Story courtesy of Golf New Zealand.
Sebastian May has stormed home to win the biggest title of his young career – the 2023 New Zealand Amateur Championship.
The 17-year-old Cantabrian beat Auckland’s Steven Van Heerden 6&5 in the 36-hole final at Hamilton Golf Club – St Andrews Course, to write his name next to Danny Lee, Stuart Jones, Walter Godfrey, and Brian Silk, who all won at this venue.
After making golf his primary focus earlier this year, May is struggling to comprehend that he’s won the New Zealand Amateur Championship and has written his name alongside some New Zealand golfing legends.
“I’m pretty speechless. It’s pretty unreal – I don’t think it’s sunk in just yet.”
The school student beat Glenn Solomann, Dominic Brettkelly, Harry Goakes, and Tom Lee to get to the final. The final started off as a close affair with both players trading 1up leads, which was the margin May would hold at the midway point.
After lunch, the former Hockey player and medium-paced Cricket bowler put the accelerator down and birdied four of the next nine holes to establish an insurmountable lead. He quickly found himself Dormie 6, and calmly rolled in a 15-foot putt to win on the 31st.
With school exams just around the corner, May was tossing up whether he was going to play this event a couple of weeks ago. He certainly didn’t anticipate reaching the final as he and his mother needed to find new accommodation last night, as they thought they would already be at home.
“The goal was to make the top 32 for the match play when I decided to play. I have a couple of exams lined up next week. I wasn’t actually sure if I was going to play this week – I’m glad I did.”
His mother followed him every day while his older brother and sister Zach and Maddie watched from afar, as they are in US college pursuing their own golf careers. He admits the victory still might not give him the ‘best golfer in the family’ title but says it’s a positive step in his development.
“I’m not sure they would be happy with me claiming that title,” he laughs.
“It’s certainly a step in the right direction. I’ll have a bit of a break over the summer and will try and play as many tournaments as I can next year.”