Jones Cup Invitational – 2021 Preview & Results

7th February 2021

Sweden’s Ludvig ABERG won the 2021 Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest G.C. in Georgia.

The Texas Tech University teammate of Scotland’s Sandy Scott finished on a 214 (-2) total, good enough for a 1-shot victory. His 2-under 70 in the second round, played in very difficult conditions, was probably the determining factor. Ironically he only secured his place in the field last week when there was a withdrawal. 

Aberg’s win secured him an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic event next November.

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Ludvig Aberg (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

With the 16th, 17th and 18th holes ranking as the 2nd, 5th and 6th hardest on the course over the three days it was inevitable that there would be some late twists in this tournament and so it proved to be.

Aberg bounced back from a bogey on the 17th by holing a winning 7 foot birdie putt on the final hole. This shortly after defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) had bogeyed both the 16th and 17th and Cole HAMMER (USA) had bogeyed the short 17th. To his credit co-runner up Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) pared all three finishing holes but in the end needed more.

Hammer, Thompson and Fitzpatrick finished in a three-way tie for 2nd place on 215 (-1).

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Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

John MURPHY (IRL) finished strongly with a final round 70 to secure tied 6th place on 217 (+1).

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) finished tied 11th on 219 (+3). His final round 71 was his best of the week and given his lack of competitive action in the last 6 months and the difficulties of practicing in the UK recently his overall performance was very impressive. The same goes for Matty LAMB (ENG) whose tied 22nd was no mean achievement.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) 21st and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) tied 22nd were both left to rue bad rounds, Barclay’s 78 today and Angus’ 80 yesterday.

Here are the final results for all thirteen of the GB&I players: – 

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GB&I Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full results – Jones Cup Invitational Results

Given the Walker Cup sub-plot this week  it is interesting to see the impact of these results on the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. The ranking was updated shortly after the finale with the notable moves being Fitzpatrick rising 37 places to 18th, Schmidt 14 places to 38th and John Murphy 95 places to 76th.

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SPWAR GB&I Top 30 On 7th February 2021 (Photo: SPWAR) 

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6th February 2021

It was a wet and windy day in Georgia and the scores ballooned around the challenging Ocean Forest course. Yesterday the average score was 74.3, today it was 77.4 as the field of 84 generally struggled to deal with the conditions.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) and Spencer RALSTON (USA) share the 36 hole lead but both players reversed back into the field after rounds of 77 and 76 respectively. 

Ludvig ABERG (SWE) -2 is 3rd and will join the leaders in tomorrow’s final group. Aberg’s 70 was the joint best round of the day.

Ominously defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) moved into tied 4th after a very satisfactory 1-over 73.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) matched Thompson’s 73 and will start the final round on even par in tied 6th place. A top 10 finish here will go along way to securing his place in the GB&I Walker Cup team. 

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

There was just 4 rounds under par and one of par in Round 2. John MURPHY (IRL) shot the par 72 round to move up to tied 16th. 

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) and Matty LAMB (ENG) finished the day on +4 and tied 19th after shooting 74 and 76. Given their lack of competitive golf over the last six months both are doing well in such a high class field.

Mark POWER was on track for one of the best rounds of the day but a quadruple bogey 7 on the 17th ruined what had been another very good bad weather day for the Irishman. His 2-over par 74 didn’t tell the full story and left him back in tied 25th, alongside Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL).

By way of reminder there is no cut in the Jones Cup Invitational with all of the players returning for the final round tomorrow. Some may be looking forward to this more than others as the weather forecast is again mixed.

Here are the full Round 2 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

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GB&I Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

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5th February 2021

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) leads the Jones Cup Invitational after recording an opening round 64 (-8).

Starting on the 10th tee at 8.50am the Yorkshireman quickly got into his stride with five birdies in his opening nine holes. A further three were added on the front nine as he completed a blemish free round. His final birdie on the par 3 9th secured a new tournament record round score. 

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Alex Fitzpatrick’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Spencer RALSTON (USA) -7 and Maxwell FORD (USA) -5, who had played alongside Fitzpatrick, finished the day in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Ralston and Ford were also bogey free in Round 1.

Defending champion and Ocean Forest G.C. specialist Davis THOMPSON (USA) shot 70 (-2) to finish the day in tied 7th place.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG), who like Fitzpatrick are both studying in the U.S. College system, are tied 11th after 71’s (-1). Both played well but were unable to avoid all of the pitfalls on this tricky course; Brown posting three bogeys and Flanagan four.

Like Flanagan Matty LAMB (ENG) let a good round slip on the closing holes of the front nine having started on the 10th. Four bogeys in his final five holes will have frustrated the Hexham player who had previously suggested that he had lost none of his excellent 2020 form. Nevertheless an even par 72 for tied 19th place represents a solid start.  

Here are the full Round 1 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

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GB&I Round 1 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)   

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1st February 2021 

The 17th Jones Cup Invitational will be played between 5th-7th February 2021 at Ocean Forest G.C. on the northern tip of Sea Island in Georgia.

Historically a top 10 ranked amateur tournamant this year it will be taking on even greater importance. The COVID-19 impacted schedule and the early playing of the Walker Cup match in May means results here may have a significant bearing on the final selection of both teams. Even more so given the similarities between the Seminole and Ocean Forest courses.   

It is also worth noting that the winner of the Jones Cup Invitational earns an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, subject to them remaining an amateur. This year’s RSM Classic will be played at Sea Island G.C. on 18th-21st November 2021. 

I will be updating this article as the tournament progresses with daily reports.

The Jones Cup Invitational was first played in January 2001 as a prelude to that year’s Walker Cup match which was being staged at Ocean Forest in August.

The Jones Cup Junior Invitational and Jones Cup Senior Invitational commenced in 2009 and 2012 respectively. These two competitions are played at Sea Island G.C.’s nearby Seaside Course.

A new Sea Island Women’s Amateur will be played for the first time between 27th-29th July 2021 also on the Seaside Course.

Format

The Jones Cup Invitational is a 54 hole individual stroke play competition played over three days.

Given the small field there is no cut. 

17th Hole, Ocean Forest Golf Club (Photo: Evan Schiller)

Players

The Jones Cup Invitational Committee invite 84 players to contest their tournament.

The majority of invites are granted based on each player’s previous performances and their world amateur rankings.

An 18 hole qualifying event was played on Sea Island’s Plantation Course on 18th January with three spots in the main event allocated to the leading players from a field of 78. 

13 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are competing this year. 10 of the 15 man GB&I Walker Cup squad are in attendance. They are (in alphabetical order with their SPWARs): –

Jonathan BALE (WAL) #4761 
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #34 WC SQUAD
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #67 WC SQUAD 
Callum FARR (ENG) #132 WC SQUAD
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #51 WC SQUAD
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #66 WC SQUAD
Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #363
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #1148
Matty LAMB (ENG) #57 WC SQUAD
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #77 WC SQUAD
John MURPHY (IRL) #167 WC SQUAD
Mark POWER (IRL) #22 WC SQUAD
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #50 WC SQUAD

Ben JONES (ENG) had entered but withdrew last week.

For those GB&I players not studying in USA such as Jake Bolton, Callum Farr, Conor Gough, Matty Lamb, Tom McKibbin and Ben Schmidt this will be one of the last playing opportunities they have to impress before the Walker Cup team is selected.

In a very strong field there are 26 other players in the SPWAR Top 100 competing (in rank order): –

Quade CUMMINS (USA) #2 WC SQUAD
Davis THOMPSON (USA) #5 WC SQUAD – defending champion 
Cole HAMMER (USA) #6 WC SQUAD
Pierceson COODY (USA) #8 WC SQUAD
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) #9
McClure MEISSNER (USA) #12 WC SQUAD
William HOLCOMB (USA) #19
Luke POTTER (USA) #21
Travis VICK (USA) #25
Parker COODY (USA) #28
Ludvig ABERG (SWE) #29
Trey WINSTEAD (USA) #29
Graysen HUFF
 (USA) #33
Trent PHILLIPS (USA) #37
Kelly CHINN
 (USA) #40
Jonathan BRIGHTWELL
(USA) #42
Julian PERICO (PER)
#43
Garett REBAND
(USA)
#48 WC SQUAD
Wilson FURR (USA)
#69
Mateo FERNANDEX DE OLIVEIRA
(ARG) #74
Jackson SUBER
 (USA) #78
Stewart HAGESTAD
(USA) #83 WC SQUAD
Austin HITT
(USA) #86
Hunter WOLCOTT
(USA) #90
Ryan HALL
(USA) #94
Julien SALE
(USA) #100 

As shown above there are seven players selected for the 16-man US Walker Cup Squad playing this week in Georgia.

On 21st December 2020 the USGA confirmed that the three highest ranked players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) as at 10th February 2021, i.e. immediately following the playing of the Jones Cup Invitational, would receive exemptions onto the 2021 USA Walker Cup team. As at 3rd February the three ‘places’ are currently held by Davis THOMPSON #2, Ricky CASTILLO #5 and Pierceson COODY #6. Castillo is not playing this week due to University commitments. Garrett REBAND #10, Quade CUMMINS #12, Stewart HAGESTAD #14 and McClure MEISSNER #18 are and will all be hoping to force their way into the automatic WAGR USA selection spots.

Course

Ocean Forest is a challenging course with an exposed seaside links feel. Holes run alongside both the Hampton River and the Atlantic Ocean with marshes and the sea abutting a number of the fairways and greens. The remaining holes are cut through a pine forest.

Natural sand dunes are evident albeit the defining feature is the small undulating greens. 

The course plays to 7,321 yards with a standard par of 72.

13th Hole, Ocean Forest G.C. (Photo: Evan Schiller) 

The Club was founded in 1995 by Bill Jones III. His family’s Sea Island Company having owned the land since the 1920’s.

Jones invited architect Rees Jones to design a championship course on the site with work commencing in September 1993. Some renovation work was subsequently done by Rees Jones in 2007.

