My Review Of GB&I Men’s Amateur Golf In 2017

24th December 2017

As we come to the end of 2017 I thought I would record the more memorable performances that we have seen from Great British and Irish (GB&I) amateur golfers throughout the year.

When one reads through the months below it’s hard not to conclude that the year has generally been another successful one, with many highs and just a few lows.

An unusually large number of players have turned professional in the last 3 months (‘Amexit’) but I think we can take comfort from the positive signs already emanating from the next generation of players coming through.

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JANUARY

The year started with various touring parties heading off to events in the Southern Hemisphere.

Evan GRIFFITH (quarter finals) and Robert MACINTYRE (semi-finals) enjoyed good runs in the Australian Men’s Amateur.

Jack DAVIDSON and Conor O’ROURKE finished 4th and tied 7th at the South American Amateur in Argentina.

Jack SINGH BRAR and Bradley MOORE finished 2nd and 3rd in the Avondale Amateur in Australia.

FEBRUARY

Scott GREGORY delivered GB&I’s first major win of 2017, beating compatriot Marco PENGE by 1 hole in the Final of the New South Wales Amateur.

Robin DAWSON (2nd), Dan BROWN (3rd), Liam JOHNSTON (5th) and Craig HOWIE (7th) made good starts to their seasons with high finishes in the South African Stroke Play Championship.

Back in Europe Josh MCMAHON (2nd), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (T4), David BOOTE (T4) and Bailey GILLGeorge BLOOR and Tiarnan MCLARNON (T7) all showed early season form at the Portuguese International Amateur.

Robin DAWSON (2nd) lost a play-off to South African star Garrick Higgo in the Cape Province Open.  Stuart GREHAN and Alex GLEESON finished T4 in the same event whilst Craig HOWIE was T9.

Dan BROWN (-15) was co-medalist in the South African Amateur. Dan sadly lost the play-off for the Proudfoot Trophy on the 4th extra hole albeit his second round 63 at Humewood GC will no doubt live long in his memory. He was 6-under after his first 5 holes having eagled two par 4’s. Liam JOHNSTON and Joe LONG made the Quarter-Final when the Championship match play got going.

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Liam Johnston (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

Liam JOHNSTON didn’t have to wait much longer to get his name up in lights. The following week he went on to win the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Leopard Creek CC. In a good week for Scottish Golf Connor SYME (2nd), Jamie STEWART (3rd) and Craig HOWIE (5th) also finished high up.

Ben AMOR (ENG) turned Pro in February.

MARCH

Jack DAVIDSON got the European season underway by winning the Spanish International Amateur. Interestingly Jack was the final stroke play qualifier after Chris MACLEAN had pipped Stuart GREHAN to medalist honours. Nevertheless he soon got to grips with EL Saler ultimately beating Marco PENGE 4&3 in the 36 hole final.

In an event with little GB&I support David HAGUE popped up with a T7 result at the Italian International Amateur. Even more surprisingly Sean CROCKER the highly rated US College golfer turned up and ended up winning the Championship comfortably by 5 shots.

A superb opening day’s play from Bailey GILL, where he shot two 65’s, helped the Yorkshireman literally blow the field away at the subsequently weather shortened Darwin Salver.

Scott GREGORY re-affirmed his match play credentials with an impressive 1st Extra Hole win over Australia’s 2016 US Amateur champion Curtis LUCK in the pre-Masters Georgia Cup match.

APRIL

WALES, represented by David BOOTEJack DAVIDSONJoshua DAVIES and Owen EDWARDS, won the European Nations Cup Team competition at RCG Sotogrande in Spain. WALES’ total of +13 was 11 shots better than second placed IRELAND (+24) and 21 shots better than fourth placed SCOTLAND (+34). An out of sorts ENGLAND (+61) finished a disappointing 12th.

Jack DAVIDSON won the Individual European Nations Cup title by 4-shots. Rounds of 70, 70, 70 and 73 (-5), which included 20 birdies and 2 eagles, gave him his second major title in less than a month.

Charlie STRICKLAND, who was runner-up to Bailey GILL at the Darwin Salver, then came to the fore, winning two 72 hole events in consecutive weeks. First came the Duncan Putter – which will be moving to three days at Southerndown in 2018 – and quickly following it up with the U18 Peter McEvoy Trophy at my home club, Copt Heath.

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: @GolfBible)

The 2016 US Mid-Amateur champion, Stewart HAGESTAD, won the Silver Cup at The Masters following rounds of 74, 73, 74 and 73 (+6). His tied 36th finish saw him comfortably win low amateur honours. Our Amateur champion, Scott GREGORY, missed the cut after rounds of 82 and 75 (+13).

The Scottish Boys Open Championship, disappointingly scheduled directly against the Peter McEvoy Trophy, was won in style by John PATERSON who came past runner-up Jamie STEWART at Monifieth with an exceptional final round of 67.

The Hampshire Salver again proved a popular weekend for competitors. Jack SINGH BRAR won Saturday’s Selborne Salver and Jake BURNAGE Sunday’s Hampshire Hog at North Hants. Singh Brar beat Burnage by 1shot for the combined 72 hole Hampshire Salver.

Up in Scotland Craig HOWIE, the clear favourite at the start of play, dominated the Craigmillar Park Open shooting rounds of 66, 66, 66 and 67 (-15) and winning by 8 shots.

Barry ANDERSON won the West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo beating Jack PIERSE 3&2 in the Final. Earlier Conor O’ROURKE had edged out fellow Naas member Jonathan YATES to secure medallist honours in the 36 hole stroke play qualifier.

Chile’s Joaquin NIEMANN started his rise to the top of the Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking by winning the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in the United Sates.

Owen EDWARDS (-3) won the West of England Stroke Play after a strong final day’s play at Saunton left him as the only player under par. David HAGUE (+1) was 2nd and Will POOLE (+3) tied 3rd.

On the same weekend Connor SYME won the Battle Trophy at Crail. Despite giving the field a chance with a final round 79 the Drumoig man still won by 5 shots.

Meanwhile in South Wales Matthew HARRIS won the Carmarthenshire Open at Ashburnham and Callum MORRIS the Golden Eagle at Tenby. However, it was Luke HARRIES who won the Trubshaw Cup for the best 72 hole score over the weekend.

MAY

May saw the focus return to Great Britain and Ireland with our leading amateur events now starting to be played.

Jack SINGH BRAR won the Lytham Trophy helped in no small part by a superb first round of 68 achieved in strong winds when the rest of the elite field struggled (CSS 79). Charlie STRICKLAND and Jake BURNAGE finished 2nd and 3rd in what proved to be a very good week for England Golf with 7 of the top 10 coming from the home nation.   

Just down the road George RAITT and Conor GOUGH finished 2nd and tied 3rd respectively in the Boys’ Fairhaven Trophy. However, Sweden’s Ludvig ABERG was in a class of his own that week winning by 9 shots.

Having come close in the West of England a few weeks’ earlier Will POOLE found Kent’s links courses even more to his liking winning the South East of England Links Championship.

Peter O’KEEFFE won the Irish Open Amateur Championship holding off a strong field at Royal County Down GC. A posse of English and Scottish players made Peter work for it with Chris MACLEAN and Tom SLOMAN ultimately finishing 3 shots back in tied 5th.

David HAGUE won the Lagonda Trophy by 12 shots. An astonishing 62 63 final day finish on the 6,367 yards par 70 Old Course blitzing the field.

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David Hague (Photo: Kevin Diss)

Josh HILLEARD won the Murat Cup at the French International Amateur beating the home junior Pierre PINEAU on the second play-off hole. Both players came through the field in the final round of the 72 hole contest at Chantilly; Hilleard shooting 64 and Pineau 66.

In what proved to be a successful weekend for England Golf Gian-Marco PETROZZI secured the Welsh Amateur Open Stroke Play title at The Vale Resort. Gian-Marco (-13) won by 9 shots from fellow Staffordshire player Jack GAUNT (-4) and local favourites Jack DAVIDSON (-3) and Owen EDWARDS (-1).

Woodhall Spa staged the 2017 Brabazon Trophy with South Africa’s Kyle MCCLATCHIE beating Jamie STEWARTJake BURNAGE and Jack SINGH BRAR by 1 shot to secure the prestigious English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play title and beautiful gold plated trophy.

In what proved to be a generally disappointing US Collegiate season for GB&I players Braden THORNBERRY won the NCAA Division 1 Individual Stroke Play before OKLAHOMA secured the Team title in the subsequent Match Play stage.

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) turned Pro in May 2017.

JUNE

June started with England’s Max MARTIN picking up the Welsh Open Youths Championship at Prestatyn.

Liam JOHNSTON won the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Western Gailes, holding off an in form Matthew JORDAN (2nd) by 2 shots and fellow Scottish Internationals Craig HOWIE (T3) and Connor SYME (5th).

The East of Ireland Amateur went to Reece BLACK whose final round 66 at County Louth was needed to hold off a fast finishing Robbie PIERSE (69).

Matthew JORDAN finally got the win his outstanding play in May and June deserved when he picked up the St. Andrews Links Trophy. Two late bogeys on the Old Course from Matthew enabled Ireland’s John Ross GALBRAITH, who birdied two of his last four, to finish 1 shot back, making the result tighter than it really should have been.

