The Amateur Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

Saturday 18th June 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Match Play Results

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

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Friday 17th June 2022

Semi-Finals

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

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

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

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

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Quarter Finals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday 16th June 2022

Round 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Round 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday 15th June 2022

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

Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Preliminary Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tuesday 14th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 2

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

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Jonathan Broomhead’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

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

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Barclay Brown’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

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Mark Power’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

img_1912 Luke Harries’ Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Monday 13th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 1

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

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Ludvig Åberg’s Round 1 Scorecard

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

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Jamie Roberts’ Round 1 Scorecard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Field Update

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

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

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Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Qualifier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday 8th June 2022

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

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

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

Championship Format

Stroke Play Qualifying

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

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

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

Match Play Stage

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

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

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

Pre-Qualifying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leading Players

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

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

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

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

Host Courses

Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

St. Annes Old Links G.C.

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

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

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

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

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

Weather Forecast (as at Friday 10th June)

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

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

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

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

Prizes / Exemptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

d) a DP World Tour event to be determined.

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

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

More Information

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

2021 Amateur Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Short History of The Amateur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

5th June 2022

Reigning Australian Amateur champion Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) won the 2022 St. Andrews Links Trophy, firing a 7-under 65 in the final round to secure a two shot victory over compatriot Adam BRADY.

McKinney produced 23 birdies and just seven bogeys in his 72 holes around the Jubilee and Old Courses.

“The Aus Am was pretty special but to win at the home of golf you can’t ask for much more. Yes, it’s pretty cool” McKinney told the organisers after he was presented with the trophy.

The 19 year old, who now lives in Perth, Western Australia, is the first Australian winner since Stuart Bouvier in 1990.

McKinney, who was born in Scotland and represented them in both the 2019 Boys and Men’s Home Internationals and also played for GB&I in the 2019 Jacques Léglise Trophy match, transferred his golfing allegiance to his adopted country earlier this year.

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Connor McKinney (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

Round 4

Eight birdies in the opening 14 holes of his final round took Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) back to the top of the leaderboard where he had spent most of the tournament. From here he closed out the round in a very composed manner.

The low scoring Australian started with a 64 on the Jubilee on Friday and finished with a 65 on the Old today. His total of 272 (-16) reflected his excellent play throughout and it is to his credit he was able to recover the three shot lead Brady had over him heading into Round 4.

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Connor McKinney’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Second placed Adam BRADY (AUS) looked as if he may be able to apply some late pressure but a bogey on 13 and a double bogey on the 16th, which to be fair he partially rectified with a birdie on the Road Hole 17th, took the wind out of his sails.

Robert MORAN (IRL) and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) finished third and fourth on countback, both completing their scoring with 69’s. Moran looked like he was on course to set a challenging clubhouse target but after a day of birdies a bogey on 15 and a double on 17 saw him eventually having to settle for a 275 (-13) score. Edwards-Hill, who was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60’s in every round, recorded just four bogeys during the tournament but just couldn’t get enough birdie putts to drop.

Frenchman Paul BEAUVY followed the example of Moran and Edwards-Hill by shooting rounds of 67 and 69 on the final day to claim a top 5 finish.

Conor GRAHAM (SCO) -9 was the only other British player to finish in the top 10, albeit to their credit Charlie CROCKETT (ENG), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), both  -6, and Matt GAUNTLETT (ENG) -5 were not too far behind.

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Final Results (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the – 2022 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

The event was nicely opened up in the morning round on the Old Course when the overnight leaders George BURNS (SCO) and Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) posted scores of 77 (+5) and 71 (-1) respectively.

Adam BRADY (AUS) walked through the open door with a 67 (-5) which included six birdies to take the 54 hole lead.

Robert MORAN (IRL) and Joshua BERRY (ENG) recorded the lowest scores in Round 3 with 66’s.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL‘s(ENG) 68 saw him join Moran on -10 two shots behind Brady.

Other players to impress in Round 3 were Paul BEAUVY (FRA) 67, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) 69, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) 69, Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) 67, Christiaan MAAS (RSA) 68, Angus CARRICK (SCO) 67, Lewis IRVINE (SCO) 69 and Elias HAAVISTO (FIN) 69.

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Leading Round 3 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

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4th June 2022

Round 2

George BURNS (SCO) delivered a 67, which included two eagles and three birdies, on Day 2 to move into a tie with Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) for the 36 hole lead on 136 -8.

McKinney looked like he may pull away after two birdies on the 11th and 12th took him to -10 but bogeys on his final two holes saw him having to sign for an even par 72 and drop back towards the chasing pack.

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George Burn’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

On a good day for home players the best two rounds came from Rory FRANSSEN and John PATERSON who posted 66’s to move into the top 15.

Frannsen is tied third with Adam BRADY (AUS) on -7 heading onto the final day with Liam NOLAN (IRL), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Jake HIBBERT (ENG) and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) one shot further back.

51 players made the top 40 and ties cut which eventually fell at 144 (Ev) having flirted with 143 (-1) for most of the afternoon.

With 36 holes to play on the Old Course tomorrow and only eight shots separating the remaining field any one of the players who have qualified could clearly still win the tournament.

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

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3rd June 2022

Round 1

Scottish-born Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) shot a superb 64 (-8) on the Jubilee Course to take the lead in the St. Andrews Links Trophy. His round which started at 1.00pm included nine birdies, including five in succession on his front nine.

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Connor McKinney’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Will HOPKINS (ENG), back in the UK after his senior year with Kansas State University, is two shots back after a 66 which included an eagle on the 6th and six birdies.

Malcor UGO (FRA), Charlie CROCKETT (ENG), Jack BUCHANAN (AUS), Liam NOLAN (IRL) and Dillon WEST (ENG) are all tied 3rd on -5.

