Men’s Home Internationals – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

13th September 2019.

England won the 2019 Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch G.C. in Ireland, winning all three of their games.

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The England Team (Photo: Nigel Edwards)

On the final day England beat Scotland 9-6 to complete the clean sweep.

The two teams shared the morning Foursomes 2.5-2.5. Matt CLARK and Ryan LUMSDEN birdied the last three holes of their game against Ben JONES and Jake BURNAGE to overturn a 2 Down with three holes to play deficit.

Whilst for much of the afternoon the match and the title were up in the air ultimately England’s greater strength in depth came through. Singles wins for Tom SLOMAN, Ben JONES and then later on Matty LAMB, Ben SCHMIDT and Bailey GILL pushed the English team over the line.

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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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Ireland convincingly beat Wales 12-3 on the final day to secure 3rd place in the competition. The Irish gained the initiative in the morning by coming out on the right side of three tight foursomes games to win the series 4-1. It was a different story in the afternoon with Ireland trouncing their opponents 8-2.

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Here are the individual performance records for the Irish and Welsh players. 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 Home Internationals Results
(Click on the match score for the individual game scores)

The 2020 Home Internationals will be played at Royal Dornoch in Scotland where England will be aiming to complete a hat trick of wins.

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12th September 2019

England beat Ireland 10 – 5 on Day 2.

England built a firm foundation by winning four of the five foursomes games and then took the Singles 6 – 4 in the afternoon.

Ben SCHMIDT (W3 H1), Harry HALL (W2 H1) and Callum FARR (W1 H2) remain unbeaten for the defending champions.

Conor PURCELL and Caolan RAFFERTY got back to winning ways for the Irish in the Singles defeating their Walker Cup teammates Tom SLOMAN and Tom PLUMB.

Unfortunately James SUGRUE had to withdraw from the competition today with the back injury which was troubling him last week at the Walker Cup.

England v. Ireland Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Scotland beat Wales 9.5 – 5.5 in today’s second match.

The Scots won the Foursomes 3 – 2 before also taking the Singles 6.5 – 3.5.

Stuart EASTON (W2 H2) and Darren HOWIE (W2 H1) are unbeaten for Scotland.

In a tight match Ben CHAMBERLAIN and Lewys SANGES took the notable scalps of Ryan LUMSDEN and Connor MCKINNEY in the Singles for Wales.

Looking at the Day 2 table England only require a draw against Scotland tomorrow to retain the Raymond Trophy given their match points advantage over their final opponents.

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11th September 2019

England beat Wales 12 – 3 in the opening match of the competition.

The Welsh halved the Foursomes 2.5 – 2.5 but were over powered 9.5 – 0.5 in the afternoon Singles by what is an exceptionally strong English team.

Thomas PLUMB, Ben JONES and Jake BURNAGE all won twice for England.

Gaelen TREW secured Wales’ half point in the Singles in the final game against Callum FARR.

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England v. Wales Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Scotland surprised host’s Ireland with an 8.5 – 6.5 victory in the other Day 1 match.

The Foursomes were again shared before Scotland took the Singles 6 – 4. The damage was done at the top of the order with Ryan LUMSDEN, James WILSON and Kieran CANTLEY taking crucial points off Ireland’s big hitters Conor PURCELL, Caolan RAFFERTY and Ronan MULLARNEY respectively.

James WILSON and Connor MCKINNEY won both of their two matches today for Scotland.

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Ireland v. Scotland Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

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3rd September 2019

The 2019 Men’s Home Internationals will be contested at Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare, Ireland between 11th and 13th September.

ENGLAND are the defending champions and they and IRELAND, who will have home advantage, are expected to once again battle it out for the Raymond Trophy.

Lahinch Golf Club (Photo: Jamie Gibson / lahinchgolf.com)

The Competition

11-man teams from ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND and WALES play against each other annually, taking it in turns to the host the event.

The competition was first played in 1932.

Over three days all of the countries play each other once. There are five morning foursomes and ten afternoon singles match play games in each series.

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.

2019 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) below (as at 3rd September): –

ENGLAND – Team SPWAR = 717
Jack BURNAGE (29)
Callum FARR (137)
Bailey GILL (59)
Harry HALL (28)
Ben HUTCHINSON (53)
Ben JONES (19)
Matty LAMB (89)
Josh MCMAHON (115)
Tom PLUMB (43)
Ben SCHMIDT (119)
Tom SLOMAN (26)

Callum Farr, Harry Hall, Ben Hutchinson, Matty Lamb, Josh McMahon and Ben Schmidt are all new additions to the England team in 2019.

Conor GOUGH, England’s Walker Cup player, is competing in the Duke of York Young Champions event at Royal Portrush.

IRELAND – Team SPWAR = 3,411
Rob BRAZILL (251)
Colm CAMPBELL (406)
Keith EGAN (828)
Sean FLANAGAN (831)
Matthew MCCLEAN (503)
Tom MCKIBBIN (286)
Tiarnán MCLARNON (139)
Ronan MULLARNEY (58)
Conor PURCELL (21)
Caolan RAFFERTY (16)
James SUGRUE (72)

Rob Brazill, Colm Campbell, Keith Egan, Sean Flanagan, Matthew McClean and Tom McKibbin have been added to the Irish line up this year.

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

SCOTLAND – Team SPWAR = 3,852
George BURNS (809)
Kieran CANTLEY (271)
Matthew CLARK (209)
Stuart EASTON (253)
Darren HOWIE (422)
Lewis IRVINE (711)
Ryan LUMSDEN (167)
Eric MCINTOSH (561)
Euan MCINTOSH (189)
Connor MCKINNEY (129)
James WILSON (131)

George Burns, Darren Howie, Lewis Irvine, Connor Mckinney and Eric Mcintosh debut for Scotland.

WALES – Team SPWAR = 9,070
George BRYANT (1,369)
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (298)
Jacob DAVIES (415)
Rhys EVANS (1,302)
Tom FROOM (756)
Jake HAPGOOD (255)
Kieron HARMAN (1,369)
Connor JONES (1,586)
Matt ROBERTS (945)
Lewys SANGES (498)
Gaelan TREW (277)

Wales have the highest number of returning players with just George Bryant, Rhys Evans, Tom Froom and Connor Jones added to their line up this year.

23 of the 44 players competed last year at Conwy, compared with just 14 returnees in 2018. England have 6 new players in their 2019 line up, Ireland 6, Scotland 5 and Wales 4.

Venue – Lahinch Golf Club

Lahinch Golf Club was established in April 1892. Old Tom Morris (1894), Dr. Alister MacKenzie (1926) and Dr. Martin Hawtree (1999) have all had a hand in the development of the championship Old Course over the years.

The course measures 6,950 yards and has a traditional par 72 make-up. The front nine measures 3,391 yards with the back coming in at 3,559 yards.

Lahinch is the permanent home of the South of Ireland Amateur Championship and in addition to the Home Internationals has already hosted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this year.

It will host the Arnold Palmer Cup match between International and USA mixed teams in July 2020.

Lahinch Golf Club Logo (Photos: Lahinch Golf Club)

2019 Weather Forecast (as at 5.00pm Tuesday 10th September)
Wed. 11th Sept. – Sunny / Temp. Min 14º / Max 16º / Wind 15mph SW
Thurs. 12th Sept. – AM Light Rain / Temp. Min 6º / Max 17º / Wind 15mph NW
Fri 13th Sept. – Sunny / Temp. Min 5º / Max 17º / Wind 10mph W

2018 Men’s Home Internationals

ENGLAND won the 2018 Men’s Home Internationals played at Conwy G.C., Wales in September 2018. The win broke a run of four consecutive Championships for the Irish team dating back to 2014.

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England celebrate with the Raymond Trophy (Photo: Wales Golf)

Here is a summary of the final results from the 2018 competition: –

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Final Results – 2018 Men’s Home Internationals (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox)

David HAGUE (ENG) and Tiarnán MCLARNON (IRE) both finished the tournament with 100% records, winning all 6 of their games. Tom PLUMB (ENG) was also unbeaten, winning four of his games and halving two of his foursomes.

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Euan WALKER was outstanding for Scotland winning five of his six games.

Likewise Paddy MULLINS did well for Wales, particularly securing two singles wins.

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Click here to view the full – 2018 Men’s 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 © 2014-2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Amateur Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 18th August 2019

Final

Andy OGLETREE won the Final of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship beating John AUGENSTEIN 2&1 in the 36 hole match.

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Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)

Augenstein got off to a great start on Course No. 4, which was used for the first 18 holes. Three consecutive birdies helped him build a 4Up lead after just 5 holes.

Ogletree came back at the Vanderbilt player gradually on the back nine and a birdie on the final hole saw him go into lunch just 2Down.

The Mississipian was relentless as play moved on to Course No. 2 in the afternoon. He finally got the match back to All Square on the 31st and immediately moved to 1Up with a birdie on the par 5 14th. After two shared holes with pars a four putt from off the green on the par 3 17th by Augenstein handed the trophy to Ogletree.

Ogletree made just three bogeys in the 37 holes he played in the Final and can now look forward to a place in the U.S. Walker Cup team and playing exemptions into the U.S. Masters (where he will be paired for the first two rounds with Tiger Woods), the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

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Saturday 17th August 2019

Semi-Finals

Andy OGLETREE beat Cohen TROLIO 3&1 in a fairly poor quality first Semi-Final where pars on Pinehurst’s tough Course No. 2 were frequently good enough to win holes.

The second match was of a much higher standard with John AUGENSTEIN coming through against William HOLCOMB who battled to the end but was outclassed by his more experienced opponent.

Ogletree and Augenstein both gain exemptions into The Masters Tournament and U.S. Open Championship in 2020 following their wins today.

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

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Friday 16th August 2019

Quarter Finals

Debutant Cohen TROLIO, who celebrated his 17th birthday last week continues to surprise at the U.S. Amateur Championship. Having drawn level on the 13th with an eagle Austin SQUIRES gifted Game 1 to his opponent by following it with three consecutive bogeys on 14, 15 and 16.

Trolio will now play 21 year old Andy OGLETREE, a fellow Mississippian and a rising senior at Georgia Tech, who overcame Spencer RALSTON in their Quarter Final. Ralston was made to pay for five bogeys on the day by the much steadier Ogletree.

John AUGENSTEIN (21) beat Palmer JACKSON 3&2 and is now the player to beat for me. A strong start saw the man from Kentucky build a 3Up lead after seven holes and he saw the game out comfortably thereafter.

In the biggest surprise of the day William HOLCOMB V, who is 21 and married, easily saw off Australia’s Karl VILIPS, who turned 18 today. Vilips who had looked so good all week simply didn’t turn up. He shot 6-over for the front nine gifting Holcomb a 4Up lead and whilst he played much better on the back side he was unable to make any inroads.

The Quarter finals were delayed for just over an hour when heavy rain caused a suspension in play at 4.32pm.

Here are the current SPWAR’s of the Semi-Finalists – Augenstein #21, #Ogletree #120, Holcomb #426 and Trolio #1,706.

On paper, from a selfish GB&I Walker Cup perspective, I would be pleased to see anyone but Augenstein win the Championship over the weekend. The champion earns an automatic place on the U.S.A. team.

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the live – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

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Thursday 15th August 2019

Match Play Round of 16

An inspired Cohen TROLIO (USA) beat Alex FITZPATRICK 5&4 in their Round of 16 match. Five birdies on his front nine handed Trolio a 4Up lead and after a wobble at the start of the back nine he eventually saw out the game with another birdie on the 14th.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Cohen Trolio (57) 🇦🇺 v. Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

The son of a golf professional Trolio, from West Point in Mississippi is 17 and has verbally committed to Louisiana State University for the 2021/22 academic year. Whilst relatively inexperienced and unknown he is certainly enjoying his time in North Carolina this week. Before beating Fitzpatrick this afternoon he had taken out 8th seed Trevor WERBYLO (USA) by 2 Holes in the Round of 64 and 40th seed Blake WAGONER (USA) 2&1 earlier today.

