Josh Hilleard Wins SGA Amateur of the Month Award

15th May 2016

UPDATE – Nigel Edwards, Performance Director for England Golf, presented Josh Hilleard with his Amateur of the Month Award today following the completion of play in the England v. France match at Formby Golf Club.

Josh Hilleard SGA Amateur of the Month April 2016

Josh Hilleard receives his SGA Amateur of the Month Award from Nigel Edwards
(Photo: Golf Bible)

On his debut Josh was joint top scorer in the match for England, winning both of his Foursome matches and one Singles (W3 / H0 /L1).


11th May 2016

Josh Hilleard has been awarded the prestigious Southern Golf Association’s Amateur of the Month Award for April 2016.

Left-handed Josh, who plays out of Farrington Park G.C. in Somerset, won four events in a row during April and his remarkable achievement clearly resonated with the US-based Association’s Selection Committee.

His run of victories started on 2nd April with the Berkhamsted Trophy, moved onto the Faldo Series Wales on 13th April, continued with the Hampshire Salver on April 17th before concluding with the West of England Amateur on 24th April.

Josh Hilleard with the Hampshire Salver, Berkhamsted Trophy, West of England Amateur Salver and Faldo Series Wales Trophy.
(Photos: Andrew Griffin, Berkhamsted GC, Royal North Devon GC & Faldo Series) 

The Southern Golf Association (SGA), based in Birmingham, Alabama, is one of the largest associations in the World serving member clubs across the 14 states in the South East of the United States.

The SGA has always enjoyed a strong affiliation with the amateur game. It is perhaps best known for running the Southern Amateur Championship, one of the World’s Top 10 amateur events. Past winners of this Championship include Bobby Jones (3), Lanny Watkins, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Davis Love III and Justin Leonard.

In 2003 the SGA’s then Media Liaison Officer, Larry Guest, came up with the idea of recognizing the leading amateur player, male or female, in each month of the golf season (March to October). He established a panel of U.S. experts, comprising college coaches, sports writers and golf administrators. Nominations are put forward by the panel who then select the recipient from the names suggested. It started off as a National award but quickly became International in it’s viewpoint.

Now in its 14th year, notable former Amateur of the Month award winners include Bryson DeChambeau (2), Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth (2) and Michelle Wie amongst many other very well known names. 2015 U.S. Walker Cup player Lee McCoy won last months award, the first of this year, for his play at the Valspar Championship on the P.G.A. Tour and in other College golf tournaments.

Whilst the SGA’s website doesn’t currently record all of the former winners I believe there hasn’t been too many British or Irish ones in the past. I know for certain Rhys Davies (date not known), Matthew Fitzpatrick (August 2013) and Alice Hewson (for only the second time, jointly with Dave Houghton in September 2015) have done so. I assume Richie Ramsay would also have been recognised in August 2006 when he won the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Here is a report on Alice’s recent win on the website – ‘Hewson Named National Player of the Month’.

The SGA are making arrangements for April’s engraved glass plaque to be flown across to Formby G.C. so that it can be presented to Josh at this weekend’s England v. France International Match.

Josh Hilleard April 2016 SGA Amateur of the Month Award

The SGA Amateur of the Month Award
(Photo: Golf Bible)

As a recipient of the Award Josh is also exempted into the 110th Southern Amateur Championship which this year is being staged at The Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina between 14-17th July. It will be interesting to see if he takes up this opportunity to compete against the very best amateurs in the United States.

A belated well done to Alice and congratulations to Josh. It’s good to see an organisation like the SGA looking far and wide for great amateur performances and even better when they formally recognize the achievements of some of our young British players.


Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Latin America Amateur Championship

14th January 2015

A major new Amateur golf event starts tomorrow at Pilar Golf Club, just outside Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) has been established by The Masters Tournament, The R&A and the Unites States Golf Association.  This new competition follows in the footsteps of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which was first played in 2009.

This investment in the game is not small. With the help of their sponsors – AT&T, Mercedes and Rolex – all player travel, accommodation and caddie costs are being picked up by the organisers. When everything is added up the event must be costing around US$1m to put on.

The organisers expect the competition to stimulate further growth in the game in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.  It is great to see the resources of these organisations being used positively to spread the golfing word.

The top 120 male players from the 27 member countries and territories of the International Golf Federation’s Latin America Region have been invited to compete.  The leading players from the area, according to the WAGRs, are Chile’s Guillermo Pereira (6), Venezuela’s Jorge García (38) Costa Rica’s Jose Mendez (40) and Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti (64).

The start sheet for the first two rounds can be viewed here – LAAC Rd. 1 and Rd. 2 Draw

72 holes of stroke play will be played between 15th – 18th January, with the field being cut to the top 60 and ties after 36 holes.  Pilar, which has 27-holes and has previously held the Argentina Open, is a par 71 (36-35) composite course with a championship length of 7,148 yards.

The rewards for the leading players are impressive.  First and foremost the LAAC champion will receive an invitation to compete in the 2015 Masters Tournament.  They will also be afforded a full exemption into the 2015 U.S. Amateur Championship.  Along with the runner-up they will additionally be granted exemptions into both final stage qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open and International Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.

European Tour Productions have been contracted to broadcast the Championship, with two hours of live coverage per day planned.  It is currently unclear if it will be shown on TV in Europe although live streaming will be available for the event website –

Good luck to all the competitors !


Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.