.

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Published May 06, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated May 06, 2024 at 7:55 am)

Oliver Betschart makes triumphant debut in France

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