Cianchetti secures his place in The 146th Open after European Amateur Championship win
Italy’s Luca Cianchetti secured a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale after he was crowned European Amateur Champion following a thrilling final round at the Estonian Golf & Country Club in Jõelähtme near Tallin on Saturday.
At the end of regular play, Cianchetti and Norwegian Viktor Hovland tied for the lead at 16-under-par. Cianchetti recorded rounds of 72, 68, 65 and 67, with Hovland matching that total with rounds of 67, 72, a record-breaking 63 and a final round of 69.
In exciting marathon play-off, Cianchetti finally prevailed with a birdie on the seventh extra hole to keep the trophy in Italian hands.
Third-placed Simon Zach also provided an exciting moment with a hole-in-one on the 10th hole, which helped the Czech to finish six-under-par for the day and 14-under-par for the championship.
Reflecting on the win, Cianchetti said, "This was an exceptional experience, the more so because this was my first play-off experience on a grand stage. But today I think my key to victory was my playing partner, who put up a brave fight until the very end."
Cianchetti, who won the 2015 South of England Open Amateur Championship at Walton Heath, thanked his other teammates and said he had been inspired by the success of Stefano Mazzoli in winning the championship last year.
"The course was great, it was challenging enough, and in fact on the first day I could only manage par," added the 20-year-old.
"Playing in the European Championship is a very great privilege and to win is truly extraordinary.”
The 146th Open is played at Royal Birkdale from 20-23 July 2017.