U.S. Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results

Sunday 15th August 2021

Match Play – Final

James PIOT (USA) won the 121st U.S. Amateur Championship after a thrilling comeback against Austin GREASER (USA) over the final nine holes of the 36-hole Final.

22 year old Piot is a 5th Year Senior at Michigan State University and with his victory became the first player to come from that state to win the Havemeyer Trophy.

img_5978

James Piot (Photo: USGA / Chris Keane)

Greaser, 20 and a Junior at the University of North Carolina, went into the final back nine with a 3UP lead and with one hand on the famous gold trophy. However, by the time he got to the 14th tee he was 1Down, Piot having won four consecutive holes with two birdies and two pars. As he said in his post match interview “I just made some mistakes there on 11, 12, 13, just bogey, bogey, bogey. That’s never going to look good on the scorecard. I just didn’t execute coming down the stretch.”

When Piot extended his lead to 2Up with a par on the 502 yard par 4 15th the writing was on the wall. After two halves with pars on 16 and 17 the win had been secured.

Piot was jubilant. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world. I mean, as an amateur it’s the best thing you can do. After making that putt on 17, I was just like, oh, my God. I might’ve done it. It feels phenomenal, shows the hard work I’ve done is paying off.”

Both finalists had already earned exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Open Championship and Masters Tournament. Piot can now also look forward to a trip to the home of golf for the 2022 Open Championship.

img_5973

img_5977

Match Play Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2021 US Amateur MP Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Saturday 14th August 2021

Match Play – Semi-Finals

Austin GREASER (USA), 20, beat Travis VICK (USA), 21, by 2&1 in the opening Semi-Final. Greaser, who reached the Semi-Finals of the Western Amateur earlier his month, won fours consecutive holes from the 11th to move 3Up and set up victory over the highest seeded qualifier left in the field.

James PIOT (USA), 22, beat Nick GABRELCIK (USA), 19, by 4&3. Similar to the other Semi-Final Piot’s win was founded on three straight hole wins between the 9th and 11th. Gabrelcik was the highest ranked WAGR player left in the filed whilst Piot held that honour in the SPWAR.

img_5961

Match Play Semi-Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Friday 13th August 2021

Match Play – Quarter Finals

The Quarter Finals started in the afternoon and were completed in the early evening bringing the Championship back on schedule.

Here are the current SPWAR and WAGR amateur rankings of the four semi-finalists: –
Austin GREASER (USA) – #60 / #82
Travis VICK (USA) – #35 / #45
James PIOT (USA) – #7 / #86
Nick GABRELCIK (USA) – #21 / #28

All four have earned exemptions into the 2022 U.S. Amateur Championship at Ridgewood C.C. in Paramus, New Jersey by getting this far.

img_5951

Match Play Quarter Final Results (Graphic: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Match Play – Round of 16

Ricky CASTILLO (USA), who was unbeaten in this year’s Walker Cup, was a surprise casualty in this round.

Here are the full Round of 16 results: –

img_5948

Match Play Round of 16 Results (Graphic: USGA)

_____________________________________________

Match Play – Round of 32

The remaining Round of 32 matches were quickly completed on Friday morning.

Sadly Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) lost his match to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 1 Hole thus ending GB&I’s interest in this year’s Championship.

Here are the full Round of 32 results: –

img_5940

Match Play Round of 32 Results (Graphic: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Thursday 12th August 2021

Match Play – Round of 32

The fourth weather delay over the last three days saw play ended on Thursday evening at 6.35pm (11.35pm BST). Again it was rain and thunderstorms in the Oakmont area that saw the time lost move past the 10 hours mark. The previous delays saw the USGA, for the first time during the Match Play Stage, implement a two tee start for the Round of 32.

Just four of the 16 Round of 32 matches were completed before this latest suspension with Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) 1Down against 22nd seed Davis CHATFIELD (USA) after 13 holes.

ME.

_____________________________________________

Match Play – Round of 64

The ‘curse of the medalist’ struck Mark GOETZ (USA) as he lost by 1 Hole to David NYFJALL (SWE), who having come through the 12-for-1 play-off is gaining confidence. Nyfjall was 3Down with four holes to play before winning them all with three pars and a closing birdie.

From a home perspective it was good to see Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) come through his match against 54th seed Chase SIENKIEWICZ (USA). Alex, who was 2Down after six holes, was 5-under par for the 16 holes he ultimately required to secure a 3&2 victory.

Here are the full Round of 64 results: –

img_5930

img_5931

Match Play Round of 64 Results (Graphic: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Wednesday 11th August 2021

Match Play – Round of 64

The start of the Match Play Stage, being played exclusively at Oakmont C.C., was delayed due to further afternoon thunderstorms and another four hour suspension.

By the close of play just one match had been completed, 17 others were on the course and 14 had been deferred until tomorrow morning.

Ricky CASTILLO (USA) beat Donald KAY (USA) by 5&4 in the only match to be completed.

_____________________________________________

Stroke Play Qualifying

The second round of the Stroke Play Qualifying recommenced at 7.30am (12.30pm BST) this morning.

Medalist honours were eventually secured by Mark GOETZ (USA) who turned 23 yesterday and grew up about 30 miles away from Oakmont. His rounds of 64 and 68 at Longue View and Oakmont respectively gave him a 132 -8 total, the joint second lowest in the history of the Championship.

img_5908

Mark Goetz (Photo: USGA)

A 12-for-1 play-off at Oakmont C.C. saw David NYFJALL (SWE) become the 64th and final player to progress to the Match Play Stage. The 12 players involved in the shoot out all finished on 143 (+3) with Nyfjall’s 8 foot birdie putt on the third extra hole, the 18th, proving decisive.

The average Round 2 score at Oakmont was 74.97, just over two shots easier than Round 1’s 77.16 after yesterday’s rain had softened up the course and greens. Surprisingly nearby Longue View played slightly harder at 71.97 v. Round 1’s 71.69.

Here are the leading scores in the Stroke Play Qualifying: –

img_5904

Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Graphic: USGA)

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) was the only GB&I player to qualify for the Match Play Stage again confirming his status as our No. 1 amateur. He enters the Match Play as the 11th seed.

img_5903

GB&I Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Graphic: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2021 US Amateur SP Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

Tuesday 10th August 2021

Stroke Play Qualifying

Round 2 of the Stroke Play Qualifying started at Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club in Pennsylvania at 7.30am (12.30 pm BST) on Tuesday. However, a four hour delay during the afternoon meant that 156 players were unable to complete their second rounds.

With the top 64 cut expected to fall at +3 or +4 Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) still looks very well placed to qualify with 7 holes to play at Oakmont. Sadly it now seems inevitable that he will be GB&I’s only representative in the second stage.

Here is the GB&I scoreboard on Tuesday evening when play was suspended at 8.00pm (1.00am BST).

img_5899

GB&I Round 1 and 2 Scores (Graphic: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Monday 9th August 2021

Stroke Play Qualifying

As expected there proved to be a material divergence between the scoring at Oakmont Country Club and Longue Vue Club, the two courses hosting the Stroke Play Qualifying. The average score at Oakmont in Round 1 was 77.16 compared with 71.69 at Longue View; the former playing 5.47 shots harder than its co-host 6 miles away.

Of the 82 players who finished Round 1 in the top 64 or tied for 64th just seven played Oakmont. Cole SHERWOOD (USA) 69 -1 and Parker COODY (USA) 70 Ev were the only two players to shoot par or better at Oakmont out of the 156 to take it on.

It should be noted conditions were also near perfect; temperatures in the high 80’s with very little wind.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) -6 made a great start to proceedings with a 64 at Longue View. The leader, Jacob BRIDGEMAN (USA) is just one shot better than him after he opened with a course record equalling 63 -7. Whilst nothing can be taken for granted around Oakmont Alex looks well set to progress to the Match Play stage after tomorrow’s round.

Conor GOUGH (ENG) shot a 74 +4 around Longue View and was lying tied 140th. However, he withdrew after his round. I assume this was injury related but may as well have been because there was never going to be away back from that with Oakmont still to come.

Dev MORLEY (IRL) +5, tied 168th, and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) +6, tied 188th, battled hard for their scores at Oakmont in Round 1. Whilst they will need to produce an under par round tomorrow at Longue View they still have a chance to make the top 64 cut.

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) +8 also plays Longue View tomorrow but looks as if he has left himself too much to do after his 78 today.

img_5890

GB&I Round 1 Scores and Round 2 Tee Times (Graphic: USGA)

Joe HIGHSMITH (USA) and Mark GOETZ (USA) are tied with Fitzpatrick on -6 with Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA), recent winner of the Western Amateur, well placed on -5 alongside Caleb SURRATT (USA), Brian MA (USA) and Brad REEVES (USA).

ME.

_____________________________________________

8th August 2021

Introduction

This year’s Championship is being played at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont and Longue Vue Club in Verona, both of which are located in western Pennsylvania.

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

img_5861

2021 Field

The U.S. Amateur Championship is open to amateur golfers with a Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4.

7,811 entries, all paying the $175 entry fee, were received by the USGA this year.

The final field is made up of 312 players who were either exempt or who qualified. The average age is 23.41 with the youngest player being Reed Greyserman (16) and the oldest Bob Royok (59).

