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Oliver Betschart battles to top-20 finish in Switzerland

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Oliver Betschart at the Championship du Leman in Geneva, Switzerland (Photograph supplied)

Oliver Betschart put his skills to the test among a formidable field of 101 amateurs in on his debut at the Championship du Leman in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 15-year-old battled through rain, tight fairways, tricky greens and unfamiliar settings on the way to finishing tied for fifteenth at 12 over in the 54-hole tournament spread across three different golf courses.

Betschart began his campaign at the Golf Club Lausanne last Saturday, when he carded an opening round three-over 75 that contained two birdies and four bogeys.

“I felt really good going into the tournament and started pretty good and ended good,” Betschart told The Royal Gazette.

Oliver Betschart in action at the Championship du Leman in Geneva, Switzerland (Photograph supplied)

“In between was a bit rough. I have never played that course before and it’s always tricky going into a tournament where you’re not sure of the course, but it was fun and I enjoyed myself.”

The promising player also endured fluctuating fortunes in Sunday’s second round at Golf Club Montreux, carding a five-over 77 that included two birdies and five bogeys, on the way to making the 36-hole cut, which was set at 51st and ties.

“I really enjoyed that course and it was the only one I did a practice round on,” Betschart said.

“I felt good and didn’t feel too far behind going into that round. I knew I could try and make something happen but I couldn’t really get any putts rolling in.

“It was pretty tricky getting adjusted to the different green and was just a little off line most of the putts that didn’t drop.”

Betschart then signed off with a four-over 76 in Monday’s final round at Golf Club Geneva, where he carded four birdies, four bogeys and two double bogeys.

“I knew I had something to prove going into the last round,” he said.

“It was an amazing course there, too. But again I have never played this course and it was a bit tricky getting used to the greens.”

Betschart’s total score of 228 left him eight shots shy of eventual winner Michael Thannhauser, who beat Richard Heath in a play-off for the title.

“It was a great tournament and I will definitely do it again next year,” Betschart said.

“It was different playing three different courses in one tournament. It was a lot to prepare for and you had to play different strategies for each course, but I enjoyed having to mentally prepare and be ready for those challenges.”

Betschart went into the tournament fresh off victory on his debut at the Swiss Golf Junior Tour-Maison Blanche in Échenevex, France, in his previous outing this month.

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Published May 21, 2024 at 10:33 am (Updated May 21, 2024 at 10:33 am)

Oliver Betschart battles to top-20 finish in Switzerland

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