Trolio will play Austin SQUIRES (USA) in the Quarter Finals. Squires has gone from strength to strength since claiming the last Match Play spot in Wednesday morning’s play-off, today beating both Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) and highly fancied Amercian John PAK.

The COODY brothers both lost in the Round of 16. Parker to Spencer RALSTON 6&5 and Pierceson more surprisingly to William HOLCOMB V 2&1.

Ricky CASTILO and Isaiah SALINDA, alongside Pierceson Coody, strong U.S.A. Walker Cup candidates, also lost. Castillo to John AUGENSTEIN 1Up and Salinda to Palmer JACKSON.

Australia’s Karl VILIPS continues to impress. His 3&1 win over Brad DALKE 3&1 won’t have been lost on the rest of the field.

Match Play Round of 32

Alex FITZPATRICK, now GB&I’s sole representative in the U.S. Amateur Championship, teed off against Jack TRENT (AUS) at 8.30am (1.30pm BST) in the Round of 32.

In a tight match where both players played very good golf on the tough Course No. 2 the Yorkshireman finally came through with a birdie on the 21st hole to progress.

The highlight of the game would appear to be hole 5 where Fitzpatrick is shown as having recorded an albatross 2 on the par 5 to win the hole.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Jack TRENT (56) 🇦🇺 v. Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Akshay BHATIA (USA), one of the three players pre-selected for the U.S.A. Walker Cup team fell at this hurdle. He lost 4&2 to John AUGENSTEIN (USA) who has every chance of joining him at Hoylake in three weeks time.

The two COODY brothers, Parker and Pierceson, both win and with the two of them on opposite sides of the draw an all Coody Final remains a possibility.

In the final game Steven FISK (USA) lost to Karl VILIPS (AUS) 3&1 in one of the standout matches of the Round of 32.

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

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Wednesday 14th August 2019

Match Play Round of 64

The Match Play Round of 64 games started at 10.00am (3.00pm BST) today on Course No. 2. The games involving the three leading seeds and the three play-off qualifiers were scheduled at the back of the field to ensure there was no delay in play.

It proved to be a generally disappointing day for the five GB&I players who qualified.

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Alex FITZPATRICK (24) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. James SUGRUE (41) 🇮🇪

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Alex FITZPATRICK comfortably beat an out of sorts James SUGRUE in their match. James was +7 and Alex +2 for the 14 holes played. Alex will now play Australia’s JACK TRENT in the Round of 32 tomorrow morning. Jack beat Ryan GERARD (USA) 4&3 in his Round of 64 match.

LOWER HALF (seedings in brackets)

Tom SLOMAN (3) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. Van HOLMGREN (62) 🇺🇸

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Tom SLOMAN will be disappointed to have lost to the relatively inexperienced Minnesotan Van HOLMGREN, particularly having got off to a good start. Tom was +5 for the 16 holes played whilst Holmgren recovered well after a nervous opening to be +1.

Thomas FORSTER (19) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 v. William HOLCOMB V (46) 🇺🇸

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Thomas FORSTER led 4Up with 8 holes to play but bogeyed 7 of them to let Texan William HOLCOMB back into the match. Holcomb found his feet after 7 holes playing the last 11 in 1-under which is always going to get the job done on Course No. 2.

Brad DALKE (27) 🇺🇸 v. Sandy SCOTT (38) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

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U.S. Amateur Championship Match Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Sandy SCOTT played the best golf of all of the GB&I players who contested the Round of 64 but ended up losing to 2016 runner up Brad DALKE. Scott was Even par on his round when play ended on the 17th. The joys of match play golf.

Medalist Brandon WU (USA) lost by 2 holes to the final qualifier Austin SQUIRES (USA). Other notables exits included Austin ECKROAT (USA), Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), Chandler PHILLIPS (USA), Matthias SCHMID (GER) and Cameron YOUNG (USA).

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Draws and Scores

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Tuesday 13th August and Wednesday 14th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

Course No. 2 – 7,414 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 77.14
Course No. 4 – 7,246 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 73.58

Round 2 of the Stroke Play Qualifying competition was not completed on Day 2 with play suspended due to darkness at 8.00pm. This was after a late afternoon weather delay of 1 hour and 21 minutes which ultimately prevented 50 players from finishing their rounds.

The Stroke Play Qualifying resumed on Wednesday morning at 7.20am and was quickly completed.

Just 11 players from the starting field of 312 finished the 36 holes at 140 (Ev) or better highlighting the severity of the U.S.G.A.’s Pinehurst test.

Brandon WU (22) followed up an opening round of 65 (-5) with a 72 (+2) on Course No. 2 to secure medalist honours on 137 (-3).

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Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

Six players finished at -2 including Ricky CASTILLO (18), Cooper DOSSEY (21), Jacob SOLOMON (22), Shiryu (Leo) OYO (20) of Japan, Tom SLOMAN (23) of England and Philip BARBAREE (22).

Tom SLOMAN enjoyed 5 birdies on No. 4 on his way to a 68 (-2) and an impressive tied 2nd place finish. He will enter Match Play as the 3rd seed. Tom put his success down to his caddie. “I’ve got a local caddie. He obviously knows where to hit it and I’ve just been trying to do it.” Personally, I think his good play is more likely due to his newly acquired Pinehurst straw boater hat !

Tom Sloman (Photo: USGA / Michael Reaves)

Thomas FORSTER, from Oundle in England, shot a 69 (-1) on No. 4 to secure his passage to the Match Play stage. Forster, who is a rising senior at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee, has used his knowledge of U.S. courses to good affect so far.

Alex FITZPATRICK battled hard on Course No. 2 to secure his place in Match Play with a 74 (+4) on Tuesday. He finished alongside Forster in tied 19th.

Our later starters in Round 2 were impacted by the deteriorating conditions and subsequent weather delay.

Sandy SCOTT shot a back nine 40 on Course No. 2 on his way to a 76 (+6) but thankfully had enough in the bank after his strong opening round to make it through in tied 28th.

The fates of James SUGRUE and Ben JONES were not decided until Wednesday morning.

Sugrue finished Day 2 on +4, which at that point was right on the top 64 and ties cut mark, with two holes to play and having double bogeyed the 15th on Course No. 2. as light faded. Undaunted he came out the following morning and proceeded to birdie 17 and par 18 to comfortably qualify on +3, also in tied 28th.

Jones looked like an easy qualifier all day but sadly unwound coming down the stretch. He sandwiched two birdies on 10 and 18 with 7 dropped shots to shoot 40 and put himself under pressure with a +5 total. Thankfully, it quickly became clear on Wednesday morning that he was likely to get a reprieve with the top 64 and ties cut quickly drifting out to his score.

The 27 players, including Ben JONES, who finished tied 62nd were therefore thrown the lifeline of a 27-for-3 sudden death play-off. It started on Course No. 4 once all of the scores had been collated. Van HOLMGREEN (USA) and Chad SEWELL (USA) birdied the par 4 1st to quickly earn the 62nd and 63rd Match Play seeds. With 7 players eliminated the remaining 18, still including Jones, progressed to the long par 4 2nd. This hole saw a further 5 players eliminated. Jones and 12 others moved onto the par 5 17th. Unfortunately Ben was not able to match the three birdies that were recorded so had to drop out at this point. Austen SQUIRES (USA) went on to par the 18th and secure the final Match Play spot. The play-off took around 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

The other GB&I players all missed the cut. Ben SCHMIDT (+6) T89, Euan WALKER (+6) T89, Conor GOUGH (+8) T120, Conor PURCELL (+16) T234 and Caolan RAFFERTY (+16) T234 all missed the cut.

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U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Other notable players to miss out on the Match Play were Quade CUMMINS (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Cole HAMMER (USA – World No. 1), Daniel HILLIER (NZL), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Kevin O’CONNELL (USA – 2018 Mid-Amateur champion), Trent PHILLIPS (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Jovan REBULA (RSA – 2018 Amateur champion), Alex SMALLEY (USA – Walker Cup hopeful), Chun An YU (CTP).

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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Monday 12th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

Course No. 2 – 7,414 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 77.05
Course No. 4 – 7,246 yards, par 70 – Rd 1 Stroke Average 73.14

U.S.A’s Brandon WU (22), a recent graduate of Stanford University, leads the Stroke Play Qualifying competition having shot a new course record 65 (-5) on Course No. 4.

This was a little surprising as his preparation for the U.S. Amateur could hardly have been worse. He and Stewart HAGESTAD (USA) represented the U.S.A. at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, last week which finished on Sunday. As such they only arrived at Pinehurst this morning with the U.S.G.A. arranging late tee times for both of them. “I tried to manage my sleep as well as I could,” said Wu, “I slept great on the two flights up here and then took a quick nap before I teed off for about two hours. I actually felt pretty good.”

HAGESTAD, already selected for the U.S.A. Walker cup team, didn’t fair quite so well in Round 1. His 73 (+3) on Course No. 2 leaves him tied 102nd and with work to do on the easier Course No. 4 tomorrow.

The two other U.S.A. Walker Cup W.A.G.R. picks Akshay BHATIA and Cole HAMMER are also far from certain to make match play. Bhatia 72 +2 (No.2) is tied 73rd whilst Hammer 75 +5 (No. 2) is tied 152nd after 18 holes.

Wu holds a one-stroke lead over Trevor WERBYLO (21), a junior at the University of Arizona, and Palmer JACKSON (18), an incoming freshman at the University of Notre Dame, who both shot 66’s (-4) on Course No. 4.

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) is leading the group of eleven Great British & Irish (GB&I) players who are competing. His 67 (-3) on Course No. 4 where he teed off on the 9th hole, included six birdies. Talking after his round Scott said, “I felt like I got off to a little bit of a shaky start. I made a bogey on the second and I had some nerves going through the first few holes, but I managed to bounce back with a birdie (on the par 3 11th). I had three birdies on 15, 16 and 17 which gave me a bit of momentum. I managed to just trust a lot of the numbers that me and my caddie were going with and hit a lot of good approaches.” He finished a much steadier front nine with two birdies on the par 4 7th and 8th.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), who reached the Quarter Finals last year, shot a 68 (-2) on Course No. 4 to lie 8th after Round 1. Five birdies and an eagle on the par 4 16th hole were offset by two double bogeys and a bogey. “I played nicely, I had a few bumps in the road, but overall I sort of stuck it out and was patient and waited for openings to appear and luckily took them and yeah, finished off nicely. So pretty pleased.”

Ben JONES (ENG) recorded four birdies on his way to a 69 (-1). He is tied 19th.

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) arguably had the best round by a GB&I player. His even par 70 on Course No. 2 was one of only seven rounds that achieved par or better on this challenging layout. He is tied 28th.

Amateur Champion, James SUGRUE (IRL) is also nicely placed after a 70 (Ev) on Course No. 4 and sits alongside Sloman in tied 28th.

The table below shows how all of the 11 Great British & Irish GB&I players performed, along with their tee times and courses for Round 2. Many found Course No. 2 a tough nut to crack and will be looking to bounce back on Course no. 4 today.

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U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the full – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Scores

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Friday 9th August 2019 

The 119th U.S. Amateur Championship starts on Monday 12th August at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina.

The Championship is being played on Pinehurst’s No. 2 and No. 4 courses.

Administered by the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

Competition Format

On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th August all of the competitiors will play 36-holes of stroke play, one round on Course No. 2 and the other on Course No. 4.

