The Amateur Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

Saturday 18th June 2022

Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) won the 127th Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C., beating Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) 3&2 in the 36 hole Final.

Potgieter is the third South African winner after Bobby Cole at Carnoustie in 1966 and Jovan Rebula at Royal Aberdeen in 2018. He is also the second youngest winner in history after Matteo Manassero’s win at Formby in 2009 when he was just 16.

Talking to The R&A afterwards the new champion said “It’s really amazing. I can’t really find the words, there’s no feeling like it and I haven’t felt this good before. The words can’t even come out of my mind. On this golf course, going bogey-free on the first 18 holes was incredible for me. I played really well and everything worked out well. I knew Sam was going to do better than he did this morning. He didn’t play too well, but I knew he was going to come out strong. He wasn’t going to give up. I just had to play steady and keep my lead.”

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Aldrich Potgieter (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

The 17 year old South African built a 7Up lead in the morning round with a near flawless display of golf and despite not playing as well in the afternoon was sufficiently composed to see out the match. On the few occasions he got out of position his short game and putting quickly got him back on track.

Bairstow was far from his best in the morning but with nothing to lose in the afternoon mounted a comeback. Having got himself to 2 Down with four holes to play it looked like he had a chance but problems off the tee on the 15th soon put an end to the feint hopes of the home supporters.

Potgieter was the deserved winner on the day and can now look forward to playing in The Open Championship next month and The Masters and the US Open Championship in 2023.

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Bairstow v. Potgieter Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Please click here to watch the – R&A Live YouTube Coverage – Final

Please click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Website

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Match Play Results

The 2023 Amateur Championship will be played just down England’s west coast at Hillside G.C. and Southport & Ainsdale G.C.

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Friday 17th June 2022

Semi-Finals

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) completed a memorable day’s work backing up his morning victory against Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) with a dominant performance against England teammate and in-form player John GOUGH (ENG). Gough surprisingly struggled down wind on the way out and being 6 Down turning for home meant it was just a matter of time before the two players would be shaking hands.

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Bairstow v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) beat Alex MAGUIRE (IRL) in the second Semi-Final. Maguire started with a string of bogeys which gave the young South African a buffer to work with for the rest of the match. With the recent Brabazon Trophy winner Christiaan Maas on his bag Potgieter played cautiously to eventually see out the match on the 17th green.

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Maguire v. Potgieter Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Quarter Finals

Neither Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) or Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) were at their very best this morning but served up what proved to be an exciting match play contest. Having lost a 3Up lead after 12 holes Bairstow showed his class by holing two lengthy putts on 17 and 18 to firmly close the door on his opponent.

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Bairstow v. Ludvig Hole-by-Hole Scores  (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) got off to a good start against England’s John GOUGH but handed the initiative back to his opponent around the turn where he lost four holes in a row. It appeared for a while as if Gough would run away with the match but O’Keeffe refused to be beaten and through superb putting kept the deficit down to manageable levels. Gough eventually birdied 16 after a good drive and then holed from off the green on 17, following in O’Keeffe who had birdied from 25 feet just moments earlier, to close out the game.

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O’Keeffe v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Ireland’s Alex MAGUIRE made the semi-finals after edging a tight match with Max CHARLES (AUS) by 2&1. The Irishman’s greater composure coming down Royal Lytham’s strong finish ultimately proved to be the difference in what was largely a scrappy affair.

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Charles v. Maguire Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

One could argue from looking at the scores that Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) played the steadiest golf of all this morning’s Quarter Finalists. At a course of Royal Lytham’s difficulty par will more often than not get the job done and that proved to be the case as Potgieter dealt with the breezy conditions much better than the more experienced Laurenz SCHIERGEN (GER). Whilst the German fought to the end he had simply given himself too much work to do having drifted to 5 Down after 12 holes.

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Aldrich v. Schiergen Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Please click here to watch the – R&A Live YouTube Coverage – Quarter Finals & Semi-Finals

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Thursday 16th June 2022

Round 4

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) played a very solid round of golf to secure the first place in tomorrow’s Quarter Finals. Unfortunately for Ireland’s Jack HEARN Round 4 proved to be a game too far with a few unforced errors making life relatively easy for the Sheffield man.

