The Amateur Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Scores

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Jerry JI (NED) and Mark POWER (IRE) got Round 2 of the Stroke Play Qualifying underway at 7.00am on Murcar Links and Royal Aberdeen respectively. As both players are on +9 after Round 1 they will need to go low on Day 2 to progress further in the Championship.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur championship Stroke Play Qualifying Rd 2 Draw

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Rd 2 Scores

The weather forecast is similar to yesterday with a dry and sunny day forecast, albeit the south westerly wind speed of c.15mph slightly down on yesterday.

At the end of 36 holes the leading 64 players, and ties for 64th place, will advance to the match play stage and be seeded in line with their qualifying finishes.

Based on the Round 1 scores, where there were 60 players on +3 or better and a further 31 on +4, one can assume that the match play cut will be +7 or +8.

ME.

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Monday 18th June 2018

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) shot a 66 (-4) at Murcar Links to lead the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying after Round 1 of the 123rd Amateur Championship.

David MICHELUZZI (AUS) and Sam MEEK (CAN) are second having both posted 69’s (-2), the best round of the day, at Royal Aberdeen G.C.

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) was the only GB&I player to post an under par score; his 69 (-1) at Murcar Links leaving him in tied 4th place.

Euan MCINTOSH (SCO), who hit the first tee shot at Royal Aberdeen at 7.00am this morning, shot 71 (Ev) and finished the day tied 7th alongside Harry HALL (ENG) whose 70 (Ev) at Murcar Links looked like being much better for most of his round.

On a windy but sunny day in Scotland the average score was slightly higher at Murcar Links (77.30) than at Royal Aberdeen (76.86).

After 18 holes there are 60 players on +3 or better, with a further 31 on +4, implying that the top 64 and ties cut will be +7 or +8.

The final stroke play round will start at 7.00am tomorrow morning with each competitor playing on the other host course.

ME.

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17th June 2018

Unsurprisingly Chun An YU (CTP), who played the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, has withdrawn from this year’s Amateur Championship.

Other late withdrawals include William BUHL (USA), Falko HANISCH (GER) – winner of the 2016 Boys’ Amateur Championship at Muirfield -, Noah COMBS (USA), Yuxin LIN (CHN), Zach MURRAY (AUS) and Raphael GEISSLER (GER).

Click here to view the final – 2018 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Draw

ME.

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15th June 2018

The 123rd Amateur Championship starts on Monday 18th June at Royal Aberdeen G.C. and Murcar Links G.C. in north east Scotland.

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.

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Royal Aberdeen Golf Club (Photo: Royal Aberdeen G.C.)

Format

288 players will play two stroke play qualifying rounds, one round on each course, on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June.

As in previous years tee times will commence at 7.00am and end at 3.52pm on both days.

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores, and ties for 64th place, will advance to the match play stage and be seeded in line with their qualifying finishes.

The match play games will be played solely at Royal Aberdeen between Wednesday 20th and Saturday 23rd June.

Matches will be played over 18 holes except for Saturday’s Final which will be over 36 holes.

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5th hole, Murcar Links Golf Club (Photo: Albrecht Golf Guide)

Players

The 288 players are drawn firstly from a number of exempt categories covering R&A and U.S.G.A. Championship performances and representative teams. Thereafter places are allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at 16th May 2018 and, if required, by reference to exact handicaps.

Players from 38 different countries will contest the 2018 Amateur Championship.

Outside of the home nations the best represented countries are France (31 players), U.S.A. (23), Australia (20), Germany (14), Spain (13), Sweden (13), South Africa (10), The Netherlands (9) and Italy (8).

Whilst there are a large number of Americans playing it sadly remains the case that the vast majority of their leading players continue to skip the Championship. It is a sad state of affairs that most of them prefer to play in the Northeast Amateur Invitational at Wannamoisett C.C. in Providence, Rhode island – an event that starts on Wednesday 20th June. Without their participation The Amateur will always lack a little something despite the Major exemptions on offer. The best American this year is John PAK (SPWAR 52).

Harry ELLIS, the defending champion, has not entered the Championship. He has been playing in the U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills this week and is expected to turn pro immediately afterwards. Last year’s runner up Dylan PERRY (AUS) is back for another go at claiming the title that eluded him last year.

Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) 40 and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) 51 had both entered the Championship but both withdrew when they qualified for the U.S. Open. Chun An YU (CTP) 28 is also currently playing in New York but remains entered. It will be interesting to see if he is at Murcar Links on Monday for his 1.02pm tee time. Good on him if he is.

Looking at the the current SPWAR top 50 the leading players, in addition to Yu, competing are Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) 9, Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 12, Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA) 17, Garrick HIGGO (RSA) 24, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) 26, Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) 27, Matt SAULEZ (RSA) 29, Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) 31, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 33, Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 37, Malcom MITCHELL (RSA) 42 and Alvaro ORTIZ (MEX) 45.

From a GB&I perspective Robin DAWSON (IRE) 57, Jake BURNAGE (ENG) 67, Harry HALL (ENG) 68, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 73, David HAGUE (ENG) T74, Alex GLEESON (IRE) T74, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) 91, Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) 95, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 115, Ben JONES (ENG) 124, Andrew WILSON (ENG) 128, John MURPHY (IRE) 145, Bailey GILL (ENG) 177, Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 189 and Nick POPPLETON (ENG) 194 will all arrive with high hopes given their current good form.

With the nine-man GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team due to be announced in mid-July a good Amateur Championship by any of the home players will undoubtedly resonate with the selectors.

Finally, Spain’s Alejandro LARRAZABEL is an interesting entry. Alejandro won The Amateur in 2002 at Royal Porthcawl G.C. and has recently been reinstated to the amateur game. He will be the only past winner in the field.

Host Courses

For the first time in it’s history the Amateur Championship is being staged at Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links in Scotland.

Royal Aberdeen was founded in 1780 and is the 6th oldest golf club in the world. Originally known as The Society of Golfers at Aberdeen the club’s name was changed in 1815 to Aberdeen Golf Club. In 1903 the ‘Royal’ title was conferred on the club by His Majesty King Edward VII.

The club has hosted many prestigious championships, including seven Scottish Amateurs, two Boys’ Amateur Championships, the Boys’ Jacques Léglise Trophy and perhaps most memorably the 2011 Walker Cup, when GB&I defeated the United States by a single point.

In 2005, it hosted the Senior Open which was won by five-time Open champion Tom Watson. In 2014, the Scottish Open was held there for the first time with Justin Rose coming out on top.

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Royal Aberdeen – Balgownie Links Indicative Scorecard (Photo: mygolfdays.com)

The Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen is a classic links with the outgoing holes played through the undulating dunes on the coast before the return on an inland plateau with numerous blind shots and hidden ditches coming into play.

Neighbouring Murcar Link’s was established in 1909 and lies to the north of the Royal Aberdeen course.

Murcar hosted the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play competition on the European Tour in 2016. Previously it had staged the European Girls Team Championship (2009), the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play (2009) and the European Boys Team Championship (2013).

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Murcar Links Indicative Scorecard (Photo: mygolfdays.com)

Weather Forecast (last updated Sunday 17th June)

The weather forecast looks good, with very little rain and a consistent and south westerly wind expected: –

Mon 18th June – Sunny. Wind 17 mph SW. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 7°C.
Tue 19th June – Sunny. Wind 15mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 10°C.
Wed 20th June – Showers. Wind 11mph W. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 8°C.
Thu 21st June – Light Cloud. Wind 15mph NW. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 9°C.
Fri 22nd June – Light Cloud. Wind 10mph SW. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 10°C.
Sat 23rd June – Light Cloud. Wind 11mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 11°C.

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

Players will tee off throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday so changes in the weather and wind speed early in the week may impact the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the players finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties determined by a second round count back.

The winner of the match play stage will become the Champion Amateur Golfer for the year and is awarded 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 next month’s 147th Open Championship down the coast at Carnoustie Golf Links.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C.

Finally, they will also be exempt into the 2019 U.S. Open Championship which is being held at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

2017 Amateur Championship

England’s Harry ELLIS won the 2017 Amateur Championship on the 38th hole at Royal St. George’s G.C.

4 Down with five holes to play the odds were well and truly against the then 21 year old Hampshire player. However, his opponent Dylan PERRY (AUS) bogeyed four of the last five holes to let Ellis back in.

On the second extra hole Perry got into trouble and Ellis was able to secure the famous trophy with another par, his seventh in a row.

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Harry Ellis (Photo: @RandA / Getty Images)

This was Ellis’ second major amateur victory. In 2012, aged just 16, he became the youngest player to win the English Amateur Championship.

Following in the footsteps of fellow Hampshire player Scott Gregory, Ellis said in his post round press conference: “I can’t believe what I have just done but you should never give up and never give in. I just kept giving myself chances down the stretch and luckily played much better than I had all day. It has always been a dream to play in Majors and I get to play in three now. My game is in a good place so hopefully I can do something .”

Click here to view the – 2017 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

Click here to view the – 2017 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Here is the Golfing World / R&A highlights film of the 2017 Amateur Championship: –

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. 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.