57 players were exempt based on their performances in previous amateur championships, selection for the Walker Cup or top 50 ranking in the WAGR.

The remainder of the field qualified by playing in one of 94 36 hole events staged by the USGA at venues across the USA (91), Canada (1), Mexico (1) and Puerto Rico (1). Click here to view all of the – Qualifier Results.

The early scheduling of the Walker Cup, which saw a number of our leading players turn pro earlier in the summer, and the COVID-19 travel restrictions mean that only five GB&I players are in the 2021 field. They are: –

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) – Qualifier: Lago Mar CC, Florida (Medalist)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019 & 2021 / WAGR #4 on 23rd June 2021
Conor GOUGH (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019
Dev MORLEY (IRL) – Qualifier: Clustered Spires GC, Maryland (Medalist)
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) – Exemption: Special USGA; GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 Reserve

To put this into context there were 11 GB&I players at Bandon Dunes last year, 11 at Pinehurst in 2019, 7 at Pebble Beach in 2018, 9 at Riviera in 2017 and 11 at Oakland Hills in 2016.

The following GB&I players chose not to or were unable to take up their exemptions: –

Barclay BROWN (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 / WAGR #41 on 23rd June 2021
Jack COPE (ENG) – Exemption: WAGR #20 on 23rd June 2021
Jack DYER (ENG) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021
Mark POWER (IRL) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2021 / WAGR #32 on 23rd June 2021
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) – Exemption: GB&I Walker Cup Team 2019 / WAGR #7 on 23rd June 2021
Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) – Exemption: Amateur Champion 2021 / WAGR #49 on 4th August 2021

The English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy is being played at Ganton G.C. on 19-22 August 2021 which may prove to be an easier option.

The in form, highly ranked players, who I would expect to feature strongly at Oakmont are Ludvig ABERG (SWE), Ricky CASTILLO (USA), Pierceson COODY (USA), Louis DOBBELAAR (AUS), Nick GABRELCIK (USA), Ryan HALL (USA), Cole HAMMER (USA), Joe HIGHSMITH (USA), Bo JIN (CHN), Dylan MENANTE (USA), Maxwell MOLDOVAN (USA), Trent PHILLIPS (USA), James PIOT (USA), Luke POTTER (USA), David PUIG (ESP), Gordon SARGENT (USA) and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA).

img_5865

18th Hole, Oakmont Country Club 

Format / Schedule

36-holes of stroke play will determine the top 64 match play qualifiers. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

Six 18 hole match play rounds will then be played culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

Monday 9th August – Stroke Play Round 1 (Oakmont and Longue Vue – 18 holes)
Tuesday 10th August – Stroke Play Round 2 (Oakmont and Longue Vue – 18 holes)
Wednesday 11th August – Match Play Round of 64 (Oakmont – 18 holes)
Thursday 12th August – Match Play Rounds of 32 and 16 (Oakmont- 18 holes)
Friday 13th August – Match Play Quarter Finals (Oakmont – 18 holes )
Saturday 14th August – Match Play Semi-Finals (Oakmont – 18 holes)
Sunday 15th August – Match Play Championship Final (Oakmont – 36 holes)

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2021 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Tee Times

With Pennsylvania being 5 hours behind the UK play will start in our early afternoon and proceed through the evening.

Host Courses

Oakmont Country Club – stroke play and match play
7,254 yards (maximum), Par 70, Course Rating 76.7, Slope Rating 142
Opened in 1903
Designed by Henry Fownes and renovated by Tom Fazio in 2015.

img_5863

Oakmont Country Club (Photo: Ruben A. Campus / @Chopper11Pilot)

The course was originally built on farmland adjacent to the Allegheny River Valley. Unusually for such a prestigious venue a major road, the Pennsylvania Turnpike which was constructed in the late 1940s, passes through the middle of the site. Two bridges link holes 1 and 8-18 and the clubhouse with holes 2-7.

Oakmont has the reputation of being one of the toughest courses in the United States. Over 175 bunkers and hard and fast greens which often slope away from the player provide a stern test.

Oakmont Country Club has hosted more major Championships than any other course in USA – 20. This will be its 17th USGA Championship – nine United States Opens (1927, 1935, 1953, 1962, 1973, 1983, 1994, 2007, 2016), five U.S. Amateurs (1919, 1925, 1938, 1969, 2003, 2021) and two U.S. Women’s Open (1992, 2010). It has also staged three U.S. PGA Championships (1922, 1951, 1978). Only Merion G.C. with 18 (19 after next year’s Curtis Cup), also in Pennsylvania, has hosted more USGA Championships.

Screenshot 2021-08-08 at 11.03.53

Longue Vue Club – stroke play co-host
6,647 yards (maximum), Par 70, Course Rating 73.3, Slope Rating 141
Opened in 1922
Deisgned by Robert White (SCO) and renovated by A.W. Tillinghast in 1935.

img_5868

15th Green Longue Vue Club (Photo: Jon Cavalier / @LinksGems)

Longue Vue is perched on a hill above the Allegheny River and enjoys some spectacular views. Scottish architect Robert White was the first president of the PGA of America and also installed the first putting green on the White House Lawn.

Screenshot 2021-08-08 at 11.04.12

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at 8th August) is predominantly a dry one although there is the risk of scattered thunderstorms throughout which may disrupt play.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 9th August – Cloudy / Wind 7 mph S / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 34°C.
Tues 10th August – Cloudy / Wind 10 mph SSW / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 32°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 11th August – Cloudy / Wind 9 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 32°C.
Thurs 12th August – Cloudy / Wind 9 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 32°C.
Fri 13th August – Cloudy / Wind 8 mph SW  / Temp. Min. 18°C, Max. 30°C.
Sat 14th August – Sunny / Wind 8 mph NW  / Temp. Min. 15°C, Max. 28°C.
Sun 15th August – Sunny / Wind 6 mph SW / Temp. Min. 16°C, Max. 29°C.

Prizes

The 2021 U.S. Amateur champion will receive the following: –

a) A gold medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the following year;
b) An exemption to play in the 2022 U.S. Open which is being staged at The Country Club, Brookline;

and assuming they remain amateur,
c) An exemption to play in the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews;
d) An invitation to play in the 2022 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;
e) An exemption to play in the 2022 – 2031 U.S. Amateur Championships;

and unofficially

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

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two losing semi-finalists. A Bronze Medal is also awarded to the stroke play medalist(s).

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

img_9870

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

A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since. Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the U.S.G.A. Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

Spectators / Television Coverage

No public tickets have been sold for the stroke play stage of the Championship with spectators only being allowed onto the grounds of Oakmont on Wednesday – Sunday’s match play games.

Some highlights of the stroke play will be shown on the USGA website and social media channels.

In the USA Peacock, Golf Channel and NBC will be covering the match play stage.

In the UK Sky Sports Golf normally take the U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

2020 U.S. Amateur Championship

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) won the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. He beat Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) in the Final by 1 Hole.

2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci With The Havemayer Trophy (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) was the most successful GB&I entrant. He lost to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 2&1 in the Round of 32.

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) both lost in the Round of 64 coming out on the wrong side of tight matches against McClure MEISSNER (USA) 2&1 and Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) 19th hole respectively.

Wilson FURR (USA) 132 -11 secured medalist honours in the stroke play qualifying after posting a course record 62 (-9) on the Bandon Trails course on Day 2. His 62 was the joint second lowest score in U.S. Amateur history.

img_3568

Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Just three of the eleven GB&I players made it through to the match play stage of the Championship. John GOUGH (ENG) -2 finished tied 23rd, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) Ev tied 36th and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) +1 tied 48th.

The match play cut came at 145 (+2) with 18 players finishing on this score in tied 62nd place. An 18-for-3 spots play-off was therefore required to finalise the match play field.

Here is a summary of all of the GB&I stroke play qualifying results in 2020: –

img_3564

GB&I Stroke Play 36 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the full – 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

_____________________________________________

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and 2021 see its 121st playing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

15-21 August 2022 – Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey
14-20 August 2023 – Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
12-18 August 2024 – Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota
11-17 August 2025 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California
10-16 August 2026 – Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
09-15 August 2027 – Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York
11-17 August 2031 – Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tennessee
TBD August 2031 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon
TBD August 2041 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon

ME.

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

Jones Cup Invitational – 2021 Preview & Results

7th February 2021

Sweden’s Ludvig ABERG won the 2021 Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest G.C. in Georgia.

The Texas Tech University teammate of Scotland’s Sandy Scott finished on a 214 (-2) total, good enough for a 1-shot victory. His 2-under 70 in the second round, played in very difficult conditions, was probably the determining factor. Ironically he only secured his place in the field last week when there was a withdrawal. 

Aberg’s win secured him an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic event next November.

img_7683

Ludvig Aberg (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

With the 16th, 17th and 18th holes ranking as the 2nd, 5th and 6th hardest on the course over the three days it was inevitable that there would be some late twists in this tournament and so it proved to be.

Aberg bounced back from a bogey on the 17th by holing a winning 7 foot birdie putt on the final hole. This shortly after defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) had bogeyed both the 16th and 17th and Cole HAMMER (USA) had bogeyed the short 17th. To his credit co-runner up Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) pared all three finishing holes but in the end needed more.