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Bairstow v. Hearn Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) got off to a dream start with two opening birdies and whilst he stumbled a little down the home straight Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) had given him too much of a head start to seriously threaten a comeback.

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Åberg v. McClean Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

All that fitness work is clearly paying off for Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) who held his nerve and produced some great golf down the stretch to reel in Frenchman Nathan LEGRANDE.

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Lengendre v. O’Keeffe Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

John GOUGH (ENG) prevailed against James ASHFIELD (WAL) in what was clearly the outstanding match of the afternoon session. Despite Gough throwing everything he had at him Ashfield showed real grit and refused to lie down. A 15 foot birdie putt on the 18th seems an appropriate way for such a competitive match to end.

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Ashfield v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Perhaps it’s time to give the unheralded Australian Max CHARLES some respect and praise. What a week he is having on the Fylde Coast. Whilst Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) clearly struggled this afternoon Charles played well to secure a notable win against the 2019 Walker Cup man.

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Charles v. Rafferty Hole-bHole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Alex MAGUIRE (IRL) built up a strong lead over the opening nine holes against Jamie ROBERTS (SCO) and whilst the Scotsman fought back well he was able to see the match out with a par down the difficult 18th.

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Roberts v. Maguire Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Kyle DE BEER (RSA) holed a 20 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to take his match against compatriot Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) to extra holes but his celebration was short-lived, as Potgieter, who had enjoyed a 3Up lead after 5 holes, took the match on the 19th with a par 3. There were ten South African’s in the starting line up and if you had asked me to list them in order of likely performance at the outset Aldrich, despite some noteworthy performances in 2022, would have been 9th. Golf never ceases to surprise.

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Potgieter v. De Beer Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

A rising Sophomore at Kansas State, where he plays alongside Will Hopkins and Luke O’Neill who both also made match play, and winner of the 2018 Sir Henry Cooper Masters by 10-shots Laurenz SCHIERGEN (GER) is moving through the match play stage nicely. His win against Nevill RUITER (NED) this afternoon and the 2021 British Boy’s Amateur champion Jack Bigham this morning suggests he shouldn’t be under-estimated.

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Ruiter v. Schiergen Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Round 3

English pair Sam BAIRSTOW and John GOUGH delivered the two biggest wins in Round 3. Bairstow took out medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) 6&4 whilst Gough carried on where he left off yesterday by thrashing former GB&I Walker Cupper Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 7&6.

Favourite Ludvig ÅBERG was made to work hard by his Swedish teammate Henrik LILJA only seeing him off with a 20 foot birdie on the 19th hole.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL), who has two time Irish Amateur open champion Colm Campbell on his bag, beat Archie DAVIES (WAL) by 3&2.

In the all Irish match Alex MAGUIRE beat Mark POWER by 2&1.

Nine of the Last 16 players will come from Great Britain and Ireland – and five from Ireland alone – after Jack HEARN (IRL), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL), James ASHFIELD (WAL), a semi-finalist last year, and Jamie ROBERTS (IRL) all beat overseas opponents in the morning series.

O’Keeffe is the only player remaining in the field who played in the Preliminary Round 1, i.e. he has played an additional 18 holes to everyone else he will now come up against.

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Match Play Round 3 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Wednesday 15th June 2022

Day 3 of the Amateur Championship saw near perfect weather conditions again and as a result there was some excellent play on show across the Royal Lytham links throughout the day.

Round 2

Medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) overcame home favourite Callan BARROW (ENG) with a narrow 1 Hole victory. Broomhead said afterwards “I’m very happy with the win. There is a bit of past history with the number one seed getting knocked out in this round. I played very nicely today but I did let a few things go towards the end and Callan made some good putts coming down the stretch. There were a lot of people walking with us and I know most of them were supporting Callan.”

Barclay BROWN (ENG), who had qualified in second place, didn’t fare so well. He was surprisingly brushed aside by Gustav FRIMODT (DEN) 4&3.

It was a good afternoon for the Irish with six of their representatives progressing to the Round of 32. Jack HEARN and Mark POWER perhaps had the pick of the wins given their opponents but Matt MCCLEAN, Peter O’KEEFFE, Caolan RAFFERTY and Alex MAGUIRE certainly made sure they did what was required to progress.

