R&A Men’s Home Internationals – 2021 Preview & Results

Friday 17th September 2021 – Day 3 Matches

Ireland won the 2021 R&A Home Internationals after a thrilling contest at Hankley Common GC which went down to the final putt of the competition.

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Ireland With The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Luke Walker / Getty Images / The R&A)

After a disappointing morning Foursomes against England on the final day the Irish fought back bravely to secure an all important half in the match which in turn locked out Scotland. 

Scotland had earlier beaten Wales 11-4 to apply pressure on Ireland and England who both entered the final afternoon with a good chance of winning the competition.

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Final Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland who secured 27.5 winning points, compared with Ireland’s 27, finished second, England a very disappointing 3rd and Wales 4th. 

England had already won the Seniors, Girls and Boys and Women’s Home Internationals this season but were found wanting in the Men’s event. No one would have predicted before play started that they would be comfortably beaten in both Singles series against Scotland (8-2) and Ireland (6.5-3.5) and it was these two performances that cost them.

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Match Overview (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the full results – 2021 R&A Home internationals

Robert MORAN (IRL), Andrew NI (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG) and Luke HARRIES / Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) were the leading players for the four nations based on the SPWAR analysis of team events: –

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Scotland v. Wales

Scotland beat Wales 11-4 to fulfil their side of the last day bargain. 

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All of the Foursomes and Singles games in this match started from the 5th tee after early morning fog in Southern England caused a 30 minute delay in play.

Scotland enjoyed another strong session winning four and halving one of their Foursomes games against Wales.

Captain Matthew CLARK continued his unbeaten run securing a half with partner Angus CARRICK on the final hole (4th) when their opponents conceded early.   

With Ireland struggling against England in their Foursomes encounter (see below) the Scots went into the Singles as favourites for the title.

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Scotland won the Singles 6.6-3.5 to complete a comfortable overall victory over Wales.

George BURNS, Angus CARRICK and Andrew NI all enjoyed 4&3 wins at the tail of the line up after the Scots had made a slow start to the afternoon games.

Ben CHAMBERLAIN, Matt ROBERTS and Tomi BOWEN, who beat Scotland’s talisman Matt CLARK, all signed off from Hankley Common with Singles wins. 

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Scotland v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Ireland v. England

Ireland and England halved their match 7.5-7.5 on the final afternoon.

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England won the Foursomes 4-1 against Ireland to give themselves some hope of recovering from their poor showing against Scotland yesterday. 

The best performance on the final morning came from unbeaten Foursomes pairing Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN who produced six birdies and no bogeys to beat Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN by 6&5.

With Robert MORAN halving his Foursomes with partner Alex MAGUIRE John GOUGH entered the Singles as the only player with a 100% winning record in this year’s competition. He and Olly HUGGINS have also won all three of their Foursomes games.

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The Robert MORAN and John GOUGH match proved to be of the highest quality and in some respects it was nice to see a half meaning both players finished the competition with unbeaten records – the only two do so.

The real heroes for the Irish were Hugh FOLEY and Liam NOLAN who secured 1Up victories over Sam BAIRSTOW and Callan BARROW under the most intense pressure. Barrow had a 10ft birdie putt on the 18th green to half his game and secure the match win for England (and the event win for Scotland). When he missed Ireland had the half and enough points to secure the title. 

Matt MCCLEAN and Caolan RAFFERTY secured big early wins over Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD respectively to provide the Irish with momentum and the confidence that they could overturn the 3-point Foursomes deficit they carried into this final series.

On a disappointing afternoon for the home side Jack BIGHAM confirmed his promise by completing a third Singles win, this time over Alan FAHY

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Ireland v. England Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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Thursday 16th September 2021 – Day 2 Matches

Ireland made it two wins from two games to take control of the 2021 R&A Home Internationals.

However, with Scotland beating England today and Ireland still to face the hosts all three of these teams still have a chance of winning The Raymond Trophy.

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If England beat Ireland and Scotland beat Wales tomorrow the title will be decided by total winning match points. Here’s the current position in this regard: –

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Day 2 Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Scotland

Scotland surprised England by comprehensively out playing them in the afternoon Singles to easily win their Day 2 match.

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England won the morning Foursomes 3-2 but the scoreline hardly told the full story.

Jack DYER and Arron EDWARDS-HILL, who had been 3Up after 7 holes, ended up having to win both the 17th and 18th holes to secure a point against Rory FRANSSEN and James WILSON.

In a game where neither side ever led by more than 1Up Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN birdied the par 3 16th to get their noses in front just in time against Andrew NI and George BURNS.

Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH were again England’s strongest pairing producing five birdies in their match to easily beat Ruben LINDSAY and Darren HOWIE by 5&3.

However, the best performance of the morning came from Scotland’s Lewis IRVINE and Stuart EASTON who fought back from 4Down after 8 holes to run out 3&1 winners against Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD who lost five holes in a row from the 9th to completely lose the initiative.

In the final match Matthew CLARK and Angus CARRICK handed Jack BIGHAM and Josh HILL their second foursomes defeat. The English pair produced two lates birdies to put a little respectability on the final result but having been 5Up after 12 the Scots coasted in to victory.

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Scotland won the afternoon Singles 8-2 to turn the match in their favour.

