The Brabazon Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

2nd June 2019

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship finishing the competition with another hugely impressive under par round.

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The Schmidt Family (Photo: Yorkshire Golf / Jonathan Plaxton)

When Schmidt took the lead on Friday night very few people would have expected the 16 year old to see out such a prestigious event with apparent ease.

In the end two 69’s over the weekend took him to a 271 (-13) finishing total and a 5 shot victory. He is believed to be the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time.

To drop only 6 shots over the 72 holes at Alwoodley G.C. clearly shows the potential of the Yorkshireman who seemed to thrive on being the hometown favourite.

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Ben Schmidt’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Schmidt and Harry HALL (ENG) were tied on -11 after 11 holes of the final round but it was the teenager who showed nerves of steel over the closing holes. He picked up birdies on the 12th and 17th and calmly pulled away from the experienced Cornishman in what was always going to be an 18 hole shoot out. Three late bogeys from the now chasing Hall helped make the tough Alwoodley finish relatively straight forward for the champion elect.

Talking to England Golf afterwards Schmidt said “It’s amazing. I played great. It’s good to get my name on the trophy and to be the youngest ever one to do it makes it even more special.”

Hall finished 2nd on -8 one shot ahead of a fast finishing Euan WALKER (SCO) whose 66 was the joint best score of the day and lifted him into 3rd place. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) matched the Scotsman’s -5 round earlier in the afternoon.

Ben FIRTH, also from Yorkshire, finished 4th on 280 (-4) for the best finish of his career.

In what proved to be a largely disappointing tournament for International players Kyle DE BEER (RSA) benefited from a 7-under weekend to finish tied 5th alongside David LANGLEY (ENG).

Here’s a screenshot of the leading players with a link to the full results beneath.

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Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Round 4 saw an average score of 72.30 (+1.30). The average front nine score today was 35.83 (-0.17 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.47 (+1.47).

ME.

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1st June 2019

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) moved on to -11 after a third round 69 (-2) at Alwoodley. He showed no sign of nerves with a 3-under par front nine but may live to regret a final hole bogey which took the edge of a steady back nine and saw his 54 hole lead reduced to just 1 shot.

Harry HALL (ENG), who produced a new course record 63 (-8), moved back up the leaderboard and into 2nd place on -10.

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Harry Hall’s Round 3 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) continues to impress in Yorkshire. Three under par rounds of 69, 68 and 70 will see him enter the final day in 3rd place on -6.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 70 and David LANGLEY (ENG) 71 are on -5 and are tied 4th.

Luca FILIPPI (RSA) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) both enjoyed good days too. Their 66’s (-5) lifted them up to 7th and tied 14th respectively.

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Leading Round 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Round 3 saw the average score lowered to 71.74 helped by a reduction to 63 competing players. 64 players made the cut but Alex Dixon +4 WD before play started. The average front nine score today was 35.57 (-0.43 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.14 (+1.17).

ME.

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31st May 2019

16 year old Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) backed up his good opening round with a 64 (-7) in Round 2. He tied the Alwoodley course record with an unblemished card and 7 birdies. He now leads the Brabazon Trophy by 3-shots on 133 (-9).

Talking to England Golf afterwards Ben said “I got off to a good start, birdieing the first three holes. Front nine was really solid, quite a few birdies. I hit a lot of good iron shots in today. I hit a couple really stiff for tap in birdies. A couple of long irons which were key for me. It’s my lowest ever round, 7-under. I’m just looking for the same again for the next few days. It’s probably not going to be 7-under again but I can’t go out with the mindset of like I’m leading. I’ve just got go out, refresh and start again. I’ve played well and putted well, key putts and long birdie putts.”

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Ben Schmidt’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 70 in Round 2 and will go into the weekend in 2nd place on -6.

Day 2 saw much lower scoring. There were 21 rounds in the 60’s compared with just 6 yesterday.

David LANGLEY (ENG) 67, Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) 68, Jamie STEWART (SCO) 65, Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 67, Ben FIRTH (ENG) 66, Ben HALLAM (ENG) 68, Ben JONES (ENG) 68, Ben CATON (SCO) 69, Euan WALKER (SCO) and Josh MCMAHON (ENG) all moved nicely into contention.

Of particular note Jamie Stewart’s 65 included a 29 (-7) on the front nine whilst Ben Firth’s 69, a 30 (-5) on the back nine.