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 Ellis’ win in 2017 the last 10 winners of The Amateur Championship have been: –

2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl GC
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie GL
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush GC
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports GC
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRE) – Royal Troon GC
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside GC
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield
2009  Matteo Manassero (ITA) – Formby GC
2008  Reinier Sexton (NED) – Trump Tunberry
2007  Drew Weaver (USA) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC

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.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 10th June 2018

Play-off

John MURPHY (IRE) beat Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) on the first play-off hole to win the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

John becomes the third Irish golfer to win the title following in the footsteps of Alan Dunbar (2009) and Conor O’Rourke (2016).

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John Murphy (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Kenny Smith Photography)

Murphy looked second favourite after his approach to the 1st hole on the Old Course ended up 25 feet away after De Bruyn had left himself just 6 feet. However, the Irishman sank his birdie putt and perhaps unsurprisingly in the circumstances the German was unable to match him.

The St. Andrews Links Trust tweeted a video of the winning putt with a short interview with their winner.

This was a great win for the man from Kinsale who has just completed his sophomore year at University of Louisville in the United States. He rose to 143rd in the SPWAR, jumping 616 places, as reward for the biggest win of his career.

Here are the full – 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 4

Round 4 started at 12 noon with the leaders setting off at 2.56pm.

Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) shot the best final round, his second 68 of the day. Whilst his morning round had included two bogeys this afternoon he produced a clean card with four birdies. He posted 278 (-9) and waited patiently in the clubhouse to see if it would hold up.

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Jannik De Bruyn Round 4 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)  

John MURPHY (IRE) also recorded the same score as he did in the morning. His 71 meant he was the only player to catch De Bruyn on -9 and that a play-off would be required to decide the winner.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) shot final day rounds of 70 and 69 to finish tied 3rd with Haydn BARRON (AUS) on 279 (-8), just one shot back.

Englishman Burnage was bogey free in the afternoon but his morning 70 was something of a rollercoaster. Without wishing to be dismissive of his seven birdies it included, with the benefit of hindsight, a painful double bogey 6 on 12 and bogeys on 15 and 16. Nevertheless this represented another very good result for the Devonian No. 1 and a welcome return to form. He was the leading GB&I player in one of the world’s best amateur events.

Compatriot Laird SHEPHERD finished well with a 70 to secure a tied 5th place result on 280 (-7). Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) was next best for GB&I. His 281 (-6) score was good enough to secure tied 8th.

Round 3

Round 3 started at 7.00am with Kieran CANTLEY (SCO) going out alone. The two leading players, Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) -8 and John MURPHY (IRE) -7, teed off at 9.56am.

36 holes on the Old Course lay ahead as the 45 qualifying players set out to determine the winner of the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 67 and John MURPHY (IRE) 71 shared the 54 hole lead on -8.

Overnight leader Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) shot 75, faltering late on with a double bogey on the 15th and a bogey on 17.

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) shot the best third round score. His blemish free 66 included an eagle on the par 5 5th and birdies on 9, 12, 13 and 14.

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Sandy Scott’s Round 3 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)  

Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) also shot 67, with defending champion Matthew JORDAN (ENG) and fellow Englishman Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 68 delivering the next best GB&I scores.

Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) moved up to -6 after a 68 in Round 3.

For those interested here is a link to today’s tee times – 2018 St. Andrews Trophy Round 3 and Round 4 Start Sheet

ME.

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Saturday 9th June 2018

The star of Day 2 was Laird SHEPHERD (ENG). The Stirling University student knows St. Andrews well and demonstrated it around the Old Course today. With a supportive wind on the way out he completed his front 9 in just 30 shots and held it together nicely on the way home. His 65 (-7) helped him move to the top of the 36 hole leaderboard on 135 (-8).

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Laird Shepherd’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf) 

There were a number of great rounds today reflecting the generally benign conditions in Fife. John MURPHY (IRE) shot 66, Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA) – winner of the East of Ireland Amateur earlier this week – 67, David HAGUE (ENG) 67, Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 67 and Jamie LI (ENG) 68, all moving into the top 10 as a result.

Stuart EASTON (SCO) 67, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 68, Therion NEL (RSA) 68 and Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) 68 all knew they needed good rounds to make the cut and impressively delivered.

However, the bounceback prize has to go to Joao GIRAO (POR). After a disappointing 80 on the New Course yesterday, from which there was never going to be a way back, he at least went down fighting delivering a 66 which included 7 birdies.

First round leader Olly HUGGINS (ENG) found the going harder today – his 75, and 142 (-1) total, was at least good enough to ensure he made the cut.

The top 40 and ties 36 hole cut eventually fell at even par with 45 players making it through to the final day.

ME.

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Friday 8th June 2018

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) leads the St. Andrews Links Trophy after an impressive 67 (-4) on the New Course.

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Olly Huggins’ Round  1 Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf) 

Five players, Matias HONKALA (FIN), Jake BOLTON (ENG), Luca Filippi (RSA), Tom PLUMB (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO), shot 68 (-3).

46 players are on Even par or better highlighting how tight the leaderboard is.

ME.

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4th June 2018

144 golfers from 26 different countries will tee off on Friday 8th June in the 30th St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This event has become one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf helped by venue and timing.

St Andrews Clubhouse

R&A Clubhouse, St. Andrews (Photo: R&A Website)

Competition Format

The Links Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play competition played over the St. Andrews Links in early June.

After various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations the field is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 3rd May 2018 rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year Round 1 will be played on the New Course – the Jubilee Course was used last year – with Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut on Saturday the leading players will play a final 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The New Course plays 6,625 yards to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,270 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 85 yards longer but with a par of 35.

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New Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.

Ties for other places are decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The Field

The 2018 St Andrews Links Trophy start sheets can be viewed here – Round 1 (New) and Round 2 (Old).

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 8th in its 2017 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. It was 6th in the same ranking in 2016.

18 of the 20 members of the 2018 GB&I St. Andrews Trophy squad will be competing at St. Andrews this week. Harry HALL (ENG) and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) are the exceptions; both were competing in U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying today in the United States. Many of the Squad have been drawn together in the opening rounds to help the selectors follow their play closely.

The attraction of St. Andrews always ensures a strong overseas entry. Australia, Canada and South Africa are particularly well represented in 2018 with Hugo BERNARD (CAN), Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Dylan PERRY (AUS) and Matt SAULEZ (RSA) all strong challengers.

Weather Forecast (updated on Wednesday 6th June)

The current weather forecast appears perfect for golf – dry with minimal chance of rain.

Friday 8th June – Cloudy. Wind 13 mph E. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 9°C.
Saturday 9th June – Cloudy. Wind 11 mph E. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 10°C.
Sunday 10th June – Cloudy. Wind 11 mph E. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in proceedings.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the event.

2017 Event

Royal Liverpool’s Matthew JORDAN won the 2017 St. Andrews Links Trophy. Following an outstanding run of form the victory almost certainly secured his place in last year’s Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team.

Matthew Jordan (Photo: Kenny Smith)

Rounds of 70, 68, 69 and 70 took Matthew to a finishing total of 277 (-11).

J.R. GALBRAITH (IRE) shot 66, 71, 70 and 71 (-10) to secure second place with Ben FERGUSON (AUS) finishing 3rd on -9.

Other GB&I players to finish in the top 10 included Laird SHEPHERD (-8) 4th, David BOOTE (-8) 6th, Liam JOHNSTON (-6) 7th , Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-5) 8th and Jack DAVIDSON (-5) 9th.

Click here to view the – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Click here to view the – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Past Winners

Click here to view a full list of the – St Andrews Links Trophy Past Winners

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay HOWARD (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

The most famous winner is Justin ROSE who won in 1997.

Interestingly given the normally cosmopolitan nature of the fields the Links Trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart BOVIER (1990), Daan HUIZING from The Netherlands (2012) and FedericoZUCCHETTI from Italy (2015).

Huizing, who had won the 2012 Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 3rd June 2018

Nick POPPLETON (ENG) today won the 2018 Brabazon Trophy after a sudden death play-off with Wilco NIENABER (RSA).

Both players had started the day on 6-under, 3 shots back of overnight leader Jeong Weon KO (FRA).

Nick shot two rounds of 67 on the final day recording just two bogeys while Wilco posted a 65 and 69. Both players posting an impressive aggregate score of -10 for their final two rounds, played in glorious sunshine on Frilford Heath’s Red Course.

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 Nick Poppleton (Photo: Golf Bible)

Play-Off

The play-off took place on the 9th hole of Frilford’s Red Course. The 9th is a 180 yard par 3 played over a valley to an elevated green that slopes from back to front and is protected by two short bunkers. The flag was in the front right portion of the green.

Nick teed off first and finished short right in front of the bunker. Wilco followed him and finished in roughly the same area, a little closer to the bunker. Nick chipped up and watched in anguish as his well judged shot hit the flag and stayed out. Wilco followed and saw his chip finish an inch to the right of the hole. Both tapped-in quickly and returned to the tee to try again.