President George H. Bush, Bill Jones III, former U.S. attorney general Griffin Bell, David Love III and Rees Jones played the opening round in Spring 1995.  

The course was awarded the 2001 Walker Cup shortly after opening. At just 6 years old it remains the youngest club to be afforded this honour. Peter McEvoy led GB&I to a convincing 15-9 victory.  

Weather Forecast (as at 3rd February)

Showers and moderate winds appear to be in order for the tournament which traditionally has cool weather.

Fri 5th Feb. – Showers / Wind 17 mph SW / Temp. Min. 8°C, Max. 18°C.
Sat 6th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph NE / Temp. Min. 10°C, Max. 12°C.
Sun 7th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph N / Temp. Min. 9°C, Max. 14°C.

2020 Jones Cup Invitational

Local player Davis THOMPSON (USA) won the 2020 Jones Cup Invitational by 9-shots after a record breaking performance. 

His 203 (-13) total was capped by a final round of 65, almost certainly the best in the tournament’s history. 

Davis Thompson (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

From a GB&I perspective Mark POWER (IRL) +3 was our highest finisher in tied 13th.

Joe PAGDIN (ENG), Callum BRUCE (SCO), John PATERSON (SCO) all +5 came tied 21st, Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) +7 tied 31st and Archie DAVIES (WAL) +9 tied 37th.  

Click here to view the – Jones Cup Invitational 2020 Results

To finish off here is a list of the past winners with their finishing scores: –

2020 – Davis THOMPSON (USA) 203 (-13)
2019 – Akshay BHATIA (USA) 142 (-2) – event shortened to 36 holes due to bad weather
2018 – Garrett BARBER (USA) 212 (-4) – winner of the Jones Cup Junior Invitational in 2016
2017 – Braden THORNBERRY (USA) 212 (-4)
2016 – Beau HOSSLER (USA) 214 (-2)
2015 – Austen CONNELLY (USA) 216 (Ev) 
2014 – Corey CONNORS (CAN) 218 (+2)
2013 – Sean DALE (USA) 213 (-3)
2012 – Justin THOMAS (USA) 216 (Ev)
2011 – John PETERSON (USA) 217 (+1)
2010 – Patrick READ (USA) 222 (+6)
2009 – Kyle STANLEY (USA) 217 (+1)
2007 – Luke LIST (USA) 206 (-10) – played at Frederica G.C. due to renovation work at Ocean Forest
2005 – Nicholas THOMPSON (USA) 214 (-2)
2003 – Gregg JONES (USA) 211 (-5)
2001 – DJ TRAHAN (USA) 210 (-6)

Canada’s Corey Connors is the only non-American winner of the Jones Cup Invitational.

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

December 2020 Men’s Amateur Rankings

12th January 2021

Throughout the year I analyse the two main amateur golf rankings, the SPWAR and the WAGR, to help us assess the performances of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading players as well as the status of events they compete in.

This information is maintained on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

The latest update covering the December 2020 Quarter period has now been added.

England’s Alex FITZPATRICK has won my Player of the Quarter Award. Alex, a student golfer at Wake Forest University in USA, won The Golf Club of Georgia Amateur Invitational in October and contributed well to the International Team’s win at the Arnold Palmer Cup in December.

Alex Fitzpatrick with The GCoG Amateur Invitational Trophy (Photo: Wake Forest Men’s Golf )

Pease click this link to be redirected to my Rankings page – GolfBible Rankings

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

South Beach International Amateur – 2020 Preview & Results

22nd December 2020 – Round 4 

Cole HAMMER (USA) won the 2020 South Beach International Amateur with a 267 (-16) total. He completed the tournament with a final round 69 at Miami Beach G.C. to extend his victory margin to 5 shots.

Four under par rounds in the 60’s, on his way to breaking Pierceson Coody’s 2018 winning score record by 5-shots, must have impressed a watching USA Walker Cup captain Nathanial Crosby.

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Cole Hammer (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Pierre VIALLANEIX (FRA) -11 finished second with Kelly CHINN (USA) and Zach TAYLOR (USA) -9 tieing for third place.

Archie DAVIES (WAL) -4 was the highest placed GB&I player in tied 15th. In the 5th strongest field of 2020 according to the SPWAR this was arguably a career best performance for the Welshman. 

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SBIA Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Dan BRADBURY (ENG) finished strongly with a 68 to secure a tied 41st finish on Even par.

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) were our only other players to make the cut with neither able to push on during the final 36 holes.

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SBIA GB&I Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Click here to view the complete Final Results – SBIA 2020 Leaderboard

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21st December 2020 – Round 3 

Cole HAMMER (USA) took control of the SBIA after a best of the day 62 (-9) in Round 3 at Miami Beach G.C.

Hammer was afforded the final tee time at Normandy Shores G.C. on Saturday after attending the USA Walker Cup team session in Orlando which finished on Friday. His decision to then travel south, the only member of the squad to do so, now looks like being a very good one. After a relatively lacklustre summer a win tomorrow will almost certainly secure his place in the USA team. 

Cole now leads Kelly CHINN (USA), the AJGA Rolex Player of the Year, Zack TAYLOR (USA) and Pierre VIALLANEIX (FRA) by 4-shots heading into the final round. Given his experience Hammer should go on to win but nothing can be taken for certain around the demanding Miami Beach course.  

Archie DAVIES (WAL) fell back to tied 11th after a 72 on Monday. As on Day 1 he again struggled on Miami Beach’s opening holes, particularly the 4th and 5th which have collectively now cost him 6-shots over two rounds. Nevertheless he showed his battling skills by getting back to even par before a bogey on the 18th took the edge off his back nine comeback. 

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SBIA Round 3 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), Dan BRADBURY (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) stayed in the pack after all struggling to over par rounds in Round 3. 

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SBIA Round 3 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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20th December 2020 – Round 2 

Frankie CAPAN (USA) and Ben SMITH (USA) share the 36 hole lead at the SBIA on 133 (-8) after recording second rounds of 65 and 63 at Normandy Shores G.C.

Archie DAVIES (WAL) extended his run of bogey free holes to 31 with his own 65 at Normandy Shores and heads into Round 3 alone in 3rd place.

Conditions were near perfect on Sunday and many of the players scored well. Michael ROME’s (USA) 61 at Normandy Shores, which included nine birdies with 6 coming in his final 7 holes, was the highlight.

The 72 players plus ties cut fell at Even par (tied 65th place) with 74 players progressing. 

Miami Beach (par 71) played to an average score of 73.77 on Day 2, up by 1.5 shots on Round 1, and Normandy Shores (par 70) to an average score of 70.55, down by 0.61 shots on the opening round. To the extent these things can be assessed a Miami Beach then Normandy Shores draw therefore appears to have been favourable. 

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SBIA Round 2 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), Dan BRADBURY (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) all joined Davies in the latter stages of the tournament. With 36 holes still to play and the field tightly bunched they still have every opportunity to achieve a high finish. 

Bradbury’s 69 included a homeward nine of 34 (-2) to comfortably make the cut on -2 overall. 

Jake HIBBERT (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) and Max O’HAGAN (ENG) all missed the cut by one shot. Hibbert was perhaps the most unfortunate shot a battling 70 (-1) at Miami Beach on Day 2.

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SBIA Round 2 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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19th December 2020 – Round 1

Calvin MCCOY (USA) from Colorado leads the SBIA at the end of Round 1. Playing at Miami Beach G.C. he shot a 65 (-6) which included eight birdies but also a double bogey on the 13th.  

Keller HARPER (USA), Jake MAPLES (USA) and Julien SALE (FRA) are all 1-shot further back. Maples’ 65 (-5) was the lowest round recorded at Normandy Shores G.C. on Day 1.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s top 72 cut 92 players finished Round 1 on Even par (tied 63rd) or better. On Sunday all of the players will play their second round on the other host course.

Miami Beach (par 71) played to an average score of 72.27 (+1.27) in Round 1 and Normandy Shores (par 70) to an average score of 71.16 (+1.16).

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 SBIA Round 1 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), now a sophomore at nearby Florida Atlantic University, leads the way in tied 5th for the GB&I contingent after a 66 (-4) at Normandy Shores. Enrique’s round included 6 birdies including four in a strong finish over his last eight holes. 

Archie DAVIES (WAL) showed excellent fighting spirit on Day 1. 4 over par after 5 holes he produced six unblemished birdies in the remainder of his round at Miami Beach to more than recover his position.

Joe PAGDIN (ENG), playing at Normandy Shores, is tied 43rd on -1. 5 birdies were offset by 4 bogeys on an up and down day for the Walker Cup squad man.

Pleasingly Dan BRADBURY (ENG), Eric MCINTOSH (SCO), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL), Max O’HAGAN (ENG), all on Even par, and John HOPKINS (ENG) on +1 are all still well within sight of the likely cut line.  

Here is a summary of all of the GB&I Round 1 scores / positions: –

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 SBIA Round 1 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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17th December 2020

The 10th South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) will be played between 19th – 22nd December 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida (GMT -5 hours).

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First played in 2011 the SBIA has quickly become one of the world’s leading amateur golf competitions.

Unfortunately this year the organisers have been hampered by the USGA holding a USA Walker Cup practice session on 16th – 18th December, the Arnold Palmer Cup being rescheduled for 21st – 23rd December and the COVID-19 pandemic. As such the field appears a little weaker than we have seen in recent years. 

Format

The SBIA is a 72 hole stroke play competition played over four days.

18 holes are played at both Miami Beach G.C. and the nearby Normandy Shores G.C. over the first two days.

After a top 72 and ties cut the final 36 holes are played exclusively at Miami Beach over the remaining two days.

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Miami Beach Golf Club (Photo: Miami Beach GC)

Players

A field of 210 players have paid the $395 entry fee and will contest the 2020 SBIA.

10 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are in this year’s starting field, most of whom are studying at U.S. Colleges. The highest number to date was 19 in 2018 and there were 18 last year.