The Top 64 qualifiers will then progress to the match play stage of the competition. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

18 hole match play rounds will then be played on Course No. 2 between Wednesday 14th and Saturday 17th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 18th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

The first round of the Final will be played over Course No. 4 with the second round utilising Course No. 2. This will be the first time that two different courses have been used for the 36 hole match.

2019 Field

There were 7,191 entries this year, each player paying the $175 entry fee.

96 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the U.S.A., with one each in Canada and Mexico too. The introduction of a European Sectional Qualifier, like the U.S.G.A. stage at Walton Heath for the U.S. Open Championship, remains long overdue in my opinion.

A final field of 312 players from 27 different countries (2018: 24) will contest this year’s Championship. 246 players are from U.S.A. with 66 coming from the Rest of the World.

Jay BROOKS (USA) is the youngest competitor at 14 and Sean KNAPP (USA) the oldest at 57. The average age of the field is 22.1 years.

2015 U.S.A. Walker Cup player Mike McCOY (56), the second oldest player, will be making his 20th appearance in the Championship. His son Nathaniel McCOY (29), also a reinstated amateur, is also playing this week.

There are 11 GB&I players competing. There were 7 in 2018, 9 in 2017 and 11 in 2016 at Pebble Beach, Riviera and Oakland Hills respectively.

Here is a list of the GB&I players with their Exemption Category or Sectional Qualifying event noted: –

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) – 2018 U.S. Amateur Quarter Finalist

Tom FORSTER (ENG) – Qualifier (1st Alternate) from Little Rock, Arkansas (22/07/19)

Conor GOUGH (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Ben JONES (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Connor PURCELL (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

James SUGRUE (IRE) – Winner of the Amateur Championship 2019

Euan WALKER (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR as at 26/6/19

Earlier this week Joe PAGDIN (ENG) qualified for a place in the field based on his WAGR of 30th as at 7/8/19. However, having already committed to this week’s Boys’ Home Internationals and next week’s Boys’ Amateur Championship he understandably declined the opportunity.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) narrowly missed out on a place. He rose to 46th in the WAGR this week but was the sixth new player, not already exempt, to move into the top 50. Only the top 5 are eligible with declined places, such as Pagdin’s, falling into the hands of Qualifying Alternates. Garrett Rank (CAN), the surprise winner of last week’s Western Amateur, moved up to 45th in the WAGR this week to secure the last of these final exemptions. The Points Average difference between him and Jake being just 0.5857.

2019 Stroke Play Qualifying

The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition was made on Wednesday 7th August and can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur Tee Times

Play will start at 7.15am (BST 12.15pm). As North Carolina is 5 hours behind us the action will take place place during our afternoons and evenings.

Host Courses

The Pinehurst Resort – Courses No. 2 and No. 4 (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Pinehurst Resort Course No. 2
7,519 yards (maximum), Par 70
Opened in 1907.
Designed by Donald Ross (1907). Renovated by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw (2010).

No. 2 is the primary Championship course of the nine that make up the Pinehurst Resort. Donald Ross worked on his masterpiece until he died in 1948. It is known for its crowned, undulating greens and has been returned to its original state by Coore and Crenshaw with huge areas of turf removed and a more natural look re-introduced. There are 111 bunkers and no rough on the course now.

This will be the third time that No. 2 has been the lead course for the U.S. Amateur. The previous stagings were in 1962 and 2008 with Labron Harris Jr. and Danny Lee the champions.

Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 2, Hole 17  (Photo: Pinehurst.com)

Pinehurst Resort Course No. 4
7,196 yards (maximum), Par 70.
Opened in 1919.
Designed by Gil Hanse (2018); Designed originally by Donald Ross (1919)

Pinehurst Resort, Course No. 4, Hole 6 (Photo: Pinehurst.com)

Weather Forecast (Updated – at 8.00am 12th August 2019)

Hot and sunny weather is forecast with the possibility of some delays in play due to late afternoon thundery showers.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 12th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (SE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 33°C.
Tues 13th August – Sunny. Wind 10mph (SW). Temp. Min 23°C. / Max. 35°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 14th August – Sunny, PM Showers. Wind 9mph (SW). Temp. Min 21°C. / Max. 35°C.
Thurs 15th August – Sunny, PM Showers. Wind 7mph (W). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 31°
Fri 16th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 32°C.
Sat 17th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (SE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 30°C.
Sun 18th August – Sunny. Wind 8mph (NE). Temp. Min 20°C. / Max. 32°C.

UK Television Coverage

Sky Sports Golf channel will be taking the Fox U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

Prizes

The 2019 U.S. Amateur champion will receive the following: –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the following year;

b) An exemption to play in the 2020 U.S. Open to be staged at Winged Foot Golf Club;

and assuming they remain amateur,

c) An exemption to play in the 2020 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club;

d) An invitation to play in the 2020 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2020 – 2029 U.S. Amateur Championships;

and unofficially

f) Various invitations to play in PGA Tour and European Tour events.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two losing semi-finalists.

A Bronze Medal is also awarded to the stroke play medalist(s).

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the U.S.G.A. on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925.

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Bobby Jones Receives the Original U.S. Amateur Trophy in 1924

A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since.

Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the U.S.G.A. Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

2018 U.S. Amateur Championship

Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) beat Devon BLING (USA) 6&5 in the 36-hole Final of the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Hovland became just the second Continental European to win the U.S. Amateur. Edoardo Molinari (ITA) won in 2005 at Merion Golf Club beating Dillon Dougherty (USA) 4&3 in the Final.

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Viktor Hovland (Photo: USGA)

From a GB&I perspective Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) did superbly well eventually losing in the Quarter Finals to Cole HAMMER (USA) 3&2. Harry HALL (ENG) and Eoin LEONARD (IRE) also qualified for the match play stage but both lost in the Rd of 64, to Stewart HEGASTAD (USA) by 1 Hole and Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) by 6&4 respectively.

In the preceding stroke play competition, played at Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill, only Eoin LEONARD (IRE) on 145 +2 [74 SH / 71PB], Harry HALL (ENG) 146 +3 [72 PB / 74 SH] and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) 146 +3 [72 PB / 74 SH] qualified from the seven strong Great British and Irish contingent. Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 148 +5 [77 SH / 71 PB], Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) 148 +5 [78 SH / 70 PB], Robin DAWSON (IRE) 150 +7 [76 SH / 74 PB] and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 150 +7 [78 SH / 72PB] all missed the Top 64 match play cut.

Click here to view the full – 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

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U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 119th playing.

It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former U.S. winners include Walter Travis (1900-01-03), Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), W. Lawson Little (1934-35) Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997), Ryan Moore (2004), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Bryson DeChambeau (2015).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013).

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (2018) are the only player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

10-16 August 2020 – Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Oregon

9-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,

15-21 August 2022 – Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey

14-20 August 2023 – Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado

12-18 August 2024 – Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota

11-17 August 2025 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California

10-16 August 2026 – Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania

ME.

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

The European Amateur Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

29th June 2019

Matthias SCHMID (GER) finished the job off at the European Amateur today. A final round 70 took him to a 273 (-15) total and a comfortable 3 shot victory. Well done Matthias !

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Matthias Schmid (Photo: European Golf Association)

Euan WALKER (SCO), confirming his status as Great Britain & Ireland’s No. 1 player, shot a 66 (-6) in the final round to move up to solo 2nd on -12.

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Euan Walker’s Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Ben JONES (ENG) 68 and Joe LONG (ENG) 74 finished the Championship on -9 tied for 3rd place. Jones collected the bronze medal based on last 36 holes count back.

It was also another good week for Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) 69 who finished tied 6th on -8.

Lytham Trophy winner Josh MCMAHON (ENG) -5 finished tied 13th which may help push him in to the next Walker Cup squad.

Harry HALL (ENG) will be disappointed with his tied 16th finish on -4. After a superb front nine of 31 (-5) he looked like pushing Schmid all the way home but sadly a returning 43 (+7) destroyed much of his excellent work over the preceding three and half days.

The ever consistent David LANGLEY (ENG) was the seventh and last GB&I player to finish in the top 20. A late double bogey on the 16th took the edge off his closing 70 today.

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European Amateur Championship Leading Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Victor VEYRET (FRA) recorded the lowest round of the day with a 65 (-7) which included an outward 29 (-7) with 7 successive birdies on holes 2 – 8.

Click here to view the full – 2019 European Amateur Championship Results

ME.

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28th June 2019

Matthias SCHMID (GER) jumped to the head of affairs after posting a 63 (-9) on Day 3. His round was the best of the week so far and three shots better than the two opening round 66’s. The Louisville University player has been showing up regularly on leaderboards in recent weeks so to see him leading now on 203 (-13) is no surprise.

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Matthias Schmid’s Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Joe LONG (ENG) is tied 2nd on 205 (-11). His 68 today included an impressive front nine of 31.

Euan WALKER (SCO) moved through the field with his own 68 in Round 3 and is now tied 5th on -6. Harry HALL (ENG) struggled a bit but contained the damage to a 74 and sits alongside the Scotsman well placed to attack tomorrow.

Ben JONES (ENG), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) and Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) are all placed on -5 in tied 8th.

Other GB&I players to make the cut included Josh MCMAHON (ENG) -4 tied 13th, Jamie STEWART (SCO) -2 tied 18th, Sandy SCOTT (SCO), Jake BOLTON (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) all -1 tied 21st, Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) +1, Tom PLUMB (ENG) both +1 tied 36th, Tom SLOMAN (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE) all +2 tied 49th and finally Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) and Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) both +3 tied 55th.

Daniel HILLIER (NZL) showed his class bouncing back with a 68 to make the cut after yesterday’s freak 85.

61 players, 19 of whom are from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I), made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at +3.

The average score in Round 3 was 73.67 (+1.67), better than yesterday but still higher than on Day 1.

ME.

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27th June 2019

Harry HALL (ENG) now leads the European Amateur after second 68 moved him onto -8 for the Championship.

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Harry Hall’s Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Jerry JI (NED), Joe LONG (ENG) and overnight leader Blake WINDRED (AUS) are all tied 2nd on -7.

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Joe Long’s Scorecard (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE), now tied 19 on -2, and David LANGLEY (ENG), now tied 32 on -1, matched Hall’s best of the day 68.

Other GB&I players going well include Jamie STEWART (SCO) -5 tied 5th, Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) -3 tied 10th, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Connor MCKINNEY (SCO), Euan WALKER (SCO), Ben JONES (ENG) and Josh MCMAHON (ENG) all -2 tied 19th.

Rasmus NEERGAARD-PETERSEN (DEN) produced the shot of the day. A hole-in-one on the 185 yard par 3 2nd hole.

The other Round 1 leader Daniel HILLIER (NZL) shot an 85 (+13) today, the worse score of Day 2 by 4-shots and 19 shots higher than his first effort. He is now up against it to make the 54 hole cut.

The average score in Round 2 was 74.30 (+2.30), 1.33 shots higher than in Round 1 due to stronger winds. The players found the back nine much harder on Day 2 with the average score rising to 37.43 from 36.30.

ME.

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26th June 2019

Blake WINDRED (AUS) and Daniel HILLIER (NZL) lead the European Amateur Championship in Austria after first round 66’s (-6). Windred had 6 unblemished birdies whilst Hillier had seven offset by a single bogey on the 206 yard par 3 14th.

Joe LONG (ENG), Mark POWER (IRE), Conor MCKINNEY (SCO) and Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) are tied 3rd alongside Germany’s Matthias SCHMID (GER) on 67 (-5).

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GB&I Round 1 Leading Scorecards (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Harry HALL (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), Joshua MCMAHON (ENG) and Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) are in a group of 12 players on -4 in tied 8th. Hall matched Long’s sparkling 30 on the back nine to more than recover from a slow start.

