Alfie Plant produces back-nine revival to secure top amateur prize at 2017 Open Championship
Alfie Plant produced a stirring back-nine revival to claim the ‘Silver Medal’ at Royal Birkdale on Friday - the prize awarded to the Open Championship’s top amateur. The Englishman’s hopes of making the cut looked as bleak as the Southport weather after a five-over par front nine, but Plant came home in two-under 34 to ensure will be the only amateur teeing it up at the weekend. While some fans headed for the turnstiles beneath umbrellas, Plant was heartily cheered on by ‘Team Alfie’; the 150-strong contingent of family and friends who were in raptures after he tapped-in for par at the last. They include Alfie’s father Darren, a former cobbler: “He’s on the emotional rollercoaster the same as I am,” said Plant. “I’m sure he’s smiling out there like a Cheshire cat out there at the minute and loving it.” Team Alfie cheering on Plant Credit: Action Plus Darren also arranged for the hundred or so ‘Team Alfie’ T-shirts and caps that make Plant’s followers easily recognised, though the merchandise was no doubt sodden by close of play. Ultimately, the Silver Medal was secured by a rare eagle three at the par-five 15th. With the temperatures falling and grass increasingly wet, Plant elected to take extra club and ‘piped’ a three-wood to within six feet before draining the putt. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are among previous recipients of the prize, and Plant can now concentrate on finishing as high up the leaderboard as possible. “It’ll just be a casual dinner and rest up,” said Plant of last night’s ‘celebrations’. “Hopefully we can have a few more beers on Sunday to celebrate.” Plant qualified for his first major championship courtesy of victory at the European Amateur at Walton Heath earlier this month, and is likely to be a member of Europe’s Walker Cup team.