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Sherry toasts win

GORDON SHERRY realised a dream yesterday when he comprehensively won the 100th Amateur Championship at a damp Royal Liverpool a year after losing the final in his native Scotland. The huge 21-year-old from Kilmarnock, who stands 6ft 8in and tips the scales at 18 stone, dominated a one-sided contest to beat Michael Reynard, the surprise finalist, 7 and 6.

Reynard, 33, from Moseley in Birmingham, failed to win a hole in the morning and went into lunch facing an eight-hole deficit. He immediately went nine down when he turned up two minutes late on the tee for the afternoon round and was penalised the opening hole. No one could remember such an occurrence in the history of the amateur final. If Reynard had been five minutes late he would have been disqualified.

It simply eased Sherry's passage to the title and helped him erase the memory of his biggest disappointment. A year ago at Nairn, the Stirling University biochemistry student was beaten 2 and 1 in the final by England's Lee James, from Broadstone, in Dorset. But this time there was no stopping the strapping Scot.

"It feels unbelievable," Sherry said. "No one knows how disappointed I was at losing last year." He had played immaculately in the morning round to card a four-under-par 68, and he added: "My morning round was pure class. When I got to nine up without hitting the ball I was already starting to count the number of holes left."

Reynard was no match for the Scot as he struggled to find his form both off the tee and on the greens. "I didn't know what time the afternoon round was starting," he admitted. "I heard someone in the clubhouse say it was 1.45. I wasn't happy, but you can't do anything about it."

Reynard did stage a minor comeback by winning four holes, but it was a lost cause. "Gordon was unbelievable in the morning round and he is a fine champion," the runner-up said.