Any early highlight on Day 1 came when England’s Jack BROOKS, who teed off at 7.10am in the second group out, recorded a hole-in-one on the 5th hole.

At the end of Round 1 51 players are on even par or better which suggests the top 40 36 hole cut will fall at -1 tomorrow.

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Leading Round 1 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

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31st May 2022

144 golfers will tee off on Friday 3rd June in the 33rd 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 27th April 2022 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Rounds 1 and 2 will be played on the Jubilee Course. In previous years the New Course and Old Course have been used in these opening rounds but as The Open Championship is being played on the Old in six weeks time I assume this course is being protected as much as possible.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,847 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,257 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 333 yards longer but to the same par.

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 Old Course has been set up at 7,201 yards for the event and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,555 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,646 yards.

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.

Click here to view the – St. Andrews Links Trophy Tournament Website

The Field

Players from 23 countries will be competing at St. Andrews in 2022.

35 players who are ranked in the top 250 of the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking have entered the tournament.

They are Christiaan MAAS (RSA) #4, Casey JARVIS (RSA) #7, Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) #15, John GOUGH (ENG) #21, Kyle DE BEER (RSA) #23, Christiaan BURKE (RSA) #25, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #32, Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) #52, Sam SIMPSON (RSA) #69, Harrison CROWE (AUS) #73, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #80, Jordan DUMINY (RSA) #88, Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) #96, Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #99, Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) #101, Hugh FOLEY (IRL) #104, Robert MORAN (IRL) #119, Frederik BIRKELUND (DEN) #128, Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) #129, James HYDES (NZL) #130, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #135, Jack BUCHANAN (AUS) #145, Charlie THORNTON (ENG) #148, Jack BROOKS (ENG) #151, Josh GREER (AUS) #154, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) #181, Harley SMITH (ENG) #189, Liam NOLAN (IRL) #205, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) #206, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) #214, Elias HAAVISTO (FIN) #218, Vicente MARZILIO (ARG) #219, Callum BRUCE (SCO) #241, Paul BEAUVY (FRA) #244 and Ugo MALCOR (FRA) #245.

From within this group Christiaan Maas won the Brabazon Trophy at Saunton and Charlie Thornton the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay in recent weeks.

Weather Forecast (as at Tuesday 31st May)

The current weather forecast looks good with a dry competition currently expected.

Friday 3rd June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph E. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 12°C.
Saturday 4th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SE. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 13°C.
Sunday 5th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SE. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 13°C.

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

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy, a commemorative medal and vouchers to the value of £500.

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

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

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup (and £100) is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the Championship.

2021 St. Andrews Links Trophy

Jack COPE won the 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy after coming through a sudden death play-off on the Old Course’s 1st and 18th holes against Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS.

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Jack Cope With The St Andrews Links Trophy (Photo: Cope Family)

50 players ultimately made the top 40 and ties 36-hole cut.

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Past Winners

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

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the former 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 © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

Scottish Men’s Open Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

29th May 2022

23 year old Charlie THORNTON (ENG) won the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay G.C. with a total of 278 (-2).

Thornton is the tenth Englishman to win the title and third in consecutive stagings following in the footsteps of Jake Bolton in 2019 and Callan Barrow in 2021.

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Charlie Thornton (Photo: Thornton Family)

Round 4

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) overturned a 3-shot deficit with a superb bogey-free final round of 66 to secure the biggest win of his amateur career. He finished on 278 (-2).

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Charlie Thornton’s Round 4 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

John GOUGH (ENG), who finished on 279 (-1), did little wrong in defending his lead this afternoon but an even par round of 70 ultimately came up one shot short against the fast finishing Yorkshireman Thornton.

The par 3 15th where there was a 2-shot swing proved to be the decisive hole in the final round. Thornton birdied whilst Gough bogeyed.

The two Englishmen were the only players in the starting field of 144 to break par.

Ireland’s Hugh FOLEY (+4) finished 3rd after final day rounds of 71 and 68 with Scotland’s Ben MURRAY (+4) 4th on countback.

David LUNDGREN (SWE) came through the field in Round 4 to finish 5th on +5 with a best of the week 65 which included six birdies.

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David Lundgren’s Round 4 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Andrew DAVIDSON (+7) 7th, John PATERSON (+7) 8th and Rory FRANSSEN (+8) 10th all finished strongly to make it four Scots in the top 10 of their national Championship.

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Round 4 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the – 2022 Scottish Men’s Open Championship Live Scores

ME.

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Round 3

John GOUGH (ENG) produced a sparkling 67 (-3) to take control of the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay G.C. Three consecutive birdies and a second eagle on the short par 4 8th provided the foundation for his round, the joint best of the week.

Having played in the penultimate group Gough will have finished his lunch no doubt a little surprised to find himself with a 3-shot lead on 209 (-1).

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John Gough’s Round 3 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

The three overnight leaders Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO), Tyler DUNCAN (AUS) and Casey JARVIS (RSA) all had disastrous Round 3’s appearing to drag each other down with unusually high scores and presumably some slow play.

Muckherjee got on the bogey train on the back nine as six bogeys saw him fall to a damaging 77.

Tyler Duncan recorded a six over 11 on the par 5 6th as he went on to post an 80.

The biggest surprise was Jarvis’s 79 and apparent capitulation around the turn. An eight on the 9th followed by a six on 10 and a seven on 12 saw the South African star lose an amazing nine shots in just three holes.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) finished with two birdies in his final four holes for a battling 72 to move into 2nd place on 212 (+2).

Ben MURRAY (SCO) got himself into a nice position before bogeys on his final two holes saw him slip to 71. His 214 (+4) total will see him start the final round in 4th place.