Somewhat ominously, given September’s Walker Cup match, USA ran out easy winners against Europe in the Arnold Palmer Cup played at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Driven on by unbeaten Doug GHIM, with Maverick MCNEALYCollin MORIKAWA and Norman XIONG all featuring, USA won easily 19.5 – 10.5. The Arnold Palmer Cup match moves to a new mixed format in France next July.

One of the highlights of the year was Harry ELLIS’ magnificent win in The Amateur Championship staged at Royal St. George’s and Princes in Kent. 4 Down with five holes to play Ellis somehow fought back, helped in no small part by Dylan PERRY bogeying four of these remaining holes. The Hampshire man ultimately won on the second extra hole when the Australian could do no better than a 6 on the par 4 2nd hole. The win secured Harry his place in history but also this year’s Open Championship and the GB&I Walker Cup team. With a trip to Augusta National in April 2018 still to come it really is the Championship that keeps on giving. A quick word also for medallist Caolan RAFFERTY whose 62 on Day 2 at Prince’s, even with a bogey on the last, was one of the amateur stroke play rounds of the year.

Ben JONES won the U18 Boys Sir Henry Cooper Masters by 10 shots at Nizels G&CC, separating himself from his peers after a 9-under, bogey free, 63 in round 3. In a stellar year for the competition the outstanding Lily May HUMPHRIES won the Girls event by 12 shots.

The 2017 Berkshire Trophy was won by Adam LUMLEY who finished on -18, 7 shots ahead of JACK CLARKSONDavid HAGUE and Billy MACKENZIE finished tied 3rd.

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Mark Power (Photo: Castleroy GC)

Mark POWER retained his Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship title at Castleroy GC, the first person to do so since Paul Dunne a few years ago. He and England’s Jack COPE finished on -5 before Mark ended a topsy-turvy three hole play off in style by holing a 129 yard wedge on the 18th.

Kevin LE BLANC (IRE) turned Pro in June.

JULY

July 1st saw Alfie PLANT memorably win the European Men’s Amateur at Walton Heath GC. A near tap-in birdie on the 72nd hole helped the man from Kent draw level on -15 with Lorenzo SCALISE and defending Luca CIANCHETTI, helped in no small part by both Italians bogeying the same hole. With a place in The Open Championship on the line Plant went on to birdie the Old Course’s 2nd hole, winning the sudden death play off on the fifth extra hole.

 

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 Alfie Plant (Photo: GolfBible)

Greg DALZIEL won the Scottish Boys Amateur Championship at Scotscraig, beating Australian-based Josh GREER by 1 hole in the Final.

A week later The Scottish Boys U16 Open Championship at Fairmont Kittocks went to 13 year old Calum SCOTT, younger brother of Scottish Men’s International Sandy.  Josh GREER finished tied 2nd four shots back. Equally of note were the 7th and tied 12th place finishes of Max HOPKINS and Aidan O’HAGAN, new names that would come to mean more as the year unfolded.

The North of Ireland Championship was played at Royal Portrush GC with Caolan RAFFERTY winning the stroke play qualifier on -10. Caolan fell to Colin FAIRWEATHER in the semi-finals before Rowan LESTER beat Colin by 2 holes in the final.

DENMARK won the European Boys Team Championship at La Manga beating SPAIN 4-3 in the Final. ENGLAND (T4) and IRELAND (8th) both qualified for Flight A but found little success in their three matches.

ENGLAND (1st)SCOTLAND (5th) and IRELAND (6th) all made Flight A in the Men’s European Amateur Team Championship which was played concurrently with the Boys’ at Diamond CC in Austria. In a closely fought match SPAIN beat ENGLAND 4-3 in the final.

Estonia’s Joonas TURBA was something of a surprise winner at the MacGregor Trophy (Boys’ U16 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship). English propsects Max HOPKINS and Robin WILLIAMS were second and third respectively.

Noah GOODWIN (USA) beat Matthew WOLFF (USA) 1Up in the final of the US Junior Amateur at Flint Hills National GC in Kansas.

Alfie PLANT collected the Silver Medal for the low amateur at The Open Championship after rounds of 71, 73, 69 and 73 (+6) secured a T62 at Royal Birkdale GC. Connor SYME (73 76, +9) and Harry ELLIS (77 75, +12) both missed the cut.

Jake BURNAGE beat a fast finishing Jack YULE to win the South East of England Amateur Championship played on the New and Old Courses at Walton Heath GC. The Club have recently announced that the event will be renamed as The Walton Heath Trophy from 2018.

img_4962Jake Burnage (Photo: GolfBible)

Andrea ROMANO from Italy beat France’s Jean BEKIRIAN in a play-off to secure the Carris Trophy (Boys’ U18 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship). English trio Jack COPETaylor STOTE and Robin WILLIAMS all finished in the Top 5 at West Sussex GC.

Conor GOUGH (-5, 7th), Barclay BROWN (+1 T14), Lily May HUMPHRIES (-2, 1st) and Annabell FULLER (Ev, T3) collectively won the Team title at the European Young Masters with a -12 total score in Oslo.

The 2017 South of Ireland Open Championship was won by James SUGRUE at Lahinch. After the North champion Rowan LESTER had won the 36 hole stroke play qualifier James worked his way through a strong field before beating Conor O’ROURKE 3&2 in the final.

AUGUST

Evan GRIFFITH dominated stroke play qualifying in the Wales Amateur Championship at Aberdovey GC with two rounds of 68 and 64 (-10) seeing him achieve medalist honours by an impressive 6 shots. However, Wales’ player of the year Jack DAVIDSON got the better of him in a tight semi-final before going on to beat Tim HARRY in the 36 hole final by 8&7.

The Scottish Amateur was played at Prestwick and was won by Sam LOCKE. Sandy SCOTT and Calum FYFE were the leading qualifiers. LOCKE played superbly in the match play stage ultimately beating Ryan LUMSDEN 9&8 in the 36 hole final.

The English Men’s Amateur was contested at The Berkshire. The story from the stroke play stage was medalist’s David LANGLEY’s superb 61 on the Blue Course on Day 1. However, it was Todd CLEMENTS who prevailed in the match play eventually beating Jack GAUNT 2&1 in the final.

Like the Brabazon Trophy earlier in the year it was a South African who won the Reid Trophy, awarded to the winner of the English Boy’s U14 Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship. Casey JARVIS (-4) held off fast finishing Spaniard Jose BALLESTER at the Manchester GC. For those looking for potential GB&I stars of the future Rory MCDONALD-O’BRIEN (ENG), George DURKAN (ENG), Joshua HILL (IRE), Joseph BYRNE (IRE) and Jack BIGHAM (ENG) all finished in the top 10.

ENGLAND won The Boys’ Home Internationals at St. Anne’s Old Links. Toby BRIGGS, Conor GOUGH, Joe PAGDIN and Robin WILLIAMS all compiled W5 L1 H0 records during the week. Whilst SCOTLAND came last they did provide the highlight of the week; the unbeaten foursomes pairing of 13 year olds Calum SCOTT and Aiden O’HAGEN.

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 Calum Scott and Aiden O’Hagen (Photo: GolfBible)

Andrew WILSON (-4), the only player to finish under par for the 72 holes and helped on his way by a 62 in round 1, won the Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham GC. Charlie THORNTON and Olly HUGGINS (Ev) were tied 2nd.

IRELAND continued their superb run at the Men’s Home Internationals winning the Raymond Trophy for a fourth consecutive year at Moortown GC in England. Caolan RAFFERTY (W5 L1 H0), Paul MCBRIDE (W4 L0 H1) and Colin FAIRWEATHER (W4 L1 H0) starred in a strong team performance.

The 2017 Boys’ Amateur Championship was played at Nairn GC and Nairn Dunbar GC. Home player Darren HOWIE (-8) was medallist with Alex FITZPATRICK (-7) tied 2nd and Danny DANIELS (-6) tied 4th. However, it was Portugal’s Pedro LENCART SILVA, who had qualified in tied 6th on -4, who came through the match play stage to win. He beat defending champion Falko HANISCH (GER) 5&4 in the 36 hole final.

Played at the magnificent Riviera CC and Bel-Air CC’s in Los Angeles Doc REDMAN won the U.S. Amateur Championship in stunning fashion. Hayden WOOD (-9) achieved medallist honours in the stroke play qualifying. Jack SINGH BRAR (-2) T8 led the way for GB&I, with Connor SYME and Robert MACINTYRE (both +2) T35 following him into the match play stage. Syme went furthest at Riviera ending up losing 2&1 in the quarter finals to Doug GHIM. Ghim went on to reach the final where he found himself 2Up with two to play and just over the back of the green in two on the par 5 17th. With Redman just on the green in front of him easily 50 yards away from the hole he could be forgiven for thinking the Havemeyer Trophy was his and for allowing his mind to wander to the first tee of Augusta National in April 2018. Unfortunately the golfing gods stepped in. After Ghim had left his chip 6 feet short Redman stepped up and at pace holed the most amazing right to left downhill putt of the year, or for that matter almost any year, for eagle. Redman then followed it up with a superb birdie on the uphill 18th from 6 foot with Ghim only managing a scrambled par. With the match now All Square, Redman hit a perfect drive to the front of Riviera’s short 315 yard par 4 10th, the first extra hole. Visibly shocked at what was happening in front of him Ghim then hooked his drive and having hacked around for a while before securing a 6 conceded Redman the Championship. An unbelievable finish to amateur golf’s premier event.