I’ve listed all of this year’s GB&I entries below (in alphabetical order) along with their current SPWAR (as at 17th December): –

Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #250
Archie DAVIES (WAL) #623
Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) #141
Jake HIBBERT (ENG) #1,212
Jon HOPKINS (ENG) #1,484
Eric MCINSTOSH (SCO) #778
Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) #66
Max O’HAGAN (ENG) #986
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #171
John PATERSON (SCO) #647

Tom McKibbin and Joe Pagdin are both members of the 2021 GB&I Walker Cup Squad and will be hoping for high finishes to boost their selection hopes.

Other players in the SPWAR Top 150 competing include (in rank order): –

William HOLCOMB (USA) #15
Ben SHIPP (USA) #20 – defending champion
Parker COODY (USA) #21
Travis VICK (USA) #25
Trent PHILLIPS (USA) #26
Cole HAMMER (USA) #30
Aman GUPTA (USA) #43
Chris GOTTERUP (USA) #49
Karl VILIPS (AUS) #62
Ryan GRIDER (USA) #69
James PIOT (USA) #79
Frankie CAPAN (USA) #94
Julien SALE
(FRA) #108
David FORD
(USA) #111
Matt MCCARTY
(USA) #114
Jamie WILSON
(USA) #116
Max MOLDOVAN (USA) #129
Ben CARR (USA) #131
Connor SCHMIDT (USA) #136
Kelly CHINN (USA) #137

Cole Hammer is the only member of the 16-man 2021 USA Walker Cup Squad that is competing. The SBIA is played just down the coast from Seminole G.C. where the match will be contested next May.

Courses

Both courses were designed by Arthur Hills and play to around 6,800 yards.

They are typical Florida layouts with numerous lakes coming into play throughout the 18 holes. As a result scores can be high if the wind blows – which it frequently does.

Normandy Shores plays to a par of 70 and Miami Beach a par of 71 during the tournament.

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Normandy Shores G.C. (Photo: miamibeachguest.com) 

Weather Forecast (as at 17th December)

The weather looks good for the duration of the 2020 event with sun throughout and only moderate breezes blowing.

Sat 19th Dec. – Sunny / Wind 12 mph E / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 24°C.
Sun  20th Dec – Sunny / Wind 9 mph SE / Temp. Min. 16°C, Max. 26°C.
Mon 21st Dec – Sunny with AM Showers / Wind 13 mph S / Temp. Min. 13°C, Min 26°C.
Tue 22nd Dec – Sunny Intervals / Wind 13 mph NE / Temp. Min. 15°C, Max. 25°C.

SBIA Website Links

Click here to view the – SBIA 2020 Leaderboard

Click here to view the – SBIA 2020 Pairings

Click here to view the – SBIA Website

I will be updating this article as the tournament progresses with daily reports.

2019 South Beach International Amateur

Ben SHIPP (USA) won the 2019 South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) after a play-off with Garett REBAND (USA). Both players finished on 281 (-2). This was the highest winning score in the history of the event reflecting the unusually wet and windy conditions.  

Ben Shipp (Photo: SBIA)

From a GB&I perspective Jake BOLTON (ENG) finished 4th on 283 (Ev), Ben JONES (ENG) 5th on 284 (+1) and Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) 8th on 287 (+4).

Click here to view the – SBIA 2019 Results

Click here to view the – SBIA 2018 Results

Click here to view the – SBIA 2017 Results

Here is a list of past winners and the 36 hole cut marks for each year: –

2019 – Ben SHIPP (USA) -2 / Cut +8
2018 – Pierceson COODY (USA) -11 / Cut +3
2017 – Jacob BERGERON (USA) -3 / Cut Ev
2016 – Danny WALKER (USA) -4 / Cut +1
2015 – Jorge GARCIA (VEN) -5 / Cut +6
2014 – Gabriel LENCH (USA) -4 / Cut +3
2013 – Greg EASON (ENG) -5 / Cut +6
2012 – Juan Pablo HERNANDEZ (MEX) -10 / Cut +3
2011 – Kelly KRAFT (USA) -4 / Cut +11

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Masters – 2020 Amateur Results

15th November 2020 – Round 4

2019 U.S. Amateur champion Andy OGLETREE (USA) won the 2020 Silver Cup at The Masters for the low amateur completing all 72 holes.

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Andy Ogletree (Photo: Michael Holahan / The Augusta Chronicle)

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2020 Final Results (Photo: The Masters)

Ogletree delivered another very impressive round, particularly after starting on the 10th with two straight bogeys. His even par 72 in the final round saw him finish in tied 34th place on 286 (-2).

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Andy Ogletree’s Results (Photo: The Masters)

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) also teed off on the 10th hole but a poor start meant he was unable to apply any pressure on Ogletree in his pursuit of the amateur prize. His final round 75 meant he finished 5-shots back of his compatriot.

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John Augenstein’s Results (Photo: The Masters)

Click here to view the final – Masters 2020 Leaderboard

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14th November 2020 – Round 3

Andy OGLETREE (USA) again impressed in round 3 and will take a 2-shot lead into the final round in the race for the low amateur Silver Cup. Ogletree, looking increasingly comfortable in these surroundings, shot a 71 today alongside Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter off the 10th. Another very steady round, albeit one which included two bogeys in his last three holes, means he has had just four bogeys in his last 36 holes.

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Andy Ogletree 54 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

John AUGENSTEIN (USA), playing with Rory McIlroy and Bernhard Langar off the 1st, sadly continued to trend upwards in scoring terms. A poor start and finish both caused by pushed tee shots were the main contributors to his 75. He’ll start the final round on Even par and will be hoping for a low one to get a modicum of revenge for his 2019 U.S. Amateur defeat to Ogletree at Pinehurst.

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John Augenstein 54 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Dustin Johnson on -16, a 54 hole tied record score after a 65 (-7) in round 3, will take a 4-shot lead into tomorrow’s final round over Sungjae Im, Abraham Ancer and Cameron Smith.

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54 Hole Leaderboard (Photo: The Masters)

ME.

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12th-14th November 2020 – Rounds 1 and 2

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) and Andy OGLETREE (USA) both made the 36 hole cut and will now contest the low amateur Silver Cup competition over the weekend.

A total of 60 players made the cut which fell at 144 (Even). The soft conditions saw lower than normal scoring.

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Amateur 36 Hole Leaderboard (Photo: The Masters)

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) enjoyed an excellent 3-under par opening round which included an eagle on the 13th. Starting his second round on the 10th he moved to -6 overall and was sitting comfortably in the top 10 before a poor finish saw him fall down the leaderboard to tied 28th.

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John Augenstein 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Andy OGLETREE (USA) showed great character to make the cut on 143 (-1) in tied 43rd place. He was 4-over after four holes having started nervously from the 10th in round 1 in the company of Tiger Woods. In his subsequent 32 holes he recorded nine birdies and just four bogeys to get himself under par.

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Andy Ogletree 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

James SUGRUE (IRL) finished on 148 (+4) to miss the cut. His four 3-putts in Round 1, including a short one on the 18th when he was trying to finish his round before darkness fell, probably destroyed his chances of progressing. He can take some consolation from his second round 71 though which was the lowest round ever recorded by a GB&I amateur at The Masters.

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James Sugrue 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Mid-amateur Lukas MICHEL (AUS) also missed the cut after rounds of 76 and 74. Six birdies weren’t enough to offset a number of bogeys.

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Lukas Michel 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Left hander Yuxin LIN (CHN) struggled to a disappointing 79 in round 1. His eagle 3 on the 15th was the highlight and will at least earn him a pair of crystal highball glasses. A much improved second round 73 restored some pride but sadly the damage had already been done.

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Yuxin Lin 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Abel GALLEGOS (ARG), the youngest and least experienced player in the field, unsurprisingly found the going tough. His 160 (+18) tied 89th with Andrew Landry, last of the 90 players who completed both rounds.

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Abel Gallegos 36 hole Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

Here are the 36 hole playing statistics for the six amateur contestants: –

Screenshot 2020-11-15 at 09.26.57

36 Hole Amateur Playing Statistics (Source: The Masters)

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10th November 2020

The 84th Masters will take place at Augusta National G.C. between 12-15 November. A field of 92 players including six amateurs will be aiming to win the green jacket in 2020.

This year’s Masters was originally scheduled to be played on 9-12 April but had to be deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such there will be no colourful azalea backdrops and the course is expected to be much softer, playing longer but easier.

This year the Amateur Dinner is being held on Wednesday night, instead of the normal Monday, and due to social distancing only one amateur will be allowed to stay in the Crow’s Nest per night.

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Andy Ogletree, Lukas Michel, Abel Gallegos, Fred Ridley, James Sugrue, Luxin Yin and John Augenstein at the 2020 Amateur Dinner (Photo: The Masters)

There will be no patrons due to COVID-19 which should hopefully help the amateurs to settle more quickly in to their famous surroundings when play gets underway. However, their chances of making the weekend have been reduced with the 36-hole cut being restricted to just the low 50 players and ties – the within 10 strokes proviso being removed due to the limited daylight.

I will be updating this article throughout the week with scoring information as I have done in previous years.

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The 2020 Masters Journal (November Version)

2020 Amateur Player Biographies

The legacy of Bobby Jones, the founder of the tournament and a lifelong amateur (at least during his competitive years), means The Masters has always found a place for the leading amateur players. This year’s intake will take the total number of amateurs to have competed to 436.

Since 2016 just six Amateurs have been able to qualify for The Masters. In 2020 they are: –

The Winner of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship (Cat. 7) – ANDY OGLETREE (USA). Ogletree, 22, graduated from Georgia Tech last May with a degree in Business Administration. He represented USA in the 2019 Walker Cup match at Royal Liverpool G.C. and has played in four PGA Tour events this year missing the cut in all of them. Tradition dictates that Ogletree will have the pleasure of playing with Tiger Woods, the defending champion, in the opening two rounds. SPWAR #11 / WAGR #7.   

The Runner-Up at the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship (Cat. 7) – JOHN AUGENSTEIN, (USA). Augenstein is a 22 year old 5th year Senior at Vanderbilt University and also represented USA in the 2019 Walker Cup match. SPWAR #13 / WAGR #12.