Hammer, Thompson and Fitzpatrick finished in a three-way tie for 2nd place on 215 (-1).

img_4347

Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

John MURPHY (IRL) finished strongly with a final round 70 to secure tied 6th place on 217 (+1).

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) finished tied 11th on 219 (+3). His final round 71 was his best of the week and given his lack of competitive action in the last 6 months and the difficulties of practicing in the UK recently his overall performance was very impressive. The same goes for Matty LAMB (ENG) whose tied 22nd was no mean achievement.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) 21st and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) tied 22nd were both left to rue bad rounds, Barclay’s 78 today and Angus’ 80 yesterday.

Here are the final results for all thirteen of the GB&I players: – 

img_4346

GB&I Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full results – Jones Cup Invitational Results

Given the Walker Cup sub-plot this week  it is interesting to see the impact of these results on the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. The ranking was updated shortly after the finale with the notable moves being Fitzpatrick rising 37 places to 18th, Schmidt 14 places to 38th and John Murphy 95 places to 76th.

img_4349

SPWAR GB&I Top 30 On 7th February 2021 (Photo: SPWAR) 

ME.

_______________________________

6th February 2021

It was a wet and windy day in Georgia and the scores ballooned around the challenging Ocean Forest course. Yesterday the average score was 74.3, today it was 77.4 as the field of 84 generally struggled to deal with the conditions.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) and Spencer RALSTON (USA) share the 36 hole lead but both players reversed back into the field after rounds of 77 and 76 respectively. 

Ludvig ABERG (SWE) -2 is 3rd and will join the leaders in tomorrow’s final group. Aberg’s 70 was the joint best round of the day.

Ominously defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) moved into tied 4th after a very satisfactory 1-over 73.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) matched Thompson’s 73 and will start the final round on even par in tied 6th place. A top 10 finish here will go along way to securing his place in the GB&I Walker Cup team. 

img_4342

Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

There was just 4 rounds under par and one of par in Round 2. John MURPHY (IRL) shot the par 72 round to move up to tied 16th. 

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) and Matty LAMB (ENG) finished the day on +4 and tied 19th after shooting 74 and 76. Given their lack of competitive golf over the last six months both are doing well in such a high class field.

Mark POWER was on track for one of the best rounds of the day but a quadruple bogey 7 on the 17th ruined what had been another very good bad weather day for the Irishman. His 2-over par 74 didn’t tell the full story and left him back in tied 25th, alongside Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL).

By way of reminder there is no cut in the Jones Cup Invitational with all of the players returning for the final round tomorrow. Some may be looking forward to this more than others as the weather forecast is again mixed.

Here are the full Round 2 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

img_4340-1

GB&I Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

ME.

_______________________________

5th February 2021

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) leads the Jones Cup Invitational after recording an opening round 64 (-8).

Starting on the 10th tee at 8.50am the Yorkshireman quickly got into his stride with five birdies in his opening nine holes. A further three were added on the front nine as he completed a blemish free round. His final birdie on the par 3 9th secured a new tournament record round score. 

img_4331

Alex Fitzpatrick’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Spencer RALSTON (USA) -7 and Maxwell FORD (USA) -5, who had played alongside Fitzpatrick, finished the day in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Ralston and Ford were also bogey free in Round 1.

Defending champion and Ocean Forest G.C. specialist Davis THOMPSON (USA) shot 70 (-2) to finish the day in tied 7th place.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG), who like Fitzpatrick are both studying in the U.S. College system, are tied 11th after 71’s (-1). Both played well but were unable to avoid all of the pitfalls on this tricky course; Brown posting three bogeys and Flanagan four.

Like Flanagan Matty LAMB (ENG) let a good round slip on the closing holes of the front nine having started on the 10th. Four bogeys in his final five holes will have frustrated the Hexham player who had previously suggested that he had lost none of his excellent 2020 form. Nevertheless an even par 72 for tied 19th place represents a solid start.  

Here are the full Round 1 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

img_4336

GB&I Round 1 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)   

ME.

_______________________________

1st February 2021 

The 17th Jones Cup Invitational will be played between 5th-7th February 2021 at Ocean Forest G.C. on the northern tip of Sea Island in Georgia.

Historically a top 10 ranked amateur tournamant this year it will be taking on even greater importance. The COVID-19 impacted schedule and the early playing of the Walker Cup match in May means results here may have a significant bearing on the final selection of both teams. Even more so given the similarities between the Seminole and Ocean Forest courses.   

It is also worth noting that the winner of the Jones Cup Invitational earns an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, subject to them remaining an amateur. This year’s RSM Classic will be played at Sea Island G.C. on 18th-21st November 2021. 

I will be updating this article as the tournament progresses with daily reports.

The Jones Cup Invitational was first played in January 2001 as a prelude to that year’s Walker Cup match which was being staged at Ocean Forest in August.

The Jones Cup Junior Invitational and Jones Cup Senior Invitational commenced in 2009 and 2012 respectively. These two competitions are played at Sea Island G.C.’s nearby Seaside Course.

A new Sea Island Women’s Amateur will be played for the first time between 27th-29th July 2021 also on the Seaside Course.

Format

The Jones Cup Invitational is a 54 hole individual stroke play competition played over three days.

Given the small field there is no cut. 

17th Hole, Ocean Forest Golf Club (Photo: Evan Schiller)

Players

The Jones Cup Invitational Committee invite 84 players to contest their tournament.

The majority of invites are granted based on each player’s previous performances and their world amateur rankings.

An 18 hole qualifying event was played on Sea Island’s Plantation Course on 18th January with three spots in the main event allocated to the leading players from a field of 78. 

13 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are competing this year. 10 of the 15 man GB&I Walker Cup squad are in attendance. They are (in alphabetical order with their SPWARs): –

Jonathan BALE (WAL) #4761 
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #34 WC SQUAD
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #67 WC SQUAD 
Callum FARR (ENG) #132 WC SQUAD
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #51 WC SQUAD
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #66 WC SQUAD
Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #363
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #1148
Matty LAMB (ENG) #57 WC SQUAD
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #77 WC SQUAD
John MURPHY (IRL) #167 WC SQUAD
Mark POWER (IRL) #22 WC SQUAD
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #50 WC SQUAD

Ben JONES (ENG) had entered but withdrew last week.

For those GB&I players not studying in USA such as Jake Bolton, Callum Farr, Conor Gough, Matty Lamb, Tom McKibbin and Ben Schmidt this will be one of the last playing opportunities they have to impress before the Walker Cup team is selected.

In a very strong field there are 26 other players in the SPWAR Top 100 competing (in rank order): –

Quade CUMMINS (USA) #2 WC SQUAD
Davis THOMPSON (USA) #5 WC SQUAD – defending champion 
Cole HAMMER (USA) #6 WC SQUAD
Pierceson COODY (USA) #8 WC SQUAD
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) #9
McClure MEISSNER (USA) #12 WC SQUAD
William HOLCOMB (USA) #19
Luke POTTER (USA) #21
Travis VICK (USA) #25
Parker COODY (USA) #28
Ludvig ABERG (SWE) #29
Trey WINSTEAD (USA) #29
Graysen HUFF
 (USA) #33
Trent PHILLIPS (USA) #37
Kelly CHINN
 (USA) #40
Jonathan BRIGHTWELL
(USA) #42
Julian PERICO (PER)
#43
Garett REBAND
(USA)
#48 WC SQUAD
Wilson FURR (USA)
#69
Mateo FERNANDEX DE OLIVEIRA
(ARG) #74
Jackson SUBER
 (USA) #78
Stewart HAGESTAD
(USA) #83 WC SQUAD
Austin HITT
(USA) #86
Hunter WOLCOTT
(USA) #90
Ryan HALL
(USA) #94
Julien SALE
(USA) #100 

As shown above there are seven players selected for the 16-man US Walker Cup Squad playing this week in Georgia.

On 21st December 2020 the USGA confirmed that the three highest ranked players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) as at 10th February 2021, i.e. immediately following the playing of the Jones Cup Invitational, would receive exemptions onto the 2021 USA Walker Cup team. As at 3rd February the three ‘places’ are currently held by Davis THOMPSON #2, Ricky CASTILLO #5 and Pierceson COODY #6. Castillo is not playing this week due to University commitments. Garrett REBAND #10, Quade CUMMINS #12, Stewart HAGESTAD #14 and McClure MEISSNER #18 are and will all be hoping to force their way into the automatic WAGR USA selection spots.

Course

Ocean Forest is a challenging course with an exposed seaside links feel. Holes run alongside both the Hampton River and the Atlantic Ocean with marshes and the sea abutting a number of the fairways and greens. The remaining holes are cut through a pine forest.

Natural sand dunes are evident albeit the defining feature is the small undulating greens. 

The course plays to 7,321 yards with a standard par of 72.

13th Hole, Ocean Forest G.C. (Photo: Evan Schiller) 

The Club was founded in 1995 by Bill Jones III. His family’s Sea Island Company having owned the land since the 1920’s.

Jones invited architect Rees Jones to design a championship course on the site with work commencing in September 1993. Some renovation work was subsequently done by Rees Jones in 2007.

President George H. Bush, Bill Jones III, former U.S. attorney general Griffin Bell, David Love III and Rees Jones played the opening round in Spring 1995.  