The North of England U16 Boy’s Championship was won by Callum MACFIE at Pannal GC. Matthew JACKMAN was one back with Max HOPKINS a little further back in 3rd place.

The Irish U16 Boys Amateur Open Championship was played at Rockmount and was won by Mullingar’s Adam SMITH. Odhran MAGUIRE, the younger brother of Leona and Lisa, was 2nd.

Down at Sundridge Park GC Liam BURNS (-5) defenced the Waterford Trophy. A 67 66 final day finish was required by the man from Chiselhurst to hold off Nick PANTING by 1 shot.

The U16 Welsh Boys was won by Bryn THOMAS at Cradoc GC. Thomas’ final round of 67 helped him to a 9 shot victory over Tom PEET.

The Irish Amateur Close Championship was won by Jamie FLETCHER at Galway GC. Peter KERR and David BRADY were seeded 1st and 2nd after both recorded 138 (-2) in the stroke play stage. In a tight 18 hole final Fletcher beat David KITT by 1 hole.

Richard MANSELL (ENG), Bradley MOORE (ENG), Marco PENGE (ENG) and Sean TOWNDROW (ENG) all turned Pro in August.

SEPTEMBER

The CONTINENT OF EUROPE won the annual Jacques Léglise Trophy U18 Boys’ match against GB&I at Ballybunion GC by 15.5 – 9.5. Unbeaten pair Pedro LENCART SILVA (W3-L0-H1) and Eduard ROUSARD SABATE (SWE) helped the away side to a second successive win. Ben JONES (W2-L1-H1) and Robin WILLIAMS (W2-L1-H0) put up the best defence for GB&I.

The Walker Cup result was an even more sobering experience for GB&I the following week. Craig WATSON had to step down as GB&I captain on the eve of the match but with Andy INGRAM a very capable deputy I am sure this in no way contributed to what followed at Los Angeles Country Club. Whilst the final result was not unexpected the manner of the 17-9 defeat was. Only Jack SINGH BRAR (W3-L1-H0), Robert MACINTYRE (W1-L1-H1) and Scott GREGORY (W2-L1-H1) really came away with any credit from the match. From the USA side Captain Spider Miller had clearly learned a few lessons from Royal Lytham in 2015 and backed up by superb performances from Doug GHIM, Maverick MCNEALY, Colin MORIKAWA, (all W4-L0-H0) and Norman XIONG (W3-L0-H1) the one sided result felt inevitable as soon as the Day 1 singles were concluded.

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The USA Walker Cup Team (Photo: GolfBible)

Ben JONES won The Duke of York Champions Trophy at Royal Liverpool GC by 8 shots from Sweden’s Oscar TEIFFEL. John PATERSON, who shot a 69 in round 2, the best of the week, finished 7th.

David BOOTE (WAL), Dan BROWN (ENG) Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Tom GANDY (ENG), Scott GREGORY (ENG), Evan GRIFFITH (WAL), Cameron LONG (ENG), Alfie PLANT (ENG), Craig ROSS (SCO), Conor O’ROURKE (IRE), Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG), Connor SYME (SCO), Will WHITEOAK (ENG) and Jack YULE (ENG) all turned Pro in September.

OCTOBER

David HAGUE (+1) won the North of England Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship at Alwoodley GC. Andrew Wilson (+3) was 2nd with Harry GODDARD and Nick POPPLETON (+4) tied 3rd.

Joshua DAVIES (WAL), Owen EDWARDS (WAL), Colin FAIRWEATHER (IRE), Stuart GREHAN (IRE), Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) and Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) all turned Pro in October.

NOVEMBER

A birdie, eagle finish helped China’s LIN YUXIN to the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship title at Royal Wellington GC in New Zealand. We can therefore look forward to seeing him in action at The Masters in 2018.

14 year old Max HOPKINS (-2) became the youngest ever winner of the Boys’ Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship at Quinta do Lago in Portugal. Ben JONES (+1) was 2nd and Alfie FOX (+3) 3rd.

Jamie CLARE (ENG), John Ross GALBRAITH (IRE) and Chris MACLEAN (SCO) all turned Pro in November.

Sam HORSFIELD won the Final Stage of the European Tour Qualifying School at Lumine Golf & Beach Club in Spain. His final -27 score, with all six rounds in the 60’s and a best of the day final round of 63 (-8), saw him win the 108 hole event by an impressive 8 shots. Amongst the other players to pick up a 2018 Tour card were Connor SYME, who finished tied 9th on -17 and Jonathan THOMSON, who finished tied 18th on -14.

DECEMBER

Ben JONES (-12) finished tied 2nd at the South Beach International Amateur in Miami. In an event which enjoyed the 5th strongest field of the year it was also pleasing to see Harry HALL (-7) and Joe PAGDIN (-4) record impressive results; tied 10th and tied 19th respectively.

Ben JONES finished tied 28th at the Boy’s Junior Orange Bowl Championship in Miami, 22 shots behind runaway winner Jerry JI from The Netherlands. Lily May HUMPHRIES enhanced her growing reputation by winning the Girls event by 9 shots.

Mason OVERSTREET (USA) won The Patriot All-America in Arizona. The six GB&I players struggled to make an impression with George BURNS (T38) recording the best finish.

Josh HILLEARD (ENG) turned Pro earlier in the month.

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If you want to review the detailed results of any of the above competitions then please take a look at the GolfBible Results Page where you will be able to find links to nearly all of those mentioned above.

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Ronnie Shade MBE

15th October 2016

Ronnie Shade is one of Great Britain & Ireland’s best amateur golfers of all-time and probably Scotland’s very best. Indeed for a while in the mid-1960’s he was considered the best amateur in the world.

Ronald David Bell Mitchell Shade MBE was born on 15th October 1938 in Edinburgh.

He grew up playing golf at Duddingston Golf Club on the east side of the city where is father John was the club pro. He attended the nearby Portobello Secondary School.

Coached exclusively by his father he developed a somewhat mechanical swing but one that he could repeat and rely upon. He was known for keeping his head down well through impact.

“Before each shot, Ronnie goes through a series of seemingly odd contortions. These are his father’s idea. He believes that the muscles have to be ‘reminded’ of their role before each shot. Young Shade can be observed standing away from the ball posing in the top of the backswing position and flicking his hips. This is to ‘remind’ his hips to move first. His most unusual pose is the follow through which he performs and holds three three times before each stroke”  – World Sports Magazine, 1962. 

He quickly showed promise on the links winning the Edinburgh Boy’s Championship in 1954-55-56.

He represented Scotland in the Boys’ International Match in 1954-55-56, captaining the side in his final year.

He took his junior victories onto the national stage in 1954 firstly winning the British Youth’s Under 18 Open Championship by 3-shots at Dumfries and County GC. In 1956 he secured the Scottish Boys’ Amateur Championship beating AJ Hanley at North Berwick 7&6 in the final.

His best finish in the Boys’ Amateur Championship came in 1956 when he reached the semi-finals before losing 4&3 to CW Cole.

He was first selected for Scotland’s Men’s team in 1957, playing one match in The Amateur Internationals (now the Home internationals) against Ireland. He played in the Internationals in 1960-61-62-63-64-65-66-67-68 competing against all the home nations.

He is best known north of the border for winning five consecutive Scottish Amateur Championships between 1963-1967.

1963 – beat N Henderson 4&2 at Troon.
1964 – beat J McBeath 8&7 at Nairn.
1965 – beat GB Cosh 4&2 St. Andrews.
1966 – beat CJL Strachan 9&8 at Western Gailes.
1967 – beat AB Murphy 5&4 at Carnoustie.

When he lost in the fourth round of the 1968 Championship it brought to an end a staggering run of 43 successive match wins, 35 of them coming over 18 holes. His record could have been even better too as he also lost the 1962 final to SWT Murray 2&1 at Muirfield.

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Ronnie Shade (Photo: The Golfer’s Handbook 1964)

In 1968 Shade won the second Scottish Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, held at Prestwick, with a 282 total score.

He won the the English Amateur Open Strokeplay Championship (for the Brabazon Trophy) three times, in 1961-63-67.

In 1966 he lost the final of The Amateur Championship to South African Bobby Cole. Shade played in 8 Amateur’s between 1961 and 1968 winning 26 of his 34 games Whilst his 76.5% win percentage is nothing to be ashamed of Shade must have been disappointed that he couldn’t have performed better in our most prestigious event.

1961  Turnberry               –  5th rd loss to J Walker 2&1
1962  Royal Liverpool     – 2nd rd loss to GJ Butler 20th hole
1963  St Andrews            – 5th rd loss to Dr. ER Updegraff 3&2
1964  Ganton                   – 2nd rd loss to PF Brady 1 hole
1965  Royal Porthcawl    – 4th rd loss to W Hyndman III 2&1
1966  Carnoustie            – Runner up losing to RE Cole 3&2
1967  Formby                  – 5th rd loss to RB Dickson 2&1
1968  Troon                     – 6th rd loss to RL Glading 1 hole.

He represented Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) four times in the Walker Cup, playing in 1961-63-65-67. Ronnie Shade played  14 games winning 6, losing 6 and halving 2. In this era this represents a very creditable record.

