Langasque shows shades of Dubuisson in British Amateur win

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Romain Langasque could be destined to follow in the footsteps of his idol Victor Dubuisson.

He will if his display in the 120th Amateur Championship is anything to go by.

The 20-year from Southern France defeated Scotland’s Grant Forrest 4 and 2 in the scheduled 36-hole final at Carnoustie to become the third French Amateur Championship winner since the tournament began in 1885.

He follows Philippe Ploujoux in 1981 and Julien Guerrier in 2006 into the history books. Unlike the previous two, he has a chance to succeed in the professional game.

Langasque was never behind in the 36-hole final. Early on he looked on course for a big victory. Three up at lunch, the Frenchman built up a seven-hole advantage after just five holes of the afternoon round.

There would be no Jean Van de Velde collapse at Carnoustie this time around. Langasque simply played steady golf over the next 11 holes to take home the trophy.

“It’s a dream,” Langasque said. “It’s incredible that I’m going to play in the British Open in one month.”

The man from Nice went around Carnoustie in his first practice round in 7 over par and feared he might not even qualify for the match-play stages. However, the course grew on him as the week progressed.

“The more the competition advanced, the better I played,” he said. “This morning was my best round. I played really, really well.”

The margin of victory could have been bigger if not for a spirited fight back by Forrest. The recent San Diego graduate won the sixth and eighth holes to reduce the deficit to five holes after the first nine of the afternoon.

Forrest got it back to 4 down at the par-5, 12th hole with an eagle when he holed a 60-foot putt. A birdie at the par-5, 14th hole reduced Langasque’s advantage to three holes. However, the Frenchman brought proceedings to a halt when he hit his 4-iron approach to the 247-yard, par-3, 16th to 11 feet. He was conceded the hole when Forrest failed to hole his chip shot from behind the green.

“I thought I was at a good point after the first round after getting it back to 3 down,” Forrest said. “But my start in the afternoon wasn’t good and it’s a long way back from 7 down. Every time I hit a bad shot I got penalized.”

Forrest’s consolation is that he has almost certainly booked his place in the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team to face the United States at Royal Lytham this September at the Walker Cup.

Dubuisson mentors Langasque and they share the same coach, Benoit Ducoulombier. Dubuisson sent Langasque a text on the eve of the final with a promise of a few added perks besides taking home the Amateur Championship trophy.

Read more about Dubuisson

“Don’t leave me solo at the British Open with my coach,” Dubuisson texted. “If you win you can play with me and go to Augusta with me. I will organise a party for you and pay for it, and you can drive my new Lamborghini.”

Langasque will definitely join Dubuisson in the Open Championship. However, he might not be going to the Masters or U.S. Open next year as an amateur. He’s probably going to turn professional after St Andrews, but will discuss the issue with his coach and family.

Look for him to follow in Dubuisson’s footsteps and do well in the professional ranks. He has the same go-for-broke flair as the Ryder Cup player, and plays at a pace that’s extremely quick and refreshing.

He’s well worthy of the tag “2015 Amateur Champion.”

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