The Winner of the 2019 Amateur Championship (Cat. 8) – JAMES SUGRUE (Ireland). The 23 year old from Mallow in County Cork will become the 15th Irishman to play in The Masters this week. He won the Amateur at Portmarnock in June 2019 and represented GB&I in the Walker Cup a few months later. SPWAR #95 / WAGR #8.

The Masters

James Sugrue During Tuesday Practice (Photo: Golffile / Scott Halleran)

Ogletree, Augenstein and Sugrue had all planned to turn pro after playing in The Masters in April so have had to delay their plans to ensure they experience Augusta National G.C.

The U.S. and Amateur champions also receive non-playing honorary invitations which mean they are invited to attend The Masters every year for the rest of their lives.

The Winner of the 2019 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (Cat. 9) – YUXIN LIN (China). This was left-hander Yuxin’s second win in this Championship, he also won in 2017, so for a 20 year old amateur he will unusually arrive in Augusta with some experience. The Masters co-founded this event in 2009. SPWAR #45 / WAGR #29.

The Winner of the 2019 Latin America Amateur Championship (Cat. 10) – ABEL GALLEGOS CAPUTO (Argentina). Gallegos won the Championship at El Camaleon G.C. in Mexico when he was just 17. The Masters co-founded this event in 2015. SPWAR #165 / WAGR #199.

The Winner of the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship (Cat. 11) – LUKAS MICHEL (Australia). The 26 year old Michel was the first non-American to win this title. He is of Czechoslovakian descent and has a Masters Degree in Engineering from the University of Melbourne. This exemption has been in place since 1989. SPWAR #230 / WAGR #90.

Up until 2015, when the U.S.G.A. discontinued the Championship, the winner of the U.S. Public Links was also invited. Byron Meth (USA) was the last recipient of such an invite in 2015.

2020 Amateur Tee Times – Rd 1 and Rd 2 (GMT +4hrs)

John Augenstein – 11.16am (1st) / 7.11am (10th)
with Danny Willett and Rickie Fowler

Abel Gallegos – 7.55am (1st) / 12.00pm (10th)
with Charles Schwartzel and Jason Day

Yuxin Lin 7.00am (10th) / 11.05am (1st)
with Sandy Lyle and Jimmy Walker

Lukas Michel – 7.22am (1st) / 11.27am (10th)
with Larry Mize and Andrew Landry

Andy Ogletree – 7.55am (10th) / 12.00pm (1st)
with Tiger Woods and Shane Lowry

James Sugrue – 12.11pm (10th) / 8.06am (1st)
with Jose Maria Olazabel and Andrew Putnam

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Click here to view the – Masters 2020 Tee Times

2019 Masters – Amateur Performances

Viktor Hovland (Norway) won the low amateur Silver Cup competition at The Masters in 2019.

He was just the 7th non-American to win the Silver Cup and only the third European, following in the footsteps of Sergio Garcia (1998) and Matteo Manassero (2009).

He finished tied 32nd overall on 285 (-3), ten strokes behind winner Tiger Woods.

Hovland turned pro and has won on the PGA Tour in 2020. The only other player to win the Silver Cup and follow it up with a PGA Tour win since 2000 is Bryson DeChambeau.

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Viktor Hovland (Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

Takumi Kanaya (Japan) posted the best amateur round of the 2019 Masters in Round 3 with a 4-under 68.

For more information on last year’s amateur performances please take a look at – The Masters – 2019 Amateur Results

The Masters – Amateur Playing Records

For more information on amateur performances at The Masters please take a look at – The Masters – Amateur Records.

ME.

Copyright © 2016-20, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

September 2020 Men’s Amateur Rankings

30th September 2020

Throughout the year I analyse the two main amateur golf rankings, the SPWAR and the WAGR, to help us assess the performances of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading players.

This information is maintained on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

The latest update covering the September 2020 Quarter period has now been added.

England’s Joe LONG has won my Player of the Quarter Award. Joe has enjoyed a memorable Summer culminating in his Amateur Championship victory at Royal Birkdale G.C.

Joe Long (Photo: Richard Heathcote / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

Pease click this link to be redirected to my Rankings page – GolfBible Rankings

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The European Amateur Championship – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

25th September 2020

Matthias SCHMID (GER) retained the European Amateur Championship at G. & C.C. Zurich in Switzerland.

He became the second player to achieve this feat following in the footsteps of Ashley CHESTERS (ENG) who won in 2013 and 2104 and who is the only other two-time winner.

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Nick Bachem, Matthias Schmid and Haider Hussain (Photo: swissgolf.ch)

A final round 72 (+1), which included a double bogey on his 72nd hole, proved to be good enough to secure a three shot victory. As can be seen from Schmid’s scorecard below the Championship was won on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes today where he picked up four shots at just the right time.

Schmid’s Final Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Nick BACHEM (GER), who started the day tied for the lead, opened with a triple bogey – bogey to lose all momentum. Whilst he held on for 2nd place any chance he had of winning was clearly lost early in his round.

It was a much better story for Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) whose final day 67 (-4) lifted him up into 3rd place with a 278 (-6) total.

Hussain’s Final Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Ben JONES (ENG), the only other GB&I player to make the cut, finished tied 26th on 288 (+4).

Here is a summary of the leading results: –

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Final Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

The average score in Round 4 was 73.68 the second highest of the week (1: 73.01 / 2: 74.12 / 3: 72.30).

Click here to view the full – 2020 European Amateur Championship Results

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24th September 2020

Nick BACHEM (GER), Philipp KATICH (GER) and Cedric GUGLER (SUI) all posted best of the week’s 63 (-8) in Round 3.

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Bachem’s Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Bachem now shares the lead with defending champion Matthias SCHMID (GER). Schmid himself shot an impressive 64 (-7) today. The two German’s will now take a 5-shot lead into the Final Round on -12. Fellow German Katich and David RAVETTO (FRA) lead the chasing pack on -7.

Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) recorded a 71 (Ev) to stay on -2 for the Championship and tied 11th. Ben JONES‘s (ENG) 68 (-3) moved him on to -1 overall and he will start tomorrow in tied 14th place.

Here are the leading players after 54 holes: –

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Round 3 Scoreboard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

The 54 hole cut fell at 219 (+6) with 52 players progressing to the final round tomorrow.

Michael YOUNG (IRL) 72 75 73 (+7) and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) 70 75 76 (+8) were amongst those who missed the cut.

The average score in Round 3 was 72.30, the lowest of the week so far (1: 73.01 / 2: 74.12).

The 295 yard par 4 10th hole played the easiest on Day 3 with an average score of 3.76. There was 1 eagle and 39 birdies today. In a change to the previous two rounds the 200 yard par 3 4th hole played the hardest in Round 3 with an average score of 3.35.

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23rd September 2020

Matthias SCHMID (GER) moved into sole possession of the lead with an even par round of 71 in Round 2. His round included four birdies and four bogeys.

Nick BACHEM (GER) and Rasmus KARLSSON (FIN) joined Frederik SCHOTT (GER) in tied 2nd place on -4 after the pair both posted a joint best of the day 68 (-3).

On a tougher day in Zurich Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) posted a 72 to slip to tied 11th, Ben JONES (ENG) a 72 to rise to tied 27th, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) a 75 to sit tied 30th and Michael YOUNG (IRL) a 75 to finish the day in tied 49th.

Here is the Round 2 Scoreboard (leading players only): –

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Round 2 Scoreboard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

The average score in Round 2 was 74.12 (+3.12), a full shot higher than yesterday.

The 478 yard par 4 12th hole played the easiest on Day 2 with an average score of 4.71. There were 2 eagles and 33 birdies on this hole. The 450 yard par 4th 18th hole remained the hardest hole in Round 2 with an average score of 4.73, just slightly lower than yesterday (4.77).

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22nd September 2020

Matthias SCHMID (GER), Gregorio DE LEO (ITA), Casper SIMBERG (FIN) and Frederik SCHOTT (GER) all recorded 66’s (-5) in Round 1 to lead the European Amateur Championship in Zurich.

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Schmid, Simberg, De Leo and Schott’s Rd 1 Scorecards (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) made a great start to his opening round with four birdies in his opening five holes. His 67 -4 score sees him nicely placed in tied 5th place.

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Hussain’s Rd 1 Scorecards (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) 70 -1 is tied 11th and Ben JONES (ENG) and Michael YOUNG (IRL) 72 +1 are tied 35th.

Here are the leading players after Round 1: –

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Round 1 Scoreboard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

The average score in Round 1 was 73.01 (+2.01).

The 295 yard par 4 10th hole played the easiest with an average score of 3.52. There was 8 eagles and 38 birdies on this hole on Day 1. The 450 yard par 4th 18th hole was the hardest with an average score of 4.77.

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21st September 2020

The 33rd European Amateur Championship starts tomorrow at Golf & Country Club Zurich in Switzerland.

This prestigious Championship is run by the European Golf Association (EGA), assisted each year by the host nation; this year, the Swiss Golf Association.

Golf & Country Club Zurich Aerial (Photo: golfhome.ch)

Entries / Competition Format

In normal times 144 players contest the European Amateur Championship in June each year. Due to COVID-19 the 2020 event has slipped to September and the field has been reduced to 90 players.

All of the players in the field must have handicaps of 0.0 or better with the entry ballot applied based on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Exemptions were available to the defending champion, a single nomination from each EGA member nation, four nominated players from the host nation, Switzerland, competitors in the most recent Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy matches, the 2019 South American Amateur champion and the 2019 European Mid-Amateur champion.

Due to travel and quarantine concerns there are just four GB&I players competing in Switzerland, namely Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Haider HUSSAIN (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG) and Michael YOUNG (IRL).

The defending champion Matthias SCHMID (GER) is competing as is the 2020 Brabazon Trophy winner David RAVETTO (FRA).

It is a 72-hole stroke play competition with 18-holes played daily over four days.