Despite now playing the hole for the fourth time on the day both players again missed the green short right. Nick was further away, perhaps as much as 30 feet. This time his chip ran up perfectly and dropped into the hole beside the flag. A magnificent shot played under the most extreme pressure. Wilco then chipped up from just in front of the green and amazingly lipped out, the ball finishing stone dead. The gallery had seen four difficult chips to a raised green and from reasonable distance in the play-off; three hit the hole and one stayed on the lip. It was some exhibition of the skills these elite amateurs have.

Nick had won the 2018 Brabazon Trophy in some style on the second extra hole. It was a great win for the likeable Yorkshireman.

Wilco should be disappointed he lost. This was my first viewing of him and he certainly looked the part, a professional in all but name. He hits the ball miles, has a beautiful short game and his temperament was first class. He clearly has a big future in the game, a prediction I wouldn’t normally make but feel confident of doing so with him. I am sure he will learn from this loss.

Click here to view the final – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Round 4

I set off with the Wilco NIENABER and Jack COPE pairing this afternoon, keeping a close eye on Nick POPPLETON who was playing ahead of them with David LANGLEY.

Not for the first time this season I would end up watching a relatively comfortable leader grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.

Wilco seemed very relaxed and despite leaking most of his tee shots to the right took advantage of his power and beautiful short game. He seemed to escape with pars or earn birdies on most of the holes on the front nine. The exception being the downhill 500 yard 6th where he eagled after a long drive and iron shot to 10 feet. When he followed it with a birdie on the 7th he was 5-under for his final round and -18 for the Championship, leading Nick by 4 shots.

Jack was playing very well but simply couldn’t get anything to drop on the greens on the front nine. Up ahead Nick was continuing his good form and was 3-under on the front nine for his own round.

Wilco was a bit lose around the turn dropping shots on 8 and 11 but doing well to get one back on the 12th where his towering approach from the deepish rough was judged perfectly.

After a solid par on the strategic right-to-left dogleg 13th, where he hit an iron off the tee and a nice approach to the difficult back pin position, the South African Number 1 was -4 for the round and -17 for the event. He was leading Nick by 3 shots.

As the small gallery walked up the 354 yard par 4 – what appeared to be the tightest, most penal hole on the course – we discussed how Wilco would surely play an iron. Jack, who had birdied the 12th and was therefore playing first, did just that and found the centre of the fairway, leaving himself a wedge in.

This was the point at which the Championship was undoubtedly lost.

Wilco, who was confidently being advised and caddied for throughout by a Golf RSA coach / manager, proceeded to smash his drive well into the gorse, again long right. This was not a surprise; he had done the same thing on most of the proceeding holes, the difference being they had all been much wider, allowing short ‘recovery’ shots to be played to the green. Aggressive play is great and clearly Wilco’s preferred approach but certain situations – e.g. when you have a 3 shot lead with 5 holes to play and are facing a hole bordered by gorse on both sides – require a bit more subtlety and the removal of big numbers from the potential equation.

If I had been caddying for him neither his woods, or for that matter his long irons, would have gone within 100 yards of the tee box. After all this is a lad that probably hits his 7-iron 200 yards. Surprisingly he hit his provisional with his driver too. To be fair this time he came up 20 yards short of the green. His chip was poor by the high standards of earlier in his round and before he knew it he was writing down 6 on his scorecard. He may not of known it at the time but his lead was now just 1 shot.

On the 421 yard 15th Wilco smashed his ball to within 30 yards of the green. Even allowing for the perfect playing conditions this was a massive hit. However, he couldn’t get up and down for birdie. Playing from the semi-rough he misjudged the lack of spin he would be able to generate and ran well past the hole.

As he putted out Nick was waiting on the nearby 16th with his caddie, friend and professional Alex Stubbs.

This was the point where the Championship was won.

England Golf had pushed the tee up for the final round and as such the hole was playing as a drivable 295 yard par 4. Nick hit a superb drive that found a path up the narrow right side of the green to a pin perched on the right ledge. When he holed the 15 foot putt for eagle he led by 1 shot.

With the green clear Jack found the putting surface whilst Wilco bounced into the left hand bunker. Jack proceeded to three putt for par whilst Wilco played a superb long bunker shot to a few feet but to everyone’s surprise missed his short birdie putt.

I quickly scampered after the Yorkshireman who by this time was finishing off on the 17th. Nick held his nerve to par in. He did give himself a 20 footer on the last for the outright win but the putt lipped out.

Wilco missed a relatively short downhill putt on 17 to draw back level. Hitting driver – perfectly justifiable given he was now chasing – on the 324 yard par 4 18th he flirted with the members car park before coming up just short of pin high on the left hand side. His chip was well played but ran out four feet passed the hole which was on the right edge of the green. To his credit he bravely slotted the downhill right to lefter for birdie, thus gaining a chance for redemption in a play-off.

With four groups still to come in it took almost an hour before the play-off could commence.

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The Leading Brabazon Trophy Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

As can be seen from the above screenshot England’s Bailey GILL and Jack COPE (-13 / tied 3rd), Andrew WILSON (-11 / tied 6th), Mitch WAITE (-11 / tied 6th), Arun SINGH BRAR (-9 / 8th), Max MARTIN, David LANGLEY and Ben JONES (-8 / all tied 9th) all enjoyed Top 10 finishes.

Jack COPE (ENG) seemed to gain confidence from Wilco’s back nine difficulties coming home in 33 with four birdies and one bogey. His -13 total and tied 3rd finish helped him win The George Henriques Salver, a prize awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20. Arun SINGH BRAR (-9) finished second in these supplementary standings.

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Jack Cope (Photo: GolfBible)

Round 3

Play commenced at 7.30am with the leaders, Messrs. Ko and Waite, heading off at 9.09am. Unfortunately they recorded a 73 and 72 respectively from which they were unable to recover in the afternoon despite posting much improved rounds of 68 and 69.

However, the two main stories from Round 3 concerned South African protege Wilco NIENABER (RSA) and Darlington’s Andrew WILSON.

Wilco started on the 10th being one of the leading players. His halves of 33 and 32 included six birdies and one eagle. His -13 total after 54 holes gave him a 2 shot lead over Nick POPPLETON who had also impressed with his own 6 birdie 67 to move into second on -11.

Andrew started on the 1st at 8.15am and shot a sparkling best of the tournament course record 63 which he told me could have been better; a bogey on three and with four birdie opportunities all passed up over the closing holes. He was now right in the mix but would need to go low again in the afternoon.

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Andrew Wilson’s 3rd Round Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

ME.

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Saturday 2nd June 2018

Round 2

Jeong Weon KO (FRA) leads Mitch WAITE (ENG) by 1 shot at the end of Round 2. Ko shot a 69 to move onto -9 whilst Waite posted a joint best of the day 67 (-5), including 7 birdies, to move on to -8.

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Jeong Weon Ko (Photo: Leaderboard Photography / England Golf)

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG), whose season has been interrupted with health issues, is pleasingly in a three way tie for third on -7; he’s joined by Stuart EASTON (SCO) and Ferdinand MUELLER (GER).

Thomas BEASLEY (ENG) was the other player to shoot 67 on Day 2. His bogey free round included 4 birdies in his last 6 holes. Thomas will start the final day on -2 and in tied 28th place.

The cut fell at -1 with 46 players progressing.

With 21 players within 5 shots of the lead Sunday’s 36 holes should provide an exciting race to the title.

ME.

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Friday 1st June 2018

Round 1

Round 1 was concluded by early afternoon with the scoring bar lowered even further.

Jeong Weon KO (FRA), Nick POPPLETON (ENG) and Jay BEISSER (ENG) all posted 66’s (-6) on Day 2 to tie the Round 1 lead.

Beisser birdied every par 3 and par 5 to hand in an unusual card made up solely of 2’s and 4’s.

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The Leading Round 1 Scorecards (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Frederic LACROIX (FRA) joined Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Jack COPE (ENG) and Ferdinand MUELLER (GER), yesterday’s clubhouse leaders, by recording a 67 (-5). The four of them are all tied for fourth at this early stage.

Round 1 scoring has been good with 42 players under par from the 155 who started the event.

England Golf have announced that the 36 hole cut will now be set at the top 45 and ties, rather than the normal top 60 and ties; the higher level having also been reaffirmed yesterday after the suspension in play.

With 59 players tied 45th or better and 78 players at tied 60th or better after Round 1, and with only another 18 holes to be played before the cut is made, I assume a fear of having too big a field for the final 36 holes on Sunday has driven this decision.

After disappointing first rounds Matt SAULEZ (RSA) 74 +2, Chris WOOLLAM (RSA) 74 +2, Sam LOCKE 75 (SCO) +3, Andrew WILSON (ENG) 75 +3, Lewis GEORGE (ENG) 76 +4  and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) 77 +5 are amongst the more notable players that will require a strong bounce back tomorrow to make the final day.

ME.

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Thursday 31st May 2018

Round 1

Play started at 8.00am but was brought to a premature close around 3.00pm by thunderstorms which left the Frilford Heath course flooded.