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

The Round 2 scores followed a similar pattern to Round 1 but with easier playing conditions and more experience the scoring was better. The average front nine score today was 35.91 (-0.09 to par / Rd 1 36.70) whilst the back nine score was 37.04 (+2.04 / Rd 1 38.29). The average Round 2 score by the field was 72.95 (+1.95 / Rd 1 74.99).

64 players made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at 146 (+4). Amongst those to miss out were Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) +5, John MURPHY (IRE) +5, Oliver FARRELL (ENG) +6, Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) +7, Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) +7, David HAGUE (ENG) +8 and Kieran CANTLEY (ENG) +9.

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30th May 2019

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) leads the Brabazon Trophy at the end of Day 1. Charlie has shown good form in 2019 and will be delighted with an opening bogey-free 66 (-5) around the tough Alwoodley course.

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Charlie Strickland’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Harry HALL (ENG) is second on 68 (-3), two shots further back. Harry, who recently graduated from UNLV, travelled back from the NCAA Division I National Championship in Arkansas earlier this week and I am pleased to see he has quickly re-acclimatised to the UK.

James WILSON (SCO), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) and Jake BOLTON (ENG) are all tied 3rd on 69 (-2).

Ben Schmidt is unsurprisingly not the only Yorkshireman to be featuring at home. Bailey GILL 70 (-1), Sam BAIRSTOW 70 (-1), Charlie THORNTON 71 (Ev), winner at Alwoodley of the 2018 North of England Amateur Open, and Charlie DAUGHTREY 71 (Ev) are all in the top 15 too.

Irish pair Caolan RAFFERTY 70 (-1) and Conor PURCELL 71 (Ev) are both nicely placed despite disappointing finishes today. Both continue to be travelling nicely down the path to Walker Cup selection in my eyes.

The Round 1 scores clearly highlighted the fact that the front nine at Alwoodley is much easier than the back. As the table below shows the average front nine score was 36.70 (+0.70 to par), helped by the prevailing wind, whilst the back nine played to 38.29 (+3.29).  The closing holes proved to be very challenging and their rankings show why so many of today’s rounds were ruined in the latter stages. The average round by the field was 74.99. (+3.99).

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Round 1 Course Stats (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

As you can also see there were 9 eagles on Day 1, all on the front nine. Interestingly three of them came on par 4’s. I assume Cameron LOMBARD (ENG) and Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) both chipped in on the 305 yard 2nd but Alexander HERMANN (GER) must have holed a longer shot on the 370 yard 5th.

ME.

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27th May 2019

The 73rd English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Alwoodley Golf Club between 30th May and 2nd June.

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Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

A 36 hole cut will take place with only the leading 60 competitors and ties progressing to the two weekend rounds.

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

Field

164 competitors will start the 2019 Championship, an increase of 8 on last year at Frilford Heath.

England has 94 entries with 10 other countries represented.

The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Draw

98 players were exempted into the field based on their previous accomplishments with a further 66 progressing from two qualifiers held on 14th May 2019.

Charlie DAUGHTREY (Rotherham G.C.) and Blair MORTON (Royal Troon G.C.) shot 68’s (-2) at Lindrick to lead the way in the North Qualifier. Ben HALLAM (Wychwood Park G.C.) was one of 10 players to shoot 73 (+3) but the only one to progress as he picked up the 33rd spot on count back.

James NEWTON (ENG) finished T56 at Lindrick after a 74 (+4) to miss out. I mention this as just a few days later he easily won the Irish Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo G.C.

Click here to view the full North Qualifier Results

Liam PHIPPS (Olton G.C.) and George LEVERSUCH (Wanstead G.C.) led the qualifiers at Hindhead G.C. in the South Qualifier after both posted 66 (-4). 73 (+3) was again the cut mark with Josh DAVIS (Sedlescombe G.C.), James EARL (Tandridge G.C.) and Matt KIPPEN (Enmore Park G.C.) taking the final qualifying spots. A further 8 players missed out after the count back was applied.

Phipps went on to win The Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog G.C. on 23rd May so is clearly confident and in form.

Click here to view the full South Qualifier Results

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9th Hole, Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

19 of the 26 players included in the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup Squad will be competing at Alwoodley. These are Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Kieran CANTLEY (SCO), Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL), Bailey GILL (ENG), David HAGUE (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL), Ben JONES (ENG), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO), John MURPHY (IRE), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), James SUGRUE (IRE), Tom THURLOWAY (ENG), Euan WALKER (SCO) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG).