1961  Seattle                      – USA 11 – 1 GB&I     P2  W0  L2  Ho
1963  Turnberry                 – GB&I 8 – 12 USA     P4  W2  L1  H1
1965  Baltimore                 – USA 11 – 11 GB&I   P4  W3  L1  H0
1967  Royal St. George’s  – GB&I 7 – 13 USA     P4  W1  L2  H1

Shade was selected for the 1962-64-66-68 GB&I teams for the Eisenhower Trophy. During the 1962 event he set a new course record at Kawana in Japan (66), in 1964 GB&I won the Trophy in Mexico (Shade played with Michael Bonallack, Rodney Foster and Michael Lunt) and in 1966 he was the leading individual player (283) with GB&I coming second (this time with Peter Oosterhuis and Gordon Cosh joining up with him and Bonallack).

In 1966 he won the Silver Medal for the low amateur at The Open Championship, finishing tied 16th. His only major championship appearances came in The Open which he played 14 times during his career.

The third Carling World Championship was held at Birkdale in 1966. Shade won the low amateur honours at this mixed pro and amateur event.


Ronnie Shade (Photo: The Golfer’s Handbook 1967)

In recognition of his outstanding 1966 he was awarded The Association of Golf Writers Trophy.

Ronnie was often referred to by his fellow players as “Right Down the Bloody Middle” – based on his initials – due to his consistent driving, which formed the bedrock of his play.

“No one I have ever seen, even to this day, hit the ball as straight as Ronnie did. He was an extraordinary player.” – Bernard Gallacher, The Scotsman, 2009. 

He was awarded an MBE in 1967 for services to golf whilst he was still an amateur and aged just 28.

Ronnie turned pro in late 1968 aged 30 and whilst he didn’t quite make it the move was not without some success. He won both the 1969 Carroll’s International and Ben Sayers Tournament in his rookie season. A smooth transition was not unexpected as Shade had a reputation for meticulous preparation in the amateur game which no doubt stood him in good stead. He finished 20th in the 1969 PGA Order of merit with prize money of £2,689. Fellow Lothians man Bernard Gallacher won the Order that year with £6,793. He got to 14th in the rankings in 1970 and finished in the top 60 every year until the mid-1970’s.

His only other pro wins came at the Scottish Professional Championship (1970) and Mufulira Open in Zambia (1975).

He represented Scotland at the World Cup three times, in 1970-71-72, and in the Double Diamond Internationals five times, in 1971-72-73-74-75.

Shade remained a strong match play exponent in the pro ranks, finishing runner-up at the British PGA Matchplay Championship in 1970 as well as reaching the semi-finals on two other occasions.

Ronnie Shade in 1973 (Photo: Fionnbar Callanan)

In 2005 in a Sunday Herald article by Golf Correspondent Nick Rodger Ronnie Shade was ranked 17th in a list of the Greatest Scottish Golfers.

After a long battle with cancer Ronnie Shade sadly died on 10th September 1986, just over 30 years ago, aged only 47. By this time he had been reinstated as an amateur golfer.

I have now written three profiles of Scottish golfers, Barclay Howard and Freddie Tait being the other two, and all of them have died well before their time.

His failure to lift The Amateur Championship leaves him just short of the greats of the GB&I amateur game in my eyes but his record remains one of the best and as such he deserves to be recognised and remembered.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

European Amateur Championship – 2016 Preview & Results

6th August 2016

Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) beat Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) on the seventh play-off hole to win the 2016 European Amateur Championship.

Luca Cianchetti (Photo: Italian Golf Federation)

Both players were tied on -16 at the end of the 72 hole stroke play event which was taking place at the Estonia Golf & Country Club. Cianchetti had bogeyed the last hole to fall in to the play-off but will have been pleased with his final round 67 (-5). Hovland, who started the day with a 2-shot lead after his course record 63 in round 3, shot a creditable 69 (-3) but ultimately had to settle for second place.

Simon ZACH from the Czech Republic finished third after rounds of 69, 69, 70 and 66 (-14).

Scotland’s Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) -13 and Connor SYME (SCO) -12 continued their great form with fourth and fifth place finishes. When one considers that both, along with most of the other Scottish players, had withdrawn on the eve of the competition as their golf clubs had been lost by KLM en route this is even more remarkable. The Scottish clubs only arrived on site during the morning of the first round and thanks to the flexibility of the European Golf Association the players were allowed to re-enter and play together at the back of the field. Hardly the best preparation.

The following Great British & Irish also finished in the Top 30: –
T9   Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) -9
T13  Andrew WILSON (ENG)-8
T13  Craig ROSS (SCO) -8
T17  Ben AMOR (ENG) -7
T17  Daniel BROWN (ENG) -7
T17  Grant FORREST (SCO) -7
T26  Paul MCBRIDE (IRE) -5
T26  Stuart GREHAN (IRE) -5
T26  Sandy SCOTT (SCO) -5

Click here to review the final results from Estonia – 2016 European Amateur Championship Live Scores

ME.

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1st August 2016

The European Amateur Championship starts on Wednesday 3rd August at the Estonia Golf & Country Club. Estonia, a member of the European Union since 2004, borders Russia and Latvia and is in the North East of the Continent.

This prestigious international Championship is run by the European Golf Association (EGA).

img_6433Estonia Golf & Country Club

History
This year’s championship will be the 29th in the history of a competition which was first contested in 1986.

It has been hosted in 17 different countries to date, with Estonia becoming the 18th this week. It has been played in Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) on 6 occasions; the courses to host the event being Hillside (1991), Dalmahoy (1993), Celtic Manor (1999), Nairn (2003), Carton House (2012) and The Duke’s St. Andrews (2014) last year. Next year it returns to England with Walton Heath GC in Surrey hosting the event in June.

The reigning champion is Stafano MAZZOLI. The Italian shot rounds of 65, 67, 69 and 68 (-19) at the Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia to hold off GB&I’s Gary HURLEY (-18), Gavin MOYNIHAN (-17), Scott GREGORY (-16) and Jonathan THOMSON (-16).

Stefano Mazzoli

Stefano Mazzoli (Photo: European Golf Association)

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

In addition to Gallacher and McIlroy other GB&I past winners include Jim PAYNE (1991), Paddy GRIBBEN (1998), Stephen BROWNE (2001), Brian MCELHINNEY (2003), Matthew RICHARDSON (2004), Rhys PUGH (2012) and Ashley CHESTERS (2013 and 2014). Chesters is the only player to have won the Championship twice.

Competition Format
The European Amateur is a 72-hole stroke play event. 18-holes are played daily over four days.

A 54-hole cut will be in force with the 60 lowest scores and ties qualifying for the final day’s 18.

The Field
144 players will contest the Championship this week.

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

Exemptions were also available to the defending champion, a single nomination from each EGA member nation, competitors in the most recent Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy events as well as four players from the host nation.

This year there are 37 players from GB&I competing; there were 44 last year. Here they are in alphabetical order: –
Ben AMOR (ENG)
Jamie BOWER (ENG)
Daniel BROWN (ENG)
Adam CHAPMAN (ENG)
Jack DAVIDSON (WAL)
Owen EDWARDS (WAL)
William ENEFER (ENG)
Ewen FERGUSON (SCO)
Grant FORREST (SCO)
Alex GLEESON (IRE)
Stuart GREHAN (IRE)
Evan GRIFFITH (WAL)
Tim HARRY (WAL)
Josh HILLEARD (ENG)
Craig HOWIE (SCO)
Liam JOHNSTON (SCO)
Matthew JORDAN (ENG)
Paul KINNEAR (ENG)
Kevin LE BLANC (IRE)
Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO)
Robert MACINTYRE (SCO)
Paul MCBRIDE (IRE)
Bradley MOORE (ENG)
Conor O’ROURKE (IRE)
Marco PENGE (ENG)
Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG)
Alfie PLANT (ENG)
Steve ROBINS (ENG)
Craig ROSS (SCO)
Jamie SAVAGE (SCO)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)
Connor SYME (SCO)
Jonathan THOMSON (ENG)
James WALKER (ENG)
William WHITEOAK (ENG)
Andrew WILSON (ENG)
Jack YULE (ENG)

Competition Information
The Round 1 start sheet is here – 2016 European Amateur Championship Draw

The live score link can be accessed here – 2016 European Amateur Championship Leaderboard

Estonia Golf & Country Club
Located 20km from Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn, the championship will be played on the championship Sea Course at the Estonia Golf & Country Club.

img_6434Estonia Golf & Country Club

The Sea Course plays to 7,100 yards and is a parkland course that sits near the Baltic Sea and the Jägala River.

Weather Forecast
Unfortunately rain looks to be the order for the week. As at 9.00 am on Monday 1st August the forecast is: –
Weds 3rd August – Showers. Wind 9 mph (NE). Max. 19°C / Min 12°C.
Thurs 4th August – Rain. Wind 12 mph (N). Max. 19°C / Min 14°C.
Fri 5th August – Rain. Wind 10 mph (NE). Max. 21°C / Min 14°C.
Sat 6th August – Showers. Wind 9 mph (NE). Max. 21°C / Min 14°C.

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

The winner also receives an invitation to compete in next year’s Open Championship – in 2017 this will be held at Royal Birkdale in Lancashire, England.

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

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Trophy – 2016 Preview and Results

21st July 2016

Click here to view the complete – MATCH RESULTS

David BOOTE bravely pared the 18th hole at Prince’s Golf Club this evening to secure the point which enabled Great Britain & Ireland to half the match 12.5-12.5.

