YOUNG Mexican golfer Abraham Ancer loves representing his country and had a number of reasons to be elated at his five stroke victory at the 2018 Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.
The 27 year old admitted the chance of a spot in the 2019 Open Champion at Royal Portrush was one of the main reasons he entered the Australian event but after a bit of research also hankered after maybe joining some of the illustrious names on the Stonehaven Cup, like Peter Thomson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman.
He also decided he wouldn’t mind joining the likes of some more recent fellow winners in Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, who both had AO victories and then went on the following year to have very successful Major winning years.
Even better, he reckons, is the inspiration it will give young golfers in a country where the game is going through something of an awakening.
“I’m on cloud nine right now. It’s been just a phenomenal week,” he said at his media conference.
Ancer said there were now four Mexican players on the US PGA Tour and hopefully that number will grow.
A major inspiration for them all of course was Mexico’s legendary world number one ranked Lorena Ochoa.
“I feel like Mexican golf is growing quite a bit lately in tournaments like Mayakoba like I played last week and the WGC in Mexico City are doing huge things for Mexican golf. Hopefully, me playing well and winning this event will touch more kids in Mexico and they’ll start playing the game. I think slowly but surely Mexican golf and also Latin American golf is growing,” he said.
Ancer’s ambitions were fully realised on Sunday, holding on to the five stroke lead he took into the final day for an impressive 69, 69, 65, 69 week and 16-under par total.
That was five better than second placegetter, New South Welshman Dimi Papadatos who closed with a 5-under 67. Youngster Jake McCleod (66) was third on 10-under.
Ancer is the first of his countrymen to win the Australian title but a bit of quick research by some suggested he is the first Mexican to win outside the Americas.
Ancer was confident of continuing his good form when he heads to the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf this week where he will represent Mexico alongside teammate Roberto Diaz.
Japan’s Keita Nakajima and Victorian David Micheluzzi claimed the low amateur honours, tied at 8-under the card.
Ancer was joined by young Aussies Dimitrios Papadatos and Jake McLeod with starts at the 2019 Open Championship in Northern Ireland.