James WILSON, Rory FRANSSEN, Connor WILSON, Lewis IRVINEMatt CLARK and Andrew NI took their Singles with a barrage of birdies that their English opponents simply couldn’t live with.

Stuart EASTON and George BURNS also won their games but to a greater degree than their teammates benefitted from Callan BARROW and Zach CHEGWIDDEN playing poorly.

On a disappointing day for England the only really bright spot for the home team was 17 year old R&A Boys’ Amateur champion Jack BRIGHAM winning his second Singles game of the event.

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England v. Scotland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Wales v. Ireland

Ireland comprehensively beat Wales 11-4 in the second match of Day 2.

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The Foursomes games in this match ended up being relatively comfortable for the respective winning pairs, Ireland ultimately taking a 3-2 advantage over Wales into the afternoon Singles.

Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN, who replaced Caolan RAFFERTY in the line up, starred for the Irish. Six birdies in the 13 holes played understandably proved too much for Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE who went down by 6&5.

Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY, who had received a drubbing against Scotland yesterday bounced back well to record a solid 4&3 win against Tomi BOWEN and Tom MATTHEWS.

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Just like Scotland in the earlier game Ireland easily beat Wales in the Singles, albeit looking through the hole-by-hole scores the 8-2 margin of victory perhaps flattered them a little.

The biggest winners for the Irish were Robert MORAN, who after a slow start went into overdrive on the back nine, Matt MCCLEAN, who birdied the opening three holes of his match against Aled GREVILLE to take control, and pleasingly Caolan RAFFERTY, who bounced back well after a difficult opening day in Surrey.

For the Welsh Luke HARRIES won his game with a birdie on the last and Ben CHAMBERLAIN hung on well after going 4Up after four holes.

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Wales v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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Wednesday 15th September 2021 – Day 1 Matches

England and Ireland moved into the box seats after recording wins on the opening day of the 2021 R&A Home internationals.

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Day 1 Table (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Wales

England beat Wales in today’s opening match.

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England got off to a good start winning the morning Foursomes 4-1.

The BB&O pairing of Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH produced the best win of the series beating Craig MELDING and Kieron HARMAN by 5&3.

Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE proved too strong for England’s junior pairing of JACK BIGHAM and Josh HILL to ensure Wales took a point into the Singles.

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England won the Singles series 6.5-3.5 with wins from Sam BAIRSTOW, Olly HUGGINS, John GOUGH, Jack BIGHAM, Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Amateur champion Laird SHEPHERD.

Luke HARRIES, Tom MATTHEWS, who was rested in the morning, and Kieron HARMAN were victorious for the Welsh.

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England v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland v. Ireland

Ireland got the better of Scotland in a competitive opening match at Hankley Common.

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Ireland edged the morning Foursomes 3-2.

Robert MORAN and Alex MAGUIRE gelled perfectly to win the opening game against Angus CARRICK and Connor WILSON by 8&6. Six birdies in their opening eight holes set them up for a memorable win.

Almost as impressively Matt CLARK and Darren HOWIE posted a 6&5 win against an out of sorts Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY.

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Ireland won the Singles series 5.5-4.5 to complete the win over Scotland.

Liam NOLAN, who sat out the Foursomes, and Hugh FOLEY, who bounced back well after his loss this morning, were the big winners for the Irish. Nolan beat Connor WILSON 5&4 whilst Foley got the better of Darren HOWIE by the even bigger margin of 7&5.

Scottish playing captain Matt CLARK, starting as he finished the 2019 competition – unbeaten, took down TJ FORD by 6&5 whilst a flawless Andrew NI surprised 2019 Walker Cupper Caolan RAFFERTY by 7&6.

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Scotland v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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9th September 2021

The R&A Men’s Home Internationals will be played at Hankley Common Golf Club on the North Downs in Surrey, England between 15th and 17th September 2021.

This year’s staging will be the 80th playing of this prestigious event.

England will start as favourites but will carry the burden of expectation whilst having to overcome highly motivated opponents.

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7th Hole, Hankley Common Golf Club (Photo: David Lee / @Davidlee123)

The Competition

Historically the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Golf Unions have taken it in turns to host the event but from this playing The R&A will be taking over responsibility for it.

The competition was first played in 1932.

The 2020 competition was due to be played at Royal Dornoch G.C. in Scotland but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last cancellation came in 1979 when the competition was scheduled to be played at Royal County Down G.C. in Northern Ireland. Before that there had been an uninterrupted run stretching back to 1947 when six years (1939-46) were lost due to World War II.

To assist with the selection of this year’s Walker Cup team The R&A initially attempted to bring forward the 2021 Men’s Home Internationals to 14-16 April and to play them at Royal Dornoch but the pandemic again led to a postponement.

The 2021 event had originally been scheduled to be played at Hankley Common G.C. on 8-10 September but is now taking place a week later.

Format

11-man teams from ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND and WALES play against each other once over three days.

Each series consists of five morning foursomes and ten afternoon singles match play games.

The overall winner is the country with the highest number of match points. 1 point is awarded for a win, 0.5 for a half and 0 for a loss.

Ties are resolved by considering the number of individual game points secured in the three matches played.

Since 1952 the winning team has received The Raymond Trophy.

