Wolstenholme's emotional final

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Gary Wolstenholme will achieve his dream today if he beats the defending champion Paul Casey in the 36-hole final of the English Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham.

Gary Wolstenholme will achieve his dream today if he beats the defending champion Paul Casey in the 36-hole final of the English Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham.

Wolstenholme's late father, Guy, carried off the title 44 years ago over these same links and although Gary has won the Amateur Championship, the English title has always eluded his grasp.

It could prove an emotional occasion as Gary's mother, Joan, will be at his side as she has been for most of the week.

It will be Wolstenholme's first final in 18 attempts. He lost in the semi-finals in 1991 to Ricky Willison, who went on to become champion. The Leicestershire player made no mistake this time, cruising to a 5&4 victory over Surrey's David Ryles, while Casey overcame the battling Barry Barker 2&1 in the other semi-final.

Wolstenholme, who will be 40 later this month, edged past 16-year-old Simon Bell in his morning quarter-final then faced 20-year-old Ryles, a semi-finalist in this year's Amateur Championship.

The older man got off to a flier, being conceded a birdie putt on the first green when Ryles failed to get up and down from a bunker.

His lead increased with a birdie three at the third and then Ryles conceded the par-four fourth after driving into the rough and taking two more to reach the green.

The Surrey player fell four behind when he missed from 10 feet for a birdie at the fifth with Wolstenholme already down in four, and found further trouble at the next when he again drove into the rough. He failed to get out first time and minutes later had conceded another hole to go five down. Although he won the short ninth when Wolstenholme was through the green, Ryles never looked like pulling the game round.

Comments