John PATERSON (SCO) 72 and Mason ESSAM (ENG) 73 will start Round 4 tied 4th with Casey Jarvis on 215 (+5).

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Round 3 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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28th May 2022

Round 2

Casey JARVIS (RSA) produced a second consecutive 68 which, as on Day 1, included birdies on the par 4 2nd, 8th and 12th holes.

As a serial winner in South Africa Jarvis can’t be expected to reverse into the field on the final day. Someone is probably going to have to come and take the title away from him over the final 36 holes which won’t be easy given the high winds that has generally made scoring difficult to date.

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Casey Jarvis’ Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Jarvis will take a 4-shot lead over Tyler DUNCAN (AUS), round 1 co-leader Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO) and Charlie THORNTON (ENG) into Sunday.

The unheralded Duncan seems to be taking a liking to Cruden Bay shooting a very tidy 68 which only included one bogey on the short 11th.

Muckherjee delivered three consecutive birdies on the 6th-8th holes to get into position before falling away on the back nine with a 4-over 38. A double bogey on the 17th being particularly painful in the context of a potential run at the Championship tomorrow.

Thornton’s 69 moved him into tied 2nd place. The experienced Yorkshireman often sees through good positions so it will be interesting to see where he finishes.

In form John GOUGH (ENG) joined Mason ESSAM (ENG) in tied 5th place on -2. Gough was one of a number of players who recorded an eagle 2 on the 250 yard par 4 8th hole.

Day 2 saw good bounce backs from Harry LORD (ENG) 77-68, Jasper STUBBS (AUS) 79-67 and Kyle DE BEER (RSA) 78-71 to all make the cut.

Stubbs’ 3-under 67 was the best round of the Championship so far. When he got to 6-under after ten holes a really low one seemed possible but ultimately it wasn’t to be.

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Jasper Stubbs’ Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

At the close of play 43 players made the leading 40 players plus ties cut which fell at 149 (+9).

Three pre-qualifiers made it through to the final day, namely Liam DUNCAN (SCO), Harry CARRUTHERS (SCO) and Freddie MACARTHUR (ENG).

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Round 2 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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27th May 2022

Round 1

Casey JARVIS (RSA), Ben MURRAY (SCO) and Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO) share the Round 1 lead in the Scottish Men’s Open Championship after shooting 2-under 68’s around Cruden Bay G.C.

After his relatively disappointing performance in last week’s Brabazon Trophy it is no surprise to see Jarvis make a good start in Scotland. After watching his South African teammate Christiaan Maas win at Saunton he will have been motivated to bounce back quickly.

The three leaders were the only players to break par in the field of 144 competitors. The morning starters had the worse of the conditions with the weather calming down a little this afternoon.

Casey Jarvis teed off at 12 noon and got off to a dream start with two opening birdies.

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Casey Jarvis’ Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Ben Murray teed off in the group behind Jarvis at 12.10pm and matched the South African’s four birdies in his round.

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Ben Murray’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Young Oliver Muckherjee was in the penultimate group which teed off at 3.10pm. His round came alive on the back nine with four birdies in five holes.

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Oliver Muckherjee’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Gregor TAIT (SCO), who having been in the opening three ball at 7.00am was very much the exception to the rule with his score, and Scott CRICHTON (SCO) (11.20am) are tied second after recording 70’s (Ev).

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Round 1 Top 20 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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24th May 2022

The 55th Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship starts on Friday 27th May at Cruden Bay Golf Club in Aberdeenshire.

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Cruden Bay Golf Club (Photo: Cruden Bay G.C.)

Format

This open amateur competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play.

18 holes will be played on both Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May.

A 36 hole cut will then take place with only the leading 40 competitors and ties qualifying for the final two rounds which will be played on Sunday 29th May.

In the event of a tie for the Championship there will be a sudden death play off. All other ties will be resolved via card count back.

Field

144 competitors will start the 2022 Championship.

The field will be made up of automatic entries based on WAGR and handicaps, of which there are 106 listed at the time of writing, and players that come through a Pre-Qualifying event (see below).

Being scheduled slightly later in May more International and U.S. college players are available which means a strong field will be at Cruden Bay.

There is a strong South African touring party which unfortunately for the rest of the field has been added to since last week’s Brabazon Trophy in Devon. Golf RSA’s benefactor Johann Rupert has a lot to answer for ! I again expect the winner to come from one of these players – Christiaan BURKE #19, Kyle DE BEER #24, Jordan DUMINY #84, Casey JARVIS #7, Christiaan MAAS #3, Aldrich POTGIETER #94, Yurav PREMLALL #21 and Sam SIMPSON #64. They all arrive with confidence on the back of successful full seasons back home and some of them will now be even better prepared after a week at Saunton.

There are a number of players from Australasia competing. Jack BUCHANAN (AUS) #172, Harrison CROWE (AUS) #70, James HYDES (NZL) #139, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) #231 and former Scottish Boys and Mens International Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) #103 are the best of them. Crowe is the most interesting – he arrives having won the Master of the Amateurs, New South Wales Amateur and Golf Challenge NSW Open, a professional event, already in 2022. McKinney is the reigning Australian Men’s Amateur champion and obviously links ready given his past visits to these shores.

From a GB&I perspective the leading entries are defending champion Callan BARROW (ENG) #293, Jack BROOKS (ENG) #163, Paul CONROY (IRL) #394 who has returned from U.S. college golf to play, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #80, Hugh FOLEY (IRL) #146, Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #114, reigning English Amateur, Spanish Amateur and Lytham Trophy champion John GOUGH (ENG) #35, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) #203, in form Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) #124 and Gregor TAIT (SCO) #385 who like Conroy is back home from the States.

