Neil becomes first Scot to win British Am since '04


Scotland's Bradley Neil won the British Amateur Sunday at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, defeating South African Zander Lombard, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole championship match.

Neil, 18, became the first Scot to win the prestigious championship since 2004, when Stuart Wilson won. The victory also earned Neil a spot in the British Open next month at Royal Liverpool, and next year's Masters and U.S. Open. The runner-up performance earned Lombard, 19, a position in final qualifying for the British Open.

"To play in front of a big crowd like this is incredible," Neil said. "This win is not just for me, it is for everyone that has helped me. I am so proud that my name will be added to the list of past winners.

"It means a lot to me to have the chance to compete with major champions in the Open. It will be fantastic, it will be a strong test and it will be good to see how my game copes."

The championship match was all square after the morning 18 holes and was again all square after nine holes in the afternoon session. But Lombard made bogey on the 28th hole and Neil won the 31st hole with a bogey after Lombard  was unable to find his tee ball. Lombard made two birdies to keep the contest close but the match was over on the 35th hole when both players halved with par.

"We both played really solid today and I have to say thumbs up to Bradley, he's an awesome golfer with a lot of talent," Lombard said. "We are pretty good friends and it is always nice having really good company on the golf course."