In the 79 competitions played today England have won 38, Scotland 21, Ireland 12 and Wales 1. The remaining 7 were tied before it was decided that ties would be resolved by using game points.

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

2021 Players

The four national golf unions have selected the following players to represent their countries this year.

I have also included the Team (total) and Individual Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR) and World Amateur Golf Rankings below (as at 9th September): –

ENGLAND – Team SPWAR 1,728 / WAGR 3,569
Sam BAIRSTOW (34 / 30) – Hallowes
Callan BARROW (114 / 188) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes
Jack BIGHAM (159 / 1,586) – Harpenden
Zach CHEGWIDDEN (125 / 642) – Orsett
Jack DYER (44 / 110) – Boyce Hill
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (101 / 274) – Chelmsford
John GOUGH (65 / 136) – Stoke Park
Josh HILL (177 / 217) – Trump International Dubai
Olly HUGGINS (100 / 163) – Frilford Heath
Haider HUSSAIN (125 / 173) – The Kendleshire
Laird SHEPHERD (684 / 50) – Rye

All 11 English players are making their debut in the tournament.

Jack Dyer is the only 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player in the field.

Jack BROOKS (The Mere) and Joe HARVEY (The Kendleshire) were also named as 1st and 2nd Reserves respectively.

IRELAND – Team SPWAR 4,706 / WAGR 5,490
Marc BOUCHER (281 / 321) – Carton House
Alan FAHY (427 / 353) – Dun Laoghaire
Hugh FOLEY (290 / 542) – Royal Dublin
T.J. FORD (515 / 592) – County Sligo
Alex MAGUIRE (372 / 428) – Layton & Bettystown
Matt MCCLEAN (487 / 513) – Malone
Jack MCDONNELL (720 / 1,066) – Forrest Little
Robert MORAN (278 / 231) – Castle
Liam NOLAN (308 / 1,008) – Galway
PETER O’KEEFFE (520 / 293) – Douglas
Caolan RAFFERTY (508 / 143) – Dundalk

Matt McClean and Caolan Rafferty both played in 2019 at Lahinch Golf Club.

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SCOTLAND – Team SPWAR 6,305 / WAGR 7,049
George BURNS (688 / 533) – Williamwood
Angus CARRICK (962 / 1,605) – Cragielaw
Matthew CLARK (713 / 1,015) – Renfrewshire
Stuart EASTON (459 / 423) – Irvine
Rory FRANSSEN (193 / 238) – Auchterarder
Darren HOWIE (821 / 717) – Peebles
Lewis IRVINE (388 / 396) – Kirkhill
Ruben LINDSAY (655 / 775) – Turnberry
Andrew NI (395 / 461) – Murrayfield
Connor WILSON (210 / 335) – Castle Park
James WILSON (821 / 551) – Balmore

Scotland are the most experienced team with George Burns, Matthew Clark, Stuart Easton, Darren Howie, Lewis Irvine and James Wilson all having played in 2019. Indeed Clark will be playing in his ninth consecutive Home Internationals.

WALES – Team SPWAR 27,931 / WAGR 15,551 + 2 ‘No Ranking’ players
James ASHFIELD (283 / 449) – Delamere Forest
Tomi BOWEN (2,566 / NR) – Welshpool
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (2,783 / 943) – Padeswood & Buckley
Jacob DAVIES (5,181 / 1,076) – Rhuddlan
Aled GREVILLE (2,510 / 1,391) – Ashburnham
Kieron HARMAN (2,466 / 4,180) – St Athan
Luke HARRIES (1,010 / 1,201) – Tenby
Tim HARRY (3,808 / 4,624) – The Vale
Tom MATTHEWS (2,902 / 1,111) – Aldersey Green
Craig MELDING (2,783 / NR) – Neath
Matt ROBERTS (1,639 / 576) – Royal Porthcawl

Ben Chamberlain, Jacob Davies, Kieron Harman and Matt Roberts all return for the Welsh in Surrey.

Highlighting the speed at which players turn professional nowadays just 12 of the 44 players who competed at Lahinch in 2019, admittedly two years ago, are on show this year. This compares with 23 returnees last time and 14 at Conwy in 2018.

Venue – Hankley Common Golf Club

Hankley Common G.C. in Tilford, near Farnham in Surrey was first opened as a nine hole course in May 1897. A further nine holes were added by James Braid in 1923/24 but it was only after Harry Colt undertook some remodelling and replaced three holes in 1935 that it started to be recognised as one of England’s best inland courses.

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Hankley Common G.C. (Photo: Jake Austin / @jbaustin2703)

It sits on a huge piece of heathland which allows the holes to meander across the property often in isolation. The area has been designated as a ‘site of special scientific interest’ due to its range of trees and abundant wildlife.

Off the back tees the course measures 6,909 yards and plays to a par of 71, there being only one par 5 on the back nine.

The uphill par three 7th is the ‘signature hole’ but in truth their are many memorable holes on the property.

There are a number of roads, paths and tracks on the course all of which have been deemed integral with no free relief available.

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Where My Ball Finished Off The 13th Tee When I Played There In September 2015 ! (Photo: GolfBible)  

Hankley Common has hosted a number of major events through the years most recently the English Men’s Amateur Championship (Closed) in 2019 which was won by Conor Gough.