The course was awarded the 2001 Walker Cup shortly after opening. At just 6 years old it remains the youngest club to be afforded this honour. Peter McEvoy led GB&I to a convincing 15-9 victory.  

Weather Forecast (as at 3rd February)

Showers and moderate winds appear to be in order for the tournament which traditionally has cool weather.

Fri 5th Feb. – Showers / Wind 17 mph SW / Temp. Min. 8°C, Max. 18°C.
Sat 6th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph NE / Temp. Min. 10°C, Max. 12°C.
Sun 7th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph N / Temp. Min. 9°C, Max. 14°C.

2020 Jones Cup Invitational

Local player Davis THOMPSON (USA) won the 2020 Jones Cup Invitational by 9-shots after a record breaking performance. 

His 203 (-13) total was capped by a final round of 65, almost certainly the best in the tournament’s history. 

Davis Thompson (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

From a GB&I perspective Mark POWER (IRL) +3 was our highest finisher in tied 13th.

Joe PAGDIN (ENG), Callum BRUCE (SCO), John PATERSON (SCO) all +5 came tied 21st, Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) +7 tied 31st and Archie DAVIES (WAL) +9 tied 37th.  

Click here to view the – Jones Cup Invitational 2020 Results

To finish off here is a list of the past winners with their finishing scores: –

2020 – Davis THOMPSON (USA) 203 (-13)
2019 – Akshay BHATIA (USA) 142 (-2) – event shortened to 36 holes due to bad weather
2018 – Garrett BARBER (USA) 212 (-4) – winner of the Jones Cup Junior Invitational in 2016
2017 – Braden THORNBERRY (USA) 212 (-4)
2016 – Beau HOSSLER (USA) 214 (-2)
2015 – Austen CONNELLY (USA) 216 (Ev) 
2014 – Corey CONNORS (CAN) 218 (+2)
2013 – Sean DALE (USA) 213 (-3)
2012 – Justin THOMAS (USA) 216 (Ev)
2011 – John PETERSON (USA) 217 (+1)
2010 – Patrick READ (USA) 222 (+6)
2009 – Kyle STANLEY (USA) 217 (+1)
2007 – Luke LIST (USA) 206 (-10) – played at Frederica G.C. due to renovation work at Ocean Forest
2005 – Nicholas THOMPSON (USA) 214 (-2)
2003 – Gregg JONES (USA) 211 (-5)
2001 – DJ TRAHAN (USA) 210 (-6)

Canada’s Corey Connors is the only non-American winner of the Jones Cup Invitational.

ME.

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

The Amateur Championship – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

Sunday 30th August 2020

Joe LONG (ENG) won the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. to become the 51st Englishman to lift the famous silver trophy.

img_7344

Joe Long (Photo: Richard Heathcote / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

Joe beat his namesake Joe HARVEY (ENG) 4&3 in the 36 hole Final.

Long built up a 3Up lead after 11 holes helped by birdies on the 5th, 6th, 9th and 10th holes. Whilst Harvey battled till the end Long steadied himself after a shaky opening nine in the afternoon to see out the match.

img_3758

Long v. Harvey (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Long and Harvey were well known to each other coming into the Final; hailing from the Gloucestershire County and golf clubs just 10 miles apart, namely The Kendleshire and Lansdown respectively.

It was the first all-England final since Graeme Storm defeated Aran Wainwright 7&6 at Royal County Down in 1999. The last English champion was Harry Ellis who won at Royal St George’s in 2017.

Joe LONG was the clear favourite before play commenced. At the beginning of the Championship he was ranked 102nd and 31st in the WAGR and SPWAR whilst Joe HARVEY was 897th and 387th.

With his victory Joe LONG secured exemptions into the Open, Masters Tournament and US Open in 2021. He also guaranteed a place in the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team.

Joe Long shot a 74 (-3) in the stroke play qualifying to finish tied 30th. In then reaching the Final he also had to care of three of England’s leading players Olly HUGGINS, Barclay BROWN and Jake BOLTON. All in all a well deserved victory for the 23 year old.

img_3759Joe Long’s Match Play Results (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Click here to follow the – 2020 Amateur Championship Match Play Scores

ME.

_____________________________________________

Saturday 29th August 2020

Semi-Finals

Here are the results from Saturday afternoon’s Semi-Finals: –

img_3753

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

Joe HARVEY (ENG) beat Mark POWER (IRL) by 3&2 in the first Semi-Final at Royal Birkdale G.C. The Bristolian made a good start and having moved into a 3Up lead after 6 holes saw out the match relatively comfortably despite Power improving down the home stretch.

img_3752

Harvey v. Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Joe LONG (ENG) beat Jake BOLTON (ENG) by 2&1 in the second Semi-Final at Royal Birkdale G.C. The standard of play doesn’t appear to have been as good as the first semi but at this stage it’s all about the result. After a demanding week perhaps Long’s much easier Quarter Final when compared with Bolton’s gave him an advantage.

img_3754

Long v. Bolton Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Quarter Finals

Here are the results from Saturday morning’s four matches: –

img_3749

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

Joe HARVEY (ENG) did what was required to overcome an out of sorts Victor H.S. SVENDSEN (DEN) in the first Quarter Final.

img_3745

Svendsen v. Harvey Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Barclay BROWN (ENG) couldn’t find the game he had enjoyed yesterday and succumbed easily to a very steady performance form Joe LONG (ENG).

img_3747

Brown v. Long Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Five birdies in his opening 10 holes provided Mark POWER (IRL) with a strong foundation against Callan BARROW (ENG) and he saw out the match to secure the third semi-final place.

img_3746

Barrow v. Power Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

The fourth match proved to be the tightest with Jake BOLTON (ENG) taken all the way by Hamish W. BROWN (DEN).

img_3748

Bolton v. Brown Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

ME.

_____________________________________________

Friday 28th August 2020

Round 4

Joe HARVEY (ENG), Callan BARROW (ENG), Mark POWER (IRL), Barclay BROWN (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG) and Jake BOLTON (ENG) all won their Last 16 matches to progress to the Quarter Finals.

Some of the results were a little more comprehensive this afternoon as the mental and physical stresses perhaps started to show up a little more in the play.

img_3741

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

The SPWAR was updated after Round 4 of The Amateur so heading into the Quarter Finals I thought it would be interesting to review the current rankings of the remaining players: –
Joe LONG (ENG) – #8
Jake BOLTON (ENG) – #19
Mark POWER (IRL) – #34
Barclay BROWN (ENG) – #37
Callan BARROW (ENG) – #94
Joe HARVEY (ENG) – #151
Victor H.S. SVENDSEN (DEN) – #192
Hamish W. BROWN (DEN) – #236

Round 3

22 GB&I players became 11 after the completion of Round 3 this morning.

Three Danes, Victor H.S. SVENDSEN, Frederik KJETTRUP and Hamish W. BROWN make up the majority of the five overseas players still standing and are clearly finding Royal Birkdale to their liking.

Svendsen beat Ilari SAULO (FIN), who having won two matches yesterday, quickly fell back down to earth with a heavy defeat in the opening game of the day.

Callum FARR (ENG) enjoyed a solid 3&2 victory over his England teammate Tom PLUMB (ENG).

Mark POWER and Marc BOUCHER ensured Irish interest remained well and truly alive in the Championship overcoming the in form English pair Jack DYER and Matty LAMB respectively.

The other Irish player in the draw Tom MCKIBBIN saw his hopes ended at the hands of Barclay BROWN (ENG).

img_3734

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Thursday 27th August 2020

Round 2

The ‘Curse of the Medalist’ struck Ruben LINDSAY (SCO) who lost 2&1 to Finland’s Ilari SAULO. Saulo, who won the 2020 Finnish Amateur in early August, had already given notice of his continued good form when he knocked out Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) in the Preliminary Round.

David RAVETTO (FRA), winner of the Brabazon Trophy last week, beat Jack COPE (ENG), the English Amateur champion, by 5&4 in an interesting match up thrown up by the draw.

Dubai-based Josh HILL (ENG) completed a long day on the links with a smile on his face after winning his second match on the 19th hole. His victory over Sam BROADHURST (ENG) suggests that he may now be ready to fulfil his undoubted potential over here.

img_3719

img_3720

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

Preliminary Round 1

Day 3 of The Amateur Championship started with the Preliminary Round 1 which featured the eight lowest qualifiers. The four winners feeding into the Round 2 draw against the top four qualifiers.

Josh HILL (ENG) and Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) were the two GB&I players to progress to Round 2.

img_3715

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Wednesday 26th August 2020

In form 16 year old Ruben LINDSAY (SCO), the reigning Scottish Boys’ Amateur champion, shot a 67 (-4) to win the 18 hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition.

Play started at 7.30am this morning with the original Round 2 tee times being used by the 120 players contesting this year’s Amateur Championship.

36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying was introduced in 1983 and this was the first time in 37 years that The R&A have been unable to complete it in full.

img_3714

Ruben Lindsay’s Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Four other players broke par at the challenging Lancashire links today. Mason ESSAM (ENG), 21, finished 2nd on -3 with Sam BROADHURST (ENG), 23, and Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), 18, a shot further back in tied 3rd with Jack DYER (ENG), 22, securing the 5th seed on -1.