A cut will take place after 54 holes. The 60 lowest scores and ties normally qualifying but due to the reduced field only the lowest 48 scores and ties will progress this year to the final round on Friday 25th September.

A 3 hole aggregate score play off will decide the winner in the event of a tie. If this doesn’t separate the players then a sudden death play-off will commence over the same holes.

Golf & Country Club Zurich

The 2020 Championship is being staged at the Golf & Country Club Zurich in Switzerland.

Golf & Country Club Zurich (Photo: gccz.ch)

The Club was founded in the 1920s with the course originally designed by the English professional Tom Williamson.

Simpson & Co. made some minor adjustments in 1936 before a major redesign was completed by Donald Harradine in 1978/79. The course re-opened in May 1980.

It sits 685m above sea level and plays to 6,563m and a par of 71 off the back tees.

Weather Forecast

A showery week is forecast for Zurich but with virtually no wind expected scoring should be good.

Tues 22nd Sept – Sunny Intervals. Wind 3 mph (W). Min. 24°C / Max. 16°C.
Weds 23rd Sept – Light Rain Showers. Wind 5 mph (W). Min. 22°C / Max. 14°C.
Thurs 24th Sept – Light Rain Showers. Wind 4 mph (W). Min. 22°C / Max. 14°C.
Fri 25th Sept – Light Rain Showers. Wind 5 mph (W). Max. 15°C / Min 8°C.

Prizes

Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the Top 3 finishers.

More importantly the champion will receive an exemption into next year’s delayed Open Championship being played at Royal St. George’s G.C. in England.

The Championship Trophy is held by the winning player’s national golf authority.

2019 European Amateur Championship

Matthias SCHMID (GER) won the 2019 European Amateur Championship by 3-shots with a 273 (-15) total.

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Matthias Schmid (Photo: European Golf Association)

Euan WALKER (SCO) finished 2nd on -12 and Ben JONES (ENG) and Joe LONG (ENG) tied 3rd on -9. Jones collected the bronze medal based on a last 36 holes count back.

Here are the results for the last three European Amateurs: –

Click here to view the full – 2019 European Amateur Championship Results

Click here to view the – 2018 European Amateur Championship Results

Click here to view the – 2017 European Amateur Championship Results

History

The competition was first contested in 1986 at Eindhoven G.C. Initially it was held biennially before moving to an annual fixture from 1990.

2020 will be the second occasion that Switzerland has hosted the European Amateur. Sweden’s Didier Olsson won in 1997 at Golf Club du Domaine Impérial in Gland.

Former winners who have gone on to enjoy very successful professional careers include Stephen GALLACHER (1994), Sergio GARCIA (1995), Gregory HAVRET (1999), Carl PETTERSSON (2000), Rory MCILROY (2006) and Victor DUBUISSON (2009).

In addition to Gallacher and McIlroy other GB&I past winners include Jim PAYNE (1991), Paddy GRIBBEN (1998), Stephen BROWNE (2001), Brian MCELHINNEY (2003), Matthew RICHARDSON (2004), Rhys PUGH (2012) and Ashley CHESTERS (2013 and 2014) and Alfie PLANT (2017).

Ashley Chesters is the only two-time winner and the only player to have retained the trophy.

Click here to view the – European Amateur Championship Past Winners and Venues

Rory McIlroy – 2006 Champion (Photo: European Golf Association)

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

ME.

The Amateur Championship – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 30th August 2020

Joe LONG (ENG) won the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. to become the 51st Englishman to lift the famous silver trophy.

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Joe Long (Photo: Richard Heathcote / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

Joe beat his namesake Joe HARVEY (ENG) 4&3 in the 36 hole Final.

Long built up a 3Up lead after 11 holes helped by birdies on the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th holes. Whilst Harvey battled till the end Long steadied himself after a shaky opening nine in the afternoon to see out the match.

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Long v. Harvey (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Long and Harvey were well known to each other coming into the Final; hailing from the Gloucestershire County and golf clubs just 10 miles apart, namely The Kendleshire and Lansdown respectively.

It was the first all-England final since Graeme Storm defeated Aran Wainwright 7&6 at Royal County Down in 1999. The last English champion was Harry Ellis who won at Royal St George’s in 2017.

Joe LONG was the clear favourite before play commenced. At the beginning of the Championship he was ranked 102nd and 31st in the WAGR and SPWAR whilst Joe HARVEY was 897th and 387th.

With his victory Joe LONG secured exemptions into the Open, Masters Tournament and US Open in 2021. He also guaranteed a place in the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team.

Joe Long shot a 74 (-3) in the stroke play qualifying to finish tied 30th. In then reaching the Final he also had to care of three of England’s leading players Olly HUGGINS, Barclay BROWN and Jake BOLTON. All in all a well deserved victory for the 23 year old.

img_3759Joe Long’s Match Play Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Click here to follow the – 2020 Amateur Championship Match Play Scores

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Saturday 29th August 2020

Semi-Finals

Here are the results from Saturday afternoon’s Semi-Finals: –

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Semi-Finals Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Joe HARVEY (ENG) beat Mark POWER (IRL) by 3&2 in the first Semi-Final at Royal Birkdale G.C. The Bristolian made a good start and having moved into a 3Up lead after 6 holes saw out the match relatively comfortably despite Power improving down the home stretch.

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Harvey v. Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Joe LONG (ENG) beat Jake BOLTON (ENG) by 2&1 in the second Semi-Final at Royal Birkdale G.C. The standard of play doesn’t appear to have been as good as the first semi but at this stage it’s all about the result. After a demanding week perhaps Long’s much easier Quarter Final when compared with Bolton’s gave him an advantage.

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Long v. Bolton Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Quarter Finals

Here are the results from Saturday morning’s four matches: –

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Quarter Finals Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Joe HARVEY (ENG) did what was required to overcome an out of sorts Victor H.S. SVENDSEN (DEN) in the first Quarter Final.

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Svendsen v. Harvey Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Barclay BROWN (ENG) couldn’t find the game he had enjoyed yesterday and succumbed easily to a very steady performance form Joe LONG (ENG).

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Brown v. Long Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Five birdies in his opening 10 holes provided Mark POWER (IRL) with a strong foundation against Callan BARROW (ENG) and he saw out the match to secure the third semi-final place.

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Barrow v. Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

The fourth match proved to be the tightest with Jake BOLTON (ENG) taken all the way by Hamish W. BROWN (DEN).

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Bolton v. Brown Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

ME.

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Friday 28th August 2020

Round 4

Joe HARVEY (ENG), Callan BARROW (ENG), Mark POWER (IRL), Barclay BROWN (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG) and Jake BOLTON (ENG) all won their Last 16 matches to progress to the Quarter Finals.

Some of the results were a little more comprehensive this afternoon as the mental and physical stresses perhaps started to show up a little more in the play.

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Round 4 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

The SPWAR was updated after Round 4 of The Amateur so heading into the Quarter Finals I thought it would be interesting to review the current rankings of the remaining players: –
Joe LONG (ENG) – #8
Jake BOLTON (ENG) – #19
Mark POWER (IRL) – #34
Barclay BROWN (ENG) – #37
Callan BARROW (ENG) – #94
Joe HARVEY (ENG) – #151
Victor H.S. SVENDSEN (DEN) – #192
Hamish W. BROWN (DEN) – #236

Round 3

22 GB&I players became 11 after the completion of Round 3 this morning.

Three Danes, Victor H.S. SVENDSEN, Frederik KJETTRUP and Hamish W. BROWN make up the majority of the five overseas players still standing and are clearly finding Royal Birkdale to their liking.

Svendsen beat Ilari SAULO (FIN), who having won two matches yesterday, quickly fell back down to earth with a heavy defeat in the opening game of the day.

Callum FARR (ENG) enjoyed a solid 3&2 victory over his England teammate Tom PLUMB (ENG).

Mark POWER and Marc BOUCHER ensured Irish interest remained well and truly alive in the Championship overcoming the in form English pair Jack DYER and Matty LAMB respectively.

The other Irish player in the draw Tom MCKIBBIN saw his hopes ended at the hands of Barclay BROWN (ENG).

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Round 3 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

ME.

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Thursday 27th August 2020

Round 2

The ‘Curse of the Medalist’ struck Ruben LINDSAY (SCO) who lost 2&1 to Finland’s Ilari SAULO. Saulo, who won the 2020 Finnish Amateur in early August, had already given notice of his continued good form when he knocked out Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) in the Preliminary Round.

David RAVETTO (FRA), winner of the Brabazon Trophy last week, beat Jack COPE (ENG), the English Amateur champion, by 5&4 in an interesting match up thrown up by the draw.

Dubai-based Josh HILL (ENG) completed a long day on the links with a smile on his face after winning his second match on the 19th hole. His victory over Sam BROADHURST (ENG) suggests that he may now be ready to fulfil his undoubted potential over here.

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Round 2 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Preliminary Round 1

Day 3 of The Amateur Championship started with the Preliminary Round 1 which featured the eight lowest qualifiers. The four winners feeding into the Round 2 draw against the top four qualifiers.

Josh HILL (ENG) and Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) were the two GB&I players to progress to Round 2.

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Preliminary Round 1 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Wednesday 26th August 2020

In form 16 year old Ruben LINDSAY (SCO), the reigning Scottish Boys’ Amateur champion, shot a 67 (-4) to win the 18 hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition.

Play started at 7.30am this morning with the original Round 2 tee times being used by the 120 players contesting this year’s Amateur Championship.

36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying was introduced in 1983 and this was the first time in 37 years that The R&A have been unable to complete it in full.

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Ruben Lindsay’s Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Four other players broke par at the challenging Lancashire links today. Mason ESSAM (ENG), 21, finished 2nd on -3 with Sam BROADHURST (ENG), 23, and Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), 18, a shot further back in tied 3rd with Jack DYER (ENG), 22, securing the 5th seed on -1.

The decision to reduce the Stroke Play Qualifying competition to just 18 holes saw The R&A extend qualifying to the leading 64 players and ties. The original competition rules had stated that a card count back approach would be adopted for the first time in the Men’s event this year.