2021 Weather Forecast (as at 14th September)

The latest forecast is encouraging with dry weather and low winds forecast for the three competition days: –

Wed. 15th Sept. – Light Cloud / Wind 7mph NW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Thurs. 16th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 6mph SW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Fri. 17th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 8mph S / Temp. Min 12º, Max 20º

2019 Men’s Home Internationals

The 2020 Men’s Home Internationals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

England won the 2019 Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch G.C. in Ireland, winning all three of their games, and retaining The Raymond Trophy after their 2018 win at Conwy G.C.

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The England Team (Photo: Nigel Edwards)

Matty LAMB was the star man for England winning five of his matches. The whole team contributed with Ben SCHMIDT and Ben JONES, who both won four games, next in line for praise.

Experienced Matt CLARK contributed the most for Scotland winning four games, including two Singles, and halving another.

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Colm CAMPBELL was the star man for Ireland with Caolan RAFFERTY and Conor PURCELL also contributing strongly with four wins. Connor JONES played the best for Wales winning two Singles.

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Click here to view the – Men’s 2019 Home Internationals Results
– click the match score to see the individual games and the game score to view the hole by hole scores.

Historic Results

Click here to view the – Men’s Home Internationals Historic Results

ME.

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

The Georgia Cup – 2021 Preview & Results

28th March 2021

Tyler Strafaci (USA) beat Joe Long (ENG) by 2 Holes to win the 23rd Georgia Cup at The Golf Club of Georgia.

The U.S. Amateur champions now trail the Amateur champions 13-10 in the series.

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Joe Long and Tyler Strafaci (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

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The Georgia Cup is an 18-hole match play event played annually between the reigning United States and (British) Amateur champions.

This year’s match, the 23rd, will be contested by Tyler Strafaci (USA) and Joe Long (ENG).

The two Amateur champions play the match as a precursor to competing in The Masters which both of their respective wins earned them an invitation to.

I will update this article with a match report on Sunday.

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The Georgia Cup (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

Venue

The match was established by The Golf Club of Georgia (GCOG) and was first contested in 1998.

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

The 2021 Georgia Cup will start at 11.00am (4.00pm GMT) on Sunday 28th March. The match is used as a charitable fundraiser with local facilities benefitting.

Players

Tyler Strafaci (22) comes from Davie, Florida and played college golf in the U.S. at Georgia Tech. University. He won the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship by defeating Ollie Osborne by 1 Hole at Bandon Dunes. A month prior to this win he also picked up the prestigious North and South Amateur title.
Current world rankings: SPWAR #16 / WAGR #12.

2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci – 2020 US Amateur champion (Photo: Steven Gibbons / USGA)

Joe Long (23) is from Bristol, England. He won the 125th Amateur Championship by beating compatriot Joe Harvey 4&3 in the final at Royal Birkdale G.C.
Current world rankings: SPWAR #28 / WAGR #48.

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Joe Long – 2020 Amateur champion (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

Scores

Sadly no hole-by-hole scores were provided this year.

More information on the match can be found on the Club’s website – www.golfclubofgeorgia.com – and twitter account – @TheGCOG.

Previous Matches and Results

The 2020 match between Andy Ogletree (USA) and James Sugrue (IRL) was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a postponement in the playing of The Masters until November.

In 2019 Jovan Rebula (RSA) beat Viktor Hovland (NOR) thus extending the Amateur champions lead over the United States champions to 13-9.

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Jovan Rebula (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

The Amateur champion has overcome the U.S. Amateur champion in eight of the last ten matches played.

All of 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) – 1 Hole
2014 (L) – Garrick Porteus (British) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (US) – 3&2
2015 (L) – Gunn Yang (US) def. Bradley Neil (British) – 3&2
2016 (L) – Romain Langsaque (British) def. Bryson DeChambeau (US) – 4&3
2017 (L) – Scott Gregory (British) def. Curtis Luck (US) – 19th hole
2018 (L) – Harry Ellis (British) def. Doc Redman (US) – 6&5
2019 (L) – Jovan Rebula (British) def. Viktor Hovland (US) – 1 Hole
2020 (L) – Cancelled

ME.

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

The Georgia Cup – 2019 Preview & Results

28th March 2019

Jovan Rebula beat Viktor Hovland in the 18 hole Georgia Cup match.

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Jovan Rebula (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

Here are the hole-by-hole scores: –

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This is the seventh time in the last eight years that the Amateur champion has overcome the U.S. Amateur champion at The Golf Club of Georgia.

The overall match score now reads 13 – 9 in favour of the Amateur champions.

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23rd March 2019

The Georgia Cup is an 18-hole match play event played between the reigning United States and (British) Amateur champions.

This year’s match, the 22nd, will be contested by Viktor Hovland (NOR) and Jovan Rebula (RSA).

It will be just the third time in it’s history that neither a U.S. or GB&I player has contested the match.

The two reigning Amateur champions are always in town in late March ahead of The Masters for which their respective wins gained them honorary invitations, albeit only one year competing (2019).

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The Georgia Cup (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

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

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

The 2019 Georgia Cup is being played at 1.00pm (5.00pm GMT) on Thursday 28th March. The match is used as a charitable fundraiser with local facilities benefitting.