The Welsh contingent of James ASHFIELD, Luke HARRIES and Archie DAVIES all won their games. The highlight was Davies’ battling win against Denmark’s Kristian HJORT BRESSUM. Davies won the 18th to tie the match before scrambling his way to victory on the fourth extra hole after ‘dodging a number of bullets’ from his opponent who had already played 20 holes in his morning Preliminary Round 1 and was perhaps becoming fatigued.

John GOUGH (ENG) enjoyed the biggest win of the Round, destroying the highly ranked Frederik BIRKELUND (DEN) by 8&7.

However, it was generally not a good afternoon for the English who saw seven of their players lose. In addition to Gough their only other wins came from Sam BAIRSTOW, who secured a 1 Hole win when his opponent missed a short put on the 18th green, Joe HARVEY who overcame experienced Dutchman Jerry JI and Will HOPKINS who outstayed the largely unknown American Jack GNAM.

Scotland will have Sandy SCOTT and Jamie ROBERTS in the last 32. It was good to see Sandy back fully fit and producing some of the great golf we know he is capable of.

Of the overseas players Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), Christian BANKE (USA), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Kyle DE BEER (RSA) and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) look the most threatening after another day on the links.

Of the 15 players who came through the morning Preliminary Round 1 just four were able to win again in the afternoon. They were Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL), Matteo CRISTONI (ITA), Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED) and Gustav FRIMODT (DEN).

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Match Play Round 2 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Preliminary Round 1

With 79 players progressing from the Stroke Play Qualifying the lowest 30 players, i.e. those finishing in 50th to 79th place, were required to play in a Preliminary Round 1.

The 15 winners of Preliminary Round 1 then joine the highest finishers, i.e. those finishing in 1st to 49th place, in Round 2.

Royal Lytham member Callan BARROW (ENG) overcame Samuel SLATER (AUS) in the opening match of Preliminary Round 1 to provide medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) were perhaps a tough assignment than he may have been expecting.

Last week’s St. Andrews links Trophy winner Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) saw his hopes of a famous double disappear when he lost a tight match with Jonas BAUMGARTNER (GER).

I would still prefer to see a play-off to resolve the 64th position and ties where the use of a Preliminary Round means a number of players are required to play another round and the Day 1 draw becomes convoluted for spectators as two rounds are played simultaneously.

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Match Play Preliminary Round 1 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Tuesday 14th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 2

Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) earned medalist honours at The Amateur Championship with a 36 hole score of 135 (-7).

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Jonathan Broomhead’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Barclay BROWN (ENG) finished on the same score after a 65 (-7) at St. Annes Old Links, taking second place on count back.

After their last nine holes on both courses were the same (aggregate 69) it came down to the last six holes. Broomhead recorded a total score of 46, two better than Brown’s 48.

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Barclay Brown’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Third place went to Ireland’s Mark POWER (IRL) on 136 (-6) who matched the low score at St. Anne’s Old with his own 65 today.

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Mark Power’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Welshmen Archie DAVIES and Luke HARRIES both qualified strongly on -5. Harries should enter the match play stage with confidence after his 67 (-3) in Round 2 at Royal Lytham.

img_1912 Luke Harries’ Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Sitting alongside the two Welshman on 137 (-5) were Nathan LEGRANDE (FRA), who rose 70 places on the leaderboard today with a 66 at St. Annes, and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE), who held steady with a solid even par 70 at Royal Lytham.

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), the Round 1 leader, found the going a little tougher at Royal Lytham. His 73 saw him finish in 8th place on -4.

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) were the leading English qualifiers, both finishing on 139 (+3), taking the 10th and 12th seeds respectively.

Christian BANKE (USA) finished 9th moving up 122 places after he posted the third 65 of the day, and the fourth in overall Qualifying, at St. Annes Old Links. Christian’s father Danke has travelled over with his son. Danke himself played in the Amateur Championship four times between 1982-1985 and was Stroke Play Qualifying medalist in both 1985 and 1986, the latter played at the same venues as this year.

Day 2 saw average scores of 73.88 (+3.88) at Royal Lytham [Round 1 75.40 (+5.40)] and 72.30 at St. Annes Old [Round 1 73.77 (+1.77)].