James ASHFIELD (WAL) #297, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #26, Jack BIGHAM (ENG) #293, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) #208, Luke HARRIES (WAL) #304, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #130, Frank KENNEDY (ENG) #281 (playing in the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge), Rob MORAN (IRL) #116, Liam NOLAN (IRL) #199 and Harley SMITH (ENG) #187 are the leading available GB&I players who are skipping this event presumably due to it’s remote location and / or pacing themselves for the busy summer ahead. It is 630 miles and an 11 hour drive from Saunton, where many players were last week, to Cruden Bay.

*The numbers quoted above are each player’s current Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). The SPWAR is in my opinion a more accurate ranking than the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) which I largely ignore for player assessment.

Pre-Qualifying

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Fraserburgh Golf Club (Photo: Fraserburgh G.C.)

Given the growing number of entries being seen Scottish Golf decided to stage an 18 hole Pre-Qualifying event this year rather than simply ballot out a large number of players via WAGR and handicap.

This took place at Fraserburgh Golf Club, which is located 27 miles further up the north east coast than Cruden Bay, on Tuesday 24th May. Fraserburgh is the 7th oldest golf club in the world and the competition will be played on their championship standard Corbiehill Links.

38 players from a field of 68 progressed to the main event with others added to the Championship’s Reserve List. Cormac SHARPE (SCO) won the event with a round of 67 (-3).

Click here to view the – Scottish Men’s Open Championship Pre-Qualifying Results

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Cruden Bay Golf Club is located on the east coast of Scotland 23 miles north of Aberdeen.

The original course, commissioned by the Great North of Scotland Railway Company, was designed by Old Tom Morris and opened for play in 1899. In 1926 the course was redesigned to the current layout by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler.

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Cruden Bay Scorecard (Photo: Cruden Bay G.C.)

As you can see above the Championship course plays to 6,609 yards and a par of 70. It has a par of 36 going out and a par of 34 coming home with the back nine unusually featuring three par 3’s.

Cruden Bay Course Flyover (Video: Cruden Bay G.C.)

Prizes

The Winner receives the distinctive Championship Trophy and a silver gilt medal.

Silver and bronze medals are also awarded to the runner-up and third place finisher(s).

Weather Forecast (last updated Thurs 26th May, 8.00am)

The current weather forecast suggests a mostly dry week but the winds look like they will be strong throughout the event so low scoring doesn’t seem very likely.

Fri 27th May – Light Showers / Wind 21 mph NW / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 12°C,
Sat 28th May – Cloudy /  Wind 25 mph NNW / Temp. Min. 9°C /Max. 10°C
Sun 29th May – Light Rain / Wind 30 mph NNW / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 9°C

2021 Results

Callan BARROW (ENG) shot rounds of 63, 67, 64 and 67 for a 261 (-15) total to win the 2021 Championship at Southerness Golf Club.

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Callan Barrow (Photo: Scottish Golf)

James WILSON (ENG) finished 2nd on -12, Stuart EASTON (SCO), who had taken a 1-shot lead into the final day, came in 3rd on -7 and Lewis IRVINE (SCO) and Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) tied 4th on -6.

44 players made the 36 hole cut on Saturday evening which fell at 140 (+2)

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Final Results (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the full – 2021 Scottish Men’s Open Championship Results

Past Winners

The Scottish Men’s Open Amateur was first contested in 1967 and has an impressive list of past winners. Here are some of them: –

2011 – Andy Sullivan (ENG)
2009 – Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
2004 – Richie Ramsay (SCO)
2003 – Gary Wolstenholme (ENG)
1997 – Barclay Howard (SCO)
1996 – Alastair Forsyth (SCO)
1995 – Stephen Gallacher (SCO)
1992 – Dean Robertson (SCO)
1991 – Andrew Coltart (SCO)
1985 – Colin Montgomerie (SCO)
1981 – Philip Walton (IRE)
1980 – Gordon Brand Jr (ENG)
1975 and 1984 – Charlie Green (SCO)
1971, 1974 and 1979 – Ian Hutcheon (SCO)
1970 – Dale Hayes (RSA)
1968 – Ronnie Shade (SCO)
1967 – Bernard Gallacher (SCO)

A full list of the past winners can be viewed here – Scottish Open Amateur Winners

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Brabazon Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

22nd May 2022

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) won the 2022 Brabazon Trophy shooting rounds of 65, 70, 67 and 68 for a 270 (-14) total.

18 year old Maas (pronounced “mars”), playing in the United Kingdom for the first time, arrived at Saunton as one of the clear favourites based on his performances over the last few years back home in South Africa.

He didn’t disappoint. He was simply outstanding. A strong and powerful ball striker with a delicate touch on and around the greens is always hard to beat but when you combine that with an ice cool temperament it is nigh on impossible.

He made some mistakes and played some miraculous shots to keep his score going but you wouldn’t of known which were which looking at has on course demeanour. He appeared mature beyond his years.

Maas is the third South African winner of the Brabazon Trophy following in the footsteps of Charles Schwartzel (2002, Royal Cinque Ports) and Kyle McClatchie (2017, Woodall Spa).

Maas will commence a US college golf scholarship with Texas University in August and I am looking forward to seeing him rip it up over there.

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Christiaan Maas (Photo: GolfBible)

Shortly after the final results were posted the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) was updated. Maas moved up to #3 in the world, with Sam Bairstow now #26, John Gough #35, Arron Edwards-Hill #78 and Matt McClean #126.

Round 4

It was another lovely day in North Devon. The sun shone and little more than a gentle breeze blew across the links of Saunton.

Whilst the hearts of the spectators hoped for an English winner those who had been watching Maas on the previous days knew in their heads that was probably not going to be the case.