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The Practice Putting Green (Photo: Frilford Heath G.C.)

74 players managed to complete their first rounds before play was abandoned. The leaders in the clubhouse being Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Jack COPE (ENG) and Ferdinand MUELLER (GER) who all shot 67’s (-5).

Sadly Todd CLEMENTS (ENG), one of the highest ranked competitors, had to withdraw before his 9.05am tee time with a back injury. In an event already lacking some of the field depth seen in previous years this was a blow from a ranking perspective.

England Golf have now decided to complete Round 1 tomorrow before playing Round 2 on Saturday.

The Top 60 and Ties cut will still take place after 36 holes meaning the leading players will now have to play 36 holes on Sunday.

ME.

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28th May 2018

The English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Frilford Heath Golf Club this week.

The 72nd playing of this event takes place between Thursday 31st and Sunday 3rd June on the Oxfordshire Club’s Red Course.

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Frilford Heath Golf Club (Photo: Frilford Heath 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 weekend rounds.

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

Field

156 competitors will start the 2018 Championship. Whilst England dominates the entries players from 12 other countries are also represented.

The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Start Sheet

78 players were exempted into the field based on their previous accomplishments with 78 coming through a qualifying process.

Callan BARROW (-2) of Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. was the medalist at neighbouring Fairhaven in the North Qualifier, pipping Lincolnshire’s Sam DONE on count back. Click here to view the full North Qualifier Results

Cameron PHILLIPS (-6) from Hindhead G.C. led the qualifiers at Camberley Heath G.C. in the South Qualifier. Click here to view the full South Qualifier Results

13 of the 20 recently announced Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) St. Andrews Trophy Squad will be competing at the Brabazon. These are Todd CLEMENTS (ENG), Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), Calum FYFE (SCO), David HAGUE (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Sam LOCKE (SCO), Billy MCKENZIE (ENG), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), Euan WALKER (SCO), Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) and Andrew WILSON (ENG).

Of those missing the event Harry HALL (ENG), Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) and Sandy SCOTT (SCO) were unable to enter due to the conflicting NCAA Division I National Championships which is currently being played in Oklahoma.

Rowan LESTER (IRE) and Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) are playing in the East of Ireland Amateur Championship. The two leading Irish players Robin DAWSON (IRE) and Alex GLEESON (IRE) appear to be taking the week off.

To put the event in context the 2017 Brabazon was ranked the 17th most important amateur competition in the world last year based on the strength of it’s field by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). Unfortunately a scheduling clash with the East of Ireland Championship means a much lower event ranking can be expected in 2018.

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: GolfBible)

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

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 awarded later in the year to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 23rd and 24th June).

Frilford Heath Golf Club

Frilford’s first course, the Red, was designed by J.H. Taylor, the five times Open Champion, in 1908 and opened in the following year. Club professional J.H. Turner undertook some later tweaks but it largely remains as originally planned.

This predominantly heathland course measures around 7,000 yards depending on which tees are selected. A par of 72 is split 36-36, albeit as you can see from the scorecard below the hole configurations are different on the two nines.

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Red Course Scorecard (Photo: Frilford Heath G.C.)

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at Wednesday 30th May) is broadly positive for all four competition days, albeit the modest winds are expected to move around from day to day.

Thu 25th May – Thundery Showers / Wind 8 mph E / Temp. Min. 15°C, Max. 21°C.
Fri  26th May – Light Rain / Wind 11 mph SW / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 21°C.
Sat  27th May – Sunny / Wind 9 mph W / Temp. Min. 10°C / Min 21°C.
Sun 28th May – Cloudy / Wind 8 mph NE / Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 23°C.

It is worth remembering that Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 8.00am right through until 2.35pm.

The 2017 Brabazon Trophy

South Africa’s Kyle MCCLATCHIE celebrated his 20th birthday by winning the 2017 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Woodhall Spa Golf Club.

Kyle shot rounds of 70, 66, 75 and 71 for a 282 (-10) total and a 1-shot victory. He was the fifth South African to win the Brabazon Trophy, following in the footsteps of Neville Sundelson (1974), Richard Kaplan (1986), Craig Rivett (1989T) and Charl Schwartzel (2002).

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Kyle McClatchie (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

Jamie STEWART (SCO), Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) all finished on -9 to tie for second place.

Jamie Stewart had a superb weekend shooting the lowest two scores on both days. He followed a 67 (-6) with a 68 (-5) in the final round.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) (-7) finished 5th, Dan BROWN (ENG) (-5) 6th and David BOOTE (WAL) (-4) 7th.

Click here to see the full – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

Click here to see the full – 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 © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 GB&I Results

30th May 2018

As there was only limited GB&I interest in the National Championships I couldn’t justify a separate article. However, I thought I would add some comments on this event to my Regional Championships article. The original Regionals article follows immediately beneath these.

No. 1 seed Oklahoma State won the NCAA Championship for the 11th time beating Alabama 5-0 in the match-play final which fortunately for them was being staged on their home course, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Broc Everett and Oklahoma (Photos: Oklahoma University Men’s Golf)

In the stroke-play stage of the event Broc Everett from Augusta University defeated Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno in a playoff to win the individual national championship. Playing as an individual after his team missed the 54-hole cut, the 23-year-old claimed his first college victory at just the right time.

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Broc Everett (Photo: Augusta University Men’s Golf)

It proved to be a disappointing event for the handful of GB&I representatives who made it this far.

Sandy Scott (SCO) was our only player to play all four rounds in the stroke play stage. He shot rounds of 77, 73, 76 and 85 (+23) to finish T79 in the individual standings. Just one of his four rounds counted to his team’s total as Texas Tech qualified in 3rd place. Texas Tech then lost 3-2 in Round 1 of the match play to eventual runners-up Alabama. Sandy lost his match 2&1 to Davis Shore.

Daniel Sutton (ENG) shot rounds of 71, 73 and 75 (+3) but his Kansas team missed the 54 hole stroke play cut.

Ryan Lumsden (SCO) started well with a 67 but fell away with subsequent rounds of 76 and 80 (+7). As I feared in my NCAA Regional Results article Ryan’s teammate Eric McIntosh (SCO) was dropped for the Finals. However, he was subbed in for the 3rd round where he shot a creditable even par 72. Nevertheless Northwestern fell just short of the first cut mark.

Harry Ellis (ENG) recorded scores of 75, 73 and 80 as UNLV crashed out on Day 3 too.

Here are the links to all of the results: –
Team SP Results / Individual SP Results / Team MP Results

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16th May 2018

Over the last three days 81 teams and 45 individuals not on those teams have competed in six 54 hole NCAA Division I Regional Championship events.

The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional have now advanced to the National Finals, which will be played on 25th – 30th May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

For more background information on these events please read my previous article – NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 Preview.

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This follow up article summarises the results of the 21 Great British and Irish (GB&I) players who competed in the 2018 Regional Championships.

The links for both the Team and Individual Player Results are provided in RED under each Regional heading for those seeking more detail.

Well done to Ryan Lumsden and Eric McIntosh (both Northwestern), Harry Hall (UNLV), Sandy Scott (Texas Tech) and Daniel Sutton (Kansas) who have all played this week and have seen their Teams qualify for the National Championships.

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Traditions Club – Bryan, Texas
Hosted by Texas A&M University, College Station

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Texas A&M Univesity (1), Clemson (3), Baylor (2), UCLA (5) and Kentucky (4) qualified. This was the only Regional where all of the top 5 seeds progressed.

2017 U.S. Walker Cup player Braden Thornberry (Ole Miss) finished 4th to claim the Individual qualifying spot.

San Francsico finished last on +40. I am not sure why Toby Briggs (ENG / FR) was not selected this week as he seems to have played for them throughout the College season.

Our only other representative in Texas was Lewis George (ENG / JR), the Central Arkansas man playing as an Individual. After a solid 73 in round 1 Lewis fell away with rounds of 77 and 75. He finished tied 50th out of a field of 75.

OSU Golf Club, Scarlet Course – Columbus, Ohio
Hosted by The Ohio State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Oklahoma State (1), Illinois (2), UNLV (4), Northwestern (6) and Texas Tech (3) qualified.

Kyle Mueller from Michigan, playing as an Individual, justified his selection by winning the event and qualifying as the low individual.

Ryan Lumsden (SCO / JR) recorded rounds of 75, 70 and 66 to finish tied 4th. Eric McIntosh (SCO / FR) finished tied 46th after rounds of 72, 78 and 77. Ryan and Eric were both in the Northwestern team who qualified for the Nationals. Eric, who was 5th in the line up, had one counting round and therefore may find his place under scrutiny next week.

Harry Hall (ENG / JR) shot rounds of 70, 70 and 75 to finish tied 13th. His team UNLV finished 3rd so he can look forward to playing in the National Championship.

Sandy Scott (SCO / SO) finished well with a 70 after earlier scores of 81 and 75. With two counting rounds and Texas Tech claiming the final qualifying team spot Sandy can also look forward to contesting the season finale.