Looking at the two players: –

Viktor Hovland (21) comes from Oslo, Norway and plays college golf in the U.S. at Oklahoma State University. He won the 118th U.S. Amateur Championship by defeating Devon Bling 6&5 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Current world rankings: SPWAR #1 / WAGR #2.

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Viktor Hovland – 2018 US Amateur champion (Photo: USGA)

Jovan Rebula (20) is from George, South Africa and plays college golf for Auburn University in the U.S. He won the 123rd Amateur Championship by beating Robin Dawson 3&2 in the final at Royal Aberdeen G.C.
Current world rankings: SPWAR #33 / WAGR #41.

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Jovan Rebula – 2018 Amateur champion (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

Following last year’s win for Harry Ellis (ENG) over Doc Redman (USA) the Amateur champions lead the United States champions 12 – 9. Ellis’ win made it six wins out of the last seven for the Amateur champion.

All of the previous results can be seen in the Appendix below.

This year Hovland must start as favourite but a competitive match can be expected with two of the leading amateurs in the world on show.

As always it will be interesting to see which player wins and gains a small confidence boost ahead of the main event – The 2019 Masters at Augusta National.

Scores

Follow the match here – 2019 Live Scores

More information on the match can be found on the Club’s twitter account – @TheGCOG   and website – www.golfclubofgeorgia.com

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
2016 (L) – Romain Langsaque (British) def. Bryson DeChambeau (US) – 4&3
2017 (L) – Scott Gregory (British) def. Curtis Luck (US) – 19th hole
2018 (L) – Harry Ellis (British) def. Doc Redman (US) – 6&5

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Harry Ellis Receives The Georgia Cup (Photo: Georgia State Golf Association)

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

My Review Of GB&I Men’s Amateur Golf In 2018

29th December 2018

As another year comes to a close it’s time to record the highlights of another busy year in Great British and Irish (GB&I) golf.

Here is a run through of the major results in 2018 and a reminder of some of the best rounds that we saw: – 

The Amateur Championship

The Amateur Championship was played at Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links in north east Scotland. Wilco Nienaber (RSA) was medalist after two great rounds of 66 and 67 (-8). However, his compatriot Jovan Rebula (RSA) was the eventual champion beating Robin DAWSON (IRE) 3&2 in the Final. With the benefit of hindsight John MURPHY’s (IRE) 6&5 win over Viktor Hovland (NOR) in round 4 is noteworthy too.

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Jovan Rebula (Photo: The R&A / Mark Runnacles / Getty Images)

The U.S. Amateur Championship

Viktor Hovland (NOR) won the U.S. Amateur Championship played at Pebble Beach G.L. and Spyglass Hill G.C. He beat Devon Bling 6&5 in the Final. Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) led the GB&I entry reaching the quarter finals before falling to Cole Hammer (USA) 3&2.

Major Championships

2017 USA Walker Cup player Doug Ghim secured low amateur honours at The Masters in April with rounds of 72, 76, 74 and 74 (+8).

Luis Gagne (CRI) and Matt Parziale (USA) were the low amateurs (+16, tied 48th) at a controversial U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills G.C. in June. Prior to the Championship Scotland’s Ryan LUMSDEN recorded rounds of 68 and 70 (-6) in Sectional Qualifying to earn a place in the field. 

Sam LOCKE (SCO) was the amateur star of The Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links. A 69 and 66 (-7) secured medalist honours in the Final Qualifying event at The Renaissance G.C. 18 year old Sam then won the low amateur Silver Medal after rounds of 72, 73, 70 and 78 (+9) and a tied 75th finish. Only time will tell if his decision to turn pro immediately afterwards was a good one.

Men’s International Team Events

The Bonallack Trophy match was played in Qatar in March with Asia-Pacific beating EUROPE 16.5-15.5. Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) and Matthew JORDAN (ENG) were selected for Europe who disappointingly let a lead slip in the final day Singles.

An ENGLAND team consisting of Todd CLEMENTS, David HAGUE, Matthew JORDAN and Gian-Marco PETROZZI won the European Nations Cup at RCG Sotogrande by 20 shots over IRELAND who came second. Clements 69, 73, 71, 70 (-5) won the Individual competition by 5 shots from Alex GLEESON (IRE). 

The Arnold Palmer Cup moved to a mixed INTERNATIONAL v. USA team format this year. With little allegiance to an International team badge and 24 players on both sides my interest in it certainly waned this time around. It was no surprise to see a very strong USA thrash the International side, which included Harry HALL (ENG), Olivia MEHAFFEY (NIR), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) and Chloe RYAN (IRE), 38.5 – 21.5.   

Finland were the surprise winners of the 2018 European Men’s Team Championship in July, beating ENGLAND 5-2 in the Final. Sweden and ENGLAND led the 36 hole stroke play qualifying at the Faldo Course, Berlin, Germany on 693 (-27). Finland were the final Flight A qualifiers on 718 (-2) but moved serenely through the match play stage to pick up the trophy.

GB&I’s loss to a largely second string Continent of Europe 15.5-9.5 in the St. Andrews Trophy match was a major disappointment. Europe won 7 of the 9 Singles on the final afternoon to run out deserving winners in Finland.