It was a perfect day for golf by the coast – the sun shone and a light breeze took the edge off the rising temperatures.

At the end of play 79 players on 143 (+1) or better made the 64 lowest scores and ties cut to advance to the match play stage.

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

Please click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Website

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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Monday 13th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 1

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) lived up to his billing as the highest ranked player in the field shooting a blemish free 65 (-7) at St. Annes Old Links (par 72).

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Ludvig Åberg’s Round 1 Scorecard

However, Jamie ROBERTS (SCO) arguably posted the best round of the day with a superb 66 (-4) at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (par 70) which included an eagle 2 on the par 4 13th and five other birdies.

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Jamie Roberts’ Round 1 Scorecard

Day 1 saw average scores of 75.40 (+5.40) at Royal Lytham and 73.77 (+1.77) at St. Annes Old, a 3.63 differential against par. Just three players in the current top 30 played their opening 18 holes at Royal Lytham.

Whilst it was dry, the winds were strong all day only abating late in the afternoon, thus giving the late starters an advantage.

Åberg leads Mathias LORENTZEN (DEN) -6 and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) -5 after they shot a 66 and 67 at St. Annes Old.

Irish players enjoyed a good opening day at St. Annes Old with Paul COUGHLAN -4, Matt MCCLEAN -4, Jack HEARN -4 and Luke O’NEILL -3 all high up the leaderboard. Robert MORAN‘s 68 -2 at Royal Lytham was noteworthy too.

Åberg’s Texas Tech University teammates Sandy SCOTT and Calum SCOTT, the Scottish brothers, both shot 70’s (-2) at St. Annes Old Links.

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Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1 Leading Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

As is always the case a number of competitors played themselves out of the Championship on the opening day, either doing too much damage at Royal Lytham or not giving themselves enough of a buffer from St. Annes Old.

Field Update

Following further withdrawals over the weekend eight additional players were called up from the Reserve List, set after Pre-Qualifying had finished. Kipp POPERT (ENG), who lost the 8-for-7 73 (+1) play-off and thus finished 31st, Matthew GAUNTLETT (ENG) 74 (+2) 32nd, Adam CHARLTON (ENG) 74 33rd, Taylor PAUL (ENG) 74 34th, Dominic BARRON HOLDEN (ENG) 74 35th, Timothy CHAN (HKG) 74 36th, James NASH (ENG) 74 38th and Carl BANNER (ENG) 75 (+3) 39th are all now in the starting field. Oscar DORAN (ENG) 73, who finished 37th must have declined his place.

Popert, who lives with a form of Cerebal Palsy, is understood to be the first golfer with a disability to compete in the Amateur Championship.

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Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Qualifier

Gregor TAIT (SCO) won the 18 hole Pre-Qualifying (PQ) competition which was played today at St. Annes Old Links. His 67 (-5) included eight birdies and three bogeys.

Ireland’s Charlie DENVIR finished second with a 68 (-4) and Jake BENSON (ENG) and Hannes HILBURGER (GER) tied third on -3.

Louis TALARCZYK (ENG)  71 -1 and Jamie VAN WYK (ENG) 72 Ev, both members of Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C., were amongst the players to progress.

72 players were competing for 30 spaces in the Amateur Championship which starts on Monday. It was a windy day on the Fylde Coast so the scoring was particularly good.

A minimum of 10 places were originally allocated to PQ by The R&A. However, as there had been 20 withdrawals from the main field, after the close of entries and prior to PQ starting, this number had increased to 30.

31 players ultimately finished on 73 (+1) or better. As eight of them were on +1 there was an 8-for-7 play-off to determine which player missed out.

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Pre-Qualifying Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Wednesday 8th June 2022

The 127th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. and St. Annes Old Links in England between Monday 13th and Saturday 18th June 2022.

For the first time a Pre-Qualifying competition will also be staged. This will take place at St. Annes Old Links on Friday 10th June 2022.

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

Championship Format

Stroke Play Qualifying

Two rounds of stroke play will be completed on Monday 13th June and Tuesday 14th June to determine the match play field.

Each contestant will play 18 holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. and St. Annes Old Links with three-ball tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm on both days.

