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  Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Dixon v Singh: Fantasy matchplay
David Dixon
Dixon said it was real thrill to play with Singh
David Dixon knew he had won the amateur's silver medal when he survived the half-way cut - anything else this weekend was a bonus.

On Saturday, paired with Paul McGinlay, he moved to two under par for the tournament, within sight of Tiger Woods' 21st-place finish as an amateur here five years ago.

But the icing on Dixon's cake came when he was paired with double Major winner Vijay Singh for the final round.

The contrast could hardly have been wider. Singh's USPGA and Masters titles eclipsing Dixon's Lytham Trophy won here last year.

As a matchplay clash, it was an intriguing head-to-head, and BBC Sport Online's Stuart Roach watched the drama unfold.


Hole 1 - 206-yards - Par 3

Dixon gets off to a flier with a perfect iron to the heart of the green then rolls in a wonderful putt for birdie.

Singh finds sand to the left, recovers well but two putts for bogey.

First blood to Dixon.

Dixon one up


Hole 2 - 438 yards - Par 4

Dixon finds trees to the right, costing him a bogey, while Singh plays the hole perfectly for his par.

All square


Hole 3 - 458 yards - Par 4

Dixon flies right off the tee again, almost landing on the railway lines. He hacks out to within 50 yards of the green but a chip and two putts leave him with another bogey.

Singh is solid again, reaching the green in regulation then two-putting to edge ahead of his amateur rival.

Singh one up


Hole 4 - 392 yards - Par four

A better drive from Dixon, who chips to the front of the green then comes agonisingly close to holing his birdie putt.

Singh is finding his groove, another solid par enough for a half which protects his lead.

Singh one up


Hole 5 - 212 yards - par 3

Dixon finds a huge bunker to the right off the tee. Splashes out to six feet but pushes his putt three feet past.

No such trouble for Singh, who finds the green and two putts for par to extend his lead.

Singh two up


Hole 6 - 494 yards - Par 5

A better drive from Dixon, but his second shot runs through the green. Chips eight feet past the flag then holes out for a birdie.

Singh drives well too and finds the green the well, before holing out for eagle to really kick start his round.

Vijay Singh
Singh says Dixon is one for the future

Singh three up


Hole 7 - 557 yards - Par 5

Dixon finds rough to the left off the tee then hacks into the rough on the opposite side of the fairway. Clips up nicely but three putts for bogey.

Singh safely negotiates the green in two and is desperately unlucky not to land back-to-back eagles. But birdie is still enough to carve him out a four-hole lead.

Singh four up


Hole 8 - 419 yards - Par four

Singh is on a roll, but his amateur rival at last puts the brakes on by outdriving the Fijian by 20 yards. A chip to the heart of the green sets up a successful 30-foot birdie putt that appears to have pulled a hole back.

But Singh is burning the Lytham links up. He rolls in his own 10-foot birdie putt for a half to maintain his handy advantage.

Singh four up


Hole 9 - 164 yards - Par 3

Singh plays a superb tee shot to the back of the green but is outdone by Dixon, who fires a six iron to within five foot.

Singh misses the birdie putt by a couple of inches, but Dixon also misses to waste the chance to close the gap.

Singh four up


Hole 10 - 335 yards - Par 4

A great drive from Dixon, but his approach runs through the green. Chips back to within three feet but then misses the putt to finish with a bogey.

Singh finds trouble to the left from the tee but he plays his chip to within 12 feet then two putts for par.

Singh five up


Hole 11 - 542 yards - Par 5

Another good drive from Dixon, but he finds sand with his second. Escapes well and two putts secure his par.

Singh's drive lands in a bank on the left and he is forced to hack out. But his approach is good and he also two putts for a half.

David Dixon
Dixon won the silver medal as leading amateur

Singh five up


Hole 12 - 198 yards - Par 3

With holes running out, Dixon desperately needs a birdie, but finds sand at the short par three. A great up and down secures his par, but Singh is safely on the green after a superb tee shot and two putts earn him a half.

Singh five up


Hole 13 - 342 yards - Par four

Singh opens the door slightly as he drives into a bunker on the left side, but after hacking out he plays a superb approach and holes his putt to save par.

Dixon fails to take his chance though. After a great drive and a solid approach, he misses his birdie putt and sees Singh edge closer to victory at dormie five.

Singh five up


Hole 14 - 445 yards - Par 4

After a great drive, Dixon finds rough to the right with his approach. Singh is safely on in two to virtually guarantee his win, but Dixon almost has one more ace up his sleeve.

His chip hits the flag and just fails to drop in, leaving Singh with two putts for the match.

He only needs one, securing a fine birdie to continue his rise up the leaderboard and seal a convincing win over his amateur rival.

Singh wins six and four

Afterwards, the pair are all smiles.

"Dave's a good player. He hits a long ball and is a good one for the future," says Singh, who sees his Open challenge falter with a double bogey at the last to leave him four under for the championship.

"It was a real thrill to play with Vijay," Dixon responds.

"He is a true gentleman and an awesome player. It was a pleasure to watch him when he started to move up through the middle of the round and it is just a shame he fell away at the end."

The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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21 Jul 01 | SOL at The Open
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