The decision to reduce the Stroke Play Qualifying competition to just 18 holes saw The R&A extend qualifying to the leading 64 players and ties. The original competition rules had stated that a card count back approach would be adopted for the first time in the Men’s event this year.

As a result 68 players progressed to the Match Play Stage with the cut coming at scores of 76 (+5) or better.

The qualifiers comprise 29 English players, 7 Scottish, 6 Irish, 6 Danish, 5 German, 5 Italian, 4 Swiss, 2 Finnish and 1 each from Estonia, France, Norway and Wales.

img_3697

img_3698

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

Amongst the more notable players to narrowly miss out were England Internationals Harry GODDARD +6, Robin WILLIAMS +6, Max MARTIN +6 and Conor GOUGH +7.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

Tuesday 25th August 2020

Round 1 of the Stroke Play Qualifying competition at the 2020 Amateur Championship was abandoned at 4.00pm. All of the scores that had been posted today, and there were some very good completed rounds in atrocious conditions, were cancelled.

Play had started on time at 7.30am but was quickly suspended at 7.50pm due to heavy rain and strong winds. It re-commenced at 9.50am before again having to be suspended at 2.50pm. No resumption in play was possible.

The R&A has decided to reduce the Stroke Play Qualifying to 18 holes which will now be played tomorrow. The top 64 players and ties will now go through to the Match Play Stage.

Assuming no time extension was possible I would have retained the 36 holes of stroke play and reduced the qualifiers to the top 32. The proposed one round of stroke play and six rounds of match play is now too lopsided a format for my liking.

18 holes of stroke play turns qualifying into a shootout and may not see all of the best players progress.

I would also have retained the new card count back rule that had been introduced to The Amateur this year. This is primarily because The R&A have historically not conducted the match play draw correctly when trying to accommodate a Preliminary Round, i.e. the medalist hasn’t played the 64th seed (or higher), etc. [These latter concerns proved to be unfounded on Wednesday evening as The R&A made the draw correctly this year – see above.]

ME.

_____________________________________________

24th August 2020

The 125th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Birkdale G.C. in Southport, England on 25th – 30th August 2020.

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.

The 2020 Championship was originally due to be co-hosted by Royal Birkdale and West Lancashire G.C.’s in England from 15th – 20th June 2020 but was re-scheduled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

West Lancs. is now hosting The Women’s Amateur Championship, being staged  concurrently with the men’s event, having replaced Kilmarnock (Barassie) G.C. for logistical reasons.

In order to receive Government and Local Authority approval to proceed The R&A have agreed that the Championship will be played behind closed doors with no spectators and only essential / authorised personnel on-site.

Format

The normal field of 288 players has been reduced to 120 this year.

Two stroke play qualifying rounds will be completed on Tuesday 25th August and Wednesday 26th August.

English Amateur champion Jack COPE (ENG) will hit the first shot of the Championship at 7.30am. With an 11 minute gap between tee times the final group will go out at 2.54pm on each of the opening days.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Tee Times

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores will advance to the match play stage.

In a welcome change by The R&A a Round 2 card countback will be used to ensure a clean 64 players advance. Ties for 64th place will not advance as they have done in previous years and as a result there will be no preliminary round and a standard match play draw will be made made.

The Match Play stage will then be played between Thursday 27th and Sunday 30th August.

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

img_3624-1

Royal Birkdale G.C.’s 18th Hole and Clubhouse (Photo: thetravellinggolfer.com)

Players

The 120 players have been firstly drawn from a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections.

Thereafter places have been allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 30 2020, i.e. the Wednesday 29th July release.

Players from 13 different countries will contest the 2020 Amateur Championship. 34 countries were represented in 2019 highlighting the impact of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and the 60% reduction in the field size.

England have 44 players in the field (37%), Scotland 17, Ireland 10 and Wales 4.

The COVID-19 travel restrictions mean that James SUGRUE (IRL) is unable to defend his title ahead of appearing in the 2020 U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot G.C. on 17-20th September.

Outside of the home nations the best represented countries are Italy (10), Germany (9), Switzerland (9) and Denmark (8).

Notably there are no players this year from Australia, South Africa and USA.

Current circumstances mean this is probably the weakest field ever assembled for an Amateur Championship. There are just 9 players in the WAGR top 100 competing (as at 29th July). These are Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #27, Ben JONES (ENG) #30, Conor GOUGH (ENG) #37, David RAVETTO (FRA) #52, Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) #62, Jake BOLTON (ENG) #77, Mark POWER (IRL) #81, Matty LAMB (ENG) #87 and Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #93. The picture isn’t improved by looking further down WAGR either; there are 23 players starting the event in the top 200 and 31 in the top 300.

France’s David RAVETTO and Denmark’s Christoffer BRING, winner and runner-up in this week’s Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest, will arrive in Southport full of confidence.

Host Course

Royal Birkdale G.C. is one of the most famous golf courses in GB&I staging numerous Championships and International Matches since coming to prominence after World War II.

Birkdale G.C. was formed in 1889 with the club moving to the current site in 1897.

Hawtree and former Open Champion J.H. Taylor set about routing the course between the sandhills in the 1930s. Major changes were subsequently made in the 1960s and 1990s to ensure the layout remained at the forefront of the game.

The Club received it’s royal patronage from King George VI in 1951.

Birkdale has previously hosted the Amateur Championship in 1946, 1989 and 2005.

img_3621

Royal Birkdale Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

The course will play to around 7,100 yards during the Championship and a par of 71.

The formidable final six holes will no doubt come into play during the match play stage.

img_3617

Royal Birkdale Course Map (Photo: Royal Birkdale G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Monday 24th August)

The weather forecast looks generally wet for the week with scoring unlikely to be helped by moderate to strong breezes throughout: –

Tues 25th – Heavy Rain. Wind 45 mph SE. Temp. Max. 19°C / Min 15°C.
Wed 26th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 26 mph NW. Temp. Max. 18°C / Min 12°C.
Thurs 27th – Light Rain Showers. Wind 8 mph S. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 12°C.
Fri 28th – Light Rain Showers. Wind 16 mph NE. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Sat 29th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph NW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.
Sun 30th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph NW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 9°C.

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

Tee times between 7.30am and 2.54pm mean changes in the weather can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Royal Birkdale G.C.’s 12th Hole (Photo: visitliverpool.com)

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties decided on the lowest second round score (or final nine, 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 will be exempt into the 149th Open Championship being staged at Royal St. George’s G.C. in Kent, England in July 2021.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also exempted into the 2021 U.S. Open Championship which is being held at Torrey Pines G.C. in San Diego, California.

Finally, given the May 2021 staging of the next Walker Cup match any GB&I player who wins this Amateur Championship will be assured of a place in our team.

2019 Amateur Championship

James SUGRUE (IRE) won the 124th Amateur Championship at Portmarnock G.C. beating Euan WALKER (SCO) by 2 Holes in a competitive Final which went the full 36 holes.

James from Mallow G.C. was the 8th Irish winner of the title following in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen, Max McCready, Joe Carr, Garth McGimpsey, Michael Hoey, Brian McElhinney and most recently Alan Dunbar in 2012.

img_3616

James Sugrue (Photo: The R&A / Sam Barnes / Getty Images)

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Tom PLUMB (ENG) secured Stroke Play medalist honours at the 2019 Amateur after posting an aggregate 36 hole score of 139 (-4). Plumb shot a 68 at The Island in Round 1 and a 71 (-1) on Day 2 at Portmarnock. John AXELSEN (DEN) also recorded a 139 (-4) total but lost out by 4-shots on combined back nine count back.  

Click here to view the – 2019 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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

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 huge rewards on offer.

img_9362

The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: Dominik Holyer) 

Past Winners

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

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

Prior to James Sugrue’s win in 2019 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

21st August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA) won the 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest G.C.

img_3683

David Ravetto (Photo: Leaderboard Photography / FFGolf)

Ravetto secured the title on the second sudden death play-off hole (the 2nd) with a birdie after he and Christoffer BRING (DEN) and Mark POWER (IRL) couldn’t be separated after 72 holes. Power fell out of the play-off on the 1st extra hole after he could only par it – Bring and Ravetto both birdied.

It was clear from today’s weather forecast that the conclusion of the Brabazon Trophy was likely to be far from straight forward and so it proved. Anything can happen when the wind is gusting up to 50mph.

Mark POWER, who had started the day tied for 12th, produced one of the best rounds seen for some time by a GB&I amateur to ask the question of the leaders playing behind him. His 66 (-5) included two eagles and three birdies. To put his score into context just 6 of the 68 players broke par today with the other five all recording 70’s (-1).

Power’s 274 (-11) total initially looked like it would be a little short of the necessary mark but as time passed by it became clear that his work may not be done for the day.

img_3679

Mark Power’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

David RAVETTO, playing in the penultimate three ball, looked to have stood up to the conditions and Power’s clubhouse pressure when he birdied the 16th to move to -11. However, a bogey on 17 saw him fall back into a tie with the Irishman on -10 with both players left to nervously wait to see how leader Christoffer BRING would finish.

img_3677

David Ravetto’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Bring was on -13 after 12 holes when Power completed his round. With a three shot lead and six holes to play the Championship was the Dane’s to win. However, an untidy double bogey on the par 3 15th and a bogey on 17 saw him come back to the two chasers.

img_3678

Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

English pair Barclay BROWN and Jack DYER -8 finished tied for 4th with compatriots Enrique DIMAYUGA and Sam BAIRSTOW one shot further back in tied 6th.