As the holders the draw was good enough to ensure GB&I retained the St. Andrews Trophy they won in Sweden back in 2014.

Given they started the day 4-8 down to the Continent of Europe they will surely view the final score as a moral victory if not exactly a numerical one.

Great Britain & Ireland Retain The St. Andrews Trophy (Photo: Darren Plant) 

GB&I quickly got back on track this morning. Whereas yesterday all four of the foursomes games were lost today was thankfully a totally different story – GB&I winning the series 3.5-1.5. Stuart GREHAN and Scott GREGORY (5&4) led the team out and quickly secured the first point of the day against Italian pair Luca CIANCHETTI and Stefano MAZZOLI. Equally impressive were Grant FORREST and Connor SYME (4&3) who dealt with Matthias SCHWAB and Guido MIGLIOZZI. Jack HUME and David BOOTE were GB&I’s other outright winners.

This afternoon’s singles were again a rollercoaster affair. Just like yesterday GB&I got off to a strong start before Europe pegged them back.

There were crucial early wins for Scott GREGORY (2 holes), Stuart GREHAN (4&3, 7 under par when his match against Luca CIANCHETTI ended on the 15th) and Alfie PLANT (4&3).

Jack HUME was then unlucky to lose to Stefano MAZZOLI (1 hole) who birdied the last 3 holes to turn their game around. After losses for Grant FORREST (2&1) and Jamie BOWER (3&2) Scottish pair Connor SYME and Robert MACINTYRE secured important halves, both birdieing the short 374 yard 16th to draw level before seeing out their matches with pars.

All eyes started to drift to the 8th game in the series – David BOOTE against Ivan CANTERO GUTIERREZ. For much of the afternoon this had appeared a given for GB&I. Boote had got off to a great start which he consolidated with birdies on 12 and 13 to go 4Up with 5 to play. However, the highly rated Cantero Gutierrez refused to lie down and before we knew it birdies for the Spaniard on the 14th and 15th followed by a mistake by Boote on 17 saw the Surrey-based Welshman having to defend a 1Up lead going down 18.

Thankfully the experienced David Boote was up to the task and with the final hole of the game and match halved Captain Craig WATSON could breathe a sigh of relief and the GB&I supporters could begin celebrating.

Here are the updated Individual Team Contributions for the 2016 St. Andrews Trophy: –

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 18.55.13

ME.

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20th July 2016 – Day 2 Draws

DRAW – 21st July – Day 2 Morning Foursomes

For Great Britain & Ireland Grant FORREST has been drafted into the foursomes. He will pair up with Connor SYME in game 3 with Robert MACINTYRE stepping down. Captain Craig WATSON has kept his other pairings unchanged and will give his players the opportunity to redeem themselves in a format that normally favours GB&I.

Unsurprisingly European captain Yves HOFSTETTER has left his foursome pairings well alone.

With both captains tweaking their running orders none of today’s games are repeated. At this stage one can only speculate on what difference this may make to the series result.

DRAW – 21st July – Day 2 Afternoon Singles

All 18 players are competing in the Day 2 singles with no players rested.

The draw has thrown up 3 Day 1 re-matches – Scott GREGORY v. Jeroen KRIETEMEIJER, Stuart GREHAN v. Luca CIANCHETTI and Alfie PLANT v. Mario GALIANO.

ME.

______________________________

20th July 2016 – Day 1 Report

Day 1 of the St. Andrews trophy proved to be a triumph for the Continent of Europe. They will take an 8-4 advantage into tomorrow’s final day.

DAY 1 RESULTS

Great Britain & Ireland’s new captain Craig WATSON could not have got off to a worse start this morning. His four foursomes pairings all lost, not one able to take their match beyond the 17th hole at Prince’s Golf Club.

GB&I fought back in the singles and for much of the afternoon it looked as if Day 1 parity could be rescued. Scott GREGORY (3&2), Jack HUME (5&4), Connor SYME (5&4) and Stuart GREHAN (6&4) all won to salvage some personal pride.  However, late losses for Grant FORREST (2&1), David BOOTE (3&1), Alfie PLANT (1 hole) and perhaps most notably, given the lead he held, Robert MACINTYRE (1 hole) saw the second series ultimately halved 4-4.

Europe’s Mario GALIANOIvan CANTERO GUTIERREZ, Robin PETERSSON and Matthias SCHWAB will all take 100% unbeaten records into Day 2.

Europe have won only once on GB&I soil in the history of the match – at Portmarnock GC in 2012. With a 4 point lead and needing just 5 more points from a possible 13 they will no doubt go in to tomorrow’s identical series of games in confident mood, optimistic of a 6th victory.

Here is my analysis of the Day 1 Individual Player Contributions: –

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 21.52.38

ME.

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19th July 2016 – Day 1 Draws

The draws for tomorrow’s St. Andrews Trophy foursomes and singles matches were announced this afternoon.

For Great Britain & Ireland Grant FORREST sits out the foursomes on Day 1 whilst Jamie BOWER misses out in the singles. Europe’s Jeroen KRIETEMEIJER has to wait for the afternoon singles for his first competitive action whilst Victor VEYRET will play in just the foursomes.

Here are the Day 1 draw / live scoring links: –

Live Scores

DRAW – 20th July – Day 1 Morning Foursomes

DRAW – 20th July – Day 2 Afternoon Singles

 

ME.

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17th July 2016 – Preview

The 31st St. Andrews Trophy is being contested on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st July at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, England.

This amateur men’s team match has been played biennially between Great Britain & Ireland and the Continent of Europe since 1956. It was originally established by The R&A to give more European countries the chance to play at the highest level and GB&I players more team match play experience for the Walker Cup which is held in alternate years with this event.

The St. Andrews Trophy was put forward for the match by the Royal and Ancient GC of St Andrews in 1963.

St Andrews Trophy GBI Team 2014

2014 GB&I Team (Photo: R&A / Getty Images)

2016 Teams

Captain Craig WATSON (Scotland) and The R&A announced the nine players to represent GB&I on 10th July. Each player’s Scratch Player’s World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR), as of today, is noted in brackets behind their name and nationality.

David BOOTE, 22, Walton Heath, Wales (33)
Jamie BOWER, 23, Meltham, England (10)
Grant FORREST, 23, Craigielaw, Scotland (11)
Scott GREGORY, 21, Corhampton, England (31)
Stuart GREHAN, 23, Tullamore, Ireland (68)
Jack HUME, 22, Naas, Ireland (8)
Robert MACINTYRE, 19, Glencruitten, Scotland (18)
Alfie PLANT, 24, Sundridge Park, England (51)
Connor SYME, 21, Drumoig, Scotland (15)

Craig HOWIE, 21, Peebles, Scotland and Conor O’ROURKE, 24, Naas, Ireland were named as reserves.

The Europe Team led by non-playing captain Yves HOFSTETTER (Switzerland) was confirmed by the European Golf Association on 15th July. Again current SPWAR’s follow each name and nationality.

Ivan CANTERO GUTIERREZ, Spain (47)
Luca CIANCHETTI, Italy (95)
Mario GALIANO, Spain (71)
Jeroen KRIETEMEIJER, Netherlands (725)
Stefano MAZZOLI, Italy (76)
Guido MIGLIOZZI, Italy (119)
Robin PETERSSON, Sweden (92)
Matthias SCHWAB, Austria (7)
Victor VEYRET, France (108)

The total SPWAR team score for GB&I is 245 whilst it is 1,340 for Europe. Whilst matches are not won on past form it is clear that GB&I have the greater strength in depth and must therefore start as firm favourites. Home advantage by way of greater links experience may be mitigated this week due to the sunny weather forecast.

Unfortunately the match clashes with the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in France on the European Challenge Tour. Ugo COUSSAUD (FRA – 63), Thomas PERROT (FRA – 126) Antoine ROZNER (FRA – 23) and Adrian MERONK (POL – 11) have all been invited to play as amateurs. Good news for GB&I, bad news for Europe.

Match Format 

The St Andrews Trophy format consists of match play foursomes and singles matches.

Wednesday 20th June AM – Foursomes x 4
Wednesday 20th June PM – Singles x 8
Thursday 21st June AM – Foursomes x 4
Thursday 21st June PM – Singles x 9

With a maximum total of 25 points available and one point awarded for each match a team will be required to accumulate 13 points to secure victory. GB&I can of course retain the Trophy by reaching 12.5 points.

Prince’s Golf Club

Prince’s Golf Club is located alongside Royal St. George’s in Sandwich Bay, Kent. Whilst it can’t match the history of it’s illustrious neighbour it is certainly noteworthy in its own right.

img_6377

Prince’s Golf Club (Photo: Prince’s Golf Club)

Prince’s most famous moment came in 1932 when it staged the 67th Open Championship, won wire-to-wire by US golfing legend Gene Sarazen.

Following the Second World War, when once again the course was requisitioned by the military for training, Sir Guy Campbell and John Morrison were engaged to to redesign and restore the course.

More recently it has been used as a Local Final Qualifying course for the 2011 Open Championship. It co-hosted The Amateur Championship in 2006 and 2013 and will do so again in 2017. Later this year it will also host the Jacques Leglise Trophy match between the U18 Boy’s of GB&I and Europe.