Other players who have shown good form in 2019 and are therefore worth keeping an eye on include Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Jake BOLTON (ENG), Joe BRYCE (SCO), Harvey BYERS (ENG), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG), Oliver FARRELL (ENG), Harry GODDARD (ENG), Marc HAMMER (GER), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Matty LAMB (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG), Laurie OWEN (ENG), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) and Charlie THORNTON (ENG).

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked 41st by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a significant fall from 17thin 2017. Hopefully it will recover some of its prestige this year when the field analysis is completed.

Interestingly Alwoodley G.C. will also be broadcasting live coverage of the first round on their YouTube channel and sharing highlights across their other social media channels.

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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The Champion’s Prize and Brabazon Trophy (Photo: Golf Bible)

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

The George Henriques Salver is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

The Philip Scruton Jug is awarded later in the year to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 22nd and 23rd June).

Alwoodley Golf Club

Alwoodley G.C. is located on heathland a few miles north of Leeds city centre in Yorkshire.

The first design by renowned architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, one of the founders of the Club, it was opened in 1907. Alwoodley is nowadays rightly considered one of the finest courses in Great Britain.

The recent addition of new championship tees has stretched the course to over 6,900 yards so whilst the players are in for a treat they are hopefully going to be challenged too given the par of 71.

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Alwoodley G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Alwoodley G.C.)

Whilst the back nine is a little shorter it delivers a good finish with six strong finishing holes. The inward nine has the lower par of 35 and generally plays into the prevailing westerly wind.

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking good; generally dry with a modest breeze over the four days.

Thu 30th May – Showers / Wind 17 mph W / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 19°C.
Fri 31st May – Light Cloud / Wind 14 mph SW / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 21°C.
Sat 1st June – Light Cloud / Wind 10 mph SW / Temp. Min. 15°C / Min 23°C.
Sun 2th May – Light Cloud / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 19°C.

It is worth remembering that Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 7.00am right through until 3.40pm.

2018 Brabazon Trophy

Nick POPPLETON (ENG) won the 2018 Brabazon Trophy at Frilford Heath G.C.

Poppleton and Wilco NIENABER (RSA) both finished the 72 holes on the Red Course with 272 -16 totals.

The par 3 9thhole was used for the sudden death play-off. On the second playing of it Poppleton chipped in to take the famous title.

Click here to view the – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

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Nick Poppleton (Photo: Golf Bible)

Click these links to view the other recent results: –

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The English Amateur International Trophy competition was first played in 1947.

In 1957 the official title was changed to the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The current trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1948 and the event has come to be widely known as the Brabazon Trophy.

Click here to view the full list of – Brabazon Trophy Past Winners

The first player to successfully defend the title was Ronnie WHITE who won at Birkdale in 1950 and nearby Formby in 1951.

Shortly afterwards Philip SCRUTTON won the Brabazon three times in four years (1952, ‘54 & ‘55).

Sir Michael BONALLACK has four wins to his name. The first came at Royal Cinque Ports in 1964 and the last at Hillside in 1971. At Moortown in 1969, with play-offs having been discarded at this time, he shared the title with Rodney FOSTER.

Other well known British winners of the Brabazon include Gordon Brand Jnr, Sandy Lyle (2), Peter MCEVOY, Ronan Rafferty and Ronnie SHADE (3).

Other notable European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 3rd June 2018

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

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

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

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 Nick Poppleton (Photo: Golf Bible)

Play-Off

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the final – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Round 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was the point where the Championship was won.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jack Cope (Photo: GolfBible)

Round 3

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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Saturday 2nd June 2018

Round 2

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

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

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

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

The cut fell at -1 with 46 players progressing.

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

ME.

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Friday 1st June 2018

Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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Thursday 31st May 2018

Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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28th May 2018

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

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

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Frilford Heath Golf Club (Photo: Frilford Heath G.C.)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

A 36 hole cut will take place with only the leading 60 competitors and ties progressing to the two weekend rounds.

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

Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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The Champion’s Prize and Brabazon Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition. The George Henriques Salver is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20. The Philip Scruton Jug is awarded later in the year to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 23rd and 24th June).

Frilford Heath Golf Club

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

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

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

The 2017 Brabazon Trophy

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

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

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Kyle McClatchie (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

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

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

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

Click here to see the full – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

Click here to see the full – 2016 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The English Amateur International Trophy competition was first played in 1947.

In 1957 the official title was changed to the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The current trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1948 and the event has come to be widely known as the Brabazon Trophy.

Click here to view the full list of – Brabazon Trophy Past Winners

The first player to successfully defend the title was Ronnie WHITE who won at Birkdale in 1950 and nearby Formby in 1951.

