Date: June 25, 2007

Gallant Stewart beaten in British Amateur Final

Tim Stewart staged a dramatic comeback to almost steal the British Amateur crown, but the Australian fell agonisingly short, losing 2&1 to American Drew Weaver at Royal Lytham St & Annes overnight. The 36-hole contest looked all but over when Weaver found himself six up with six to play, but the American did not count on the spirit of his Australian opponent. Stewart dug deep and rattled off four consecutive holes, thrilling the gallery and planting seeds of doubt in the mind of his adversary. But Weaver managed to find his composure and halve the 17th with a par four to release the tension and become the first American since Jay Sigel in 1979 to win the British Amateur Championship. “The 17th was by far the most intense hole I have ever played,” Weaver said. “When I saw his putt go by I said to myself &aposdon&apost let it slip away, don&apost let it go to the 18th&apos. I got a good read on the putt and just concentrated on making a good stroke.” The American dictated play for most of the final and took a two-hole lead into the afternoon round. His advantage was extended to three with a birdie on the second before putting off the green and into a bunker the following hole to hand a point back to the Australian. Weaver restored his lead just moments later when he holed out from the sand on the fourth. The fifth was halved before the American stepped up a gear and claimed the next two holes for a five-hole buffer. The lead was extended to six on the 12th and most thought the contest was over. Someone forgot to tell Stewart however as the Aussie began his charge. Two birdies and two pars later, Stewart had clawed back four holes and the gallery was abuzz with murmured excitement. But it was unfortunately too little, too late for the New South Welshman who left himself too much work to do in the closing stages of the final. “I guess if you had told me at the beginning of the week that I would be runner-up I would have been delighted. Some you win and some you don&apost,” said the humble 22-year old. Golf Australia CEO Tony Hallam paid tribute to the tenacity and endeavour Stewart has shown over the past week. “Tim&aposs effort at the British Amateur has further enhanced his image as one of Australia&aposs most talented young golfers. It&aposs an extremely difficult tournament to win and Tim has done himself and his country proud by finishing runner-up to an exceptional golfer. “His performance, along with the rest of the National Squad illustrates the depth of Australian golf as four players progressed to the match play stage. With this under his belt, plus the Australian Amateur Championship and numerous other accolades, I&aposm sure we will be seeing a lot more of Tim in the future.” Stewart and the rest of the National Squad are now on their way to the United States for a series of tournaments starting with the Dogwood Invitational, 25-28 June in Atlanta. The squad will play in eight events culminating with the US Amateur in San Francisco in August.