Olesen makes history as first Danish winner of Amateur Championship

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Jacob Skov Olesen (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A via Getty Images)

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Jacob Skov Olesen etched his name into the history books at Ballyliffin as he became the first Danish golfer to win The Amateur Championship.

The 25-year-old staved off a dogged fightback from the valiant Dominic Clemons in the 36-hole showdown over the Glashedy Links and emerged with a 4&3 victory to put a silver lining on a memorable Championship debut.

“It’s an honour, and I’m really proud to be the first Danish winner. I haven’t really gotten to think about that, but I guess that’s something I’ll have forever, which is super cool.  Hope it can inspire someone else from Denmark to win next year or maybe some other years in the future.

“I can now finally say I’m tired. I couldn’t say that the other days. You don’t want to seem like you’re out of energy. It’s been a long couple of days but some really good days. I feel really happy. I feel really proud and honoured.

“I will say on 15, the last putt there, I was thinking, two putts from 15 feet and you get to play The Open, the Masters and the US Open. That was probably the first time I really allowed myself to think about it. It’s what you dream of since you were a kid, to get to play those and play those courses and play against those fields. It’s really cool.

“I think the par putt on 14 in the first round, I just lost 13 after probably the worst shot of the day, my second shot. I had a long, tough one there for par just to halve the hole and stay two-up.  I managed to just sneak it in. I think that one was really important and not let him get the one, and I think it never got to one.”

As well as lifting one of the most prestigious trophies in the amateur game, Olesen’s triumph also earned him an exemption for The 152nd Open at Royal Troon in July, the 2025 US Open and, by tradition, an invitation to the Masters Tournament next April.

In an absorbing contest, which provided a fitting finale to six days of terrific competition on the northwest tip of Ireland, Olesen looked to be coasting to victory when he chipped in for a birdie on the 23rd to move into a commanding six-hole lead.

Clemons, who was two-down after the morning’s opening 18 holes, appeared to be losing his composure as the match drifted away from him, but he rallied admirably to give himself a glimmer of hope in the run-in.

A birdie putt of 35-feet on the 27th reduced the deficit before he drove the green on the 370-yard 28th to set up an eagle opportunity.

In a thrilling twist, Olesen holed his bunker shot for a birdie to pile the pressure on his opponent, but Clemons responded to that counterpunch and made his putt for a hole-winning two to pinch another back.

University of Arkansas student Olesen went five-up again, however, on the 30th and got a fortunate break on the 31st when his wayward approach ended up in a favourable lie on the adjacent tee and he halved the hole.

Five down with five to play, and with defeat staring him in the face, Clemons kept the contest alive with a mighty birdie putt across the green on the 32nd.

The 22-year-old’s hopes of pulling off a great escape suffered a blow on the 33rd, though, when he had to take an unplayable lie after his drive buried itself in a tangle of rough.

Clemons conjured a fine recovery and found the green, but he couldn’t salvage his par and Olesen had the luxury of two putts for the title.

The foundations for Olesen’s triumph were laid in the morning’s opening 18holes as the Dane forged a crucial advantage.

Clemons had struck an early blow with a birdie on the 3rd to move one-up – it was the only time he was leading all day – but a ruinous run of four bogeys over the next five holes saw that advantage swiftly evaporate as Olesen moved to three-up.

Clemons, who was aiming to add The Amateur Championship to the Scottish Open Amateur Strokeplay title he won at Muirfield earlier in the month, managed to reduce the leeway with a birdie on the par-5 13th hole.

A superb chip from just off the 14th green to within gimme distance gave him a chance of clawing another hole back, but Olesen bravely holed a testing 12-footer for a halve. The Dane’s vigorous fist-pump underlined the significance of the moment.

Clemons was then left to rue a three-putt bogey on the 15th hole as Olesen increased his lead to three again, but the Gog Magog member quickly countered with a putt of 30-feet on the 16th for a hole-winning birdie.

Olesen stood firm and maintained his two-hole advantage before completing his conquest in
the afternoon and becoming The 129th Amateur Champion.

The R&A again provided live stream coverage of the 36-hole Final. It was available on R&A TV as well as coverage on Sky Sports Mix.

The Amateur Championship will be played at Royal St George’s and Royal Cinque Ports from 16-21 June in 2025.

View final scoring from The Amateur Championship here.

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