The average score in Round 1 was 72.97 (+0.97); 36.67 (+0.67) on the front nine and 36.30 (+0.30) on the back. There were 10 eagles on Day 1 including a 2 from Tim WIDING (SWE) on the 338 yard par 4 13th. Harry Hall and Takumi KANAYA (JAP) both had 8 birdies in their opening rounds.

ME.

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25th June 2019

The 32nd European Amateur Championship starts tomorrow at Diamond Country Club in Austria.

This prestigious Championship is run by the European Golf Association (EGA), assisted each year by the host nation; this year, the Austrian Golf Federation.

Diamond C.C. Aerial View (Photo: golfbreaks.com)

Competition Format

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

A cut will take place after 54 holes with the 60 lowest scores and ties qualifying for the final round on Saturday 29th June.

A 3 hole aggregate score play off will decide the winner in the event of a tie. If this doesn’t separate the players then a sudden death play-off will commence over the same holes.

Entries

144 players will contest the Championship this week.

All of the players must have handicaps of 0.0 or better with an entry ballot applied based on the World Amateur Golf Rankings (1st-1,600th only).

Exemptions were also available to the defending champion, a single nomination from each EGA member nation, four nominated players from the host nation, Austria, competitors in the most recent Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy matches, the 2019 South American Amateur champion and the 2019 European Mid-Amateur champion.

There are 39 GB&I players competing in Austria. Amateur champion James SUGRUE (IRE) was originally entered in the Golf Union of Ireland squad but withdrew late last week. Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) had also entered but again was a late withdrawal.

In total there are 27 of the current Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking’s Top 100 in the field. These are Euan WALKER (SCO) #7, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) #12, Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) #13, Conor PURCELL (IRE) #14, Daniel HILLIER (NZE) #15, Blake WINDRED (AUS) #18, Takumi KANAYA (JAP) #22, Harry HALL (ENG) #25, Ben JONES (ENG) #28, Jake BURNAGE (SCO) #29, Tom PLUMB (ENG) #30, TOM SLOMAN (ENG) #31, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #36, David LANGLEY (ENG) #39, Matthias SCHMID (GER) #42, Keita NAKAJIMA (JAP) #43, Bailey GILL (ENG) #45, Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) #48, Koen KOUWENAAR (NED) #49, Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) #55, Luca FILIPPI (RSA) #67, Matty LAMB (ENG) #69, Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) #80, Adrien PENDARIES (ENG) #85, Jack THOMPSON (AUS) #86, Michael HIRMER (GER) #89 and Nathan BARBIERI (AUS) #99

Diamond Country Club

The 2019 Championship is being staged at the Diamond Country Club in Atzenbrugg, near Vienna in Austria.

Diamond C.C. Boathouse (Photo: golf.at)

The course was designed by Jeremy Pern and plays to 6,766m and a par of 72 off the back tees. It is an American-style parkland course set around a large central lake.

It hosted a European Tour event between 2010 and 2018. In 2018 it held the Shock Clock Masters, where every shot was timed for the first time. Tom MCKIBBIN (IRE) played as an amateur invite in this tournament and returns this week.

It has staged a number of EGA competitions most recently the 2017 Men’s European Team Championship which was won by Spain.

Weather Forecast

A hot and sunny week is forecast for Austria and conditions should be very good over the four competition days.

Weds 26th June – Sunny. Wind 7 mph (SE). Min. 23°C / Max. 36°C.
Thurs 27th June – Sunny. Wind 10 mph (NW). Min. 18°C / Max. 32°C.
Fri 28th June – Sunny. Wind 9 mph (NW). Min. 16°C / Max. 28°C.
Sat 29th June – Sunny. Wind 6 mph (NW). Max. 17°C / Min 29°C.

Prizes

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

More importantly the champion receives an exemption into this year’s Open Championship being played at Royal Portrush G.C. in Northern Ireland in July.

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

2018 European Amateur Championship

Nicolai HOJGAARD (DEN) won the 2018 European Amateur Championship at Royal Hague in The Netherlands.

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Robin Dawson (Silver), Nicolai Hojgaard (Gold) and Jerry Ji (Bronze)
(Photo: European Golf Association / Ronald Speijer)

Robin DAWSON (IRE) and Jerry JI (NED) pipped Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) and Mitch WAITE (ENG) to the silver and bronze medals respectively, based on a last 36 and then 18 hole count back, after all four finished on 282 (-6).

Click here to view the – 2018 European Amateur Championship Results

Click here to view the – 2017 European Amateur Championship Results

Click here to view the – 2016 European Amateur Championship Results

History

The competition was first contested in 1986 at Eindhoven G.C. Initially it was held biennially before moving to an annual fixture from 1990.

2019 will be the second occasion Austria have hosted the Championship. To date it has been held in 18 different countries in total.

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

In addition to Gallacher and McIlroy other GB&I past winners include Jim PAYNE (1991), Paddy GRIBBEN (1998), Stephen BROWNE (2001), Brian MCELHINNEY (2003), Matthew RICHARDSON (2004), Rhys PUGH (2012) and Ashley CHESTERS (2013 and 2014) and Alfie PLANT (2017).

Ashley Chesters is the only two-time winner and the only player to have retained the trophy.

Click here to view the – European Amateur Championship Past Winners and Venues

ME.

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

The Amateur Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

22nd June 2019

Final

James SUGRUE (IRE) won the 124th Amateur Championship at Portmarnock G.C. on a near perfect day for golf.

He becomes the 8th Irish winner of the title following in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen, Max McCready, Joe Carr, Garth McGimpsey, Michael Hoey, Brian McElhinney and most recently Alan Dunbar in 2012.

He beat Euan WALKER (SCO) by 2 Holes in a pulsating Final which went the full 36 holes.

The Mallow G.C. (County Cork) member can now look forward to playing in The Open, The Masters and U.S. Open over the next 12 months. He is additionally assured of a place in the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team which will face USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. in September.

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James Sugrue and Euan Walker (Photo: Pat Cashman)

Sugrue (22) made a dream start this morning. A combination of aggressive play off the tee, good chipping and confident holing out saw him build a 5Up lead after the first nine holes.

Walker started to settle on the back nine helped in no small part by holing a 50ft putt for a winning birdie on the 10th. When he then birdied the par 5 13th to reduce the deficit to 3 Down the match was certainly back on.

After both players bogeyed the long par 3 15th Sugrue moved to 4Up after Walker bogeyed the 17th. However, the extended advantage was short lived; an untidy 18th, with Sugrue taking four to get down from the green side after a duffed chip, ended with Walker taking the home hole with a bogey to go into lunch just 3 Down.

It was the Irishman who struck first in the afternoon with a birdie on the 2nd but this was quickly given back when he bogeyed the next.

With both players now comfortable with their surroundings and the large crowd the play became much improved. Walker produced four birdies to Sugrue’s two over the next ten holes to claw his way back into the match. When Sugrue bogeyed the 16th Walker had completed the comeback – we were All Square with three holes to play.

However, the exertions of regaining parity having been 5 Down after nine holes perhaps took too much out of the Scotsman. He will no doubt be disappointed with his play over the remaining two holes.

Firstly, a poor pitch on 17 opened the door to Sugrue who bravely two-putted from the front of the green to go 1Up.

Fortune then favoured Sugrue as his drive on the 18th bounced out of a fairway bunker, finishing on the mown top, whilst Walker found heavy rough well right. Both players did well to get just over the 18th green with their seconds before Walker’s first putt failed to climb a steep bank and he ultimately ended up conceding the hole to Sugrue’s tap in bogey. The home crowd which had swelled to around 3,000 cheered loudly as Sugrue and Ireland had won by 2 Holes.

Speaking to The R&A afterwards Sugrue said “It is hard to believe really. It hasn’t sunk in yet. Just to think about this win is unbelievable. Everything that comes with the win and all the crowds that were out there, it’s incredible. I’m just kind of happy I did it for the crowds, really, as I didn’t want all those people who came out to support me to see me end up losing. It’s more relief than anything else really to get over the line, especially after being three up going into the afternoon session. I’m just delighted to do it.”

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Sugrue v. Walker Final Scores (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to follow the – 2019 Amateur Championship Final Live Scores

The 125th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale and West Lancashire G.C.’s in England from 15th – 20th June 2020.

ME.

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21st June 2019

Semi-Finals

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Semi-Final Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

David MICHELUZZI (AUS) played James SUGRUE (IRE) in the first Semi-Final in a game that understandably attracted a large following at Portmarnock. After an up and down front nine the Irishman took control around the turn and saw out the match relatively comfortably.

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Micheluzzi v. Sugrue Semi-Final Scores (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

In the second Semi-Final Euan WALKER (SCO) got the better of Ben JONES (ENG). A birdie on the par 5 6th had given the Scotsman the early lead but this was soon overturned when he bogeyed both 8 and 9. Despite starting the back nine 1 Down Walker’s steadier play over the closing holes enabled him to eventually gain the upper hand.

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Walker v. Jones Semi-Final Scores (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Semi-Final Results

Quarter Finals

The first Quarter Final between David MICHELUZZI (AUS) and Cameron SISK (USA) proved to be a tight affair with neither player ever leading by more than one hole. In the end a birdie on the 18th proved decisive for the Australian who broke the deadlock to win by 1 Hole.

James SUGRUE (IRE) started nervously in his game against Koen KOUWENAAR (NED) and was 2 Down after four holes. He recovered to All Square after the Dutchman found trouble on both the 8th and 9th, two longish par fours. Birdies were exchanged on 13 and 14 with first Sugrue taking the lead before Kouwenaar immediately bounced back. A bogey on 16 by the Mallow man appeared to have opened the door to his opponent but after the 17th was halved in par he holed a 15 footer on the final green for a birdie to save the day. When Kouwenaar then bogeyed the 1st Sugrue made no mistake with his safe par delighting the home crowd.

After a tight front nine where Sandy SCOTT (SCO) and Euan WALKER (SCO) matched each other shot for shot the third Quarter Final came alive at the start of the back nine. Scott birdied the 11th and after Walker bogeyed the next the Nairn player found himself 2Up with 6 holes to play. Walker birdied the par 5 13th to reduce the deficit and then quickly moved ahead after his compatriot handed him the 14th and 16th with bogeys. Like Sugrue in the game in front Scott refused to be beaten, his birdie on 18th forcing extra holes. The recovery was to be short-lived however as Walker composed himself to take the match on the 19th.

Ben JONES (ENG) beat Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) 3&1 in the final match this morning. After the front nine finished All-Square Jones played the difficult back nine in 3-under par to win well. Birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th holes were the difference on the day.

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Quarter Final Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to follow the – 2019 Amateur Championship Quarter Final Results

ME.

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20th June 2019

Round 4

James SUGRUE (IRE) and Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) both kept Irish hopes for a home winner alive with Last 16 wins this afternoon.

Mullarney beat Matty LAMB (ENG) by 1 Hole in Round 4. Having led 5Up after 11 holes Mullarney required a par on the last to finally take care of Lamb who fought right to the end.

Euan WALKER (SCO) and Sandy SCOTT (SCO) delivered the all-Scottish quarter final by both winning close matches.

Ben JONES (ENG) will play Mullarney tomorrow, both players will be playing their fifth game having come through the Preliminary Round.

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Round 4 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Round 3

Day 2 of Match Play started badly for GB&I with medalist Tom PLUMB (ENG), Tom SLOMAN (ENG), Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) all falling to disappointing losses.

James SUGRUE (IRE) got things back on track. He was 3 Down with four holes to play before securing a memorable 1 Hole victory over Christoffer PÅLSSON (SWE). Sugrue gained revenge for a Round 3 loss to the Swede at Royal Aberdeen last year.