A confident Christiaan MAAS (RSA) ended any doubts quickly, birdieing four of his opening six holes to extend his lead from one shot to six and thus take complete control of the Championship. At no point thereafter did he look likely to lose it either.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the South African as he started to push a few drives as the round progressed and hit a number of long approaches which left him scrambling. His up and down from the hay 60 yards over the 12th, where the green was running away from him, was world class and his recovery from the rough over the dog leg on 16 also noteworthy. In summary any fires were quickly extinguished with minimum fuss or histrionics.

Christiaan Maas Tees Off On The 1st Hole (Video: GolfBible)

Christiaan Maas Holes Out On The 18th Hole (Video: GolfBible)

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) heading out at 12.40pm with the leader would have been hoping to apply some early pressure but four bogeys on the front nine in effect did the opposite. It was to his credit that he steadied the ship and improved considerably on the back nine. A missed short putt on the par 3 15th was the only shot he really left out there. Nevertheless a 2nd place finish at the Brabazon represents an amateur career high for the Chelmsford man.

To the disappointment of the hosts, England Golf, Sam BAIRSTOW also hit reverse at the wrong time. Sam didn’t seem to have his A-game over the weekend and whilst he battled hard and put up a stout defence of the title his putter was cold and he just couldn’t get anything to happen.

Matt MCCLEAN, a 28 year old optician from Northern Ireland, enjoyed a very good Championship, his weekend rounds of 67 and 68 matching those of Maas. The Malone player is in great form and currently seems to be featuring at the top end of every competition he enters. He currently looks a certainty for the GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team that will play the Continent of Europe in July.

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Christiaan Maas’, Arron Edwards-Hill’s, Matt McClean’s and Sam Bairstow’s Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

I don’t know what the Swiss boys had for breakfast on Sunday but it certainly worked. Maximilien STURDZA and Nicola GERHARDSEN recorded rounds of 65, the joint best of the week, and 69 respectively to move up into the top 5. Following on from his T10 finish at the recent Lytham Trophy Gerhardsen looks like a player worth following this summer.

The unheralded Australian Jasper STUBBS (-2) also came under the radar with a final round of 67 to finish 7th.

In total there were only eight under par rounds on Day 4, the firmer course conditions and some tricky pins explaining this.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Eliot BAKER (ENG) shot a final round 71 to secure the George Henriques Salver, the prize awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

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George Henriques Salver Results (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Click here to view the – 2022 Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

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21st May 2022

Round 3

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) shot a third round 67 to maintain his 1-shot lead at the Brabazon Trophy. Ominously for the rest of the field today’s round was far more comfortable for the South African with all 18 greens hit in regulation and five birdies to his name. Save for an opening hole three putt bogey there were none of the occasional mistakes seen on the opening two days.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL‘s day started well, holing his approach for an eagle on the 473 yard 1st hole. He would go on to make a further four birdies but two bogeys on the back nine ultimately kept him out of the 54 hole lead which he had looked like holding for most of the afternoon.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) couldn’t repeat the heroics of Friday but still posted a 2-under 69. The highlight was perhaps his superb 40 yard chip in for birdie from left of the 12th green. A bogey on the final hole, where he drove into a bunker and left a 15 foot par putt in the jaws, may come back to haunt the defending champion tomorrow evening. A 3-shot head start, even on Saunton’s difficult East Course, looks like a lot to be giving the in form Maas.

Like yesterday there were 13 under par rounds in total, albeit from just 60 starters today.

The best third round score came from Kyle DE BEER (RSA), whose 66 included four birdies and 1 eagle. A late bogey on the downhill par 3 17th indicates he had the chance to go even lower too. Now in 5th place on -4 I am sure he will be one of the players hoping to set a clubhouse target to give the leaders something to think about coming down the stretch tomorrow.

James ASHFIELD (WAL) 15th, Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) 4th and John GOUGH (ENG) 6th all recorded 67’s to continue their rises up the leaderboard. Ashfield was an early starter at 8.00am and really had it going. He played the 10 holes between the 6th and 15th in 7-under par. McClean was one of a number of players to eagle the 477 yard par 5 whilst Gough posted six birdies to again demonstrate how well he is playing this year.

Tomi BOWEN (WAL) -1 leads Hugh ADAMS (ENG) +3 and Eliot BAKER (ENG) +4 in the George Henriques Salver competition. This prize is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

ME.

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20th May 2022

Round 2

Friday was a day of two halves on the North Devon coast when it came to the weather. Overnight rain subsided by 8.30am to give way to excellent scoring conditions before the winds picked up strongly in the afternoon, and with a number of squally showers added to the mix, made life much harder for the later starters.

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) moved into the lead on Day 2 with a round of 70. Again there were mistakes but these were recovered. For those that weren’t already aware his 15 birdies in 36 holes shows the huge potential the well built South African has.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) set off in the worst of the conditions at 1.40pm and his three early bogeys were therefore not a surprise. His ability to settle down and battle back coming home to return a par score bodes well for the weekend.

English No. 1 Sam BAIRSTOW was good enough to take full advantage of his favourable draw, equalling the best round of the week with a 6-under 65. An eagle and seven birdies showed the left-handers class.

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Christiaan Maas’, Arron Edwards-Hill’s and Sam Bairstow’s Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Other players to produce good rounds today included Olly HUGGINS (ENG), who moved up into 4th after a 68, Robert MORAN (IRL) 69 T5, Nicola GERHARDSEN (SUI) 69 T5, Tyko TUOHIMAA (FIN) 66 T8, Tomi BOWEN (WAL) 66 T8, Angus CARRICK (SCO) 70 T12, John GOUGH 68 T14, Jake HIBBERT 70 T20, Leonardo BONO (SUI) 69 T20 and Jack BROOKS (SUI) 69 T20.