As a result 68 players progressed to the Match Play Stage with the cut coming at scores of 76 (+5) or better.

The qualifiers comprise 29 English players, 7 Scottish, 6 Irish, 6 Danish, 5 German, 5 Italian, 4 Swiss, 2 Finnish and 1 each from Estonia, France, Norway and Wales.

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The Leading Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Amongst the more notable players to narrowly miss out were England Internationals Harry GODDARD +6, Robin WILLIAMS +6, Max MARTIN +6 and Conor GOUGH +7.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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Tuesday 25th August 2020

Round 1 of the Stroke Play Qualifying competition at the 2020 Amateur Championship was abandoned at 4.00pm. All of the scores that had been posted today, and there were some very good completed rounds in atrocious conditions, were cancelled.

Play had started on time at 7.30am but was quickly suspended at 7.50pm due to heavy rain and strong winds. It re-commenced at 9.50am before again having to be suspended at 2.50pm. No resumption in play was possible.

The R&A has decided to reduce the Stroke Play Qualifying to 18 holes which will now be played tomorrow. The top 64 players and ties will now go through to the Match Play Stage.

Assuming no time extension was possible I would have retained the 36 holes of stroke play and reduced the qualifiers to the top 32. The proposed one round of stroke play and six rounds of match play is now too lopsided a format for my liking.

18 holes of stroke play turns qualifying into a shootout and may not see all of the best players progress.

I would also have retained the new card count back rule that had been introduced to The Amateur this year. This is primarily because The R&A have historically not conducted the match play draw correctly when trying to accommodate a Preliminary Round, i.e. the medalist hasn’t played the 64th seed (or higher), etc. [These latter concerns proved to be unfounded on Wednesday evening as The R&A made the draw correctly this year – see above.]

ME.

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24th August 2020

The 125th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale G.C. in Southport, England on 25th – 30th August 2020.

The Amateur is the most prestigious amateur golf event played outside of the United States and without question the highlight of the Great British and Irish (GB&I) amateur season.

The 2020 Championship was originally due to be co-hosted by Royal Birkdale and West Lancashire G.C.’s in England from 15th – 20th June 2020 but was re-scheduled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

West Lancs. is now hosting The Women’s Amateur Championship, being staged  concurrently with the men’s event, having replaced Kilmarnock (Barassie) G.C. for logistical reasons.

In order to receive Government and Local Authority approval to proceed The R&A have agreed that the Championship will be played behind closed doors with no spectators and only essential / authorised personnel on-site.

Format

The normal field of 288 players has been reduced to 120 this year.

Two stroke play qualifying rounds will be completed on Tuesday 25th August and Wednesday 26th August.

English Amateur champion Jack COPE (ENG) will hit the first shot of the Championship at 7.30am. With an 11 minute gap between tee times the final group will go out at 2.54pm on each of the opening days.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Tee Times

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores will advance to the match play stage.

In a welcome change by The R&A a Round 2 card countback will be used to ensure a clean 64 players advance. Ties for 64th place will not advance as they have done in previous years and as a result there will be no preliminary round and a standard match play draw will be made made.

The Match Play stage will then be played between Thursday 27th and Sunday 30th August.

Matches will be played over 18 holes except for Sunday’s Final which will be contested over 36 holes. Extra sudden death holes will be used in all games if necessary.

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Royal Birkdale G.C.’s 18th Hole and Clubhouse (Photo: thetravellinggolfer.com)

Players

The 120 players have been firstly drawn from a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections.

Thereafter places have been allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 30 2020, i.e. the Wednesday 29th July release.

Players from 13 different countries will contest the 2020 Amateur Championship. 34 countries were represented in 2019 highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and the 60% reduction in the field size.

England have 44 players in the field (37%), Scotland 17, Ireland 10 and Wales 4.

The COVID-19 travel restrictions mean that James SUGRUE (IRL) is unable to defend his title ahead of appearing in the 2020 U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot G.C. on 17-20th September.

Outside of the home nations the best represented countries are Italy (10), Germany (9), Switzerland (9) and Denmark (8).

Notably there are no players this year from Australia, South Africa and USA.

Current circumstances mean this is probably the weakest field ever assembled for an Amateur Championship. There are just 9 players in the WAGR top 100 competing (as at 29th July). These are Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #27, Ben JONES (ENG) #30, Conor GOUGH (ENG) #37, David RAVETTO (FRA) #52, Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) #62, Jake BOLTON (ENG) #77, Mark POWER (IRL) #81, Matty LAMB (ENG) #87 and Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #93. The picture isn’t improved by looking further down WAGR either; there are 23 players starting the event in the top 200 and 31 in the top 300.

France’s David RAVETTO and Denmark’s Christoffer BRING, winner and runner-up in this week’s Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest, will arrive in Southport full of confidence.

Host Course

Royal Birkdale G.C. is one of the most famous golf courses in GB&I staging numerous Championships and International Matches since coming to prominence after World War II.

Birkdale G.C. was formed in 1889 with the club moving to the current site in 1897.

Hawtree and former Open Champion J.H. Taylor set about routing the course between the sandhills in the 1930s. Major changes were subsequently made in the 1960s and 1990s to ensure the layout remained at the forefront of the game.

The Club received it’s royal patronage from King George VI in 1951.

Birkdale has previously hosted the Amateur Championship in 1946, 1989 and 2005.

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Royal Birkdale Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

The course will play to around 7,100 yards during the Championship and a par of 71.

The formidable final six holes will no doubt come into play during the match play stage.

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Royal Birkdale Course Map (Photo: Royal Birkdale G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Monday 24th August)

The weather forecast looks generally wet for the week with scoring unlikely to be helped by moderate to strong breezes throughout: –

Tues 25th – Heavy Rain. Wind 45 mph SE. Temp. Max. 19°C / Min 15°C.
Wed 26th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 26 mph NW. Temp. Max. 18°C / Min 12°C.
Thurs 27th – Light Rain Showers. Wind 8 mph S. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 12°C.
Fri 28th – Light Rain Showers. Wind 16 mph NE. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Sat 29th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph NW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Sun 30th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph NW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.

Click here to view the – Latest BBC Weather Forecast For Southport

Tee times between 7.30am and 2.54pm mean changes in the weather can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Royal Birkdale G.C.’s 12th Hole (Photo: visitliverpool.com)

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties decided on the lowest second round score (or final nine, six or three or one if necessary).

The winner of the match play stage will become the The Amateur Champion receiving the Championship Trophy and a Gold Medal.

The runner-up receives a Silver Medal and each losing semi-finalist a Bronze Medal.

The winner of The Amateur Championship will be exempt into the 149th Open Championship being staged at Royal St. George’s G.C. in Kent, England in July 2021.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also exempted into the 2021 U.S. Open Championship which is being held at Torrey Pines G.C. in San Diego, California.

Finally, given the May 2021 staging of the next Walker Cup match any GB&I player who wins this Amateur Championship will be assured of a place in our team.

2019 Amateur Championship

James SUGRUE (IRE) won the 124th Amateur Championship at Portmarnock G.C. beating Euan WALKER (SCO) by 2 Holes in a competitive Final which went the full 36 holes.

James from Mallow G.C. was the 8th Irish winner of the title following in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen, Max McCready, Joe Carr, Garth McGimpsey, Michael Hoey, Brian McElhinney and most recently Alan Dunbar in 2012.

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James Sugrue (Photo: The R&A / Sam Barnes / Getty Images)

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Tom PLUMB (ENG) secured Stroke Play medalist honours at the 2019 Amateur after posting an aggregate 36 hole score of 139 (-4). Plumb shot a 68 at The Island in Round 1 and a 71 (-1) on Day 2 at Portmarnock. John AXELSEN (DEN) also recorded a 139 (-4) total but lost out by 4-shots on combined back nine count back.  

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

The top 64 and ties Match Play cut fell at 147 (+4) with a total of 76 players progressing. The 24 lowest scoring qualifiers participated in a Preliminary Round to establish the final 64 players.

A Short History of The Amateur

The Amateur Championship was first played in April 1885 at Royal Liverpool G.C. Allan Macfie (SCO) was the first champion beating Horace Hutchinson (ENG) 7&6 in the Final.

Up until the Second World War it was a hugely prestigious event and in many of these early years was afforded a much higher standing in the game than The Open Championship. Players like Johnny Ball (ENG), Harold Hilton (ENG) and Freddie Tait (SCO) were all amateurs and as good if not better than most of the professionals of the day.

With only modest rewards available in the professional game many of the better players simply stayed amateur. The great American Bobby Jones, who won The Amateur in 1930 on the way to his Grand Slam, remains the most well known career amateur.

Even after the war players remained amateur for much longer and famous names like Frank Stranahan (USA), Joe Carr (IRE), Sir Michael Bonallack (ENG) and Peter McEvoy (ENG) all built their reputations on Amateur Championship wins.

With the growth and transformation of the professional game from the early 1980s onwards both the better players and the media increasingly started to turn their backs on the amateur game.

Save for exceptional cases like Gary Wolstenholme (ENG) all continuity has been lost over the last 30 years and most of the young golfing stars of today rarely play any more than 2 or 3 Amateurs before being lured into the pro ranks by the huge rewards on offer.

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The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: Dominik Holyer) 

Past Winners

The greatest player in the history of The Amateur is Johnny Ball. The Hoylake man won the Championship a record 8 times between 1888 and 1912.

Only three other players have won the competition more than twice; Sir Michael Bonallack (5), Harold Hilton (4) and Joe Carr (3). Bonallack amazingly won it three years in a row between 1968-1970. The last person to retain The Amateur was Peter McEvoy in 1977 and ’78.

Prior to James Sugrue’s win in 2019 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

2018  Jovan Rebula (RSA) – Royal Aberdeen G.C.
2017  Harry Ellis (ENG) – Royal St. George’s G.C.
2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl G.C.
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie G.L.
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush G.C.
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports G.C.
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRE) – Royal Troon G.C.
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside G.C.
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield
2009  Matteo Manassero (ITA) – Formby G.C.