Paul McBride (IRE / SR) finished tied 20th alongside two of his Wake Forest teammates. Paul shot three counting rounds of 76, 70 and 73 but will see his time in the U.S. come to an end without playing in the National finals, Wake Forest finishing a disappointing 8th.

Louisville finished 9th where they were seeded for the event and therefore failed to qualify. Devin Morley (IRE / SO) 75, 77 and 76 finished 51st whilst John Murphy (IRE / SO) 79, 78 and 73 was tied 57th in the individual rankings. Hugh O’Hare (IRE / FR) failed to make Louisville’s starting 5 for the Regionals.

Rhys Nevin-Wharton (ENG / SO) delivered a 76, 73 and 75 for Tennessee to finish tied 37th. Whilst all three of his rounds counted his team were well off the pace this week.

Elliott Fullalove (ENG / SR) was not selected by Jacksonville who went on to finish tied 10th. Their No. 5 player Aaeri Krishnan shot rounds of 82, 86 and 80 (+35) and finished last of those players completing all 54 holes.

Yale finished 12th out of the 13 competing teams with Eoin Leonard (IRE / JR) not finding the Ohio State University course to his liking (79,79, 80 / 67th).

Reunion Resort, Watson Course – Kissimmee, Florida
Hosted by University of Central Florida

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Florida (2), UCF (10), Vanderbilt (1), North Carolina (3) and Kent State (5) qualified.

George Cunningham from Arizona qualified as the low individual.

Pavan Sagoo (ENG / SR) recorded rounds of 73, 72 and 71 (216) to finish tied 39th. His St. Mary’s CA (9) team finished 11th.

Jack Ainscough (ENG / FR) shot rounds of 76, 68 and 72 (216) to also finish tied 39th. His team, Colorado State (8), finished 7th.

NCAA Logo

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club – Norman, Oklahoma
Hosted by University of Oklahoma

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Oklahoma (1), Brigham Young (7), North Florida (5), Auborn (2) and Arkansas (3) qualified.

Joshua McCarthy from Pepperdine qualified as the low individual.

Florida State came into this Regional as the 4th seeds and finished 6th just one shot behind Arkansas. Jamie Li (ENG / SO) recovered from a first round 75 with rounds of 72 and 70 to end up tied 26th. Similarly Harry Ellis (ENG / RS SR) started poorly with a 79 before posting a 71 and 73. Nevertheless I am sure both he and the team would have been hoping for more than a tied 47th finish from their No. 1 player.

Jack Hermeston (ENG / SR) struggled at the Jimmie Austin OU G.C. this week. His rounds of 86, 76 and 76 and a tied 72nd finish didn’t really help his University of Missouri-Kansas City team, although two of them were counting.

Lonnie Poole Golf Course – Raleigh, North Carolina
Hosted by North Carolina State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Texas (3), Duke (5), North Carolina State (6), Augusta (12) and Arizona State (4) qualified.

Campbell’s Pontus Nyholm won a three way -9 play-off to qualify as the low individual.

Harrison Taee (ENG / SO) was not selected by Duke who finished 2nd as a Team on -22.  

Missouri pair Rory Franssen (SCO / SO) and Jamie Stewart (SCO / FR) both played consistently well finishing on -1 to tie 32nd. Rory shot rounds of 71, 72 and 69 whilst Jamie contributed a 68,72 and 72. Missouri finished tied 8th, missing out on 5th place by just 6 shots.

Oisin Devereux (IRE / SO) recorded rounds of 75, 77 and 76 to finish 70th as his Iona team found themselves out of their depth at this level.

Charlotte’s Conor Purcell (IRE / SO), playing as an Individual, couldn’t build on his 67 in round 2. His other rounds of 79 and 74 saw him finish on +7 and tied 61st, 16 shots away from the play-off and required qualifying mark.

In passing I should note this event was won by SPWAR World No. 1 Doug Ghim. Doug shot 64, 66 and 66 for a stunning 196 (-17) total and a 3-shot victory.

The Reserve at Spanos Park – Stockton, California
Hosted by University of the Pacific 

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Kansas (8), Stanford (3), Iowa State (10), Alabama (2) and Oregon (5) qualified.

Charles Corner from Texas El Paso secured the Individual qualifying spot by finishing tied 3rd on -9.

Kansas were the surprise winners of the Stockton / Pacific Regional. Daniel Sutton (ENG / SR) went along way to delivering this shock. His opening round of 67 was followed up with a 73 and 71 which secured him a tied 9th result in the individual standings, the second best in the Kansas line up..

Thomas Mulligan (IRE / FR) was not selected for the successful Oregon team this week but will have his fingers crossed the coach has a change of heart before the Nationals.

Likewise Danny Daniels (ENG / FR) of Iowa State was not selected but his Team progressed.

Colorado just missed out finishing 6th. However, Daniel O’Loughlin (ENG / SO) continues to impress. Rounds of 73, 69 and 71 saw him finish a creditable tied 16th.

This event was won by 2017 USA Walker Cup player Norman Xiong with rounds of 68, 67 and 66 (-15).

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Irish Amateur Open Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

20th May 2018

Round 4

Home favourite Robin Dawson today completed a memorable wire to wire victory in the Irish Amateur Open.

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Robin Dawson (Photo: Cashman Photography)

However, the final day proved to be anything but the crowning procession many expected for the man from Tramore G.C. After a steady start a double bogey on 9, then a bogey on 14 and finally a triple bogey on 15 meant our leader put himself under some pressure and gave the chasing pack a little encouragement as the Championship came to a close. However, in the end he gathered himself and despite a further bogey on 17 was able to post a 77 for a winning 282 (-2) total.

Robin’s 6 shot buffer at the start of play, built up after an impressive first 54 holes, including a best of the week 65 on the opening day, certainly came in useful.

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Robin Dawson’s Championship Scorecard (Photo: golfnet.ie / Golfbox Scoring) 

John Gough (ENG) and Alex Gleeson (IRE), who both finished strongly with a 70 and 71 respectively, tied for 2nd on +2. Alex Fitzpatrick (ENG) was one shot further back on +3 after a final round 76.

Jack Cope (ENG) recorded the best round of the day with a 69 (-2) to move 36 places up the leaderboard for a creditable tied 7th result. Darren Howie (SCO) matched Gough’s 70 to finish tied 13th, a leap of 30 places.

Click this link to view the final – Irish Amateur Open Championship Results

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19th May 2018

Round 3

Front running is hard and even more so at a course as difficult as Royal County Down, where potential disaster is around most corners. That’s what makes Robin Dawson’s (IRE) performance over the first three days so impressive. His 69 today leaves him with a 6 shot lead going into tomorrow’s final round.

Alex Fitzpatrick (ENG) also did well. There was no shame in his 73 (+2) and he will start the fourth round as Robin’s nearest challenger.

Both Todd Clements (ENG) and Laird Shepherd (ENG) shot 68’s (-3) today to make big jumps up the leaderboard, finishing in the top 5 and top 15 respectively.

James Sugre (IRE) and Olly Huggins (ENG) also shot noteworthy 71’s and have the chance to record high finishes on Sunday.

The top 50 and ties cut eventually fell at +12 with 55 players qualifying for the final round. One of them was Mitch Waite (ENG) who was rewarded for a brave 71 by getting through on the mark.

Matthew Jordan (ENG) retired after 5 holes of his third round. He was +3 for the day and +4 for the Championship at the time.

The final round starts at 8.00am tomorrow morning with the leading threesome setting off at 11.29am.

ME.

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18th May 2018

Round 2

A 71 (Ev) on Friday for Robin Dawson saw the Irishman maintain the lead on 136 (-6) at Royal County Down G.C.

The only other player under par at the half way stage is Yorkshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick. His 70 (-1), including his second eagle of the Championship, this time on the opening par 5, moved him to -4 and reduced Robin’s lead to just 2 shots.

Alex Gleeson (74) and Andrew Wilson (73) are tied third on Even par, neither able to back up their under par rounds from Day 1.

Scoring proved to be much tougher than yesterday with Switzerland’s Robert Foley producing the round of the day with a very solid 69 (-2); three birdies offset by a single bogey on the 440 yard par 4 5th. His +2 36 hole total comfortably sees him in the top 20 heading into the weekend.

By way of reminder the top 50 and ties cut comes into affect after round 3 so all of the players are out on the links again tomorrow. There are currently 56 players on +6 or better so extrapolating this suggests the cut will fall on or around +9.

The more notable players already outside this target include Sam Locke SCO (+10), Tom Plumb ENG (+10), Wilco Nienaber RSA (+11), Gian-Marco Petrozzi ENG (+11) and Mitch Waite ENG (+12).

ME.

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17th May 2018

Round 1

Robin Dawson shot a superb 65 (-6) on Day 1 of the Irish Amateur Open to take a three shot lead. Seven birdies around Royal County Down G.C. is some achievement, particularly when they are paired with just one bogey.

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Robin Dawson’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: golfnet.ie / Golfbox Scoring) 

Fellow Irishman Alex Gleeson, who recorded six birdies in his round, is second alongside Alex Fitzpatrick (ENG) after both posted 68’s (-3). Fitzpatrick started his back nine with two birdies and an eagle to set up his score.

