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|2017 Open Championship on the BBC|
|Venue: Royal Birkdale Dates: 20-23 July|
|Live: Listen to BBC Radio 5 live commentary and follow text updates – including in-play video clips – on BBC Sport website and mobile app. TV highlights on BBC Two. Click for full times.|
Alfie Plant followed famous footsteps as he won the Silver Medal at the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Like Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy before him, Plant intends to follow the feat of finishing as leading amateur by turning professional.
But Plant, 25, will not do it until after the Walker Cup in September.
“I’m hopefully going to be picked for the Walker Cup, then I will turn pro. Then I will try for (European) Tour School after that,” he said.
The Millwall fan, who keeps his favourite football club’s flag in his bag, carried by his brother, may or may not go on to emulate Woods, Rose and McIlroy by winning a major one day.
But he said it will take a lot to match the elation of walking down the 18th at Birkdale on his way to signing for a three-over final-day 73 – six over for the championship.
That’s what The Open’s all about, Alfie
“It sent shivers down my spine walking up the last,” said Plant, who qualified for his trip to west Lancashire as European amateur champion. “It’s been an amazing week.
“We started out with four of us in our house in Formby and we’ve ended up with 16 of us in there, on sofas and blow-up beds. I don’t want to think about how much it’s cost.
“And it was great having my brother on the bag. He’s out there to make me laugh, make me smile, and keep my mind off things, and he did a great job of that.
“It’s obviously a step for me. I’ve got a great team around me, so I’m sure they’ll advise me to go down the right path. But it’s just one week out of my life this year, which has been great. I’ve just got to keep improving and hoping I make the right decisions along the way.
“There’s probably a lot of discussions that need to be had with management companies regarding the business side. I’m sure they’re going to start happening thick and fast. I’d like to definitely get something set in stone so that side of it is all done.
“The brand, Team Alfie, whoever I sign with, hopefully they can sort me out. But I feel like I’m something different out there. I’m quite relaxed. I don’t mind having a laugh and a joke.”
Alfie did it for his nan
One feature of Alfie Plant’s golf bag was the inscription it of ‘Do it for nan’ to commemorate his late great-grandmother, whose funeral will take place this week.
“Nans and grandparents are always on your mind when you lose them,” he said. “You think about it too much and you’re going to start crying out there.
“I tried to put it to the back of my mind, as best as possible. But, every time I looked at the bag, I got a gentle reminder, and she was definitely with me this week. Not just today, she’s been there for 72 holes. It’s a sad loss and it’s not going to be a nice day on Tuesday.”
Plant the only amateur to make the cut
Plant knew on Friday that he would win the Silver Medal, assuming that he completed his final two rounds.
He was the only one of this year’s five amateurs to survive the halfway cut – and to do that he had to fight back from dropping five shots over the first seven holes of his second round for a 73, making it through by two shots on four over.
Scottish international Connor Syme finished on nine over after 36 holes, Italy’s Luca Cianchetti was two shots worse off and American Maverick McNealy and Hampshire’s Harry Ellis, the Amateur champion, were both on 12 over.
Illustrious past winners of the Silver Medal
Hal Sutton – 1981 (Sandwich)
Jose Maria Olazabal – 1985 (Sandwich)
Paul Broadhurst – 1988 (Royal Lytham)
Tiger Woods – 1996 (Royal Lytham)
Justin Rose – 1998 (Royal Birkdale)
Rory McIlroy – 2007 (Carnoustie)
Chris Wood – 2008 (Royal Birkdale)
Tom Lewis – 2011 (Sandwich)
Matthew Fitzpatrick – 2013 (Muirfield)
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