Date: July 04, 2012

Bennett’s unfinished business at Lytham

By Hamish Jones In 1994 Englishman Warren Bennett stood at Royal Sydney Golf Club with the Australian Amateur Championship trophy in his hands having defeated Victorian Jamie McCallum 2&1 in the final in the championship&aposs centenary year. He&aposd also defeated current Open and PGA champion Greg Chalmers in the semi finals. In what would be a stellar year for the Surrey-born amateur, Bennett started in The Open Championship field at Turnberry and claimed low amateur honours as Nick Price won his first and only Claret Jug. Bennett won seven times on Europe&aposs Challenge Tour before going on to win the Scottish PGA Championship in 1999 on his first season on the European Tour, before being forced to resign his tour card in 2009 as the result of a hand injury sustained in a bike accident. As he worked to recover from injury, he spent time caddying for Austrian European Tour player Bernd Wiesberger and England&aposs Trish Johnson on the Ladies European Tour. 18 years on from that break-out amateur performance at Turnberry, Bennett will tee it up again at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes having secured his place at 36 hole Local Final Qualifying at Hillside with consecutive rounds of 68 (-8). It will be his fifth time at The Open Championship and his best finish was a tie for 40th in 1995. It&aposs nice to lay a few demons down. I fell as if I&aposm getting up from the bottom of the barrel. I&aposve had a new coach for the last three months and I feel that has changed my game,” Bennet said. “I&aposm looking forward to Lytham. I&aposve qualified 5 times before. As an amateur in 1994, then as a professional in 1995, 1999, 2002 and 2004, but I had to pull out through injury in 2004. So there&aposs some unfinished business,” he added.