Barclay Brown won The George Henriques Salver, awarded to the leading GB&I player under the age of 20.

Northern Ireland’s Tom MCKIBBIN -6 finished 8th after a consistent tournament, Joe LONG -5 9th delivered another strong result and Jack COPE -4 backed up his recent English Amateur victory with a tied 10th place alongside Josh BRISTOW from Kent.

img_3675

Leading Results (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

20th August 2020

Christoffer BRING (DEN) shot a joint best of the day 65 (-6) to move into a share of the lead on Day 3 of the Brabazon Trophy. Two late bogeys, including one on his final hole, shows how good his round could have been. Nevertheless to record just five bogeys in the Championship to date is impressive stuff – just Sam Bairstow has less to his name (4).

img_3656

Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

England’s Enrique DIMAYUGA (-11) continues to enjoy himself at Sherwood Forest. The promising youngster from Walton Heath posted a 66, helped by an eagle and a birdie on the 16th and 17th holes, to join Bring out front.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) posted a 67 to move into 3rd place on -10 whilst first round leader David RAVETTO (FRA) matched his opening round 66 to move back into contention alongside Jack DYER (ENG) in tied 4th on -9.

Barclay BROWN‘s (ENG) 66 included two eagles, one on the par 5 5th followed by a hole-in-one on the 7th. Having pared every hole coming home after his 1 the Stanford University student from Sheffield stands well placed in tied 6th (-7) to make a run at the title tomorrow.

English Amateur champion Jack COPE (ENG) took advantage of making the cut on the +1 mark in Round 3. His blemish free 65 (-6) lifted him up to tied 12th on -5.

img_3658

Jack Cope’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Harry BUTLER (ENG) joined Cope in tied 12th after producing the other 65 of round 3. His eagle 2 on the 9th the standout in what appears to have been an exciting round of golf.

img_3657

Harry Butler’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Here are the leading scores after 54 holes: –

img_3655

Leading Rd 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

ME.

_____________________________________________

19th August 2020

Rain arrived in Nottinghamshire in the late morning and stayed until the end of play. Players with an early morning Round 2 tee time clearly had a major advantage over the later starters today.

Jack DYER (ENG) produced the best round of the week this morning to take the 36-hole lead on 134 (-8). His 64 (-7), which included eight birdies, equalled the course record at Sherwood Forest G.C.

img_3636

Jack Dyer’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Other morning starters Mark POWER (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) (-6) are on hot on Jack’s heels. Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) did very well to join Sam on -6 given his afternoon tee time where he played in the worst of the weather.

Andrew NI (SCO) matched David Revatto’s 66 (-5) from yesterday to march up the leaderboard on Day 2.

Experienced performers Tom PLUMB (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) -4 and Jake BOLTON (ENG) -4 are all nicely placed to mount an attack on the leaders in the coming days.

Here are the leading scores after 36 holes: –

img_3642

Leading Rd 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

68 players made the 60th and ties 36 hole cut which drifted out to 143 (+1) as the wet conditions took their toll later on.

Playing together English Amateur champion, Jack COPE (ENG), and the defending Brabazon champion, Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), both fought back after disappointing opening rounds with 69’s (-2) this morning to made it in on the +1 mark.

Conor GOUGH (ENG) +2, Matty LAMB (ENG) +3, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) +3 and  Olly HUGGINS (ENG) +3 were amongst the players to miss the cut.

ME.

_____________________________________________

18th August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA), Matt McCLEAN (IRL) and Josh BRISTOW (ENG) all shot opening rounds of 66 (-5) to share the Round 1 lead at Sherwood Forest G.C.

Here are the details of the three leading rounds:-

img_3630

Ravetto, McClean and Bristow Scorecards (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

At the end of Round 1 there were 68 players on 71 (Ev) or better.

Here are the leading scores after Round 1: –

img_3631

Leading Rd 1 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

ME.

_____________________________________________

13th August 2020

The 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Sherwood Forest Golf Club between Tuesday 18th and Friday 21st August.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

Format

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

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

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

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Terms of Competition

Field

A 144 competitors will start the 2020 Championship.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic no regional qualifying tournaments have been staged this year. The field has therefore been determined by exemptions and a handicap ballot.

With the exception of those players who have been competing in the U.S. Amateur all of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading amateurs will be on show. A number of players from the Continent of Europe have also made the effort to travel over to Nottinghamshire.

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked as the 20th best amateur event by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a jump from 41st in 2018 but a fall from 17thin 2017.

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Rounds 1 and 2 Drawsheet – use Menu filter

Play will start at 7.00am on the opening two days with the final tee time being 3.30pm.

Prizes

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

img_5828

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

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

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

The Philip Scruton Jug is normally awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy. However, this year it won’t be presented as the latter event has been cancelled.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club

Sherwood Forest G.C. is located on heathland to the east of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.

The Club can trace its roots back to 1895 and moved to its current location in 1911. The course was designed by Harry Colt and revised by James Braid in the 1920s. Further changes to the greens and tees were made in the 1980s by Cotton, Pennink, Steel and Hawtree.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Course Map (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

The course can be stretched to 6,800 yards with the front nine situated on more open land and the longer back nine tree lined.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

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

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking a little mixed at the moment (as at 17th August) with fresh breezes expected to pick up throughout each day.

Tues 18th Aug – Light Showers / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 14°C.
Wed 19th Aug – Thundery Showers / Wind 15 mph SE / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 16°C.
Thur 20th Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 15 mph S / Temp. Min. 23°C / Min 15°C.
Fri 21st Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 20 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C / Max. 13°C.

2019 Brabazon Trophy

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), just 16 at the time, won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship by 5-shots with a 271 (-13) finishing total.

Ben was the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time at Alwoodley G.C.

IMG_0881

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

fullsizeoutput_36cf

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

Harry HALL (ENG) -8 finished second, Euan WALKER (SCO) -7 third and Ben FIRTH (ENG) -4 fourth

Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Click these links to view other recent results: –

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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

16th August 2020 – Match Play Final

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) is the 120th U.S. Amateur champion. He beat Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) in a high quality Final by 1 Hole.

Allowing for the usual match play concessions there were 23 birdies and 1 eagle in the 36 holes played. Strafaci shot rounds of 69 and 67 and Osborne rounds of 66 and 68.

2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci With The Havemayer Trophy (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Tyler STRAFACI (USA), 22, started the Final as favourite based on his WAGR of 56th compared with Osborne’s 460th. Strafaci had also won the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst earlier this summer too.

There were two facts that made Tyler’s participation in the Final interesting. His late grandfather Frank Sr was a USGA champion, winning the U.S. Public Links Championship in 1935 and like the 2019 U.A. Amateur champion, Andy Ogletree (USA), he is a product of the Georgia Tech University golf program.

However, golf is no respecter of rankings or history. Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA), 20, a rising junior at Southern Methodist University (SMU), made a dream start birdieing the opening three holes and building a 5Up lead after 12 holes having played just 41 shots (6-under par).

Perhaps the key part of the Final were the next 5 holes where Strafaci found his form and reduced the deficit to just 1Up after the opening 18 holes.

img_3606

Strafaci v. Osborne Match Play Final Scorecard, 1-18 Holes (Photo: USGA)

Strafaci achieved parity on the second hole of the afternoon round with a birdie on the 2nd and moved into the lead for the first time on the 25th with another.

Whilst pegged back on the 31st birdies on the 32nd and 33rd appeared to have earned Strafaci the title. He was after all now 2Up with 3 holes to play.

However, the realisation of what he was about to achieve perhaps overcame him and bogeys on the 34th and 35th set up a nervy final hole decider. Strafaci recovered his composure and a 245 yard 4-iron to 25 feet set up a tap-in birdie which proved good enough to win the Championship.

The Final was the fourth consecutive match which Strafaci had won on Bandon Dunes’ 18th hole.

img_3607

Strafaci v. Osborne Match Play Final Scorecard, 19-36 Holes (Photo: USGA)

Conditions were again near perfect in Oregon with sunshine and a gentle breeze seen for almost all of the match. A sea mist drifted in as the players completed the final holes.

Here are the USGA’s video highlights of the Final: –

The two finalists earned an exemption into the 2021 U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines and the 2021 U.S. Masters Tournament.

By taking the title Strafaci also secured a place in the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s (if he remains an amateur) and a place on the USA’s 2021 Walker Cup team. Hailing from Davie, near Fort Lauderdale, in Florida Strafaci’s family home is a short distance from Seminole, the venue of the next May’s match.

Click here to view the full – 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

15th August 2020 – Match Play Semi-Finals

Playing conditions were perfect on Saturday with temperatures in the 70’s and very light winds.

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) was taken to the final hole for the third match running before overcoming Aman GUPTA (USA) 1Up. Strafaci had led 4Up after 12 holes but needed to win the 18th to take his place in the final.

‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) took control of his match with Matthew SHARPSTENE (USA) with a birdie on the 9th, a winning par on the difficult par 4 11th and consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th.

img_3600

ME.