A great achievement and honour for all of the players listed above. However, it’s also another reminder of how incredibly tough golf is and that wins in the biggest events are no guarantee of success in the professional game.

Click here to view a complete list of – Past Amateur Championship Winners

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

21st August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA) won the 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest G.C.

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David Ravetto (Photo: Leaderboard Photography / FFGolf)

Ravetto secured the title on the second sudden death play-off hole (the 2nd) with a birdie after he and Christoffer BRING (DEN) and Mark POWER (IRL) couldn’t be separated after 72 holes. Power fell out of the play-off on the 1st extra hole after he could only par it – Bring and Ravetto both birdied.

It was clear from today’s weather forecast that the conclusion of the Brabazon Trophy was likely to be far from straight forward and so it proved. Anything can happen when the wind is gusting up to 50mph.

Mark POWER, who had started the day tied for 12th, produced one of the best rounds seen for some time by a GB&I amateur to ask the question of the leaders playing behind him. His 66 (-5) included two eagles and three birdies. To put his score into context just 6 of the 68 players broke par today with the other five all recording 70’s (-1).

Power’s 274 (-11) total initially looked like it would be a little short of the necessary mark but as time passed by it became clear that his work may not be done for the day.

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Mark Power’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

David RAVETTO, playing in the penultimate three ball, looked to have stood up to the conditions and Power’s clubhouse pressure when he birdied the 16th to move to -11. However, a bogey on 17 saw him fall back into a tie with the Irishman on -10 with both players left to nervously wait to see how leader Christoffer BRING would finish.

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David Ravetto’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Bring was on -13 after 12 holes when Power completed his round. With a three shot lead and six holes to play the Championship was the Dane’s to win. However, an untidy double bogey on the par 3 15th and a bogey on 17 saw him come back to the two chasers.

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Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

English pair Barclay BROWN and Jack DYER -8 finished tied for 4th with compatriots Enrique DIMAYUGA and Sam BAIRSTOW one shot further back in tied 6th.

Barclay Brown won The George Henriques Salver, awarded to the leading GB&I player under the age of 20.

Northern Ireland’s Tom MCKIBBIN -6 finished 8th after a consistent tournament, Joe LONG -5 9th delivered another strong result and Jack COPE -4 backed up his recent English Amateur victory with a tied 10th place alongside Josh BRISTOW from Kent.

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Leading Results (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

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20th August 2020

Christoffer BRING (DEN) shot a joint best of the day 65 (-6) to move into a share of the lead on Day 3 of the Brabazon Trophy. Two late bogeys, including one on his final hole, shows how good his round could have been. Nevertheless to record just five bogeys in the Championship to date is impressive stuff – just Sam Bairstow has less to his name (4).

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Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

England’s Enrique DIMAYUGA (-11) continues to enjoy himself at Sherwood Forest. The promising youngster from Walton Heath posted a 66, helped by an eagle and a birdie on the 16th and 17th holes, to join Bring out front.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) posted a 67 to move into 3rd place on -10 whilst first round leader David RAVETTO (FRA) matched his opening round 66 to move back into contention alongside Jack DYER (ENG) in tied 4th on -9.

Barclay BROWN‘s (ENG) 66 included two eagles, one on the par 5 5th followed by a hole-in-one on the 7th. Having pared every hole coming home after his 1 the Stanford University student from Sheffield stands well placed in tied 6th (-7) to make a run at the title tomorrow.

English Amateur champion Jack COPE (ENG) took advantage of making the cut on the +1 mark in Round 3. His blemish free 65 (-6) lifted him up to tied 12th on -5.

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Jack Cope’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Harry BUTLER (ENG) joined Cope in tied 12th after producing the other 65 of round 3. His eagle 2 on the 9th the standout in what appears to have been an exciting round of golf.

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Harry Butler’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Here are the leading scores after 54 holes: –

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Leading Rd 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

ME.

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19th August 2020

Rain arrived in Nottinghamshire in the late morning and stayed until the end of play. Players with an early morning Round 2 tee time clearly had a major advantage over the later starters today.

Jack DYER (ENG) produced the best round of the week this morning to take the 36-hole lead on 134 (-8). His 64 (-7), which included eight birdies, equalled the course record at Sherwood Forest G.C.

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Jack Dyer’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Other morning starters Mark POWER (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) (-6) are on hot on Jack’s heels. Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) did very well to join Sam on -6 given his afternoon tee time where he played in the worst of the weather.

Andrew NI (SCO) matched David Revatto’s 66 (-5) from yesterday to march up the leaderboard on Day 2.

Experienced performers Tom PLUMB (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) -4 and Jake BOLTON (ENG) -4 are all nicely placed to mount an attack on the leaders in the coming days.

Here are the leading scores after 36 holes: –

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Leading Rd 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

68 players made the 60th and ties 36 hole cut which drifted out to 143 (+1) as the wet conditions took their toll later on.

Playing together English Amateur champion, Jack COPE (ENG), and the defending Brabazon champion, Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), both fought back after disappointing opening rounds with 69’s (-2) this morning to made it in on the +1 mark.

Conor GOUGH (ENG) +2, Matty LAMB (ENG) +3, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) +3 and  Olly HUGGINS (ENG) +3 were amongst the players to miss the cut.

ME.

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18th August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA), Matt McCLEAN (IRL) and Josh BRISTOW (ENG) all shot opening rounds of 66 (-5) to share the Round 1 lead at Sherwood Forest G.C.

Here are the details of the three leading rounds:-

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Ravetto, McClean and Bristow Scorecards (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

At the end of Round 1 there were 68 players on 71 (Ev) or better.

Here are the leading scores after Round 1: –

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Leading Rd 1 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

ME.

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13th August 2020

The 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Sherwood Forest Golf Club between Tuesday 18th and Friday 21st August.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

A 36 hole cut will take place with only the leading 60 competitors and ties progressing to the two remaining rounds.

In the event of a tie for the Championship on Friday, there will be a sudden death play off.

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Terms of Competition

Field

A 144 competitors will start the 2020 Championship.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic no regional qualifying tournaments have been staged this year. The field has therefore been determined by exemptions and a handicap ballot.

With the exception of those players who have been competing in the U.S. Amateur all of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading amateurs will be on show. A number of players from the Continent of Europe have also made the effort to travel over to Nottinghamshire.

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked as the 20th best amateur event by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a jump from 41st in 2018 but a fall from 17thin 2017.

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Rounds 1 and 2 Drawsheet – use Menu filter

Play will start at 7.00am on the opening two days with the final tee time being 3.30pm.

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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The Champion’s Prize and Brabazon Trophy (Photo: Golf Bible)

Prize vouchers will be awarded to those players finishing in the top three.

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

The George Henriques Salver is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

The Philip Scruton Jug is normally awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy. However, this year it won’t be presented as the latter event has been cancelled.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club

Sherwood Forest G.C. is located on heathland to the east of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.

The Club can trace its roots back to 1895 and moved to its current location in 1911. The course was designed by Harry Colt and revised by James Braid in the 1920s. Further changes to the greens and tees were made in the 1980s by Cotton, Pennink, Steel and Hawtree.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Course Map (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

The course can be stretched to 6,800 yards with the front nine situated on more open land and the longer back nine tree lined.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

Whilst the back nine is a little shorter it delivers a good finish with six strong finishing holes. The inward nine has the lower par of 35 and generally plays into the prevailing westerly wind.

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking a little mixed at the moment (as at 17th August) with fresh breezes expected to pick up throughout each day.

Tues 18th Aug – Light Showers / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 14°C.
Wed 19th Aug – Thundery Showers / Wind 15 mph SE / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 16°C.
Thur 20th Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 15 mph S / Temp. Min. 23°C / Min 15°C.
Fri 21st Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 20 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C / Max. 13°C.

2019 Brabazon Trophy

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), just 16 at the time, won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship by 5-shots with a 271 (-13) finishing total.

Ben was the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time at Alwoodley G.C.

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The Schmidt Family (Photo: Yorkshire Golf / Jonathan Plaxton)

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Ben Schmidt’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Harry HALL (ENG) -8 finished second, Euan WALKER (SCO) -7 third and Ben FIRTH (ENG) -4 fourth

Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Click these links to view other recent results: –

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The English Amateur International Trophy competition was first played in 1947.

In 1957 the official title was changed to the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The current trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1948 and the event has come to be widely known as the Brabazon Trophy.

Click here to view the full list of – Brabazon Trophy Past Winners

The first player to successfully defend the title was Ronnie WHITE who won at Birkdale in 1950 and nearby Formby in 1951.

Shortly afterwards Philip SCRUTTON won the Brabazon three times in four years (1952, ‘54 & ‘55).

Sir Michael BONALLACK has four wins to his name. The first came at Royal Cinque Ports in 1964 and the last at Hillside in 1971. At Moortown in 1969, with play-offs having been discarded at this time, he shared the title with Rodney FOSTER.

Other well known British winners of the Brabazon include Gordon Brand Jnr, Sandy Lyle (2), Peter MCEVOY, Ronan Rafferty and Ronnie SHADE (3).

Other notable European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Western Amateur Championship – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

1st August 2020

Pierceson COODY (USA) beat Rasmus NEERGAARD-PETERSEN (DEN) by 2&1 to win the Western Amateur Championship at Crooked Stick G.C.

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Pierceson Coody With The George R. Thorne Trophy (Photo: Western Amateur)

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) both lost in Round 1 of the ‘Sweet 16’ Match Play yesterda. Flanagan was beaten by 2 Holes by Austin HITT (USA) and Pagdin 5&4 by Davis THOMPSON (USA).

Here are results from the earlier Match Play rounds: –

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Click here to view the complete Western Amateur – Stroke Play and Match Play Results

ME.

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30th July 2020

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) came through on the final day of stroke play to achieve medalist honours at the Western Amateur.