James ROBINSON‘s (ENG) run came to an end but not without some fight. He eventually lost on the 21st hole to Sergio PARRIEGO CORNEJO (ESP).

Euan WALKER (SCO) and Sandy SCOTT (SCO) both secured wins to keep alive hopes of an all-Scottish Quarter Final match.

The final four matches of the morning series all went the way of the home player with Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE), Matty LAMB (ENG), Bailey GILL (ENG) and Ben JONES (ENG) continuing their good form.

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Round 3 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

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19th June 2019

Round 2

Despite my complaints below about the unfairness of his draw Medalist Tom PLUMB (ENG) took little time in despatching 41st seed Alejandro DEL RAY GONZALEZ (ESP) 7&5 this morning.

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) was made to work very hard for his 1 hole win over Joe PAGDIN (ENG). Sloman trailed from the start and was 3 down with 6 holes to play but managed to overturn the deficit over Portmarnock’s challenging finishing holes.

It was obvious from the Stroke Play Qualifying that no match would be over until it was over given par was often going to be good enough to take many holes coming home.

Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) handed a heavy 7&6 defeat to an out of sorts David LANGLEY (ENG), damaging the latter’s hopes of forcing his way into the GB&I Walker Cup team.

Germany’s Matthias SCHMID, back from Louisville University for the summer, provided the biggest win of Round 2, taking out Sam DONE (ENG) 9&8.

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) produced the best comeback of the day. He was 5 Down with 6 to play but somehow managed to beat last week’s St. Andrews Links Trophy winner Jake BURNAGE (ENG) on the 20th hole.

Harry HALL (ENG) was also undone by the finishing holes; 1 Up with 3 to play fellow Walker Cup panelist James SUGRUE (IRE) came through to win by 2 holes.

The final match in the Upper Half of the draw saw surprise package James ROBINSON (ENG) comfortably dispose of Therion NEL (RSA) 4&3. Nel is currently ranked 88th in the SPWAR whilst Robinson sits 1,319th.

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Round 2 Upper Half Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

In the Lower Half of the Match Play draw Euan WALKER (SCO) showed all of his fighting qualities to come from behind to beat Eanna GRIFFIN (IRE) by 2 holes.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) will be disappointed not to have got past Finland’s far less experienced Jonatan JOLKKONEN.

In two tight matches Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) overcame Midlands rival Sam BROADHURST (ENG) on the first extra hole and Sandy SCOTT (SCO) beat Markus BRAADLIE (NOR) by 1 hole, the Norwegian perhaps tiring a little having also played in the Preliminary this morning.

Matty LAMB (ENG) secured his second victory of the day and in taking out Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) 3&1 ended South African interest in the Championship.

Bailey GILL (ENG) also enjoyed a good 4 &2 win over University of South Florida’s Albin BERGSTRÖM (SWE). Bergström had enjoyed an award winning Freshman season in the U.S. so will have arrived in Ireland with a lot of confidence.

Ben JONES (ENG) would have to be my ‘Player of the Day’ though, firstly beating Jayden SCHAPER (RSA / SPWAR #10) in 22 holes this morning before going all the way to the 18th green with John AXELSEN (DEN / SPWAR #151) this afternoon. I am sure his fighting spirit will not have been lost on the watching Walker Cup selectors.

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Round 2 Lower Half Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Round 2 Draw / Scores

Preliminary Round 1

The Match Play Stage of The Amateur Championship, which is being played exclusively at Portmarnock G.C., started at 7.00am this morning.

76 players made the top 64 and ties cut.

As a result the 24 lowest scoring qualifiers had to play a Preliminary Round 1 to produce the final 12 players required to make up the 64 needed for Round 2.

Sam BROADHURST (ENG), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE), Matty LAMB (ENG) and Ben JONES (ENG) all came through the Preliminary Round to take their place in Round 2.

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Preliminary Round 1 Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Preliminary Round 1 Draw / Scores

ME.

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Every year I complain about the use by The R&A of a Preliminary Round rather than using a play-off or card count back to produce the 64 players needed for the first round proper.

This year because of the Preliminary Round medalist Tom PLUMB (ENG), who would be playing the 64th qualifier in a clean draw, has been paired with the 41st qualifier Alejandro DEL REY GONZALEZ (ESP).

Take a look at the table below which outlines how the 76 Stroke Play seeds fed through into this year’s Amateur Championship draw and how this compares with a Standard 64 player Match Play draw.

You will see most of the leading qualifiers end up playing against higher rated players than they deserve to. The only beneficiaries being those players who receive the winners of the Preliminary Round in the Lower Half of the draw.

Upper Half Draw Lower Half Draw
Amateur ‘19 Standard Amateur ‘19 Standard
1 vs 41 64 22 vs 47 43
32 vs 50 33 11 vs 36 54
16 vs 38 49 27 vs 37 38
17 vs 35 48 6 vs 34 59
8 vs 44 57 19 vs 57 vs 53 46
25 vs 39 40 14 vs 70 vs 54 51
9 vs 51 56 30 vs 75 vs 73 35
24 vs 48 41 3 vs 64 vs 60 62
4 vs 42 61 23 vs 61 vs 62 42
29 vs 49 36 10 vs 69 vs 56 55
13 vs 43 52 26 vs 76 vs 58 39
20 vs 40 45 7 vs 66 vs 55 58
5 vs 46 60 18 vs 59 vs 67 47
28 vs 33 37 15 vs 72 vs 71 50
12 vs 52 53 31 vs 65 vs 63 34
21 vs 45 44 2 vs 68 vs 74 63

ME.

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18th June 2019

Tom PLUMB (ENG) secured Stroke Play medalist honours at The Amateur today after posting an aggregate 36 hole score of 139 (-4). Plumb shot a second round 71 (-1) at Portmarnock.

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Tom Plumb (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

In the last group out John AXELSEN (DEN) recorded a 69 at Portmarnock to pull level with Plumb on 139 (-4). However, he lost out on count back; his 72 (I 37 / P 35) was four shots more than Plumb’s (I 33 / P 35) on the aggregate of the two back nines.  

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) was 3rd after a 69 at The Island left him on 140 (-3).

William BUHL (NOR) and Harry HALL (ENG) were tied 4th on 141 (-2).

Conditions were favourable today with sunny intervals and a modest breeze.

The best rounds of the day at Portmarnock belonged to Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) and Mason ANDERSEN (USA) who all posted 68’s (-4) to qualify.

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Caolan Rafferty’s and Euan McIntosh’s Scorecards (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

The average Round 2 score at Portmarnock was 75.33 (+3.33).

Blake WINDRED (AUS) recorded the lowest round at The Island on Day 2 with a bogey free 67 (-4). Unfortunately his 82 at Portmarnock yesterday was never going to be recoverable.

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Blake Windred’s Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

The average Round 2 score at The Island was 74.16 (+3.16).

24 of the 26 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup squad players were competing. 12 of the group made it through to the Match Play Stage. These were Thomas PLUMB (ENG) -4, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 2nd, Harry HALL (ENG) -2, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) -1, Joe PAGDIN (ENG) Ev, Bailey GILL (ENG) +1, Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) +1, Tom SLOMAN (ENG) +2, Euan WALKER (SCO) +2, Jake BURNAGE (ENG) +2, James SUGRUE (IRE) +3 and Ben JONES (ENG) +4.

14 other GB&I players qualified, namely, David LANGLEY (ENG) -1, Jake BOLTON (ENG) -1, Eanna GRIFFIN (IRE) Ev, Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) +1, James ROBINSON (ENG) +1, Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) +1, Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) +1, Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) +2, Sam DONE (ENG) +2, Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) +2, Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) +4, Jack AINSCOUGH (ENG) +4, Sam BROADHURST (ENG) +4 and Matty LAMB (ENG) +4.

As predicted the top 64 and ties Match Play cut fell at 147 (+4) with a total of 76 players progressing. The 24 lowest scoring qualifiers will therefore be involved in a Preliminary Round to establish the final 64 players.

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Results

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Match Play here are the Stroke Play Qualifying hole-by-hole statistics for Portmarnock G.C. which may assist with strategy: –

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17th June 2019

Geoff LENEHAN (IRE) and Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) played the first tee shots of the 124th Amateur Championship at 7.00am this morning at Portmarnock G.C. and The Island G.C. respectively.

On a breezy but dry day on the east coast of Ireland the scoring was relatively high. Just 17 players in the field of 288 recorded an under par score.

Anton ALBERS (GER) was the low man at Portmarnock in Round 1 of the Stroke Play Qualifying with a 4-under par 68.

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Anton Albers’ Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

There was a total of six under par rounds at Portmarnock. Sandy SCOTT (SCO), who recorded a 71 (-1), provided one of them.

The average score at Portmarnock in Round 1 was 77.47 (+5.47).

Ayoub SSOUADI (MOR) and Harry HALL (ENG) both recorded 67’s (-4) at The Island to share the Day 1 lead with the German.

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Ayoub Ssouadi’s and Harry Hall’s Round 1 Scorecards (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

A total of 11 under par rounds were posted at The Island. Tom PLUMB (ENG) 68 (-3), James ROBINSON (ENG) and Tom SLOMAN (ENG) both 69 (-2), Curtis KNIPES (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) all 70 (-1) led the way for Great Britain & Ireland.

The average score at The Island in Round 1 was 75.14 (+4.14).

The projected top 64 and ties match play cut mark looks like being 147 (+4). This is based on the fact that after Round 1 27 players are tied 52nd on +2. 31 of these 78 players played at Parmarnock and 47 at The Island.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) I +3, Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) P +3, Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) P +3, David HAGUE (ENG) P +3, Euan WALKER (SCO) P +3, Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) P +4, Tom MCKIBBIN (IRE) I +4, Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) P +4, Akshay BHATIA (USA) P +4, Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) P +4, James SUGRUE (IRE) P +5, Conor PURCELL (IRE) I +5, Ben JONES (ENG) P +5, Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) I +5, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) P +5, Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) P +6, Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) I +6, Josh MCMAHON (ENG) P +6, Jamie STEWART (SCO) P +7, John MURPHY (IRE) I +7, Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) I +8 and Blake WINDRED (AUS) P +10 are therefore amongst the more notable players who can afford few mistakes tomorrow.

ME.

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14th June 2019

The 124th Amateur Championship starts on Monday 17th June at Portmarnock Golf Club and The Island Golf Club. Both courses are located a short distance to the north east of Dublin city centre in Ireland.

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.

Format

288 players will play two stroke play qualifying rounds, one round on each course, on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th June.

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Tee Times

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores, and ties for 64th place, will advance to the match play stage and be seeded in line with their qualifying finishes. A preliminary round will be used if more than 64 players qualify. [I would prefer there to be a play-off or an aggregate count back so there can be a clean draw made.]

The match play stage will then be played solely at Portmarnock between Wednesday 19th and Saturday 22nd June.

Matches will be played over 18 holes except for Saturday’s Final which will be contested over 36 holes. Extra sudden death holes will be used in all games if necessary.

An Aerial View Of Portmarnock Golf Club (Photo: Portmarnock G.C.)

Players

The 288 players are drawn firstly from a number of exempt categories covering various Championship performances and representative team selections. Thereafter places are allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at 15th May 2019. The lowest non-exempt WAGR player in the field is currently Islam HABEBUL (ENG) at #939.

Looking at the current SPWAR, my preferred amateur ranking, there are 19 of the top 50 players competing. These are Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) 9th, Conor PURCELL (IRE) 10th, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) 12th, Blake WINDRED (AUS) 14th, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) 19th, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 22nd, Euan WALKER (SCO) 25th, Harry HALL (ENG) 27th, Jake BURNAGE (ENG) 29th, Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 32nd, Alejandro DEL REY GONZALEZ (ESP) 33rd, Keita NAKAJIMA (JAP) 34th, Tom PLUMB (ENG) 38th, David LANGLEY (ENG) 39th, Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) 41st, Ben JONES (ENG) 43rd, Bailey GILL (ENG) 45th, Matthias SCHMID (GER) 47th and Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) 49th.