Since the 1950s Prince’s has had 3 sets of 9 holes, The Shore (3,448 yards), The Dunes (3,432 yards) and The Himalayas (3,201 yards), each playing to a par of 36. The Shore and Dunes are being used for the St. Andrews Trophy.

Weather Forecast

As at Sunday 18th July, 7.00pm the weather forecast looks very good for both the practice and competition days: –

Wed 21st July – Sunny. Wind 17 mph S. Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 16°C.

Thur 22nd July – Sunny. Wind 10 mph W. Temp. Max. 21°C / Min 15°C.

Past Results

To date GB&I have won the St. Andrews Trophy 25 times with Europe having just five wins to their name, albeit two of them came recently in 2010 and 2012. GB&I got back on track in 2014, winning 14-10 at Barsebäck, Sweden.

Here are the historic match results in full: –

Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 07.38.12

I will of course post links to the live scoring when it becomes available and will add results and player analysis to this article as the match unfolds.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Amateurs At The Masters – Facts & Figures

Updated – 9th April 2018

Here is a selection of Amateur Facts & Figures that I have collected for The Masters Tournament: –

2018 Amateur Players

Since 2016 just six Amateurs have been able to qualify for The Masters. In 2018 the six were: –

The Winner and Runner-Up of the 2017 U.S. Amateur Championship – Doc REDMAN (USA) and Doug GHIM (USA). 

The Winner of the 2017 Amateur Championship – Harry ELLIS (England).

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

IMG_8942

(l-r) Harry Ellis, Yuxin Lin, Joaquin Niemann, Doug Ghim, Doc Redman and Matt Parziale (Photo: The Masters)

The Winner of the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship (Over 25s) – Matt PARZIALE (USA). This exemption has been in place since 1989.

The Winner of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (APAC) – Yuxin LIN (China). The Masters co-founded this event in 2009.

The Winner of the 2018 Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) – Joaquin NIEMANN (Chile). The Masters co-founded this event in 2015.

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

2018 Amateur Results

Doug GHIM (USA) was ranked No. 1 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking before the Tournament began and comfortably lived up to his billing when play got underway.

img_8992

Doug Ghim’s Scorecard (Photo: The Masters)

As the only amateur to make the cut Doug secured the Silver Cup on Friday night. He collected it from new Augusta National G.C. Chairman Fred Ridley at the prize going ceremony on Sunday evening.

In addition to the Silver Cup Doug will receive three pairs of highball glasses for his eagles in Round 1 and 3.

img_8991

Doug Ghim Receives The Silver Cup From Fred Ridley (Photo: The Masters)

Disappointingly Amateur champion Harry  ELLIS (ENG), the sole GB&I amateur entrant, shot rounds of 86 and 80 (+22) and missed the cut in last place (87th).

Amateur Playing Records

No amateur has ever won The Masters.

On three occasions an amateur has fInished 2nd: –
Frank STRANAHAN (USA) – 1947. A final round 68 saw Stranahan come through the field ultimately finishing 2-shots behind champion Jimmy Demeret.
Ken VENTURI (USA) – 1956. A final round 80 in windy conditions saw Venturi lose a 4-shot lead and finish second by 1-shot to Jack Burke.
Charlie COE (USA) – 1961. Like Stranahan Coe finished fast with a 69 and a record amateur score of -7. He ended up tied for second with Arnold Palmer with neither able to catch a faltering Gary Player (74 / -8 total).

Billy Joe PATTON (USA) finished 3rd in 1954 but perhaps came closest to delivering an amateur Masters victory. A hole-in-one on the 6th in the final round put him nicely in the lead but a bogey on 12 and a double on 13, when he went for the green in two and found water, saw him slip out of a play-off with Sam Snead and Ben Hogan by 1-shot. 

In 1961, for the only time, three amateurs finished in the Top 15 – Charlie COE (USA, T2), Jack NICKLAUS (USA, T7) and Robert W. GARDNER (USA, T11).

In 1954 five Amateurs finished in the Top 20Billy Joe PATTON (USA, 3rd), Richard CHAPMAN (USA,11th), Ken VENTURI (USA, T16) and Charlie COE and E. Harvie WARD (both USA, T20)

The last Top 10 finish by an amateur was Charlie COE’s T9 in 1962.

Charlie COE (USA) holds most of the Amateur records at Augusta, including Most Low Amateur Honours (6 in 1949-51-59-61-62-70), Best Finish (T2), Top 10s (3), Most Cuts Made (8), Most Starts (19), Most Rounds Played (67) and Rounds At Par or Better (22).

In more recent times the best amateur finish has been Tied 13thCasey WITTENBERG (USA, 2004) and Ryan MOORE (USA, 2005) both achieving this result. Before that Matt KUCHER (USA) smiled his way to tied 21st in 1998 and last year Bryson DECHAMBEAU (USA) achieved the same finish on +5.

The reigning U.S. Mid-Amateur champion was first invited to compete at The Masters in 1989. In 2017 Stewart HAGESTAD (USA) became the first recipient of this invite to make the cut. His opening rounds of 74 and 73 (+3) saw him comfortably qualify for the weekend in tied 19th position. Hagestad went on to secure low amateur honours finishing tied 36th on +6. Other mid-amateurs (over 25) had previously made the cut at The Masters – Jim HOLTGRIEVE and Jay SIGEL in 1982 and 1988 respectively – but neither were playing at that time on the official Mid-Amateur champion’s exemption.

Many former Amateur competitors have gone on to win The Masters as pros; these include Jack Nicklaus (6), Tom Watson (2), Tiger Woods (4), Jose Maria Olazabal (2), Phil Mickelson (3), Ben Crenshaw (2), and Mark O’Meara, Craig Stadler, Tommy Aaron, Charles Coody, and Trevor Immelman with one each.

Six low amateur Silver Cup winners have completed a memorable double by going on to win The Masters. These are Cary MIDDLECOFFJack NICKLAUS, Ben CRENSHAW, Tiger WOODS, Phil MICKELSON and Sergio GARCIA.

The 2018 Masters Journal (Photos: GolfBible)

Hole-In-One’s By Amateurs

Amateur Ross SOMERVILLE (USA) recorded the first hole-in-one at the Masters.

The full list is:-
1934 – Ross SOMERVILLE (USA), 16th hole, 145 yards with a mashie niblick
1940 – Ray BILLOWS (USA), 16th hole, 145 yards with an 8-iron
1949 – John DAWSON (USA), 16th hole, 190 yards with a 4-iron
1954 – Billy Joe PATTON (USA), sixth hole, 190 yards with a 5-iron
1959 – William HYNDMAN (USA), 12th hole, 155 yards with a 5-iron

Amateur Scoring Records

Low 18 Holes score – 66 Ken VENTURI (1956, 32-34)

Low 36 Holes score – 135 Ken VENTURI (1956, 66-69)

Low 54 Holes – 210 Ken VENTURI (1956, 66-69-75)

Low 72 Holes score – 281 Charles COE (1961, 72-71-69-69)

The Highest Round-by-Round scores are here:-
High Rd 1 score – 90 Chick EVANS (1960)
High Rd 2 score – 89 Chick EVANS (1960)
High Rd 3 score – 88 James FRISINA (1952)
High Rd 4 score – 95 Charles KUNKLE JR (1956)

Charles KUNKLE JR’s 95 is the highest official 18-hole score ever recorded at The Masters.

Low First Nine – 32
Marvin WARD (1940 Rd 2), Billy Joe PATTON (1954 Rds 1 &4), Ken VENTURI (1956 Rd 1), Ben CRENSHAW (1973 Rd 2), Matt KUCHAR (1998 Rd 3), James DRISCOLL (2001 Rd 1).

Low Second Nine – 31
Casey WITTENBERG (2004 Rd 1), Romain LANGASQUE (2016 Rd 4).

Great British & Irish Amateurs

Sir Michael BONALLACK (England) was the first GB&I amateur to compete in The Masters in 1965. Some amateurs were invited before this but the tournament wasn’t what it is today and therefore they declined, finding it hard to justify the expense.

Joe CARR (Ireland) was the first GB&I Amateur to make the cut at The Masters. Rounds of 75, 73, 80 and 78 saw him finish 52nd in 1967. There was no cut until 1957.

Peter MCEVOY (England) is the last GB&I Amateur to make the cut at The Masters. Rounds of 73, 75, 77 and 77 helped him to a 53rd place finish in 1977.

Michael HOEY (Northern Ireland) and Matthew FITZPATRICK (England) have come closest to equalling McEvoy’s record. Both missed the cut by 1-shot, respectively in 2001 (75, 73) and 2013 (76, 73).

The lowest round shot by a GB&I Amateur at The Masters is an even par 72 – Gary WOLSTENHOLME (England, Rd 1 1992) and Warren BLADON (England, Rd 2 1997).

In the modern qualification era only two GB&I players have played in the same Masters. This was in 2013 when Garrick PORTEOUS (England) and Matt FITZPATRICK (England) competed, as the reigning British and U.S. Amateur champions respectively. Previously Sir Michael BONALLACK and Joe CARR were both invited to play in the 1968 Masters.

Non-USA Low Amateur Honours

The Masters has been played 81 times between 1934 and 2017, a few years being missed due to World War II. In all but 12 of these an Amateur has completed all four rounds. However, making the cut as an amateur is getting harder – 5 times over the last 12 years no amateur has made the cut.