Denmark won the Men’s World Amateur Team for the Eisenhower Trophy in September. The Danish team of Nicolai Hojgaard, Rasmus Hojgaard and John Axelsen posted a -39 total to beat the USA by 1 shot in the 72 hole competition staged at Carton House GC, Ireland.

ENGLAND finally got the better of IRELAND in this year’s Men’s Home Internationals staged at Conwy G.C. in North Wales. David HAGUE (ENG) and Tiarnan MCLARNAN (IRE) were both unbeaten during the week winning all six of their games.

Other Major GB&I Amateur Events

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) dominated the Lytham Trophy in early May. Rounds of 67, 69, 70 and 66 gave him a -8 total and a hugely impressive 9 shot victory. 

The Irish Amateur Open Championship was again played at Royal County Down G.C. with Robin DAWSON (IRE) 65, 71, 69, 77 (-2) prevailing. John GOUGH (ENG) and Alex GLEESON (IRE) were four shots back in tied second.

An exciting finish to the Brabazon Trophy saw Nick POPPLETON (ENG) win a play-off against Wilco Nienaber (RSA) after both players finished on -16 at Frilford heath G.C. Andrew WILSON’s (ENG) 63 (-9) in round 3 was the round of the week.

Matthew Jordan and Nick Poppleton (Photos: Angie McGlue and GolfBible)

John MURPHY (IRE) won the The St. Andrews Links Trophy in June. Rounds of 70 66 71 71 gave him a -9 total before he went on to beat Jannik de Bruyn (GER) on the first hole of their play-off.

Royal Hague G.C. staged the European Amateur Championship with Nicolai Hojgaard (DEN) coming out on top after rounds of 71, 69, 68 and 73 (-7). Robin DAWSON (IRE) and Mitch WAITE (ENG) were amongst four players to finish tied 2nd, one shot further back.

James WILSON (SCO) beat Tom SLOMAN (ENG) in a play-off at the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship after they had both finished on 284 (Ev) around Pyle & Kenfig G.C. 

Victor Veyret (FRA) found the Kings Course at Gleneagles to his liking when he won the Scottish Men’s Open Championship in late August. Scores of 69, 65, 67 and 67 (-12) helped him to a 6 shot victory over Conor PURCELL (IRE). 

Home Nation Closed Amateur Championships

Tom THURLOWAY won the English Men’s Amateur at Formby G.C. overcoming Joe LONG 6&5 in the Final. Tom’s win came just a week after he picked up the Walton Heath Trophy after rounds of 69, 68, 69 and 73 (-9). Two great wins in a short space of time.

Euan MCINTOSH won the Scottish Men’s Amateur at Blairgowrie beating Jamie STEWART 3&2 in the Final.

Robbie CANNON won the Irish Amateur Close Championship at the European Club. He beat Eoin LEONARD 2&1 in their Final match. 

Tom WILLIAMS won the Welsh Men’s Amateur Championship in August at Machynys G.C. beating Kieron HARMON 2&1 in the Final. It was a second win for Williams who had earlier in the year won the U21 Bernard Darwin Salver at Rye G.C.

Major International Amateur Events

Home favourite Vitor Londot Lopez (-15) won the Portuguese International Amateur at Montado in February. Ben JONES (ENG) 71, 68, 73, 64 (-12) and Bailey GILL (ENG) 71, 67, 68, 70 (-12) finished tied 2nd.

The Spanish International Amateur at La Manga was dominated by English players. Firstly, Jake BURNAGE, the only player to record an under par total, won the stroke play qualifying with rounds of 73 and 70 (-3). Billy MCKENZIE went on to beat Alex FITZPATRICK 3&2 in the 36 hole Final.

Andrea Romano (ITA) won the Italian International Amateur in March with rounds of 69, 70, 72 and 69 (-3) at Donnafugata Golf Resort. Jake BOLTON (ENG) 71, 74, 69, 70 (+1) finished tied 3rd and Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 63, 71, 77, 74 (+2) was tied 5th.

Hubert Tisserand (FRA) 69 68 71 72 (-5) won the French International Amateur at Chantilly in late May. Josh MCMAHON (ENG) and Bradley BAWDEN (ENG) were tied 5th on -1.

Arguably the best amateur performance of the year came from Cole Hammer (USA) in the Western Amateur Championship, played at Sunset Ridge G.C. near Chicago. Having secured medalist honours with rounds of 65, 68, 61 ,67 (-23) – the unblemished 3rd round included 10 birdies – he beat Davis Riley (USA) in the match play final by 1 hole.

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Cole Hammer (Photo: Western Amateur)

En route to winning the Pacific Coast Amateur at The Olympic Club, San Francisco in July Isaiah Salinda (USA) shot a 62 (-9) in round 3 which included 10 birdies. 

Justin Suh (USA) won the North East Amateur by 6 shots with rounds of 63, 65, 67 and 66 (-15) at the par 69 Wannamoisett C.C.

The South Beach International Amateur, now one of the amateur game’s biggest events with a strong field of 210 players, was won in Miami Beach in December by Pierceson Coody (USA). Jake BURNAGE (ENG) was the best of the 19 GB&I players in the field, finishing a creditable 3rd after recording scores of 64, 70, 70 and 71 (Ev) in very windy conditions. 