Players from 34 different countries will contest the 2019 Amateur Championship.

England have 54 players in the field, Ireland 22, Scotland 18 and Wales 5.

Outside of the home nations the best represented countries are USA (27), France (24), Germany (16), Spain (16), Sweden (12), Italy (11), Australia (11), Denmark (9), South Africa (8) and Finland (8).

Whilst there are a large number of Americans playing it again remains the case that the vast majority of their leading players continue to skip the Championship. It is disappointing but perhaps understandable that most of them prefer to play in the Northeast Amateur Invitational at Wannamoisett C.C. in Providence, Rhode island – an event that starts on Wednesday 19th June. Without their participation The Amateur will always lack a little something despite the Major exemptions on offer. The best American this year is Cole MADEY (SPWAR 54) albeit Akshay BHATIA (SPWAR 101) is a notable junior.

Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), Daniel HILLIER (NZL) and Chun An “Kevin” YU (TPE) all qualified for the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and were sadly all late withdrawals.

12 Reserves were called upon since the original draw was made on 20th May.

Portmarnock G.C.’s Promotional Video For The Amateur Championship (3:13)

Host Courses

This is only the second time that The Amateur has been staged outside Great Britain. Portmarnock hosted the Championship 70 years ago in 1949 with Max McCready overcoming Willie Turnesa 2&1 in the Final.

Situated on its own peninsula Portmarnock G.C., which was opened in 1894, will play to 7,422 yards and a par of 72. Whilst the front nine is longer by 150 yards it is the strong finishing holes for which the links are renowned.

The Island G.C. was founded in 1890 and as its name suggests was originally only accessible by ferry boat. It plays to 7,019 yards from the back tees and has a par of 71.

13th hole, The Island Golf Club (Photo: The Island G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Monday 16th June)

The weather forecast looks resonable, with little rain and a fairly consistent south westerly wind expected: –

Mon 17th June – Sunny. Wind 17 mph SW. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 10°C.
Tue 18th June – Sunny. Wind 10 mph SW. Temp. Max. 18°C / Min 9°C.
Wed 19th June – Showers PM. Wind 12 mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Thu 20th June – Cloudy. Wind 13 mph W. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 7°C.
Fri 21st June – Sunny. Wind 12 mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Sat 22nd June – Cloudy. Wind 13 mph SE. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 11°C.

Click here to view the – Latest BBC Weather Forecast For Dublin

Players will tee off between 7.00am and 3.52pm on Monday and Tuesday so changes in the weather and wind speed may have a role to play in the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Prizes / Exemptions

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

The winner of the match play stage will become the Champion Amateur Golfer for the year and is awarded 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 will be exempt into next month’s 148th Open Championship being staged at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also exempted into the 2020 U.S. Open Championship which is being held at Winged Foot G.C. in Mamaroneck, New York.

Finally, there is an informal rule that any GB&I player who wins the Amateur Championship in a Walker Cup year will be automatically selected for our team.

2018 Amateur Championship

Jovan REBULA (RSA) won the 2018 Amateur Championship beating Robin DAWSON (IRE) 3&2 in the 36 hole Final played at Royal Aberdeen G.C.

He was the first South African winner since Bobby Cole in 1966.

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

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Fellow South African Wilco NIENABER was medalist in the preceeding Stroke Play Qualifying. He shot a 66 at Murcar Links and a 67 at Royal Aberdeen G.C. for a 133 (-8) total.

The top 64 and ties match play cut fell at +6 with 77 players progressing. There were 30 GB&I qualifiers amongst this number.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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. 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 huge rewards on offer.

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The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: Dominik Holyer) 

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 Jovan Rebula’s win in 2018 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

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 (IRE) – Royal Troon G.C.
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside G.C.
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield
2009  Matteo Manassero (ITA) – Formby G.C.
2008  Reinier Sexton (NED) – Trump Tunberry

A great achievement and honour for all of the players listed above. However, it’s also another reminder of how incredibly tough golf is and that wins in the biggest events are no guarantee of success in the professional game.

Click here to view a complete list of – Amateur Championship winners

ME.

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

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

9th June 2019

Round 4

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) from Saunton G.C. is the 2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy champion.

In a superb performance he recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a remarkable comeback, having started the day 6 shots back of the leader Matty LAMB (ENG).

Talking to the St. Andrews Links Trust organisers afterwards Jake said “I love this pace that’s for sure. It’s basically my home because I’m a links golfer. It’s nothing new for myself. I forgot about last year (when he finished tied 3rd) and concentrated on doing the job this year. It’s amazing to turnaround and you suddenly see a lot of people behind you. It’s pretty cool. I love a crowd. I’m not scared of one, I’d much prefer to have one than not have one that’s my take on it.”

Burnage rose 96 places to 30th in the updated Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and as an existing initial squad member now looks a certainty for the GB&I Walker Cup team.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

Matty LAMB (ENG) finished 2nd and whilst he will be frustrated there was much to admire in his play this week.

Today’s 36 holes were never going to be a straight forward coronation for Lamb and with conditions much better than originally expected there was always hope for the chasing pack.

Burnage made inroads this morning reducing Lamb’s lead to 3 shots at lunch.

Both players completed the front nine this afternoon in level par, Lamb appearing to be the steadier. However, Burnage then seized the initiative on the 10th with a birdie, reducing Lamb’s lead to 2 shots. The 618 yard par 5 14th proved to be the 2019 Championship’s pivotal hole. Burnage eagled from 10 feet whilst Lamb bogeyed. The three shot swing suddenly put Burnage in the driving seat, now with a 1 shot advantage with four holes to play. A little surprisingly, given the holes in question and the circumstances, both players pared in and the man from Devon was crowned the winner.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) shot 66 this afternoon to secure 3rd place on 271 (-17). James WILSON (SCO) 67 and Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) 68 also finished strongly to tied for 4th on 275 (-13).

Bailey GILL (ENG) recorded the best Round 4 score. His 65 lifted him up to tied 12th.

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The Final Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Click here to view the complete – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

The good news for Matty LAMB (ENG) was he shot a solid 69 (-3) in his morning around on the Old Course. Five birdies were offset by a double bogey 6 on the 16th. As a result he continues to lead the St. Andrews Links Trophy on -20 after 54 holes.

The bad news was his nearest challenger Jake BURNAGE (ENG) showed no signs of going away.  The Devonian shot the best round of the remaining 40 players; a 66 (-6) including 7 birdies to move onto -17, now only 3 shots back with 18 holes to play.

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Jake Burnage’s Rd 3 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The final pair are playing some great golf including these two par rescues on the Road Hole – well worth a watch.

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Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 67, Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) 68 and Josh GREER (AUS) 68 all moved up the leaderboard after good rounds.

ME.

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8th June 2019

Matty LAMB (ENG) followed yesterday’s 64 (-8) on the Jubilee Course with an even more impressive 63 (-9) on the Old Course today. After a bogey on the relatively straight forward first he produced 10 birdies in his remaining 17 holes, finishing with a back nine of 29.

I assume his 127 (-17) 36 hole total must be a Championship record.

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Matty Lamb’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Conditions were a little better than anticipated with fewer showers and only modest winds all day. There were numerous low scores once again as the links was left relatively defenceless.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) recorded the second best round of the day with a 64 (-8) to move into 2nd on -11.

Jake Burnage’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

One shot further back are Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) and Thomas PLUMB (ENG). Rafferty shot a 65 to move himself nicely into the mix whilst Yeovil’s Plumb produced a steadier 70. Both players will start the final day on -10.

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Caolan Rafferty’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The top 40 and ties cut fell at 140 (-4) with 40 players progressing to the final day.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 66 (-6) on Day 2 to make the cut and deliver the best recovery after his opening 74 (+2).

Colm CAMPBELL (IRE) 68, Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) 68, Casey JARVIS (RSA) 68, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 66, Joe PAGDIN (ENG) 68, Matt ROBERTS (WAL) 66 and Jamie STEWART (SCO) 68 were amongst those to enjoy good scores today. All went down fighting on the Old Course but had simply left themselves too much to do to make the cut.

Nicklas REGNER (AUT) missed the cut on 142 (-2) although he had the consolation of leaving St Andrews having holed his approach on the Old Course’s 18th hole for eagle.

ME.

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7th June 2019

Round 1 was played on the Jubilee Course. With sunny intervals and just a modest breeze blowing the 6,847 yard course was there for the taking. Many of the competitors were happy to oblige particularly on the front nine which played down wind.

Matty LAMB (ENG) and Tom PLUMB (ENG) both recorded 8 under par 64’s on Day 1 to set a sparkling pace.

Matty Lamb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Tom Plumb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Alexander FRANCES (DEN), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG) and Rowan LESTER (IRE) are all tied 2nd, two shots back of the two leaders, after 66’s (-6).

There were two notable shots in Round 1. Ronan MULLARNEY‘s (IRE) round of 68 (-4) included a hole-in-one on the 192 yard 9th hole while Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) finished his round of 69 in style by holing his approach to the 468 yard 18th.

76 of the 144 players shot an under par score on Day 1 with a further 17 on level par.

36 players scored 69 (-3) or better.

Given the very low scoring today, the forecast of rain for much of tomorrow and the top 40 and ties cut after Round 2 on the Old Course many players will have already played themselves out of the Championship. Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) +3, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) +3, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) +5, Jamie STEWART (SCO) +5 and Matt SAULEZ (RSA) +8 are amongst the more notable names who would appear to have no way back.

ME.

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6th June 2019

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 7th June in the 31st St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This event has become one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf helped by its venue and timing.

St Andrews Clubhouse

R&A Clubhouse, St. Andrews (Photo: R&A Website)

Competition Format

The Links Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play competition played over the St. Andrews Links in early June.

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 2nd May 2019 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course – the New Course was used last year – with Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut on Saturday the leading players will play a final 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,742 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,238 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 266 yards longer but to the same par.

Jubilee Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole aggregate score.

In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18 on the Old Course.

Ties for other places will be decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The Field

Click here to view the – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 7th in its 2018 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. It was 8th in the same ranking in 2017.

22 of the 26 members of the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup Squad will be competing at St. Andrews this week.

From the Squad leading contenders Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), Bailey GILL (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO) will all be looking to cement their places on the GB&I team in front of the watching selectors.

The defending champion John MURPHY (IRE) also returns to Scotland to try and become just the third player to win the Championship twice.

Of the four missing Walker Cup players Sandy SCOTT (SCO) is playing for the International Team at the Arnold Palmer Cup at The Alotian Club in Arkansas whilst Archie DAVIES (WAL), Conor GOUGH (ENG) and Mark POWER (IRE) are all busy with exams.

The attraction of St. Andrews always ensures a strong overseas entry. Blake COLLYER (AUS), Jordan DUMINY (RSA), Adrien DUMONT DE CHASSART (BEL), Mateo FERNANDEZ DE OLIVEIRA (ARG), Falko HANISCH (GER),

Michael HIRMER (GER), Alex HIETALA (FIN), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Jerry JI (NED), Jeong Weon KO (FRA), Charles LARCELET (FRA), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Therion NEL (RSA), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Yurev PREMLALL (RSA), Matt SAULEZ (RSA), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Sam SIMPSON (RSA) and Martin VORSTER (RSA) are amongst the most highly rated international entries.

Weather Forecast (as at Tuesday 4th June)

The current weather forecast appears mixed with rain over the weekend and swirling winds throughout.