The 64 lowest scores and ties for 64th place will advance to the match play stage. This is a change on last year’s format where a Round 2 card count back was used to break ties for 64th place.

Match Play Stage

The Match Play stage will be played between Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th June and held solely at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

The decision to again take all ties through to match play will almost certainly necessitate a Preliminary Round 1 so that a proper 64 player Round 2 can take place. I believe a play-off, as used in the U.S. Amateur Championship, to determine a clean 64 for Round 1 would be a more efficient solution.

Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the Final which will be played over 36 holes. Any tied matches will continue into sudden death extra holes to determine a winner.

Pre-Qualifying

In a welcome change The R&A have this year introduced a Pre-Qualifying (PQ) event to offer some of the players not allocated an automatic place in the field an opportunity to earn one.

72 players will play 18 holes of stroke play at St. Annes Old Links on Friday 10th June. This field was made up of the 15 highest ranked WAGR players (cut off 1,478th) followed by a lowest handicap ballot for the remainder (cut off +3.6).

A minimum of 10 places are to be made available from PQ. However, additional spaces will become available if there are any withdrawals from the main field after the close of entries and prior to PQ starting.

Ties for the last qualifying place from PQ will be resolved via sudden death play-off.

Withdrawals following PQ and before the Championship commences will be handed to players on a card count back from PQ rather than any play-off results.

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. in 2012 (Photo: David Cannon / Getty Images / The R&A)

Click here to view the full – Amateur Championship Terms of Competition

Field

288 male amateur golfers will contest the Championship. With competitors coming from 42 different countries the 2022 Amateur will see a full international field return.

It is worth noting that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic only 120 and 144 competitors could be accommodated by The R&A in 2020 and 2021.

There were originally 585 entries, a record for the Championship.

278 competitiors were originally drawn from 1) a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections and 2) allocated to those highest ranked players 1st-2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 19 2022, i.e. the Wednesday 18th May release, and then via WHS Handicap index at the date of entry.

The remaining 10 players plus any players to cover for early Withdrawals and to create a Reserve List will be drawn from the Pre-Qualifying event discussed above. Current information suggests a total of 29 players may now come through the Qualifier into the starting line-up.

The defending champion Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) is playing in the U.S. Open Championship, using his exemption from Nairn, and turning pro immediately afterwards. He will be debuting in the BMW International Open in Germany on 23rd June.

Leading Players

Whilst is is never easy to predict anything in golf here are 20 players that I think could feature in the latter stages of the Championship and are worth watching as the week unfolds: –

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Paul BEAUVY (FRA), Kyle DE BEER (RSA), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), Rory FRANSSEN (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG), Connor GRAHAM (SCO), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Connor MCKINNEY (AUS), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Robert MORAN (IRL), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) Bård SKOGEN (NOR), Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) and Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED).

Having won the Lytham Trophy last month John Gough will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sir Michael Bonallack by completing the double by winning the Amateur in the same year. He arrives with a 21 game unbeaten match play record so he will certainly start as a favourite.

Thailand’s highly ranked Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat was invited to play in the LIV Golf Series and is warming up by playing in the Centurian event near London this week.

Host Courses

Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

7,060 yards / Par 70 / Slope Rating 147 / Course Rating 74.3

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Founded in 1886, Royal Lytham & St Annes is one of the premier links courses in the world, renowned for it’s superb bunkering.

It has hosted The Open on 11 occasions, the last one being in 2012, and The Ryder Cup twice in 1961 and 1977.

This will be the fifth Amateur Championship that the Club has staged. Previous champions at Lytham include Lawson Little (USA) in 1935, Joe Conrad (USA) in 1955, David Curry (WAL) in 1986 and Drew Weaver (USA) in 2007.

It has also hosted the prestigious Lytham Trophy since 1965, most recently won by England’s John GOUGH in May 2022, and memorably the 2015 Walker Cup match won by the GB&I Team.

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (Photo: Golf Bible)

St. Annes Old Links G.C.

6,875 yards / Par 72 / Slope Rating 143 / Course Rating 74.5

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Founded in 1901, St Anne’s Old Links is one of many fine championship links courses on England’s north west coast.