There were a total of 13 under par scores in Round 2 compared with yesterday’s 21.

The 60th and ties cut fell at 148 (+6) with exactly 60 players making it through to the weekend. An organisers dream !

Jack BIGHAM (ENG) +7 T61, Harley SMITH (ENG) +7 T6, James HYDES (NZL) +8 T71, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) +8 T71, Callan BARROW (ENG) +10 T93, Marc BOUCHER (IRL) +11 T98 and BEN QUINNEY (ENG) +12 T104 were among the more notable casualties.

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Round 2 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

ME.

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19th May 2022

Round 1

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) and Christiaan MAAS (RSA) share the lead after opening with 6-under par 65’s.

Edwards-Hill teed-off at 9.00am whilst Maas started his Championship at 1.20pm which shows that good scoring was possible throughout the day.

Edwards-Hill’s round featured an eagle and five birdies with an early bogey on the 3rd the only blemish. Maas reached 6-under after 10 holes of his round but as you can see below had to work hard to keep his score intact over his final seven holes. Irrespective of how they were compiled both rounds were excellent given the stern test posed by Saunton’s East Course.

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Arron Edwards-Hill’s and Christiaan Maas’ Round 1 Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Two lesser known Englishmen, Rory BROWNE and Louis SANDERS, are tied 3rd on -4 having very much enjoyed their day on the links. Browne was a bit more up and down but accumulated seven birdies whilst Sanders was steadier, matching Edwards-Hill’s achievement of a single bogey.

21 players broke par in Round 1 which, even allowing for the near perfect conditions, is more than many commentators thought likely before play started.

There are clearly a number of players riding a wave of confidence and have so far brought their good form with them to North Devon.

Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Matthew LEVER (ENG) -2 and Craig MELDING (WAL) -2 have all enjoyed wins in the last seven days. Eliot BAKER (ENG) -1, from nearby Tiverton, also won the Devon County Championship on Saunton’s West Course last weekend whilst Charlie THORNTON (ENG) -1 won the West of England Stroke Play at the end of April on the East.

Ireland’s Matt MCCLEAN -1, Rob MORAN Ev and Marc BOUCHER Ev finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th at last weekend’s Irish Amateur Open Championship played at The Island and are certainly links-ready and battle hardened.

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Round 1 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

A number of leading players have work to do tomorrow to firstly make the cut and with a strong wind behind them hopefully get back in the Championship.

Jack COPE (ENG) +4, Harley SMITH (ENG) +4, Jack BROOKS (ENG) +4, John GOUGH (ENG) +4, Casey JARVIS (RSA) +4, Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) +4, Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) +4, James HYDES (NZL) +8, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) +8 and Callan BARROW (ENG) +10 will all be disappointed with their opening rounds.

ME.

____________________________________________

11th May 2022

The 76th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played on the East Course at Saunton Golf Club between Thursday 19th and Sunday 22nd May 2022.

Three Qualifying Tournaments were played on 10th May 2022 to help England Golf complete the field (see below).

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Saunton Golf Club (Photo: Saunton G.C.)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played over four days.

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

In the event of a tie for the Championship there will be a sudden death play off. All other places will be determined by a card countback, starting with the final round and working backwards from there.

Field

144 competitors from 16 different countries will contest the 2022 Brabazon Trophy Championship.

The majority of this number were exempt with starting places offered to a number of national golf federations and to those players who have performed well in other recent Championships.

There were originally 83 exempt players listed on the England Golf Website albeit some of these withdrew ahead of the Championship. They included defending champion Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Jack BROOKS (ENG), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Jack COPE (ENG), Kyle de BEER (RSA), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), Rory FRANSSEN (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), James HYDES (NZL), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Robert MORAN (IRL), Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) and Kiet van der WEELE (NED).

The five South African’s listed above (sadly Christiaan Burke was a late withdrawal due to visa issues), particularly Jarvis and Maas, are all world class and must start collectively as the favourites for the title.

Three regional qualifying tournaments were staged on 10th May 2022 to determine the remainder of the field with 61 spots made available.

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Qualifying Events

Three 18 hole stroke play events, each with a maximum field of 120 players, were staged.

20 players automatically qualified from the Midland and Northern events whilst the Southern earned 21 spots given its larger field. A few more players have subsequently made the starting line up after being called up from the Reserve list.

Ties for the last qualifying place at each venue were determined by card countback.

Here is a summary of the Qualifier results and a list of all the players who progressed: –

MIDLAND – Stanton-on-the-Wolds G.C., Nottingham Results
6,537 yards (White) – Par 73 – Slope Rating 138
105 players / 20 Qualifiers

Medalist – Ieuan PHILLIPS (WAL)
Qualifiers – Theo Baker (WAL), Freddie MacArthur (ENG), Adam Dorricott (ENG), Jenson Forrester (ENG), George Griffiths (ENG), Joshua Ashton (ENG), Jake Plumb (ENG), Jacob Smith (ENG), George Cordall (ENG), Alfie Robinson (ENG), Luke Yardley (ENG), James Claridge (ENG), Joe Jones (WAL), Alex Ford (ENG), Dean Reddington (ENG), Warren Bates (ENG), Nick Davies (ENG), Kyle Harmon (ENG) and Charlie Gilgenkrantz (ENG).
Reserves – Jacob Parsons (ENG)

NORTHERN – Pannal G.C., Harrogate – Results
6,404 yards (White) – Par 72 – Slope Rating 138
100 players / 20 Qualifiers