Friday 8th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph SE. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 10°C.
Saturday 9th June – Heavy Rain. Wind 11 mph NE. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 9°C.
Sunday 10th June – Light Rain. Wind 16 mph SW. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 8°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in proceedings.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the Championship.

2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy

John MURPHY (IRE) beat Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) on the first play-off hole to win the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

John became the third Irish golfer to win the title following in the footsteps of Alan Dunbar (2009) and Conor O’Rourke (2016).

Both players completed the 72 holes in 278 shots (-9). De Bruyn fired a final round 68 on the Old Course to force the play-off.

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John Murphy (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Kenny Smith Photography)

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Haydn BARRON (AUS) finished tied 3rd on 279 (-8), just one shot back.

The two other leading GB&I players were Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) who tied 5th on 280 (-7) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) whose 281 (-6) total was good enough for tied 8th.

Click here to view the – 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Past Winners

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) won in 2017. Click here to view the – 2017 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) won in 2016. Click here to view the – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Click here to view a full list of the – St Andrews Links Trophy Past Winners

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay HOWARD (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

The most famous winner is Justin ROSE who won in 1997.

Interestingly given the normally cosmopolitan nature of the fields the Links Trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart BOVIER (1990), Daan HUIZING from The Netherlands (2012) and Federico ZUCCHETTI from Italy (2015).

Huizing, who had won the 2012 Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2019, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

The Lytham Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

5th May 2019 – Round 4 

Josh MCMAHON (ENG) won the 55th Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes G.C.

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Josh McMahon (Photo: Golf Bible)

McMahon (22) produced a solid final round under pressure to secure the biggest title of his amateur career.

Josh McMahon’s Round 4 Scorecard (Photo: Lytham Trophy Scoring)

His round started with 13 straight pars, combining some birdie near misses with notable saves, none more so than on the 8th where he got up and down from well over the green. After having lost his way a little on 14 and 15, where he dropped three shots, he showed some composure to bounce back with a birdie on the short par 4 16th. With a par tucked away on the challenging dog leg 17th he then finished with a clutch 40 foot putt on the final green to record a 71 (+1). His total score of 288 (+8) setting a strong target for the eight remaining players following him in. A target that ultimately proved good enough.

Josh McMahon’s 72nd Hole Birdie That Secured The 2019 Lytham Trophy Title

With his win Josh rose 478 places in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking to 124th and has now given himself a great opportunity to make the Great Britain & Ireland 2019 Walker Cup team. The match at Royal Liverpool G.C coincidentally taking place just a few miles from his home.

Prior to McMahon’s grandstand finish Gerold FOLK (AUT) had posted a 289 (+9) total. The Austrian following his morning 72 with a best of the day 69, which also included a closing birdie. As the winds picked up there appeared a chance that his score may hold up despite 30 players teeing off after him on Day 3.

As the afternoon round proceeded it also looked for a long time as if Harry GODDARD (ENG) would be the winner. He showed no ill effects from his disappointing morning round with early birdies on the 1st, 5th and 7th. Having hit his approach close on the par 3 9th he had the chance to turn in 30 but his birdie putt just slipped by. It looked like a turning point after he went on to hit poor tee shots on the challenging 10th, 11th and 12th to quickly drop 4 shots. However, to his credit he steadied the ship parring the next five holes including a great save in the circumstances on the 17th where he holed a lengthy putt. Having then hit a long straight drive into the wind down 18 he looked to be in a strong position. Unfortunately he pushed his approach and despite playing an excellent bunker shot failed to convert a short three foot par putt effectively handing the title to the man from Wallasey G.C.

Harry Goddard Playing the 18th Hole in Round 4 (Photos: Ben Haworth)

Jack BROOKS (ENG), who incidentally bogeyed the tough 17th, finished 3rd behind Folk on countback (+9).

View the complete 2019 Results here – 2019 Lytham Trophy Results

5th May 2019 – Round 3

Play started at 7.00am on the final morning with the two leading players teeing off at 10.12am.

A round of 70, including 5 birdies, gave Bailey GILL (ENG) the 54 hole lead on 215 (+5).

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Bailey Gill’s Round 4 Scorecard (Photo: Lytham Trophy Scoring)

The three leading players overnight, Harry GODDARD (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) and Callum FARR (ENG) all struggled in the morning round shooting 78, 77 and 83 respectively.

Ludvig ABERG (SWE) 71, Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) 72, Stephen ROGER (SCO) 73, Marc HAMMER (GER) 74 and Laurie OWEN (ENG) 75 found themselves well placed for an afternoon assault on 216 (+6), just one shot back of our new leader.

Goddard and Hutchinson were now on on 217 (+7) after Round 3 and were joined by Jack BROOKS (ENG), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) and Joshua MCMAHON (ENG).

View the Draw for Rounds 3 and 4 here – 2019 Lytham Trophy Day 3 Tee Times

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4th May 2019 – Round 2 Report

Scores were generally higher on Saturday with stronger winds seen throughout the day and seemingly tougher hole locations on many of the greens. The CSS of 77 was one shot higher than Friday’s first round.

Harry GODDARD (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) and Ludvig ABERG (SWE) all posted impressive 71’s (+1) given the testing conditions. There were eleven 72’s.

Goddard holds the lead on 139 (-1) and he is now the only player under par at the Lytham Trophy. His lead could have been higher too given his relatively disappointing back nine.

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Harry Goddard’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: Lytham Trophy Scoring)

It was another steady day on the links for Yorkshire’s Ben Hutchinson. He has recorded just 5 bogeys in his first 36 holes and now finds himself tied 2nd with the Round 1 leader Callum FARR (ENG) who posted a 75 today.

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Ben Hutchinson’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: Lytham Trophy Scoring)

The top 40 and ties cut fell at +9 with 49 players progressing to the final day.

ME.

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3rd May 2019 – Round 1 Report

Callum FARR (ENG) shot a 65 (-5) to take the Round 1 lead in the Lytham Trophy. After a bogey on the 206 yard par 3 opener the Northampton man reeled off 6 birdies over his remaining holes.

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Callum Farr’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: Lytham Trophy Scoring)

In an unfortunate aside one of his playing partners for the opening rounds was Taylor STOTE (ENG) who shot the highest score on Day 1; his 87 a full 22 shots more than our leader.

Harry GODDARD (ENG), out in the fourth group teeing off at 8.00am, set a strong early marker for the remainder of the field. His 68 (-2) held the clubhouse lead for over three hours.

Laurie OWEN (ENG), Stephen ROGER (SCO), Jim JOHNSTON (SCO), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) and James BILLINGHAM (ENG) were the only other players to shoot under par on the demanding Royal Lytham & St. Annes course. All five posted 69’s (-1).

Owen, Roger, Hutchinson and Billingham all teed off after 3.00pm and as is often the case by the sea an early or late tee time proved to be beneficial with the wind abating. Owen, who seems to have come from nowhere to record a number of high finishes this year, recorded 6 birdies in a rollercoaster of a round. The other four players were a little steadier, recording three or fours birdies each in their opening rounds.

The two highly ranked South Africans Jayden SCHAPER and Wilco NIENABER got off to good starts. Neither did any damage with opening rounds of 72 and 70.

Nienaber was joined by seven other players on 70 (Ev) and there were a further ten players who shot 71 (+1). Beyond Farr and Goddard the leaderboard is tightly packed.

Finally while perusing the hole-by-hole scores I saw Matthew CLARK‘s (SCO) card. His 80 (+10) contained a 12 on the par 3 9th. How one hole can ruin an otherwise reasonable day.

The Round 1 CSS was 76 highlighting just how good Callum Farr’s effort was.

ME.

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2nd May 2019 (Updated)

The 2019 Lytham Trophy will be played on 3rd – 5th May at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England.

The first major event in the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf season is always eagerly anticipated.

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

In 2018 the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed it 18th in it’s list of worldwide amateur competitions based on field strength. It normally ranks 3rd in GB&I behind the Amateur Championship and the St. Andrews Links Trophy. Coming early in the season it is held back by missing out on European players studying at U.S. colleges.

Format and Tee Times

144 scratch golfers from 15 diffrent countries will tee off in what will be the 55th playing of this prestigious competition.

The Lytham Trophy is a 72-hole stroke play event. 18 holes are played on the first two days before a top 40 and ties cut is made. 36-holes are then played on the final day by the leading competitors.

In the event of a tie for the lowest score there will be a 3-hole stroke play play-off on holes 1, 2 and 18. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes.

View the Draw for Rounds 1 and 2 here – 2019 Lytham Trophy Tee Times

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

Players

Most of GB&I’s leading amateur golfers will be competing.

Here are ten players to watch out for (SPWAR rankings as at 2nd May): –

Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) – SPWAR 11th
Not quite in the same league as Nienaber but Schaper will arrive in confident mood after winning the 2019 South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) – SPWAR 15th
A prolific winner in recent years the 2019 South African Amateur champion must start as one of the favourites.

Conor PURCELL (IRE) – SPWAR 22nd
The 2019 Australian Amateur champion is playing consistently well and with plenty of links experience can be expected to feature highly again.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) – SPWAR 36th
Caolan has finished tied 21st, tied 7th and tied 14th in the last three Lytham Trophies. It will therefore be no surprise to see the Dundalk man go well again in 2019, particularly after his recent win in the West of Ireland Open Championship.

Euan WALKER (SCO) – SPWAR 43rd
The 2019 African Amateur champion knows a top 10 finish at Lytham will go a long way to securing his place in the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup team.

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) – SPWAR 47th
A recent win in the Individual competition at the European Nations Team Championship in Sotogrande, Spain will have gone a long way to securing Tom’s place in this year’s GB&I Walker Cup team.

Joey SAVOIE (CAN) – SPWAR 56th
Canadian Savoie played well in Australia earlier this year and will be looking to secure a high finish at Lytham.

Tom PLUMB (ENG) – SPWAR 83rd
Plumb, recent winner of the Cape Province Open in South Africa, is the highest 2018 finisher returning this year. Another 5th place or better in 2019 would be very welcome for the Dorset man whose Walker Cup ambitions are increasing by the month.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) – SPWAR 105th
Saunton’s Burnage finished 3rd at Lytham in 2017 and whilst he has been a bit inconsistent since he is certainly capable of another high finish.

Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) – SPWAR 339th
Tom will arrive on the Fylde coast full of confidence having won both the Peter McEvoy Trophy and Junior Invitational in the last few weeks. Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult won the latter in South Carolina before travelling back to England and winning The Lytham. Could Tom complete a hat-trick ?

Course

The famous Royal Lytham links course certainly presents a stern test. Playing off the blue championship tees competitors have to meet a 7,118 yard par 70 challenge; the front nine being 3,437 yards, a par 34, and the back nine being 3,681 yards, a par 36.

Like The Open Championship players will tee off between 7.30am and 3.40pm on the Friday and Saturday so changes in the weather and wind speeds throughout the first two days often play a big part in scoring.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at Thursday 2nd May) looks dry, albeit cold, with only moderate breezes expected during the competition.

Friday 3rd May – Light Cloud / Wind 11 mph N / Temp. Min. 3°C, Max. 10°C.
Saturday 4th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 16 mph N / Temp. Min. 3°C, Max. 11°C.
Sunday 5th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 14 mph NW / Temp. Min. 6°C, Max. 10°C.

Prizes

The Winner receives a silver replica of the Lytham Trophy, both of which are shown below.

Lytham Trophies

The Lytham Trophy and the Winner’s Replica (Photo: Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.)

The 2018 Lytham Trophy

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) won the 2018 Lytham Trophy by an impressive 9-shots after recording rounds of 67, 69, 70 and 66 – not one of over par – for a 272 total (-8).