It has been used by The R&A as a Final Qualifying course for The Open on a number of occasions and is currently on the 2019-2022 rota.

Amongst numerous amateur Championships it staged the Boys’ Home Internationals in August 2017 which some of this year’s Amateur competitors will have played in.

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9th Green and Clubhouse, St. Annes Old Links G.C. (Photo: St. Annes Old Links G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Friday 10th June)

The weather forecast is very good for the Championship with largely dry conditions and moderate breezes expected: –

Fri 10th – Sunny. Wind 21mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Mon 13th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14mph W. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 16°C.
Tues 14th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 10 mph SW. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 17°C.
Wed 15th – Light Cloud. Wind 10 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Thu 16th – Light Cloud. Wind 13 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Fri 17th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Sat 18th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14 mph W. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.

Click here to view the – Latest BBC Weather Forecast For Lytham St. Annes

Tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm mean changes in the weather during the opening two days can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying competition.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties for this prize decided on the lowest aggregate score for the second nine holes on both courses (or the last six or three or one if necessary).

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

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

The winner of The Amateur Championship, on the basis they remain an amateur, will receive the following exemptions / invitations into –

a) the 150th Open Championship being staged on the Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland in July 2022;

b) the 2023 U.S. Open Championship which will be held at The Los Angeles Country Club in California, venue of the 2017 Walker Cup match;

c) the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C.; and

d) a DP World Tour event to be determined.

The other Semi-Finalists, on the basis they are still an amateur, will receive an invitation to compete in a Challenge Tour event to be determined.

The other Quarter Finalists, on the basis they are still an amateur, will receive exemptions into Final Qualifying for The 150th Open Championship.

More Information

Click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Official Website

2021 Amateur Championship

23 year old Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) won the 2021 Amateur Championship at Nairn G.C. to become the 52nd Englishman to lift the famous silver trophy.

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Laird Shepherd (Photo: The Nairn G.C.)

In a second consecutive all-English Final Shepherd, a graduate of Stirling University and now a St. Andrews resident, beat Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) on the 38th Hole. Shepherd was 8-Down on the 18th tee in the morning round and 4-Down with four holes to play before completing an astonishing comeback.

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Monty Scowsill v. Laird Shepherd – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

In the earlier Semi-Finals Shepherd beat Jack DYER (ENG) by 1-Hole and Scowsill overcame James ASHFIELD (WAL) by 2-Holes.

The losing Quarter Finalists were John PATERSON (SCO), Calum SCOTT (SCO), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) and Olly HUGGINS (ENG).

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Experienced Scottish International Matthew CLARK secured medalist honours in the Stroke Play Qualifying competition. The highlight being his bogey free course record 62 (-9) in Round 2.

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Matthew Clark’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

As is the way of the golfing gods Clark inevitability slipped to a 5&4 defeat to Mason ESSAM (ENG) in Round 1 of the Match Play Stage.

A Round 2 card count back was used by The R&A for the first time to ensure a clean 64 player match play draw could be made. The cut came on 148 (+6). 16 players achieved this score with nine of them missing out due to the new rule.

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

The 2021 Championship was originally due to be co-hosted by The Nairn G.C. and Nairn Dunbar G.C. but due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 the R&A took the decision, as they did in 2019, to play the Championship solely at Nairn with a reduced field. With the Walker Cup having also been played prior to the event in May 2021 this was possibly the weakest field ever assembled for the Championship.

For more information on this championship please click here – The Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results Article

A Short History of The Amateur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: The Nairn G.C.) 

Past Winners

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

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

Prior to Laird Shepherd’s win in 2021 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

2020 Joe Long (ENG) – Royal Birkdale G.C.
2019  James Sugrue (IRL) – Portmarnock G.C.
2018  Jovan Rebula (RSA) – Royal Aberdeen G.C.
2017  Harry Ellis (ENG) – Royal St. George’s G.C.
2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl G.C.
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie G.L.
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush G.C.
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports G.C.
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRL) – Royal Troon G.C.
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside G.C.

A great achievement and honour for all of the players listed above. However, looking through the names reminds us of how incredibly tough golf is and that wins in the biggest amateur events are no guarantee of success in the professional game.

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

Click here to view a complete list of – Past Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Medalists

ME.

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