Matthew Jordan (ENG), the lowest ranked player in the field, is part of an eight-way tie for fourth on -2. The recent Lytham Trophy winner had five birdies offset primarily by a double bogey on 16.

Matt Saulez (RSA), David Hague (ENG) and Kristoffer Reitan (NOR) are also in this large group who shot 69.

Defending champion Peter O’Keeffe (IRE) is tied 16th on Even par. This represented a great recovery for the Douglas man who stood on the 10th tee on +4. Five birdies, including three in a row to finish his round, saved the day nicely.

There was disappointment for Gian-Marco Petrozzi (ENG) 78 / +7, Tom Plumb (ENG) 78 / +7 and Sam Locke (SCO) 76 / +5, who all arrived in good form but struggled in Round 1. There is of course still plenty of time for a recovery.

ME.

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16th May 2018

The 2018 Irish Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Flogas, starts on Thursday 17th May at Royal County Down G.C.

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Royal County Down G.C. (Photo: Chris Hill)

Format and Tee Times

A field of 138 golfers from 12 diffrent countries will tee off in what will be the 81st playing of this famous competition.

The Irish Amateur Open is a 72-hole stroke play event organised by the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI). 18 holes are played on the first three days before a top 50 and ties cut is made. A final 18 holes are then played by the leading competitors.

View the Draw for Rounds 1 and 2 here – 2018 Irish Amateur Open Tee Times

In the event of a tie for the Championship the players concerned will play 3 holes of stroke play. The player with the lowest aggregate total being the winner. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes.

The Irish Amateur Open Champion Golfer is awarded a magnificent silver trophy. Irish winners are allowed to take the trophy back to their Club for the year whereas overseas winners must return it to the GUI after the prize presentation.

Course

Royal County Down G.C. is one of the finest courses in the world and will once again provide a great test for the players.

Playing off the blue championship tees the course measures 7,186 yards and plays to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,579 yards (par 35) and the back nine 3,607 yards (par 36).

Players will tee off between 7.00am and 3.30pm on each of the first three days so changes in the weather and wind speeds can be expected to play a big part in scoring.

Players

Many of GB&I’s leading amateur golfers will be competing in Northern Ireland.

Here is a list of the leading players in the field based on recent form and the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR / as at 16th May): –

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) – SPWAR 14th
Winner of the 2018 Lytham Trophy Matthew finished tied 4th here last year before embarking on a great run of form that led to his selection for the 2017 Walker Cup team.

Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) – SPWAR 21st
The 2017 English Amateur champion has recently finished 2nd in the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School and 1st in the European Nations Cup Individual.

Matt SAULEZ (RSA) – SPWAR 27th
Matt has been building an impressive resume over the last 3 years with numerous top 10 finishes back home.

Malcolm MITCHELL (RSA) – SPWAR 33rd
Arrives in the UK on the back of two very solid season’s in South Africa, including 5 wins in 2017.

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) – SPWAR 41st
A prolific winner of junior events in South Africa in recent years as well as winner of the Western Province Open Amateur in April.

Deon GERMISHUYS (RSA) – SPWAR 66th
A superb win at the 2018 South African Amateur followed up with another at the All Africa Junior Challenge has seen Deon arrive in the UK full of confidence.

David HAGUE (ENG) – SPWAR 90th
David has enjoyed a good last 12 months with wins at the 2017 Lagonda Trophy and North of England Open. He was unbeaten in last weekend’s France v. England match.

Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) – SPWAR 91st
Now established as one of GB&I’s leading players Gian-Marco won the Welsh Open Amateur in 2017 and the New South Wales Amateur in Australia earlier this year. He tied 2nd in the European Nations Cup Individual at Sotogrande a few weeks ago.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) – SPWAR 104th
The medalist at last year’s Amateur Championship has made a good start to this season, recently finishing tied 12th at the European Nations Cup and tied 14th at the Lytham Trophy.

Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) – SPWAR 109th
One of Europe’s better players in recent years Kristoffer started the year at the University of Texas before leaving after one semester. He seems destined to turn Pro later this year. He played in Europe’s 2018 Bonallack Trophy team in Qatar.

Alex GLEESON (IRE) – SPWAR 127th
After a good playing trip to South Africa Alex is finding form at the right time. He arrives having recently reached the final of the West of Ireland and having finished tied 2nd in the European Nations Cup Individual.

Robin DAWSON (IRE) – SPWAR 128th
Like Alex Robin played well in South Africa and, having just missed out on a Walker cup spot in 2017, will be looking for some big performances in the next two months to secure a place in GB&I’s St. Andrews Trophy Team.

Ben JONES (ENG) – SPWAR 151st
Winner of the U18 Duke of York at nearby Royal Liverpool GC last year and tied 2nd at the Portuguese International Amateur earlier in 2018. He was unbeaten in last weekend’s France v. England match with some big wins to his name.

Sam LOCKE (SCO) – SPWAR 205th
Sam won the Scottish Amateur last year and is moving quickly up the rankings. He has had 4 top 10’s this year including a tied 3rd at the Lytham Trophy.

Mitch WAITE (ENG) – SPWAR 243rd
Mitch recently won the Hampshire Hog and Hampshire Salver competitions. He was also runner-up at the recent Lytham Trophy. His tied 4th place at last year’s Irish Amateur Open, played at Royal County Down G.C., also bodes well for his chances this year.

Weather Forecast

The latest weather forecast (as at Wednesday 16th May) currently looks good for all four competition days – mainly sunny with relatively modest winds.

Thu 17th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph SE / Temp. Min. 5°C / Max. 13°C.
Fri  18th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph SSW / Temp. Min. 7°C / Max. 14°C.
Sat  19th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 14 mph SSE / Temp. Min. 9°C / Min. 15°C.
Sun 20th May – Cloudy & Showers / Wind 12 mph SSE / Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 14°C.

The 2017 Irish Amateur Open Championship

Peter O’Keeffe won the 2017 Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down G.C.

Peter shot rounds of 70, 70, 73 and 73 for a 286 (+2) total and a 3 shot victory over Chris MacLean (SCO) and Tom Sloman (ENG), who both finished on 289 (+5).

Mitch Waite (ENG), Josh Hilleard (ENG) and Matthew Jordan (ENG) finished tied 4th on 290 (+6). Both Mitch and Matthew are playing again this year and will arrive as two of the most in-form players in GB&I.

img_9155

     John O’Keeffe, Peter O’Keeffe, John Boylan and Noel O’Keeffe

(Photo: Douglas G.C. / O’Keeffe Family)

Click this link to view the 2017 Irish Amateur Open – Final Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The Irish Amateur Open Championship was first played in 1892 with early winners including amateur greats John Ball and Harold Hilton.

Between 1894 and 1901 (6 years) the competition was played as part of the Irish Championship Meeting alongside a professional tournament.

The Championship was not played during both World Wars – 1914-18 and 1940-45.

It was also not played between 1960 and 1994, I assume, due to a lack of interest from overseas players amidst concerns over safety.

Prior to 1958 it was a match play event but since returning to the amateur calendar in 1995 has been stroke play.