_____________________________________________

14th August 2020 – Match Play Quarter Finals

img_3596

Match Play Quarter Finals Results (Photo: USGA)

Tyler STRAFACI (USA), 22, beat mid-amateur Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), 29, by 1 Hole.

No mid-amateur has won the U.S. Amateur since John Harris in 1993. Hagestad has probably now done enough to secure a spot in the 2021 U.S.A. Walker Cup team, which will be his third consecutive appearance.

Philip BARBAREE (USA), 22 and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA), 18, both lost thus losing the opportunity to join Tiger Woods as the only winner to date of both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships. Barbaree won the Junior in 2015 and Thorbjornsen in 2018.

Aman GUPTA (USA), 21, is the highest stroke play seed remaining. He only earned a spot in the Championship when Ricky CASTILLO (USA) withdrew last friday.

Matt SHARPSTENE (USA), 21, won the opening hole of his match against Barbaree and was never caught.

Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA), 20, beat Cameron SISK (USA), 20, who had come through the stroke play play-off to earn the 62nd seed, by 2&1. Osborne led 4Up after 10 holes, lost the next four holes before recovering to take his place in the semi-finals.

For the first time since 2004 all of the quarter finalists were from America.

ME.

_____________________________________________

13th August 2020 – Match Play Round of 32 and Round of 16

The winds picked up to gusts of over 30mph in the afternoon making conditions tough.

Of particular note in the Round of 16 was Tyler STRAFACI‘s (USA), 22, 1Hole win over Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG). With the match tied Oliva Pinto’s approach to the final green finished in a green side bunker and inexplicably when he reached the bunker his caddie jumped in and started rubbing the sand with his hand to test the depth. A loss of hole penalty was assessed and as a result Strafaci progressed.

Here are the afternoon Round of 16 results: –

img_3590

Match Play Rd of 16 Results (Photo: USGA)

_____________________________________________

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) lost his morning Round of 32 match to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 2&1 thus ending GB&I interest in this year’s Championship.

Scott again got off to a bad start before recovering. However, Chatfield maintained his composure and two late mistakes from the Scotsman enabled him to regain the upper hand,

img_3588

Chatfield v. Scott Match Play Rd of 32 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) bogeyed the 18th and double bogeyed the 19th to hand his Round of 32 match to Harrison OTT (USA). No medalist has won the U.S. Amateur since 2003.

Conqueror of John Gough Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) had a good win taking out McClure MEISSNER (USA) who had beaten Angus Flanagan in the previous round.

Here are the complete Round of 32 results: –

img_3592

Match Play Rd of 32 Results (Photo: USGA)

ME.

_____________________________________________

12th August 2020 – Play-Off and Match Play Round of 64

Cameron SISK (USA), Evan KATZ (USA) and Aaron DU (CHN) came through the 18-for-3 play-off early on Wednesday morning. Sisk and Katz birdied Bandon Dunes’ 375 yard 10th whilst Du birdied the 435 yard 11th to finish affairs off relatively quickly.

From a GB&I perspective only Sandy SCOTT seeded 42 (SCO) was able to negotiate his Round of 64 match coming back from 3Down after 6 holes to beat Brayden GARRISON (USA) 23 by 3&2.

img_3585

Garrison v. Scott Match Play Rd of 64 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Scott should now be looking confidently towards the latter stages of this Championship. He won both of his singles in last year’s Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, has a nice comeback win under his belt here at Bandon and he is the highest WAGR ranked player left in the field (6th).

Unfortunately Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) both came out on the wrong side of tight matches.

The Southern Amateur champion McClure MEISSNER (USA) 8 beat Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 57 by 2&1. The American won the 16th and 17th holes with birdies to secure the win.

John GOUGH (ENG) 25 lost on the 19th hole to Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) 40. Oliva Pinto birdied the 17th to regain parity before another birdie on the 19th hole saw him through to the Round of 32.

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) continued his good form by beating Aaron DU (CHN) by 6&4. However, there were notable losses for highly fancied Davis THOMPSON (USA) and John AUGENSTEIN (USA) in Round 1.

img_3601

img_3602

ME.

_____________________________________________

11th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

22 year old University of Alabama student Wilson FURR (USA) 132 -11 secured medalist honours after posting a course record 62 (-9) on the Bandon Trails course on Day 2. His 62 was the joint second lowest score in U.S. Amateur history.

img_3568

Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

img_3572

Wilson Furr’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

James PIOT (USA) -9 and Ben SHIPP (USA) -7 finished second and third respectively after completing their qualifying with a 65 and 67 on Bandon Dunes.

Day 1 leaders McClure MEISSNER (USA) and Aman GUPTA (USA) were both over par in Round 2 but with their firm foundations in place still finished in the top 10.

Just three of the eleven GB&I players made it through to the match play stage of the Championship. John GOUGH (ENG) -2 finished tied 23rd, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) Ev tied 36th and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) +1 tied 48th. Sandy did well playing himself into the top 64 with a 70 (-2) around the Dunes course.

img_3569

John Gough’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

img_3570

Sandy Scott’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

img_3571

Angus Flanagan’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

The match play cut came at 145 (+2) with 18 players finishing on this score in tied 62nd place. An 18-for-3 spots play-off will therefore now be held tomorrow morning to finalise the match play field.

Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) both sadly bogeyed 3 of their last five holes to miss out on qualification and even a shot at the play-off.

Austin ECKROAT (USA) +3, Cole HAMMER (USA) +3, defending champion Andy OGLETREE (USA) +3, Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) +4, John PAK (USA) +5 and Pierceson COODY (USA) +8 were amongst the leading home players to miss the cut.

Round 2 Average Scores: Dunes 72.931 (+0.931) and Trails 73.689 (+2.689). As with Round 1 the wind speeds picked up but not as significantly as on Day 1. As a result the score differential between the morning and afternoon starters was less material.

img_3564

GB&I Stroke Play 36 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

10th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

McClure MEISSNER (USA) -8 and Aman GUPTA (USA) -7 recorded the lowest rounds on Day 1 of the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship. Meissner was playing on the Dunes course whilst Gupta started his Championship on the Trails.

The wind picked up significantly in the afternoon and scores were around 3.5 shots higher on both courses from the second wave players.

Round 1 Average Scores: Dunes 75.583 (+3.583) and Trails 75.598 (+4.598).

At the end of Round 1 John GOUGH (ENG) -2 Dunes, Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) -1 Dunes and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) Ev Trails are all positioned in the all-important top 64.

These three and certainly the other 8 GB&I players still have work to do on Day 2 if they are to make the Match Play stage.

img_3562

GB&I Stroke Play 18 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

ME.

_____________________________________________

5th August 2020

Introduction

This year’s Championship is being played on Bandon’s Dunes and Trails courses.

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

img_3312

2020 Field

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all Sectional Qualifying events were cancelled. In 2019 there were 96 36 hole events staged by the USGA with the qualifiers making up a large proportion of the final field.

The 2020 field is entirely made up of exempt players and has been reduced to 264 players – 312 normally compete. The entry fee for the U.S. Amateur Championship is $175.

Exemption categories, largely based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), were established by the USGA with the aim of creating a field that most closely resembles those of a typical Championship.

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field – see Appendix below for more details. However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players have not been able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

On 30th July 14 GB&I players were confirmed by the USGA as being in the field. Barclay Brown, Tom McKibbin and John Murphy subsequently withdrew on travel grounds leaving us with 11 starters. They are: –

Dan BRADBURY (ENG)
Archie DAVIES (WAL)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG)
John GOUGH (ENG)
Jamie LI (ENG)
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO)
Rhys NEVIN (ENG)
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG)
Joe PAGDIN (ENG)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)

There were 11 GB&I players at Pinehurst last year, 7 in 2018 at Pebble Beach, 9 in 2017 at Riviera and 11 in 2016 at Oakland Hills.

Sadly it will not be possible for any of the above GB&I entrants to play in the Brabazon Trophy (18-21 August) or the Amateur Championship (25-30 August) this year due to the current quarantining rules.

img_3543

The par-4 fifth hole at Bandon Dunes (Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Most of the leading USA players will be competing at Bandon Dunes and I expect the following to feature strongly: –

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) – 2019 runner-up
Pierceson COODY (USA)
Quade CUMMINS (USA)
Austin ECKROAT (USA)
Cole HAMMER (USA)
Meissner MCCLURE (USA)
Maxwell MOLOVAN (USA)
Andy OGLETREE (USA) – 2019 champion
John PAK (USA)
Tyler STRAFACI (USA)
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA)
Davis THOMPSON (USA)

Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Information PDF

Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Exemptions List

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Draw Sheets

With Oregon being 8 hours behind the UK play will start in our late afternoon and proceed through the night.

Competition Format

On Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th August all of the competitors will play 36-holes of stroke play, one round on the Dunes Course and the other on the Trails Course.

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

18 hole match play rounds will then be played on the Dunes Course between Wednesday 12th and Saturday 15th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 16th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

Host Courses

Bandon Dunes Course
7,218 yards (maximum), Par 72
Opened in 1999.
Designed by David McLay Kidd.