Medalist – Jack WHALEY (ENG)
Qualifiers – Luca Houlgate (ENG), Jamie Stewart (SCO), Tom Osborne (ENG), Tom North (ENG), Jake Sowden (ENG), Kieran Hogarth (ENG), Cormac Sharpe (SCO), Will Coxon (ENG), Ryan Owen (ENG), Jack McPhail (ENG), Jake Hibbert (ENG), Jack McDonald (SCO), Stuart Thurlow (SCO), Matthew Lever (ENG), Reece Goodyear (ENG), Michael Kilgallon (ENG), Dominic Barron Holden (ENG), Aamar Saleem (SCO) and Jack Williams (WAL)
Reserves – Aissa El Khadri (NED) and James Nash (ENG)

SOUTHERN – Beaconsfield G.C., Buckinghamshire Results
6,584 yards (Black) – Par 72 – Slope Rating 136
119 players / 21 Qualifiers

Medalist – Alexander MAXWELL (AUS)
Qualifiers – Alfie Forisky (ENG), Harry Uzzell (ENG), Eliot Baker (ENG), Louis Sanders (ENG), Carl Banner (ENG), Taylor Paul (ENG), Ollie Brimfield (ENG), Jack Neill (ENG), Sam Russell (ENG), Johns Hayes (ENG), Huxley Howell (ENG), James McLaughlin (ENG), Joss Gosling (ENG), Reis Suart (ENG), Carter Rowe (ENG), Jake Antoun (ENG), George Saunders (ENG), Callum Tibbs (ENG), James Whyte (ENG) and Leyton Hardwick (ENG).
Reserves – Ben Loveard (ENG), Owain Taylor (WAL) and Rory Browne (ENG)

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown below.

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

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

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

The Philip Scruton Jug is awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 18-19 June).

Saunton Golf Club

Saunton G.C. is located amongst the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows in North Devon eight miles west of Barnstaple town centre.

The Club was founded in May 1897 with a 9-hole course. It was then extended to 12 holes in 1906 before a full 18 was opened in 1908. W. Herbert Fowler was employed after World War I to re-design what is now known as the East Course. C.K. Cotton completed a restoration in the early 1950s following World War II.

A West Course, designed by Frank Pennink, was opened in 1974.

Both courses are well renowned and the Club has understandably been invited to host numerous prestigious amateur events over the years by The R&A and England Golf.

This will be the fifth occasion that Saunton has staged the Brabazon Trophy. In 1967 Ronnie SHADE (SCO) won, in 1976 Peter HEDGES (ENG), in 1988 Bobby EGGO (ENG) and in 1997 David PARK (WAL).

The East is the best course in the county of Devon and normally lies inside the top 25 in most rankings for all of England.

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Saunton G.C. Aerial Photo (Photo: Saunton G.C.)

The East Course (Blue Tees) includes eight par 4’s at 400+ yards and with only three par 3’s plays to a challenging par of 71 over 6,869 yards.

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Saunton G.C. – East Course Scorecard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Weather Forecast – last updated at 12.00noon on Tuesday 17th May 2022

The long range weather forecast is looking largely dry at the moment with some sunny spells expected. Fresh breezes, which will increase throughout the day, are also expected to be a feature throughout the week.

Thur 19th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph W / Temp. Min. 9°C, Max. 18°C.
Fri 20th May – Light Rain / Wind 17 mph SW / Temp. Min. 11°C, Max. 17°C.
Sat 21st May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 13 mph W / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 16°C.
Sun 22nd May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 14 mph W / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 17°C.

2021 Brabazon Trophy

Left hander Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) from the Hallowes G.C. in Sheffield won the 2021 Brabazon Trophy at Ganton G.C. with a 273 (-11) total. His four under par rounds of 66, 69, 69 and 69 included 18 birdies and just seven bogeys over the 72 holes.

Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) finished strongly with a best of the week 64 in the final round which included seven birdies. Having won the Berkshire Trophy back in June the Essex man secured The Philip Scruton Jug, awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy, with ease.

At the close of play only 10 players were able to finish the Championship with under par scores.

Frank KENNEDY (ENG) and Josh HILL (ENG), who both finished on 285 (+1), shared The George Henriques Salver awarded to the leading GB&I player(s) in the Championship under the age of 20.

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Leading Brabazon Trophy Results (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

64 players ultimately made the top 60 and ties 36 hole cut which fell at +6.

Recent Results

Click below to view the results over the last five years: –

Ganton – 2021 Brabazon Trophy Results

Sherwood Forest – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

Alwoodley – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other notable recent winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992), Peter HANSON (1998) and Charl SCHWARTZEL (2002).

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Jake Bolton – 20 Questions

10th June 2021

Name – JAKE BOLTON

Age – 22 (d.o.b. 31st July 1998)

Hometown – Swindon

Golf Club – Ogbourne Downs GC, Wiltshire, England.

Equipment – Taylor Made woods, irons and ball. Scotty Cameron putter. Adidas apparel.

Current WHS Handicap Index = -6.8

Highest Amateur Rankings – SPWAR #13 / WAGR #51

Turned Pro – 10th June 2021

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Jake Bolton With The Scottish Open Amateur Trophy In August 2019 (Photo: Scottish Golf)

1 How did you get into golf ?

My father. I was given a cut down 7-iron when I was 7 years old. I hit some shots in the park behind our house and soon realised it was what I wanted to do. I joined Ogbourne Downs when I was 10 and started playing in competitions from 12.

2 Describe your progression to the top of the amateur game ?

I just got better each year as I started playing in competitions, moving up through the junior, county, national and international levels. 2016 was my breakthrough year where I had top 10s in the Henry Cooper and Carris Trophy. Playing against the best players in Great Britain and also internationally is something you need to do to improve and I’m thankful I’ve been given those opportunities.

3 Did you consider going to a US College ?

Yes, I had a few offers. Ole Miss being one of the big ones where Braden Thornberry, who was World No. 1 at the time, was playing. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with the NCAA and I couldn’t get clearance despite getting my SATs. It was tough at the time because I didn’t know what level I could get to over here as I hadn’t been selected for a national squad at that time. Ole Miss still follow my progress today which is nice.