Here is a full list of the past winners: –

Year

Venue

Champion

Country

2017

R. County Down Peter O’Keeffe Ireland

2016

Royal Dublin Colm Campbell Ireland

2015

Royal Dublin Gavin Moynihan Ireland

2014

Royal Dublin Jamie Savage Scotland

2013

Royal Dublin Robbie Cannon Ireland

2012

Royal Dublin Gavin Moynihan Ireland

2011

Royal Dublin Rhys Pugh Wales

2010

Royal Dublin Alan Dunbar Northern Ireland

2009

Royal Dublin Gavin Dear Scotland

2008

Royal Dublin Pedro Figueiredo Portugal

2007

Royal Dublin Lloyd Saltman Scotland

2006

Portmarnock Antti Ahokas Finland

2005

Carton House Richie Ramsay Scotland

2004

Carton House Craig Smith Wales

2003

Royal Dublin Noel Fox Ireland

2002

Royal Dublin Louis Oosthuizen South Africa

2001

Royal Dublin Richard McEvoy England

2000

Royal Dublin Noel Fox Ireland

1999

Royal Dublin Gary Cullen Ireland

1998

Royal Dublin Michael Hoey Northern Ireland

1997

Fota Island Keith Nolan Ireland

1996

Fota Island Keith Nolan Ireland

1995

Fota Island Pádraig Harrington Ireland

Not Played 1960-94

1959

R. County Down Johnny Duncan Northern Ireland

1958

Royal Dublin Tom Craddock Ireland

1957

Royal Portrush Ian Bamford Northern Ireland

1956

Portmarnock Joe Carr Ireland

1955

R. County Down John Fitzgibbon Ireland

1954

Royal Dublin Joe Carr Ireland

1953

Killarney Norman Drew Northern Ireland

1952

Royal Portrush Norman Drew Northern Ireland

1951

Portmarnock Cecil Ewing Ireland

1950

County Sligo Joe Carr Ireland

1949

Killarney Billy O’Sullivan Ireland

1948

R. County Down Cecil Ewing Ireland

1947

Royal Dublin John Burke Ireland

1946

Royal Portrush Joe Carr Ireland

Not Played 1940-45 due to World War II

1939

Portmarnock Abandoned

1938

R. County Down Jimmy Bruen Ireland

1937

Royal Dublin Johnnie Fitzsimmons Northern Ireland

1936

Portmarnock Jack Brown Ireland

1935

Royal Portrush Hector Thomson Scotland

1934

Portmarnock Hector Thomson Scotland

1933

R. County Down Jack McLean Scotland

1932

Royal Dublin Jack McLean Scotland

1931

R.County Down Eric McRuvie Scotland

1930

Portmarnock William Sutton England

1929

Royal Portrush Charles Hezlet Northern Ireland

1928

Royal Dublin Seymour Noon England

1927

R. County Down R.M. McConnell Northern Ireland

1926

Portmarnock Charles Hezlet Northern Ireland

1925

Royal Portrush Tony Torrance Scotland

1924

Royal Dublin Edwin Spiller Northern Ireland

1923

R. County Down Noel Martin Northern Ireland

1922

Royal Portrush Alfred Lowe Northern Ireland

1921

R. County Down Wilson Smyth Northern Ireland

1920

Portmarnock Noel Martin Ireland

1919

Royal Portrush Carl Bretherton England

Not Played 1914-18 due to World War I

1913

Royal Dublin Charles Palmer England

1912

R. County Down Gordon Lockhart Scotland

1911

Portmarnock Lionel Munn Ireland

1910

Royal Portrush Lionel Munn Ireland

1909

Royal Dublin Lionel Munn Ireland

1908

R. County Down James Mitchell Scotland

1907

Portmarnock Douglas Brown Scotland

1906

Royal Portrush Herbert Barker England

1905

Royal Dublin Henry Boyd Ireland

1904

County Down James Worthington England

1903

Portmarnock George Wilkie Scotland

1902

Royal Portrush Harold Hilton England

1901

Royal Dublin Harold Hilton England

1900

County Down Harold Hilton England

1899

Portmarnock John Ball England

1898

Royal Portrush William Taylor Scotland

1897

Royal Dublin Harold Hilton England

1896

County Down William Taylor Scotland

1895

Royal Portrush William Taylor Scotland

1894

Royal Dublin John Ball England

1893

County Down John Ball England

1892

Royal Portrush Alexander Stuart Scotland

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

England v. France International Match – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

13th May 2018

England beat France 13 – 7 in the 2018 Men’s International Match.

img_9169

The 2018 England Team (Photo: Federation of French Golf / @ffgolf)

With heavy rain forecast to start in the St. Tropez area around midday the decision was taken to cancel the Day 2 Foursomes series and to concentrate on completing the 8 Singles.

England enjoyed a great team performance winning the Day 2 Singles series 6.5 – 1.5. This took them to a 13 – 7 lead and therefore meant the decision to cancel the four foursomes was pleasingly irrelevant to the overall match result.

As you can see from the results below there were Singles wins for Matthew Jordan, Todd Clements, Andrew Wilson, Ben Jones, Bailey Gill and David Hague.

Well done to the England team and in particular Ben Jones and David Hague who were both unbeaten in all three of their matches.

img_9165

img_9168

Day 2 Scoreboard (Photo: Federation of French Golf)

Click here to view the – Event Information & Results (www.ffgolf.org)

ME.

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12th May 2018

England lead France 6.5 – 5.5 after the first day’s play at Vidauban G.C.

The morning foursomes were shared, two a piece. Matthew Jordan and Gian-Marco Petrozzi and Ben Jones and David Hague were the successful pairings for England.

The afternoon singles also proved tight with England narrowly edging them 4.5 – 3.5. Ben Jones enjoyed the most convincing win, 7&5 over Jeong-Weon Ko. Gian-Marco Petrozzi and David Hague (both 4&3) also did well against Antoine Auburn and Paul Margolis respectively. Todd Clements picked up England’s fourth win battling hard for a 2Up win against Victor Veyret.

Tomorrow will hopefully see a further four foursomes and eight singles so there is clearly still lots to play for. I say hopefully because forecast rain in the afternoon is expected to lead to some adjustments being made to the match format.

img_9160-1

Day 1 Scoreboard (Photo: Federation of French Golf)

ME.

______________________________________________

11th May 2018

England take on France this coming weekend in the 35th Men’s International Match between the two countries.

This year’s match is being played at Vidauban Golf Club in South East France.

Format

8 man teams from each country play 4 foursomes and 8 single matches on the two competition days.

With a total of 24 points to play for the winning team needs to secure 12.5 points to win the match outright. As England won the 2016 match they will also retain the trophy in the event of a 12-12 tie.

France is 1 hour ahead of the UK so play on Day 1 will start at 7.30am our time.

Teams

Here are the two 8 man teams with their current Scratch Player World Amateur Rankings in brackets: –

England
Todd Clements (21)
Bailey Gill (301)
David Hague (100)
Ben Jones (174)
Matthew Jordan (14)
Billy McKenzie (200)
Gian-Marco Petrozzi (93)
Andrew Wilson (433)

France
Antoine Auboin (347)
Edgar Catherine (105)
Clément Charmasson (305)
Jeong-Weon Ko (789)
Frédéric Lacroix (126)
Aymeric Laussot (813)
Paul Margolis (742)
Victor Veyret (332)

England will clearly start the match as favourites as is normally the case. At this time of year, with a number of players still engaged in the US College Championship series, France simply don’t have the strength in depth.

Venue

Vidauban Golf Club is an ultra-private club that was opened in 1999 on the hilly land around 10 miles north of St. Tropez.

Vidauban G.C. (Photo: Patrick Jantet)

The site was originally acquired by the famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones Snr. in the late 1970s. Fraught with subsequent financial and planning issues a course was eventually designed on the land by his son Robert Trent Jones Jnr.

Following recent renovation work the course is now established as one of Continental Europe’s finest. It is an undulating parkland track often compared with Spain’s Valderrama both in design and standing.

Adam Lawrence briefly tells the story of Vidauban in an October 2016 article for – Golf Course Architecture Magazine.

Background

This International Match was first played in 1934, originally starting with 6 players aside before moving to 8 in 1950.

It lapsed after the 1962 match at Ganton G.C. but was resurrected in 1982 at Chantilly with a new format which has been retained to this day. It has been played biennially ever since.

Frilford Heath G.C., hosts of the 1984 match, donated a silver salver which the winning team retains.

img_5759-1.jpg

England v. France Match Salver (Photo: Cyprien Comoy / Vidauban G.C.)

To date England have won 29 of the matches with France winning just 5, the last one being in 2010 at Chantilly.

Previous Results

England beat France 14 -10 in the 2016 match played at Formby G.C – Full Results

england-v-france-may-2016.jpg

The 2016 England Team (Photo: GolfBible)

The England team back then consisted of Jamie Bower, Scott Gregory, Josh Hilleard, Paul Kinnear, Bradley Moore, Alfie Plant, Ashton Turner and James Walker.

The overall match record is Played 34, England Won 29 and France Won 5.

Match

Year

Venue

England

France

Winner

35 2018 Vidauban
34 2016 Formby 14 10 England
33 2014 Fontainebleau 13 11 England
32 2012 Rochester & Cobham 15 9 England
31 2010 Chantilly 11 13 France
30 2008 Frilford Heath 14 10 England
29 2006 Golf du Medoc 16.5 7.5 England
28 2004 Royal St. George’s 11.5 12.5 France
27 2002 Chantilly 17.5 6.5 England
26 2000 Chart Hills 17.5 6.5 England
25 1998 Les Bordes 11.5 12.5 France
24 1996 Sunningdale 9 15 France
23 1994 Nimes 17 7 England
22 1992 Royal Lytham & St. Annes 18 6 England
21 1990 Morfontaine 16.5 7.5 England
20 1988 Berkshire 16 8 England
19 1986 Hossegor 14.5 9.5 England
18 1984 Frilford Heath 16 8 England
17 1982 Chantilly 13 11 England

 1963-1981 No matches were played 

16 1962 Ganton 7.5 4.5 England
15 1960 Chantilly 7.5 4.5 England
14 1959 West Hill 8.5 3.5 England
13 1956 Chantilly 10 2 England
12 1954 Berkshire 11 1 England
11 1952 Deal 8 4 England
10 1950 Morfontaine 8.5 3.5 England
9 1949 Deal 5 4 England
8 1948 St. Cloud 5.5 3.5 England
7 1947 Wentworth 8 1 England

 1940-1946 No matches were played 

6 1939 Morfontaine 5 4 France
5 1938 Sunningdale 8.5 0.5 England
4 1937 Chantilly 7 0 England
3 1936 Deal 5.5 3.5 England
2 1935 St. Germain-en-Laye 5.5 3.5 England
1 1934 Wentworth 5.5 3.5 England

N.B. Matches 1–8 had 6 players and matches 9-35 had 8 players

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 Preview

13th May 2018

The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee announced the teams and individuals they had selected to participate in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships on 2nd May.