The Low Amateur prize has been won by a Non-American only 6 times.

Manny ZERMAN (South Africa), who finished 59th on +6 was the first to achieve this feat in 1992.

Sergio GARCIA (Spain) and Matteo MANASSERO (Italy) are the only European amateurs to make the cut in recent years, both winning the Silver Cup in the process. Garcia finished T38 (72, 75, 75, 73) in 1998 and Manassero T36 (71, 76, 73, 72) in 2009.

The other three overseas Low Amateur winners were: –
2011 – Hideki MATSUYAMA (Japan) -1 27th
2013 – Gian TIANLANG (China) +12 58th
2014 – Oliver GOSS (Australia) +10 49th

Romain LANGASQUE (France) made the cut in 2016 and in Rd. 4 shot 68, setting a new low score record for European amateurs. However, Romain (+10) was beaten to the Silver Cup by Bryson DECHAMBEAU (USA) +5.

Prior to this Matteo MANASSERO had been the only European amateur to break par in The Masters. He had a 71 in Rd 1 in 2009.

Youngest & Oldest

Tianlang GUAN (China) became the youngest player to participate in The Masters in 2013 – he was 14 years, 5 months and 17 days old. Guan went on to surprise the world by making the cut with opening rounds of 73 and 75 and by Sunday earning Low Amateur honours. Throughout the event he recorded no double-bogeys and had no three-putts.

Round 4 of the 2013 Masters

Tianlang Guan (Photo: Getty Images)

With regard to all Majors Young Tom MORRIS is the youngest ever champion – he was 14 years, 4 months and 25 days old when he played in the 1865 Open Championship.

Matteo MANASSERO (Italy) was the previous youngest Masters player when he competed in 2010 aged 16 years, 11 months and 23 days old.

Paul CHAPLET (Costa Rica), the Latin America Amateur champion and aged just 16, become the second youngest competitor in 2016.

The oldest amateur to play in the Masters was Chick EVANS (USA) who was 62 when he teed it up in 1953.

Prizes and Awards

The Low Amateur began receiving the Silver Cup in 1952. The Low Amateur also attends both the television and patron prize presentations.

Frank Stranahan’s 1953 Silver Cup (Photo: Green Jacket Auctions)

A Silver Medal has been presented to the amateur runner-up since 1954.

The Silver Cup and Medal prizes are only awarded if players make the cut and complete all four rounds.

In 1956 Amateur Ken VENTURI (USA) set the record for the Most Awards in a Single Masters – 7. He took home a silver medal for finishing second, the silver cup and a gold medal for being the Low Amateur, two crystal vases for leading after the first and second rounds, and two pairs of highball glasses for his eagle on the 13th in Round 1 and at the 8th in Round 2.

Par 3 Contest

The Masters Par 3 Contest has been won by an Amateur twice; in 1961 by Deane BEMAN and in 1964 by Labron HARRIS JR.

Amateurs have won the Crystal Pitcher prizes, awarded for the nearest the pin on each hole, on many of the Par 3 Contest holes.

In 2016 16 year old Amateur Paul CHAPLET (Costa Rica) finished tied 4th in the Par 3 Contest.

Amateur Appearances

Including the 2018 Masters 426 different amateurs will have competed in the Tournament during it’s history.

11 amateurs competed in the first Masters, in 1934, along with 50 professionals.

The Most Amateurs in Field record was set in 1966 when 26 competed.

The Fewest Amateurs in Field record was set in 1942 when just 2 competed.

Bobby JONES (USA), the amateur co-founder of the Masters played in the first 12 tournaments between 1934-48. His best finish was 13th in 1934.

Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen 1934

The Amateur Experience

Amateurs are given courtesy of the Club and course as soon as they have qualified for the Masters. Many visit and play Augusta on numerous occasions before Tournament week.

Dating right back to the start of The Masters in 1934 all of the amateur entrants have been invited, for a nominal fee, to stay in ‘The Crow’s Nest’. The Crow’s Nest is a communal accommodation that can sleep up to 5 set in the eaves of the Augusta National clubhouse. The Amateurs are the only competitors allowed to lodge on the grounds during Tournament week.

Crow's Nest

Since 1948 an Amateur Dinner has been held in the clubhouse to honour that year’s amateur contestants. Originally suggested by Charlie Yates this Dinner actually started four years before the now far better known Masters Club (‘Champions’) Dinner.

Bobby Jones attended his last Amateur Dinner in 1968 three years before he died.

Since 1994 the Amateur Dinner invitation list has been widened amongst the Club’s membership. Guest speakers, including Sir Michael Bonallack and Mark O’Meara, have addressed the select group of amateurs in attendance.

In 2001 the Amateur Dinner was moved from the Wednesday night of Masters week to the Monday night.

The Amateur dinner has become an interactive experience in recent years with a video of each player being shown before each of them is invited to introduce themselves to the invited guests.

From 1959 the Masters Competition Committee started to look after the amateurs in the actual draw, pairing them with former champions, star players and if possible fellow countrymen. Nowadays the U.S. Amateur champion always plays with the reigning Masters champion in the opening two rounds.

ME.

Copyright © 2016-18, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Georgia Cup – 2016 Preview & Results

29th March 2016

UPDATE – France’s Romain Langasque, the 2015 Amateur champion, beat Bryson DeChambeau, the 2015 U.S. Amateur champion 4 & 3 in today’s Georgia Cup match.

Georgia Cup 2016

Bryson DeChambeau and Romain Langasque (Photo: Marc Langasque)

27th March 2016

The Georgia Cup is an 18-hole match play competition played the week before The Masters between the reigning United States (US) and British Amateur champions.

Both Amateur champions are always in town in late March ahead of The Masters for which their respective wins gain them honorary invitations, albeit only one year competing.

Georgia Cup

The Georgia Cup (Photo: David Burke)

The match was established by The Golf Club of Georgia (GCOG) and was first contested in 1998. Craig Watson, the recently appointed Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain, was the British Amateur representative in that first match. He lost to Matt Kutcher, obviously now a well known PGA Tour pro, 3 & 1.

Located in Alpharetta the GCOG has two Alfred Hills-designed courses, the Lakeside (L) and the Creekside (C). Both have hosted the event in the past but since 2006 the Lakeside has taken precedence.

The 2016 Georgia Cup is being played at 1.00pm (6.00pm GMT) on Tuesday 29th March. It is a charitable event with funds being raised for the Georgia State Golf Association Foundation which primarily provides educational scholarships for children.

Gunn Yang GC3

Gunn Yang – 2015 Georgia Cup Winner (Photo: GCOG)

Following last year’s win for Gunn Yang (KOR) over Bradley Neil (SCO) the match is tied between the British and US champions 9 – 9. Yang’s win ended a run of three straight British wins. All of the previous results can be seen in the Appendix below.

This year’s match, the 19th, looks like being a little bit special, bringing together as it does Bryson DeChambeau (USA) and Romain Langasque (FRA).

Bryson DeChambeau achieved the rare double in 2015 of winning both the NCAA Division I Championship (Individual) and the US Amateur Championship. Ahead of turning pro, which he plans to do immediately after The Masters, he has been playing in various professional tournaments gaining experience on both the European and PGA Tours. It is my view that he is the No. 1 amateur golfer in the world at the current time. He has coped with huge expectation in 2016 and to his credit delivered many noteworthy performances with the ‘big boys’.  His T18 (-12) at the Dubai Desert Classic and last week’s T27 (-6) at the Arnold Palmer Invitational being the highlights of his year to date.

Bryson DeChambeau US Amateur 2015

Bryson DeChambeau – 2015 US Amateur champion (Photo: USGA)

In most years a player of DeChambeau’s calibre would be the strong favourite to lift the Georgia Cup. What makes this match so appetising is that his opponent is also one of the world’s very top amateurs and better still is also bang in form.

France’s Romain Langasque will also be turning pro after his Masters debut. He arrives in Georgia on the back of a string of great results – T2 at the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande, 1st at the Spanish Amateur (where he showed some great match play skills) and 2nd last week at The Barclays Kenya Open, the European Challenge Tour’s season opener.

Romain Langasque Amateur 2015 Photo 2

Romain Langasque – 2015 Amateur champion (Photo: Getty Images)

Whilst The Georgia Cup always presents an interesting match up I do have a feeling that this year’s contest may be on a different level to previous years. I for one can’t wait to see how the two of them get on and hope you will also take the time to follow the match on Tuesday.