4 How have you funded your amateur career ?

The hardest bit about amateur golf is the financial part for almost every player. Luckily I have a supportive family, some club members have helped out and for most of my amateur career I was part of Golfing4Life. They were incredible with their support and thank you isn’t enough for those people. Hopefully I can give back to them somewhere along the line.

5 Who is your current coach and what other support have you received over the years ?

I have worked with Russell Covey since 2018 who has been very influential in my progress. He’s not just helped me technically and physically but also psychologically too. Obviously being part of the England Golf set up in recent years has been helpful too. Practicing alongside people you compete against and attending warm weather training camps drives you forwards. Graham Walker and Mike Kanski have been great in terms of understanding the short game and putting and where and how I need to improve.

6 What have been the highlights of your career to date ?

I have three main highlights. Winning the 2019 Scottish Open Amateur after being left out of the England team for the Men’s Home internationals, which was being played the following week. Also going to South Africa in early 2020 was an amazing experience. Finally, playing in the 2021 Walker Cup at Seminole was an incredible week which I’ll never forget.

Jake Bolton Holes A Great Putt On The 17th Hole In The Day 1 Foursomes

7 What would you consider to be your biggest failure and how did you respond to it ?

In golf success only happens when you win, so failure is a common thing. I have simply tried to use these failures to improve. My biggest failure was not being part of the final 10 for the Walker Cup, a huge disappointment. Fortunately I ended up getting the chance to play in the Saturday morning foursomes [after alternates were called upon after a sickness bug disrupted both teams’ preparations] and did what was asked of me delivering a winning point alongside Angus Flanagan.

Jake Bolton Hits A Clutch 5-Iron Onto The 18th Green In The Day 1 Foursomes

8 What are your strengths and weaknesses and how are you managing them ?

My strengths are putting and iron play. I wouldn’t say I have a particular weakness as such. However, I didn’t drive the ball as well as I would have liked last year so that’s the main area I’m working on.

9 What’s the best golf or mental tip you have ever received ?

Ben Hogan’s “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” I often say it to myself when I am playing. It seems to calm me down and help with my focus.

10 What advice would you give a junior golfer starting out today ?

Work hard, believe in yourself and enjoy it.

11 Which other player has impressed you the most ?

Matty Lamb for his all round improvement in the last year or so. Internationally, Casey Jarvis, whose aggressive play, like all the South Africans, was an eye opener for me. They often seem to play on scorable courses over there which helps with that mindset I guess.

12 Tell us about your recent Walker Cup experience ?

The Walker Cup was an unbelievable experience even with the COVID-19 restrictions in place. It probably helped that it was in the USA just because the restrictions aren’t as severe over there. The USGA, R&A and Seminole did a brilliant job in keeping us safe all week. The whole team was supportive of each other and I have memories that will be with me for the rest of my life. We met some of the all time greats like Jack Nicklaus who was really nice. Obviously it doesn’t get much better than playing; the buzz was incredible and I can’t wait to feel the energy from spectators again.

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Jack Nicklaus and Jake Bolton At Seminole In May 2021

13 Why are you turning Pro ?

I feel now is the time that I have to make the transition. I feel ready with a great team behind me and I feel I have enough experience to go and compete against the world’s best players.

14 Who have you chosen to represent you and what have they offered you ?

I have chosen Hambric Sports to represent me. I had to make some extremely difficult decisions over the course of the winter and they affected me mentally for a short period [most of the Golfing4Life players joined Trinifold Sports run by Jimmy Byers]. I chose Hambric because of their experience as a team. They represent some of the worlds best players too.

15 What are your goals for the next 5 years ?

I see golf as being like a ladder. I have been at the top of the ladder in the amateur game but when I start playing with the pros I’m going to be on the first step of the ladder again and I know I will have to work my way up to the top step again. I don’t set long term goals but obviously in five years time I would like to be on the European or PGA Tour. In the short to medium term I will be working towards a Challenge Tour card which will put me on the second or third step of the ladder.

16 Which professional do you admire the most and why ?

I admire Tiger Woods and always have done. His ability and the way he approaches the game mentally is what I’m trying to achieve.

17 What’s your favourite course and why ?

This is a tough one, I’d probably say Royal Birkdale or maybe Medalist G.C. in Florida. Birkdale because of its history and it’s a course I just love playing. Medalist because of its location and the precision it requires to play it.

18 Which course is top of your ‘wish list’ and why ?

I have three – Royal Melbourne, Pebble Beach and Augusta National.

19 What other interests away from golf do you have ?

I don’t have many other interests away from golf. I like to relax and spend time with family and friends. I enjoy the PlayStation playing Warzone – it gets me away from golf for a short while.

20 Is there anything else you’d like to get off your chest ?

There is nothing else I’d like to get off my chest apart from hair !

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, 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.

It is believed that Lamb’s back nine 29 is the first recorded in a competitive round on the Old Course.

I also 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.

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

24th December 2017

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

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

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

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JANUARY

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

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

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

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

FEBRUARY

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

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

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

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

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

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Liam Johnston (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

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

Ben AMOR (ENG) turned Pro in February.

MARCH

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

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

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

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

APRIL

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

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

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

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: @GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Hague (Photo: Kevin Diss)

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

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

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

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

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) turned Pro in May 2017.

JUNE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Power (Photo: Castleroy GC)

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

Kevin LE BLANC (IRE) turned Pro in June.

JULY

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

 

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 Alfie Plant (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_4962Jake Burnage (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER

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

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

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The USA Walker Cup Team (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

DECEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.