Australia

David HAGUE (ENG) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) took the early season plaudits with strong performances down under in the opening months of 2018.

Hague reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Amateur, where he lost to the eventual champion Keita Nakajima (JAP), before finishing 2nd at the Avondale Amateur where rounds of 70, 73, 69, 67 gave him a -5 total.

Petrozzi went one better at the end of the tour winning the New South Wales Amateur. Having qualified in tied 4th place after rounds of 68 and 70 (-6) he worked his way through the match play stage before overcoming Jediah Morgan (AUS) on the 37th hole.

South Africa

Sam LOCKE (SCO) finished tied 5th on -18 at the South African Stroke Championship in a low scoring event dominated by Oliver Gillberg (SWE) whose rounds of 67, 62, 64 and 68 (-27) at Pecanwood Golf Estate were exceptional.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) -7 tied 6th and Andrew WILSON (ENG) -4 8th at the African Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Glendower G.C. The event was easily won by James du Preez (RSA) -14 who shot a 64 in Round 3 to give him a comfortable lead heading into the final round.  

The Sanlam South African Amateur Championship was played at Durban C.C. in late February.  David LANGLEY (ENG) 67, 70 (-7) was medalist with Calum FYFE (SCO) 70, 71 (-3) runner-up. However, it was Fyfe’s fellow Scotsmen John PATERSON and Euan WALKER who made the bigger impact at the business end of the tournament both reaching the semi-finals before losing to Chris Woollam (RSA) and champion Deon Germishuys (RSA), who eventually required 39 holes to get the job done.

Kyle McClatchie’s (RSA) performance at the 2018 Gauteng North Open Amateur is also worth recording. Rounds of 65, 72, 64 and 62 (-25) unsurprisingly gave him a 7 shot victory. McClatchie, who also won the Brabazon Trophy in 2017, turned pro shortly afterwards but has surprisingly struggled to make much of an impact to date.

Other GB&I Amateur Events

Mitch WAITE (ENG) alerted us to the good season he was going to enjoy by winning the Hampshire Salver in mid-April. He overcame a sluggish start in the Day 1 Selborne Salver at Blackmoor by blitzing North Hants 65, 65 (-8) in the Day 2 Hampshire Hog and coming through the field to win the72 hole title.

James WILSON (ENG) won the Battle Trophy at Crail G.C. in April with a 283 (-5) total. His victory was set up by a 63 in round 3, 7 shots better than any other player could manage.

The Berkshire Trophy was shared between George GARDNER (ENG) and Matt ROBERTS (WAL) but only after the Englishman finished with a final round 65 to reach the -9 winning total.

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Matt Roberts and George Gardner (Photo: George Gardner)

Sam BROADHURST (ENG) 69, 64, 66, 65 (-16) produced some low scoring at Middlesbrough G.C. to win the North of England Youth Championship.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) won the North of England Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Alwoodley G.C. in October with rounds of 71, 73, a memorable 65 and 74 (-1). 

A strong final day helped James BIGGS (ENG) 71, 74, 68, 68 (+1) secure the Lagonda Trophy at The Gog Magog G.C.

Ryan DIXON (ENG) 72, 69, 71, 70 (-6) won the U21 Welsh Open Youths Championship at Wenvoe Castle G.C.

Owen BENSON (ENG) beat David LANGLEY in a play-off at Moor Park G.C. to win the Tillman Trophy after they had both finished on 278 (-10).

Scotland

Matthew CLARK 74, 70, 64, 66 (-10) won the East of Scotland Open in early July beating a fast finishing Euan MCINTOSH who applied pressure with a final round 64 to post a -8 total.

MCINTOSH didn’t have to wait long for his win though. Rounds of 69, 64, 66 and 64 (-9) enabled him to pick up the North East Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Kyle GODSMAN won the North of Scotland Open Amateur with rounds of 75, 64, 74 and 70. Kyle’s 64 included two bogeys on an afternoon where no other player in the field managed to break 70 around the tough Nairn G.C. course.

John PATERSON shot rounds of 69, 70, 67 and 68 (-14) at Haggs Castle G.C. to win the Cameron Corbett Vase.

Ireland

Robert BRAZILL beat Alex GLESSON by 1 hole in the final of the prestigious West of Ireland Amateur in April.

South Africa’s Christo Lamprecht 66, 68, 69, 71 (-14) won the East of Ireland Amateur Open at County Louth G.C., holding off Mark POWER (IRE) (-12) to secure the title.

Caolan RAFFERTY beat Rowan LESTER on the 20th hole of the final to win the South of Ireland Amateur at Lahinch Old in July.

Ian LYNCH won the North of Ireland Amateur at Royal Portrush. After Matthew MCCLEAN 67, 68 (-8) had earned medalist honours Lynch went on to beat Kieran BABBAGE (ENG) 2&1 in the Final.

Tiarnan MCLARNAN shot a final round 66 (-6), -7 for his final 11 holes, to pip Robert BRAZILL for the Mullinger Scratch Trophy in August. 