Shortly afterwards Philip SCRUTTON won the Brabazon three times in four years (1952, ‘54 & ‘55).

Sir Michael BONALLACK has four wins to his name. The first came at Royal Cinque Ports in 1964 and the last at Hillside in 1971. At Moortown in 1969, with play-offs having been discarded at this time, he shared the title with Rodney FOSTER.

Other well known British winners of the Brabazon include Gordon Brand Jnr, Sandy Lyle (2), Peter MCEVOY, Ronan Rafferty and Ronnie SHADE (3).

Other notable European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Rodney Foster

13th October 2016

Rodney Foster is one of England’s and for that matter Great Britain’s best ever amateur golfers. After years of international representation this career amateur became a much respected and well liked ambassador for the game of golf.

As Rodney is 75 today I thought I would produce ‘an everything you need to know ‘list to record his more notable achievements in the amateur game.

1. He was born in Shipley on 13th October 1941. A lifelong Yorkshireman he was educated at Bradford Grammar School, before embarking on a career in insurance locally and living in the area to this day. He plays most of his golf at Ilkley nowadays.

2. His mother and father were both members of The Bradford Golf Club, his father being Captain in 1956. It was therefore inevitable that Rodney and his brother George would take up the game and quickly become proficient at it – both became scratch players, representing The Bradford club during their careers. It was at Bradford that Rodney developed his very upright swing for which he was known.

3. He won the Yorkshire Amateur Championship five times, in 1963, ’64, ’65, ’67 and ’70. Locally he is also known for his dominance of the Bradford Open, which he won a record 10 times between 1960 and 1982.

Rodney Foster competing in 1966 (Photo: Getty Images / Ed Lacey)

4. He was capped for both England Boys (1958) and Youths (1959).

5. Rodney became a full Men’s International in 1963 and played for England annually in the Home Internationals between 1963 and 1971 (save for 1965). His elite playing career coming to end slightly prematurely in 1973 after he had a serious accident.

6. Rodney represented England in the European Amateur Team Championship in 1963, ’65, ’67, ’69, ’71 and ’73. England won this event three times with him in their team, in 1963, ’69 and ’71.

7. He won many other major amateur titles, most notably the Berkshire Trophy (1964) and the Lytham Trophy (1967 and 1968).

8. In 1964, probably his best playing year, he lost the final of the English Amateur Championship to Dr. David Marsh by 1 hole at Hollinwell.

9. He reached the semi-finals of The Amateur Championship in both 1962 (Hoylake) and 1965 (Porthcawl), losing firstly to Richard Davies from the USA by 3&2 and then to Michael Bonallack by 1 hole on his way to the title. He played in 20 Amateurs between 1962-82, winning 37 and losing 20 of his 57 matches.

10. He tied with Michael Bonallack for the English Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) in 1969 at Walton Heath (no play-off in those days) before successfully defending the title in 1970 at Little Aston.

11. He was a member of the winning GB&I Eisenhower Trophy team in 1964. He played with Michael Bonallack, Michael Lunt and Ronnie Shade in Olgiata, near Rome. He also represented Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) in 1970 in this competition.

img_4188Rodney Foster (Photo: R&A / 1979 Walker Cup Programme)

12. He played in five consecutive Walker Cup‘s for GB&I, 1965, ’67, ’69, ’71 and ’73. However, as was the case with most golfers of this era, his playing record was disappointing – he played 17 games winning 2, losing 13 and halving 2.

13. He also represented Great Britain in the St. Andrews Trophy match against Europe in 1964, ’66, ’68 and ’70. GB won all four of these matches.

14. He was non-playing captain of England in 1976, ’77 and ’78, England winning the Home Internationals’ Raymond Trophy in his last two years.  He went on to become captain of the GB&I Walker Cup team in 1979 (Muirfield) and 1981 (Cypress Point). Both matches were lost, the former 8.5-15.5 and the latter 15.5-9.  In the middle year, 1980, he captained the St. Andrews Trophy Team which won at Royal St. George’s 19.5-10.5.

15. Rodney also played for Great Britain in 1967 (Canada) and 1971 (New Zealand) in the now defunct Commonwealth Tournament, competing against teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

16. He set many course records during his career including those at The Bradford (66), Leeds (64), Prestbury (66) and Troon 70.

17. He has honorary membership of many Yorkshire clubs in recognition of his service to the county and international playing achievements. These include The Bradford, East Bierley, Halifax, Ilkley, Keighley, Shipley, West Bowling and Woodsome Hall.

18. Finally, as one would expect he is also a member of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.