81 teams and 45 individuals not on those teams will compete in six 54 hole Regional Championships that will all be played on 14th – 16th May. All of the teams are seeded and spread across the various Regional events.

The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional will then advance to the National Finals.

The 2018 National Team and Individual titles will be decided on 25th – 30th May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma with Oklahoma State University hosting this year’s Championship.

______________________________________________

The 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships were held at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. Oklahoma won the team title last year, beating the defending champion Oregon 3-1-1 in the match play final. Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss claimed the individual title with a four-day stroke play total of 277 (-11).

 ______________________________________________

21 Great British and Irish (GB&I) players will be competing in the NCAA Regional Championships. Six other GB&I players have not been selected by their Colleges.

Most of our players are members of five man Teams. The two exceptions to this being Lewis George and Conor Purcell who were both selected as Individuals based on their own performances during the season. It is not easy to stand out in this way so well done to both of them.

Lewis earned his place by winning the Southland Conference Championship. He has been named to the All-Southland Conference Team and is the Conference’s Player of the Year. He led the UCA Bears in scoring average this season at 72.4 strokes, with a low round of 65. He has enjoyed two wins this season and finished runner-up twice.

Conor, an at-large selection by the NCAA panel, was named to the Conference USA’s all-conference first team. He led the Charlotte 49ers with a 71.77 stroke average this season, posting four top-10 finishes along with a top-five.

______________________________________________

Listed below are the teams and individuals selected to participate in the six Regional Championships.

Each Team is listed in seed order. Therefore the No. 1 team at each site can be considered the main favourites to win the National Championship. Oklahoma State, playing in Columbus, Ohio, go into the post season as the Team to beat.

After the College or University name you will also find the Team’s Golfweek / Sagarin national ranking and if they earned automatic qualification the Conference Championship they were victorious at.

I have included the names of all of the GB&I players on their rosters so we can easily see who our players are attached to and which of them will be competing this week.

Finally the links for both the Team and Individual Player Scores are provided in RED.

Traditions Club – Bryan, Texas
Hosted by Texas A&M University, College Station

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Texas A&M (3)
  2. Baylor (11)
  3. Clemson (16)
  4. Kentucky (24)
  5. UCLA (28)
  6. Ole Miss (31)
  7. South Carolina (46)
  8. San Francisco (52)

          – Toby Briggs (ENG / FR) not selected.

  1. Georgia (47)
  2. Mississippi State (60)
  3. UNC Wilmington (71)  [Colonial Athletic Association]
  4. Northern Colorado (150)  [Big Sky Conference]
  5. Bradley (167)  [Missouri Valley Conference]

Individuals

  1. Michael Perras, Houston
  2. Mitchell Meissner, Rice
  3. Blake Elliott, McNeese
  4. Zander Lozano, University of Texas at San Antonio
  5. Mario Carmona, Rice
  6. Hunter Eichhorn, Marquette
  7. Lewis George, Central Arkansas (ENG / JR)
  8. Jake Brown, Indiana
  9. Matt Murlick, Marquette
  10. Michael Sass, College of Charleston

OSU Golf Club, Scarlet Course – Columbus, Ohio
Hosted by The Ohio State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Oklahoma State (1)
  2. Illinois (12)  [Big Ten Conference]
  3. Texas Tech (14)

          – Sandy Scott (SCO / SO)

  1. UNLV (20)  [Mountain West Conference]

          – Harry Hall (ENG / JR)

  1. Wake Forest (23)

          – Paul McBride (IRE / SR)

  1. Northwestern (40)

          – Ryan Lumsden (SCO / JR)
          – Eric McIntosh (SCO / FR)

  1. Penn State (34)
  2. Tennessee (43)

          – Rhys Nevin-Wharton (ENG / SO)

  1. Louisville (49)

          – Devin Morley (IRE / SO)
          – John Murphy (IRE / SO)
          – Hugh O’Hare (IRE / FR) not selected.

  1. Jacksonville (66)

          – Elliott Fullalove (ENG / SR) not selected.

  1. Michigan State (69)
  2. Yale (125)  [The Ivy League]

          – Eoin Leonard (IRE / JR)

  1. Cleveland State (200)  [Horizon League]

Individuals

  1. Kyle Mueller, Michigan
  2. Matthew Naumec, Boston College
  3. Alex Schaake, Iowa
  4. Patrick Flavin, Miami (Ohio)
  5. David Kocher, Maryland
  6. Daniel Wetterich, Ohio State
  7. Peter Knade, Maryland
  8. Jacob Poore, Northern Kentucky
  9. Zach Schroeder, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
  10. Nick Wilkins, Morehead State

Reunion Resort, Watson Course – Kissimmee, Florida
Hosted by University of Central Florida

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Vanderbilt (2)
  2. Florida (10)
  3. North Carolina (19)
  4. South Florida (22)  [American Athletic Conference]
  5. Kent State (30)  [Mid-American Conference]
  6. Arizona (33)
  7. Purdue (45)
  8. Colorado State (39)

          – Jack Ainscough (ENG / FR)

  1. Saint Mary’s (48)  [California]

         – Pavan Sagoo ( ENG / SR)

  1. UCF (58)
  2. Coastal Carolina (83)  [Sun Belt Conference]
  3. Jacksonville State (144)  [Ohio Valley Conference]
  4. Georgetown (148)  [Big East Conference]
  5. Central Connecticut State (229)  [Northeast Conference]

Individuals

  1. Steven Fisk, Georgia Southern
  2. R.J. Keur, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  3. Yannick Schütz, South Alabama
  4. Billy Tom Sargent, Western Kentucky
  5. Saptak Talwar, Sacred Heart

NCAA Logo

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club – Norman, Oklahoma
Hosted by University of Oklahoma

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Oklahoma (4)  [Big 12 Conference]
  2. Auburn (9)  [Southeastern Conference]
  3. Arkansas (15)
  4. Florida State (27)

          – Harry Ellis (ENG / RS SR)
          – Jamie Li (ENG / SO)

  1. North Florida (26)  [Atlantic Sun Conference]
  2. Pepperdine (25)  [West Coast Conference]
  3. Brigham Young (41)
  4. Virginia (53)
  5. San Diego State (50)
  6. Nevada (55)
  7. Sam Houston State (70)  [Southland Conference]
  8. University of Missouri-Kansas City (122)  [Western Athletic Conference]

          – Jack Hermeston (ENG / SR)

  1. Navy (214) [Patriot League]
  2. Prairie View A&M (269)  [Southwestern Athletic Conference]

Individuals

  1. Ian Snyman, North Texas
  2. McClure Meissner, SMU
  3. Peyton Wilhoit, Southern Illinois
  4. Chris Korte, Denver
  5. Tanner Napier, Arkansas State

Lonnie Poole Golf Course – Raleigh, North Carolina
Hosted by North Carolina State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Georgia Tech (8)  [Atlantic Coast Conference]
  2. California (5)
  3. Texas (18)
  4. Arizona State (17)
  5. Duke (29)

          – Harrison Taee (ENG / SO) not selected.  

  1. NC State (35)
  2. Liberty (38)  [Big South Conference]
  3. Missouri (36)

          – Rory Franssen (SCO / SO)
          – Jamie Stewart (SCO / FR)

  1. Santa Clara (51)
  2. Campbell (62)
  3. Middle Tennessee State (73)  [Conference USA]
  4. Augusta (111)  [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference]
  5. Davidson (194)  [Atlantic 10 Conference]
  6. Iona (262)  [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference]

          – Oisin Devereux (IRE / SO)

Individuals

  1. Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb
  2. Mark Lawrence, Virginia Tech
  3. Conor Purcell, Charlotte (IRE / SO)
  4. Alex Weiss, Marshall
  5. Brendan MacDougall, High Point

The Reserve at Spanos Park – Stockton, California
Hosted by University of the Pacific

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. LSU (6)
  2. Alabama (7)
  3. Stanford (13)
  4. Southern California (21)  [Pac-12 Conference]
  5. Oregon (37)

          – Thomas Mulligan (IRE / FR) not selected.

  1. TCU (32)
  2. Colorado (44)

          – Daniel O’Loughlin (ENG / SO)

  1. Kansas (42)

          – Daniel Sutton (ENG / SR)

  1. Kennesaw State (56)
  2. Iowa State (54)

          – Danny Daniels (ENG / FR) not selected.

  1. UNC Greensboro (91)  [Southern Conference]
  2. UC Irvine (130)  [Big West Conference]
  3. North Dakota State (181)  [The Summit League]

Individuals

  1. Carl Yuan, Washington
  2. Riley Elmes, Loyola Marymount
  3. Vinnie Murphy, Grand Canyon
  4. Felix Mory, California State University, Northridge
  5. Blake Tomlinson, Utah
  6. Charles Corner, UTEP
  7. Henry Lee, Washington
  8. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State
  9. Ryan Han, UC Davis
  10. Michael Christifulli, Siena

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.