SOUTHPORT, England – Alfie Plant had the week of his 25-year-old life.
The amateur from London took a selfie with Lee Westwood early in the week, made the cut on Friday then strolled up Royal Birkdale’s 18th fairway Sunday to thunderous applause and was awarded the silver medal that goes with The Open’s low amateur.
Plant shot 71-73-69-73 to shoot 3-over-par 286.
“It’s been absolutely amazing,” Plant said. “It sent shivers down my spine walking up the last.”
The whole Open experience has been a whirlwind. Plant only qualified for Royal Birkdale three weeks ago when he won the European Amatuer in a playoff at Walton Heath.
So, that gave him little time to prepare for his first major championship. But his family scrambled and ultimately 150 friends and family made the trip from London up to Manchester to support their man.
They rented a house in nearby Formby. At the beginning of the week there were only three people in the house. By week’s end, the number had grown up to 15 with people sleeping all over the place.
“As a son at first you get a bit embarrassed,” Plant said of all the support. “But it’s absolutely taken off this week, and hats off to my dad. It’s been great. I’ve been getting so much support. And I think it’s really made the tournament great for me.”
Plant’s plan moving forward is to make the Walker Cup team for Great Britain & Ireland in September, which is now a virtual certainty because of his Open exposure. Soon after, he plans to test the professional ranks.
“You have to go when you’re ready and go when you’ve got some good results behind you,” he said. “But at 25, you know, we’ve taken our time. I’ve enjoyed the journey along the way. And I think it’s definitely going to be a good journey going forward, 100 percent.”
(For a complete breakdown of Alfie Plant's statistics, visit TheOpen.com)