He is the second Englishman to win the Cameron Eddy Trophy following in the footsteps of Sam Horsfield who achieved the honour in 2016.

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Angus Flanagan Receives The Cameron Eddy Trophy (Photo: Western Amateur)

Angus recorded a 277 (-11) total helped in no small part by a final round 66, the joint lowest of the competition. His 1-shot victory came over Sam BENNETT (USA) -10 who dropped two shots in his final three holes to fall out of the lead.

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Angus Flanagan’s Scorecard (Photo: Western Amateur)

Joe PAGDIN (ENG) finished 6th on 281 (-7) to complete an impressive qualification.

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Joseph Pagdin’s Scorecard (Photo: Western Amateur)

Austin HITT (USA), who had finished on 288 (Ev), earned the 16th and final place in the match play draw after successfully negotiating a 7-for-1 play-off. 2018 double champion Cole HAMMER (USA) was amongst those eliminated in this shootout.

Both the reigning European Amateur champion, Matthias SCHMID (GER) -9 3rd, and U.S. Amateur Champion, Andy OGLETREE (USA) -8 4th, made it through the 72 hole stroke play qualifying.

The third Englishman Jamie LI was unable to make up the necessary ground on the final day of stroke play and in trying to do so shot rounds of 76 and 73 for a 293 (+5) total.

There were conflicting fortunes for the overnight 36 hole leaders. Turk PETTIT (USA) made it through in 8th on -6 but Kyle HOGAN (USA) fell away after rounds of 74 and 82.

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 The ‘Sweet 16’ Match Play Competitors (Photo: Western Amateur)

Click here to view the full Western Amateur (use the ‘Menu’) – Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

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29th July 2020

Turk PETTIT (USA) and Kyle HOGAN (USA) lead the Western Amateur stroke play qualifying event on 136 (-8).

46 players out of the 156 starters made the 36 hole cut on 144 (Ev).

Three of the four GB&I players made this first cut. Joe PAGDIN (ENG) -7 is tied 3rd after rounds of 68 and 69, Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) -3 is tied 15th (69, 72) and Jamie LI (ENG), who bounced back nicely on Day 2, Ev is tied 39th (75, 69).

John MURPHY (IRL) +4 and tied 81st wasn’t able to build on his round 1 69 (-3) and missed the cut after a disappointing 79 on Wednesday.

Day 3 will see a further 36 holes of stroke play completed by the qualifiers.

The lowest scorer after 72 holes of stroke play will receive The Cameron Eddy Trophy.

The leading 16 players will progress and make up the ‘Sweet 16’ match play field. The match play competition will start on Friday 31st.

Click here to view the Western Amateur – SP Qualifying Scores

ME.

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27th July 2020

The 118th Western Amateur Championship starts on 28th July at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana in the United States.

The Western Amateur is one of the world’s leading amateur golf tournaments. Only the U.S. Amateur Championship and the Amateur Championship could be considered more prestigious.

Put simply The Western has history and tradition, strong entry procedures, a superb format and arguably the best trophies in all of amateur golf.

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2018 Champion Cole Hammer With The Cameron Eddy Trophy (SP) and George R. Thorne Trophy (MP) (Photo: Western Amateur)

The Championship is run by the Western Golf Association (WGA). The WGA was established in 1899 and appropriately set up their headquarters in the town of Golf, Illinois. In addition to the Western Amateur the WGA also run the Western Junior Championship (since 1914) and the BMW Championship, the second oldest professional tournament in the U.S.A.

I will update this page with Results information as the Championship progresses this week.

Field

156 players are exempted or invited to compete.

In 2019 more players in the Top 300 of the SPWAR competed in the Western Amateur (114) than in both the U.S. Amateur (109) and the Amateur Championship (112). That is despite the two major Championships having much larger fields, 312 and 288 players respectively.

The Western Amateur normally sits uncomfortably in the Great British and Irish (GB&I) amateur golf calendar, coming at the height of the European season. This tends to mean GB&I entries are limited but the event is of such standing that it is always worthy of our attention.

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG), Jamie LI (ENG), John MURPHY (IRL) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) are the GB&I entries this year. All four are making their debuts in the Championship.

2020 Draw

Click here to view the Western Amateur – SP Qualifying Startsheet
– use the menu at the top of the page to select the required Day / Round

Crooked Stick G.C. (Photo: Dave Samson Photography)

For more information take a look at the Championship website – www.thewesternamateur.com

Format

The current format, which was first adopted in 1961, is arguably the best of any amateur tournament in the world. It certainly offers a thorough examination for the players.

The field start by playing 18 holes of stroke play on each of the first two days.

A 36 hole cut to the low 44 scores and ties is then made.

The remaining players then play a further 36 holes of stroke play on Day 3.

At the end of 72 holes the low 16 finishers progress to the match play stage. A sudden death play off is used to separate those players tied for 16th place.

The “Sweet Sixteen” then play match play over the final two days of competition, the finalists having to play two matches on each day.

2020 Venue

Crooked Stick G.C., located in Carmel, 12 miles north of Indianapolis, in Indiana is staging the Western Amateur Championship for the first time in 2020.

The club was established in 1967 and enjoys a 7,500 yard par 72 course designed by Pete Dye.

Crooked Stick first came to prominence when John Daly, having started the week as 9th alternate for the field, famously won the 1991 U.S. PGA Championship there. It has subsequently hosted the 1993 U.S. Women’s Open, the 2005 Solheim Cup and the 2009 U.S. Senior Open.

Crooked Stick G.C. Logo and Scorecard (Photo: Crooked Stick G.C. Website)

2019 Western Amateur

Garrett RANK (CAN) beat Daniel WETTERICH (USA) 3&2 in the 18 hole Final of the 2019 Western Amateur at Point O’ Woods G. & C.C.

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Garrett Rank With The George R. Thorne Trophy (Photo: Western Amateur)

Rank, 31 at the time, is a full time National Hockey League referee in North America and with his golf largely restricted to the summer months was a surprise winner.

He was the first Canadian to win the prestigious title since 1977 and the first mid-amateur since 1997.

Davis THOMPSON (USA) 67 68 65 67 (-13) secured Stroke Play Qualifying medalist honours by 4 shots from Eric BAE (USA) 69 69 67 66 (-9) and Daniel WETTERICH 66 68 69 68 (-9) on Day 3 of the Western Amateur Championship.

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Davis Thompson Receives The Cameron Eddy Trophy (Photo: Western Amateur) 

Click here to view the 2019 Western Amateur Championship’s – SP Qualifying and MP Results (Use Filter)

Ben JONES (ENG) and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) were the only entries from GB&I in 2019. Jones missed the 36 hole cut after rounds of 74 and 69 (+3 / T78) saw him finish outside the leading 44 players and ties mark. Lumsden reached the final stage of the stroke play competition but his scores of 70, 70, 70 and 73 (+3 / T44) meant he missed the ‘Sweet 16’ match play cut.

History and Other Past Winner’s

The Western Amateur was founded in 1899 and the 2020 event will be its 118th playing. It is the third-oldest amateur championship in the world.

Virtually all of the great names in U.S. golf have competed in and in many cases won the Western Amateur.

There has never been a GB&I winner albeit Florida-based Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) went close in 2016 at Knollwood C.C. Sam won the stroke play qualifying by 9 shots (63, 75, 67, 64 / -15) before losing to Dylan MEYER (USA) 3&1 in the Final.

Here’s a selection of former winners: –

Last 7 Years

2019 Garrett Rank – Point O’ Woods G. & C.C.
2018 Cole Hammer – Sunset Ridge C.C.
2017 Norman Xiong – Skokie C.C.
2016 DylanMeyer – Knollwood Club
2015 Dawson Armstrong – Rich Harvest Farms
2014 BeauHossler – The Beverly C.C.
2013 Jordan Niebrugge – The Alotian Club

Others

Jamie Lovemark – 2005 (youngest winner at 17 years, 6 months and 8 days)
Ryan Moore – 2004
Tiger Woods – 1994

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Tiger Woods (Photo: Western Amateur)

Justin Leonard – 1992 and 1993 (1991 Runner-Up)
Phil Mickelson – 1991

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Phil Mickelson (Photo: Western Amateur) 

Chris DiMarco – 1988
Scott Verplank – 1985
Hal Sutton – 1979 and 1980
Bobby Clampett – 1978
Andy Bean – 1975
Curtis Strange – 1974
Ben Crenshaw – 1973
Andy North – 1971
Lanny Wadkins – 1970 
Steve Melnyk – 1969 
Tom Weiskopf – 1963
Jack Nicklaus – 1961 
Tommy Aaron – 1960
Dr. Ed Updegaff – 1957 and 1959
Charles Coe – 1950 
Frank Stranahan – 1946, 1949, 1951 and 1952 (4)
Marvin Ward – 1940, 1941 and 1947 
Charles Yates – 1925.
Don Moe – 1929 and 1931
Francis Ouimet – 1917
Chick Evans – 1909, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1920, 1921, 1922 and 1923 (8) 
H. Chandler Egan  – 1902, 1904, 1905 and 1907 (4)

Bobby Jones first played in 1917 when he was just 15. He reached the match play stage before losing in Round 1 (32) to Daniel ‘Ned’ Sawyer. He played for the second time in 1920 where he was medalist before losing to Chick Evans in the semi-finals (36 holes in those days).

Future Venues

The Western Amateur will be staged at the following clubs over the next three years: –
2021 – Glenview G.C., Golf, Illinois
2022 – Exmoor C.C., Highland Park, Illinois
2023 – North Shore C.C., Glenview, Illinois

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

June 2020 Men’s Amateur Rankings

2nd July 2020

Throughout the year I analyse the two main amateur golf rankings, the SPWAR and the WAGR, to help us assess the performances of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading players.

This information is maintained on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

The latest update covering the June 2020 Quarter period has now been added.

No Player of the Quarter Award has been made in Quarter 2 due to the small number of events played in this period following the coronavirus outbreak.

Pease click this link to be redirected to my Rankings page – GolfBible Rankings

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.