Appendix

The previous results are shown below (with the Amateur titles won shown in brackets): –
1998 (L) – Matt Kuchar (US) def. Craig Watson (British) – 3 & 1
1999 (L) – Sergio Garcia (British) def. Hank Kuehne (US) – 5 & 4
2000 (L) – David Gossett (US) def. Graeme Storm (British) – 3 & 2
2001 (C) – Mikko Ilonen (British) def. Jeff Quinney (US) – 6 & 4
2002 (C) – Michael Hoey (British) def. Bubba Dickerson (US) – 4 & 2
2003 (L) – Ricky Barnes (US) def. Alejandro Larrazabal (British) – 4 & 2
2004 (C) – Gary Wolstenholme (British) def. Nick Flanagan (US) – 4 & 2
2005 (C) – Ryan Moore (US) def. Stuart Wilson (British) – 2 & 1
2006 (L) – Brian McElhinney (British) def. Edoardo Molinari (US) – 3 & 2
2007 (L) – Richie Ramsay (US) def. Julien Guerrier (British) – 2 & 1
2008 (L) – Colt Knost (US) def. Drew Weaver (British) – 2 & 1
2009 (L) – Danny Lee (US) def. Reinier Saxton (British) – 2&1
2010 (L) – Matteo Manassero (British) def. Byeong-hun An (US) – 5&4
2011 (L) – Peter Uihlein (US) def. Jin Jeong (British) – 4&2
2012 (L) – Brydon Macpherson (British) def. Kelly Kraft (US) – 2&1
2013 (L) – Alan Dunbar (British) def. Steven Fox (US) – 1Up
2014 (L) – Garrick Porteus (British) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (US) – 3&2
2015 (L) – Gunn Yang (US) def. Bradley Neil (British) – 3&2

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

‘The Doctor’ – Dr. William Tweddell

21st March 2016

On Friday 20th June 1930 Bobby Jones shot rounds of 74 and 75 at Hoylake to win The Open Championship and secure the second leg of his famous Grand Slam. Despite being only 28 he must have been exhausted. 36-holes on the final day and the mental exertions of winning as the favourite would have taken their toll on anyone. Nevertheless the following day he left the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool and drove himself 120 miles south to Blackwell Golf Club in Worcestershire.

Dr. William (‘Bill’) Tweddell was the reason why.

WT Amateur 1927 Hoylake

Dr. William Tweddell – 1927 Amateur Champion (Photo: Getty images)

Tweddell was born on 21st March 1897 in the prosperous town of Whickham in County Durham, a few miles west of Newcastle under Tyne. He started playing golf when he was 7, playing on the nearby coast at South Shields. Tweddell developed an upright back swing with arched wrists which was far from elegant but that enabled him to score. He was also said to be a slow player but one who had good concentration and a sound temperament, which meant that on his day he could be a match for anyone.

After school he joined the Army, serving with the Durham Light Infrantry in World War I. He became a Lieutenant and won the MC and Bar at Passchendaele.

Once demobbed he went on to study Medicine at Aberdeen University. He played golf for the University in 1922, ’23 and ’24, often at Murcar Links and Royal Aberdeen. Dr. Tweddell later became the first President of the Scottish Universities Golfing Society, which was established in October 1906.

Having qualified he moved to a Manchester G.P. practice before quickly changing course and settling in The Black Country. He served the communities of Wordsley and Kingswinford (interestingly, at least for me, the place I was born and brought up) for the rest of his working life, living happily in the area. A Roman Catholic Tweddell married Dorothy Hillman at the Oratory Church in Birmingham on 2nd May 1930. They left the church through an arch of golf clubs held by guests.

The couple had three children William (like his father known as Bill), Mary-Ann and Michael. Bill also qualified as a Doctor and practiced in Wordsley and Kingswinford too. He was also Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. Club Doctor between 1981 and 1994. Dr. Tweddell Jnr. died on 8th December 2015 aged 84. His daughter is the mother of Ben Robinson, the Worcestershire golfer currently studying at Louisiana Tech on a golf scholarship [Ben turned Pro in June 2016]. Michael’s son Matt Tweddell graduated from Hawaii Pacific University in 2014 and now plays golf professionally, mostly in Asia.

Dr. Tweddell joined Stourbridge Golf Club in late 1926 on his arrival in the area. Established in 1892 and located in Pedmore it was his most convenient option at the time. He continued to play well into his 70s, where his sons eventually joined him, and occasionally still posted scores below his age. He was Club Captain in 1928 and President between 1955-7.

Clearly Tweddell’s new working and golfing life in the West Midlands suited him as in 1927 he earned his greatest golfing achievement. He won The Amateur Championship at Hoylake, beating home player D. Eustace Landale 7&6 in the Final.

He played in 24 of the 29 Amateur Championships held between 1921 and 1955 (World War II). He played 77 matches in total, winning 54 and losing 23.  His win percentage of 70.13% is the 9th best for players who competed in at least 20 Amateurs. However his studies, his career and his family were important to him and he seems to have always viewed golf as just a sport to be enjoyed. His relaxed approach and friendly personality made him popular amongst his peers. He had a few good runs and over such an extended period met and competed against many of the great players from the first half of the 20th Century.

He had one other very real opportunity to win The Amateur. In 1935 he lost at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the first time this course had hosted the Championship, to the defending champion and reigning US Amateur champion W. Lawson Little. Herbert Warren Wind writing in ‘The Story of American Golf’ about the Final said about Tweddell:

“He was a consistent low 70s shooter although, at first glance, he looked like a golfer who would have his work cut out to break 85. His arm action was stiff, and on his irons especially he aimed far to the right of his target and allowed for lots of draw. In 1935 he was playing hardly any tournament golf and might not have entered the Amateur had the week of the Championship not coincided with the vacation the doctor’s doctor had ordered him to take. Tweddell lost to Little but it is difficult not to think of him as the hero of their exciting match.”

Little, according to Warren Wind “was odds on favourite to take the final….by 7 and 6, 8 and 7 or some similarly secure margin” but ended up only winning the 36-hole Final by 1-hole.

WT and Lawson Little Amateur 1935

Tweddell with Little at the 1935 Amateur Championship (Photo: Historic Images)

Tweddell played in The Open Championship just once although it was a good one to view first hand – 1927 at St. Andrews with Bobby Jones the winner. He probably felt some obligation as Amateur champion as he appears to have made no effort to do so before or after. Jones won with a 285 total whilst The Doctor was well down the field on 306. He later admitted “I really am unable to play my game, or what I call my game, when I know that Bobby Jones is playing on the same course. Since I watched him at St. Andrews winning the British Open, I have had an inferiority complex.”  

Tweddell was selected for England’s match against Scotland in 1928 (won), 1929 (halved) and 1930 (won). He also played in the Home Internationals in 1935, which only started in 1932 (England, Ireland and Scotland tied).

Dr. Tweddell’s second most noteworthy contribution to golf lies in The Walker Cup, although it can hardly be described as successful. He was playing captain of Great Britain & Ireland in both 1928 and 1936, albeit he chose not to play himself in the latter match. In 1928 at Chicago G.C. Tweddell paired himself with T. Phil Perkins in the Foursomes, another West Midlander and the reigning Amateur champion. They lost 7&6 in their 36-hole match with George Von Elm and Jesse Sweetser. In the Singles Tweddell lost again to Von Elm, this time 3&2. Perkins lost 13&12 to US Captain Bobby Jones – the 26 year old setting the event’s record defeat. At the end of play the 1928 match was lost 11-1.

Bobby Jones and WT Walker Cup 1928 in Chicago

Bobby Jones and Dr. William Tweddell – 1930 Walker Cup at Chicago (Photo: USGA) 

The 1936 Walker Cup match was played at the relatively new and extremely difficult Pine Valley in New Jersey – an inexperienced GB&I team lost 9-0 to USA despite arriving early and practicing on site for 8 days beforehand. Three matches were halved but back then points were only allocated for victories. The record books therefore show the 1936 match as the only whitewash in the history of the competition.

Despite playing in a golfing era closely depicted by cigarette cards he featured only sparingly presumably reflecting his modest playing schedule and relative low profile.

 

In 1956 Dr. Tweddell captained a British Seniors team in a match against America and Canada played in Bermuda.

His contribution and standing in the game was rewarded when in 1961-62 Dr. Tweddell, by then 64, was elected Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrew’s.

So back to the match at Blackwell. The story goes that Tweddell invited his opposing Walker Cup captain Bobby Jones to play an exhibition match in the Midlands over dinner in 1928. When the date in 1930 had been agreed Tweddell made arrangements for the match to take place at Blackwell G.C., a local club he had been made an honorary member of following his Amateur victory 3 years earlier. Blackwell was (and still is) a much sterner test than Stourbridge, located 5 miles to the north so this decision was entirely understandable, albeit I can imagine it didn’t go down well at his home Club. Tweddell was no fool and paired himself with Jones. They took on two leading local golfers, Stanley Lunt from Moseley and Eric Fiddian, another Stourbridge amateur. Lunt went on to win the English Amateur in 1934 whilst Fiddian was the 1927 British Boys champion and went on to play in the Walker Cup’s of 1932 and ’34. Jones, perhaps not surprisingly arrived late given the exertions of the day before and the lengthy drive – sadly for him the M6 and M5 were still to be built. A photo was taken (see below) before the match quickly got underway. It was a relaxed affair with Jones and Tweddell eventually running out 3&2 winners. Jones enjoyed the course and particularly the par 3 13th hole that it is said he later used as a blueprint for the famous 12th at Augusta.

Blackwell Match 1930

Tweddell, Jones, Lunt and Fiddian at Blackwell G.C. (Photo: Blackwell G.C.)

Dr. William Tweddell was an amateur golfer in the truest historical sense. He died on 5th November 1985 but there seems to have been little celebration of his life in the golfing world at the time.  That’s a shame as his victory in the 1927 Amateur Championship and role in the formative years of The Walker Cup certainly place him above the rank and file. What I particularly like about him, and you can see for yourself, is that in all the old photos I can find he seems to have a broad smile on his face. It seems obvious looking at these as to why he was such a popular character.

At the end of the day any friend of Bobby Jones is a friend of mine.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.