Mitch WAITE (ENG) finished 2nd with a 281 (+1) total whilst Sam LOCKE (SCO) and David NYFJALL (SWE) finished tied 3rd with a 284 (+4) score. Tom PLUMB (ENG) was 5th, one shot further back, on 285 (+5).

49 players on +7 or better made the top 40 and ties cut in a competition unusually played in dry and sunny weather.

Click here to view the full 2018 Lytham Trophy results – Final Results

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Matthew Jordan (Photo: Angie McGlue)

History, Past Winners and Records

The competition was first played in 1965 after the Club identified a need for a new top class amateur competition and one that could be played in the North of England.

A date on the first weekend in May was established and a 72 hole stroke play format adopted.

Member’s subscribed to purchase the unique sputnik trophy. This remains at Royal Lytham with a smaller replica handed out annually to the winner.

As one would expect the list of past winner’s is a who’s who of GB&I and more recently world amateur golf.

Of the older winners the most notable are: –
Michael BONALLACK – 1965 (s), 1972
Rodney FOSTER – 1967, 1968
Geoffrey MARKS – 1970 (s)
Charles GREEN – 1970 (s), 1974
Michael KING – 1973
George MACGREGOR – 1975
Peter MCEVOY – 1978
Ian HUTCHEON – 1980
Roger CHAPMAN – 1981
John HAWKSWORTH – 1984
Paul BROADHURST – 1988
Gary EVANS – 1990, 1991
Stephen GALLAGHER – 1995
Graham RANKIN – 1997
Stuart WILSON – 2003
(s) = shared

In 2004 21 year old James HEATH won with a record score of 266 (-18), recording rounds of 67, 68, 66, and 65. Garth McGimpsey, the then Walker Cup captain, described Heath’s performance as ‘the best amateur golf I’ve ever seen’.

No one else has ever come close to this mark before or after. The next best scores being Daan HUIZING’s 273 in 2013 and Richard MCEVOY’s 276 in 2001.

In 1999 the Lytham Trophy was won by German Tino SCHUSTER, the first time a non-GB&I player had been successful.

The eight winners prior to Matthew JORDAN show just how international the amateur game has become. However, after a spell of overseas winners the last three have all come from England: –
Paul CUTLER – 2010 (Ireland)
Jack SENIOR – 2011 (England)
Daan HUIZING – 2012 (The Netherlands)
Albert ECKHARDT – 2013 (Finland)
Thriston LAWRENCE – 2014 (South African
Marcus KINHULT – 2015 (Sweden)
Alfie PLANT – 2016 (England)
Jack SINGH BRAR – 2017 (England)

Here’s is the Winner’s Board which is situated on the main staircase in the Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. clubhouse.

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Lytham Trophy Past Winners’ Board (Photo: Golf Bible) 

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Men’s European Nations Championship – 2019 Preview & Results

13th April 2019

Defending champions ENGLAND (+14) retained the European Nations Championship in Spain. Their 878 total was 8 shots better than The Netherlands (+22).

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Gareth Jenkins (Manager), Tom Plumb, Tom Sloman, Bailey Gill and Ben Jones
(Photos: @EnglandGolf)

IRELAND (+23) were third and WALES (+29), who recorded the lowest final day score (213), were an encouraging 4th. SCOTLAND (+37) had a poor final day and fell to 8th.

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Men’s Team Results

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) won the Individual competition with a 294 (+6) total. His final round 77 looked like it would cost him the title but an eagle on 14 and three closing pars ended up being sufficient as other faltered on the challenging Sotogrande course.

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Tom Sloman (Photos: @Golfing4Life_)

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) +8 finished 4th, Euan WALKER (SCO) and Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) +9 tied 5th and Tom PLUMB (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL), Bailey GILL (ENG)  and Conor PURCELL (IRE) +10 tied 11th.

Young Archie DAVIES (WAL) became the first player to shoot in the 60’s during the Championship. His final day 69 (-3) included six birdies.

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Men’s Individual Results

ME.

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8th April 2019

The Men’s European Nations Championship (ENC) starts on Wednesday 10th April at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in Southern Spain.

RCG Sotogrande is the permanent home of the ENC and this will be the 13th playing of the event.

It is a 72 hole stroke play Team and Individual competition.

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Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Field
This year 15 four-man teams (60) will play for a Team prize whilst a total of 69 players will contest the Individual competition. 9 players have been invited by RCG Sotogrande and the Spanish Golf Federation to complete the field.

This year the following players have been selected to represent the four competing home nations: –

England – Bailey GILL, Ben JONES, Tom PLUMB, Tom SLOMAN

Ireland – Mark POWER, Conor PURCELL, Caolan RAFFERTY, Rob BRAZILL*

*A late replacement for James SUGRUE who was injured in practice.

Scotland – Kieran CANTLEY, Jim JOHNSTON, Euan MCINTOSH, Euan WALKER

Wales – Ben CHAMBERLAIN, Archie DAVIES, Jake HAPGOOD, Matt ROBERTS

Of these just Ben Chamberlain, Jake Hapgood and Caolan Rafferty played in the event in 2018.

A Women’s ENC also takes place alongside the Men’s competition. Three women teams from England and Scotland are both competing.

Scores

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Men’s Individual Scores

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Men’s Team Scores

Format and Prizes
72 holes of stroke play, with 18 holes played daily, will be contested by all of the players. There is no cut.

In the Team event the best three 18-hole scores from the four players count towards the overall total.

In the case of a tie for 1st place a team member will be nominated and a sudden death play-off will be contested on the 9th hole. Other ties will be determined by a count back of the team score for the last 18, 27, 36, etc. holes.

The Individual prize is awarded to the lowest scoring player. Ties will be broken in line with the Team approach outlined above.

Winning Team members each receive a replica of the Nations Trophy. The Individual champion receives a trophy and a fetching yellow jacket.

Venue and Course
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande was opened in 1964 and was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones. One of the best courses in Continental Europe it first held the Spanish Open in 1966, won that year by Roberto de Vicenzo.

In 1970 The Sherry Cup, the precursor of the European Nations Cup, was established. Former Individual winners of this include Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia. (see below for the full list of past Individual winners).

In 1973 a Women’s event started to be played alongside the Men’s.

In 1983 Sotogrande hosted the Spanish Amateur Championship with Jose Maria Olazabel victorious.

Sotogrande was awarded royal patronage by HM King Juan Carlos I in 1994.

Between 1996 and 2001, in tandem with nearby San Roque GC, the course hosted the European Tour’s Qualifying School.

In 2006 The Sherry Cup was rebranded as the European Nations Cup and in 2017 become known as the European Nations Championship played for the Sotogrande Cup.

In 2011, ahead of it’s 50th anniversary, the Club decided to embark upon a major course renovation appointing Roger Rulewich and David Fleury. With the work on greens, bunkering and drainage taking place in 2015 and early 2016 the ENC moved temporarily to the nearby La Reserva Club de Golf for two years. In 2017 the competition returned being played on the renovated course for the first time.

The Black Tee Championship Course at Sotogrande plays 6,492m with a par of 72. The front nine measures 3,163m and the back 3,329m.

Weather Forecast
The forecast looks good albeit as always the winds will be a factor, particularly in the afternoon. This can cause problems given the numerous water hazards on the course.

Wednesday 10th – Sunny Max. 19°C / Min. 10°C; W 16mph
Thursday 11th – Sunny Max. 20°C / Min. 11°C; W 16mph
Friday 12th – Sunny Max. 21°C / Min. 11°C; W 11mph
Saturday 13th – Sunny Max. 23°C / Min. 12°C; SW 10mph

Past ENC Winners / 2018 Results

Team Competition

The home nations have an excellent record in the Men’s Team event.

2018  England     2018 ENC Team Results

The England Team, consisting of Todd Clements, David Hague, Matthew Jordan and Gian-Marco Petrozzi, won the Team competition by an impressive 20 shots with a 853 -11 total.

Of the other competing home nations Ireland finished second on 873 (+9) and Wales 11th on 910 +46. Scotland didn’t play in 2018.

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England – l-r Gareth Jenkins (Manager), David Hague, Gian-Marco Petrozzi, Todd Clements, Graham Walker (Coach) and Matthew Jordan (Photo: Graham Walker)

2017  Wales    2017 ENC Team Results

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Wales – l-r Josh Davies, David Boote, Jack Davidson and Owen Edwards (Photo: GUW)

2016  Ireland    2016 ENC Team Results

Ireland European Nations Cup 2016

Ireland – l-r Stuart Grehan, Alex Gleeson, Jack Hume and Dermot McElroy (Photo: GUI)

2015  England
2014  Scotland
2013  England
2012  France
2011  England
2010  England
2009  England
2008  Scotland
2007  Denmark

Past Sherry Cup Team Winners (started 1998)

2006  Spain
2005  Spain
2004  England
2003  England
2002  Wales
2001  England
2000  England
1999  Germany
1998  Spain

Individual Competition

2018  Todd CLEMENTS (England)    2018 ENC Individual Results
Todd secured the Individual title with rounds of 69 73 71 and 70 for a 283 total (-5).

Five shots back Ireland’s Alex Gleeson (76 74 69 69 / Ev), Denmark’s Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen (72 75 72 69 / Ev) and Gian-Marco Petrozzi (69 71 76 72 / Ev) all tied for second place. Matthew Jordan (71 76 76 68 / +3) finished tied 5th and David Hague (79 73 74 68 / +6) 11th. Ireland’s Caolan Rafferty (72 79 74 71 / +8) was tied 12th and compatriot Jonathan Yates (77 74 72 75 / +10) tied 20th.

2017  Jack DAVIDSON (Wales)    2017 ENC Individual Results
Jack Davidson won the Individual European Nations Cup title by 4-shots last year. Rounds of 70, 70, 70 and 73 (-5), which included 20 birdies and 2 eagles, gave him his second major title in less than a month. He had won the Spanish International Amateur a few weeks before.

2016  Jack HUME (Ireland)    2016 ENC Individual Results
In winning the Individual Jack Hume played one of the best rounds of amateur golf in the world in 2016 at La Reserva. His 64 in Round 2 was an astonishing 8 shots better than any other player in the field.

2015  Mario Galliano (Spain)
2014  Guido Migliori (Italy)
2013  Adrien Saddier (France)
2012  Robin Kind (The Netherlands)
2011  Julien Brun (France)
2010  Nino Bertasio (Italy)
2009  Sam Hutsby (England)
2008  Shane Lowry (Ireland)
2007  Rory McIlroy (Ireland)

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Rory McIlroy (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

Past Sherry Cup Individual Winners

2006  Nigel Edwards (Wales)
2005  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2004  Francesco Molinari (Italy)
2003  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2002  Lee Harpin (Wales)
2001  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2000  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
1999  Marcel Siem (Germany)
1998  Sergio Garcia (Spain)
1997  Sergio Garcia (Spain)

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Sergio Gracia (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

1996  Alvaro Salto (Spain)
1995  José María Zamora (Spain)
1994  Francisco Cea (Spain)
1993  Francisco Valera (Spain)
1992  Frederic Cupillar (France)
1991  Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
1990  Alvaro Prat (Spain)
1989  Diego Borrego (Spain)
1988  Yago Beamonte (Spain)
1987  Yago Beamonte (Spain)
1986  Borja Queipo de Llano (Spain)
1985  José L. Padila (Spain)
1984  John Marks (England)
1983  José L. de Bernardo (Spain)
1982  Borja Queipo de Llano (Spain)
1981  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1980  Jesús López (Spain)
1979  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1978  José L. de Bernardo (Spain)
1977  F. Jiménez (Spain)
1976  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1975  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1974  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1973  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1972  E. de la Riva and J. Gancedo (Spain)
1971  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1970  Henric Adam (England)

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.