Juniors

Conor GOUGH (ENG) enjoyed a superb season and was undoubtedly the star performer in GB&I Boys’ golf. He won the Fairhaven Trophy in May (69, 75, 70, 69 -5) and the U16 McGregor Trophy in July (72, 71, 70, 68 (-7), birdieing four of his last 6 holes including his last two. If that wasn’t enough he topped them both by winning the Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush and Portstewart G.C.’s. Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) was medalist in the stroke play qualifying before Gough (ENG) beat Jose Luis Ballester 3&1 in the Final. Joe PAGDIN (ENG) and Jensen HULL (ENG) were the two losing semi-finalists.

A few weeks later an in form Jensen HULL won the Men’s Waterford Trophy by 5 shots after scores of 70, 70, 67 and 68 (-5).

Barclay BROWN (ENG) won the U18 Carris Trophy 73, 68, 68, 71 (-8) memorably overtaking a faltering Gregory De Leo (ITA) -7 with two birdies on his last two holes. In November the Sheffield man also secured The Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship. Rounds of 73, 70 and 72 (-1) helped him to a 5 shot win in Spain.

Tom MCKIBBIN (NIR) won the inaugural Faldo Series Major Champions Invitational in March, played at Bella Collina in Florida, with scores of 68, 67 and 69 (-12).

A few weeks later Joe PAGDIN (ENG) came close in the men’s Azalea Invitational in South Carolina. Rounds of 73, 67, 67, 66 (-11) earned him a place in a play-off with Cole Hammer (USA) and Hugo Bernard (CAN) before the American birdied the first play-off hole.

Harrison ARNOLD (ENG) survived the wet weather at Copt Heath G.C. to win the Peter McEvoy Trophy. Reduced to 36 holes a second round 67 was good enough to sweep him to the title with a 139 (-3) score.

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Harrison Arnold (Photo: GolfBible)

Laurenz SCHIERGEN (GER) won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters by 10 shots at Nizels after rounds of 71, 65, 67 and 71 (-14). Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) -4 and Thomas SPREADBOROUGH (ENG) -1 were the only other boys to shoot under par.

After a mass exodus to the professional ranks (see below) 2018 was always going to be a tough year for Welsh golf but Archie DAVIES looks like being a leading light for the next generation. His 3 shot victory at Belvoir Park in late June at the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship with rounds of 69, 70, 68 and 69 (-8) was certainly encouraging.

Hugh ADAMS (ENG) 72, 71, 67 (Ev) won the U14 Reid Trophy in August. The youngster from Hagley in the West Midlands beat Angel Ayora (ESP) on the fourth play off hole at Reading G.C.

Harry GODDARD (W4 L1 H1) led England to victory over Ireland in the Boys’ Home Internationals played at Royal Dornoch G.C. in early August. 

The Jacques Leglise Trophy was played in Finland with GB&I comfortably beating the Continent of Europe 15.5 – 9.5 at Kytäjä Golf. English pair Conor GOUGH and Robin WILLIAMS were unbeaten, winning two and halving two of their games.

The Junior Ryder Cup was played at Disneyland Paris in September. The EUROPE team, including Annabell FULLER (ENG), Conor GOUGH (ENG) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) in their ranks, fought bravely on the final day before narrowly losing 11.5 – 12.5 to the USA.

Another English junior to breakthrough during the year was Yorkshire’s Ben SCHMIDT. Runner Up to Gough at the McGregor Trophy Ben went on to win the Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham G.C. (65 66 70) after a play-off with Alex IRELAND (ENG) and the English Boy’s County Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa 70 72 (-4) in September. He certainly looks like a player to watch in the future.

Golf Rankings and Order of Merits

Viktor Hovland (NOR) will end the year as the #1 ranked player in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, in my opinion the world’s most accurate ranking of amateur golfers. Following his performance at the South Beach International last week Jake BURNAGE (ENG) #43 has just passed Harry HALL (ENG) #44 to take the leading GB&I player title, albeit they have an almost identical number of points. Ireland’s Conor PURCELL is not very far behind them in 3rd place either.

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Scratch Players Ranking – GB&I Top 50 As At 29/12/18  (Photo: SPWAR)

Justin Suh (USA) currently heads the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Braden Thornberry (USA) won the McCormack Medal as the leading player in the WAGR at the end of August. GB&I’s leading player in the WAGR at the end of the year is Conor GOUGH (ENG) who is 19th.

Mitch WAITE (ENG), Alex GLEESON (IRE), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) and Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) respectively won the four home nation Orders of Merits. 

Turned Pro

As is always the case many of our leading amateurs took the plunge into the professional ranks during the year. Todd CLEMENTS (ENG), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Harry ELLIS (ENG), Craig HOWIE (SCO), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Paul MCBRIDE (IRE), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG), Nick POPPLETON (ENG), Mitch WAITE (ENG), Andrew WILSON (ENG) and Jonathan YATES (IRE) were some of the names we waved goodbye to this year.

Click here for more information on all of the – 2018 Results

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

March 2018 Men’s Amateur Rankings

8th April 2018

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

This information has always been shown on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

However, as this analysis has not been communicated via the Blog previously I am conscious some subscribers may have missed out on this interesting data. Hence this short note to flag up the latest update covering the March 2018 Quarter.

I also select a Player of the Quarter. For Quarter 1 2018 I have selected England’s Billy McKenzie. Billy won the Spanish International Amateur at La Manga in early March.

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Billy McKenzie (Photo: Adolfo Luna)

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

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Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.