Bandon Dunes Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Dunes Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Trails Course
6,883 yards (maximum), Par 71
Opened in 2005.
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Bandon Trails Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Trails Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is the realisation of a dream by golf-mad owner Mike Keiser, a greetings card millionaire. It now incorporates six courses, including a spectacular 13 hole par 3 set up, all built on sand dunes 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

The Resort has previously hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at 9th August) is positive for Championship week. Bandon Dunes in Oregon is on the north west pacific coast so temperatures will be cool and winds will be a factor.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 10th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 9°C.
Tues 11th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 17 mph N / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 8°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 12th August – Sunny / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 20°C, Max. 9°C.
Thurs 13th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 10°C.
Fri 14th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N  / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 10°C.
Sat 15th August – Sunny / Wind 15 mph N  / Temp. Min. 23°C, Max. 13°C.
Sun 16th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph NW / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 12°C.

UK Television Coverage

In recent years the Sky Sports Golf channel has taken the U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

Prizes

The 2020 U.S. Amateur champion will receive the following: –

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

b) An exemption to play in the 2021 U.S. Open to be staged at [Winged Foot Golf Club or Torrey Pines];

and assuming they remain amateur,

c) An exemption to play in the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club;

d) An invitation to play in the 2021 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2021 – 2030 U.S. Amateur Championships;

and unofficially

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

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

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

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

img_9870

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

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

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

_____________________________________________

2019 U.S. Amateur Championship

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

IMG_1750

Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)

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

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

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

Ogletree made just three bogeys in the 37 holes he played in the Final.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) was for the second year running GB&I’s leading performer in the Championship. He eventually lost in the Round of 16 to Cohen TROLIO (USA) 5&4. Trolio recorded five birdies on his front nine to take a 4Up lead and eventually saw out the game with another birdie on the 14th.

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

Brandon WU (USA) won the Stroke Play Qualifying competition with rounds of 65 -5 (No. 4) and 72 +2 (No. 2).

IMG_6574

Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) was one of six players one shot back of Wu on -2. Thomas FORSTER (ENG) and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) -1 also qualified in the top 20.

11 GB&I players competed in 2019 with just five progressing to the Match Play Stage. Ben JONES (ENG), who finished tied 62nd, missed out after a 27-for-3 sudden death play-off on Course No. 4.

Here are the full GB&I Stroke Play Qualifying Results: –

img_1630

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

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

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and 2020 will see its 120th playing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

09-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,

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

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

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

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

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

09-15 August 2027 – Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York

11-17 August 2031 – Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tennessee

Appendix – GB&I Players Eligible For The 2020 U.S. Amateur

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced by the USGA 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field.

However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players were not able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

Here’s a list of the relevant exemption categories, the GB&I players initially caught by them and confirmation of the 11 who will be competing.   

Round of 64 from the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) ENTERED
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) ENTERED
James SUGRUE (IRL)

From the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and quarterfinalists in 2019
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) ENTERED

Playing members of the United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Teams, four year exemption once appointed to the team (2017 & 2019)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Conor GOUGH (ENG)
Thomas PLUMB (ENG)
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)
James SUGRUE (IRL)

Winners of The Amateur Championship (five year exemption) (2016-2019).
James SUGRUE (IRE)

From the current Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) the top 225-ranked players as of 24th June 2020
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #9
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17
James SUGRUE (IRL) #19
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #20
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #27
Ben JONES (ENG) #30
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #43
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #63
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #69
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #73 ENTERED
Mark POWER (IRL) #81
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #116
John MURPHY (IRL) #127
Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) #136
Matty LAMB (ENG) #145
Joe LONG (ENG) #147
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) #151
Thomas PLUMB (ENG) #153
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157
Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #158
Keith EGAN (IRL) #160
Harry GODDARD (ENG) #167
Max MARTIN (ENG) #173
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #178
Callum FARR (ENG) #188
Jamie LI (ENG) #205 ENTERED
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) #224 ENTERED

From the current Men’s WAGR, the top 25-ranked players using the WAGR Age Filter as of 24th June 2020. Players must be age 25 on or before August 10, 2020. Player’s WAGR profile must include date of birth to be considered for this exemption category
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17 (2nd)
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157 (8th)
Colm CAMPBELL (IRL) #399 (24th)

[Matthew Clark (SCO) #319 – date of birth not added to WAGR biography so excluded]

Remaining spots in the championship field will be filled using the World Amateur Golf Ranking
Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #298 ENTERED
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #353
Archie DAVIES (WAL) #244 ENTERED
John GOUGH (ENG) #239 ENTERED
Rhys NEVIN (ENG) #346 ENTERED
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) #326 ENTERED

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Some Reflections On The 2019 GB&I Men’s Amateur Golf Year

31st December 2019

Here are a few thoughts on the 2019 Great British & Irish (GB&I) men’s amateur golf season: –

1. I will start with our defining event, the Amateur Championship. It was great to see James SUGRUE (IRL) deliver a memorable win at Portmarnock to the delight of the home fans who supported the event so well. Sugrue peaked perfectly and having played in The Open and in the Walker Cup in 2019 can now look forward to the remainder of his golfing rewards next year.

2. Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) continued to impress winning four times in 2019. The Yorkshireman became just the fourth player to win both the Brabazon Trophy and Carris Trophy – that’s the men’s and U18 boys’ English Open Stroke Play Championships – in the same year. Some achievement.

IMG_0881

Ben Schmidt With The Brabazon Trophy And His Parents (Photo: Jonathan Plaxton)

3. Talking about juniors Conor GOUGH (ENG), Connor MCKINNEY (SCO), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) also stood out amongst the U18’s which hopefully bodes well for the immediate future of GB&I golf. McKibbin winning the Junior Invitational and Pagdin getting to the semi-finals of the U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness G.C. were particular highlights that stand alongside Ben Schmidt’s wins for me.

4. I am particularly interested to see how the future unfolds for Schmidt and Gough, winners of the two English Amateur Championships this year and our two leading juniors. Schmidt is now focussing on his golf full time and heading towards the professional ranks at some speed whilst Gough appears to be ‘driving with the brakes on’, determined to focus on his education for the time being and happy to enjoy the journey. Followers of amateur golf know there is no right answer to this age old conundrum as everyone is different. Following this tortoise and hare fable over the next few years should be fun.      

5. Whilst I failed to record Tom McKibbin’s chip in to win the McEvoy Trophy on the 2nd play-off hole, despite videoing most of the final play at Copt Heath, I did manage to get Josh MCMAHON‘s (ENG) birdie putt on the 18th which won him the Lytham Trophy. The  “Yes, Get in !” shout from his caddie Dad will live long in my memory.

Josh McMahon Drops The Best Putt Of His Life (Video: GolfBible)

6. I believe a review of Championship entry exemptions may be required for the leading events in the summer months given how quickly one followers another. James NEWTON (ENG) and Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) were the surprise winners of the Irish Amateur Open and the Brabazon Trophy respectively in 2019 but with low WAGR rankings beforehand and having missed the cut off dates had no way of playing in either the St. Andrews Links Trophy or the Amateur Championship. There needs to be a mechanism – a blank entry to cover such eventualities – to allow recent winners to gain a late entry into subsequent events assuming they wish to compete in them. It doesn’t happen too often but this year not playing in two of our major Championships against his direct peers may have cost Ben Schmidt a place in our Walker Cup team.  

7. It was a good year for Scottish amateur golf. Few would argue that Euan WALKER was the outstanding GB&I amateur golfer of 2019 with fellow Walker Cupper Sandy SCOTT not too far behind him. Ryan LUMSDEN also won the prestigious Byron Nelson Award, handed out in late April to a graduating Senior in recognition of their entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as their character and integrity while in college. The Scottish administrators also made the decision to return the Scottish Open Amateur to its late May date from the irrelevant late August fixture it had become since 2018. 

IMG_6472

Euan Walker With His European Amateur Silver Medal (Photo: EGA)

8. Curtis KNIPES (ENG) and Thomas THURLOWAY (ENG) both came through Final Qualifying to join James Sugrue in The Open Championship field. Watching Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Tom SLOMAN (ENG) try and follow them at Hollinwell was a highlight of my golfing year. Unusually no amateur made the cut at Royal Portrush so no Silver Medal was awarded this year.

9. GB&I lost the 47th Walker Cup match against USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. I may be deluded but I still believe this was a match we could have and should have won. I don’t think the opposition was quite as strong as they had been in previous years and playing at home we should have been spot on with our selection, pairings and preperation – we weren’t. Perhaps if the weather hadn’t been so pleasant we may have done a little better.   

10. Craig WATSON (SCO) stood down / was relieved of his GB&I Men’s Team captaincy duties with Stuart WILSON (SCO), the current Boy’s team captain, promoted as his replacement. Stuart will debut with the men at Royal Porthcawl in July in the next edition of the St. Andrews Trophy match against Continent of Europe. Good luck to him.

11. It wasn’t a vintage year for other GB&I men’s teams either – Sweden beat England in the Final of the European Amateur Team Championship and Europe beat GB&I in the boys’ Jacques Léglise Trophy. 

12. WAGR finally announced a new methodology to be introduced to their ranking with effect from January 2020. A more accurate ranking can be expected but at face value it still won’t be better than the SPWAR. If I was The R&A and USGA I’d have used some of my funds to simply take out Fred Solomon and his ‘gold standard’ SPWAR.

WAGR Logo

13. The R&A and the USGA confirmed that they are reviewing the Rules of Amateur Status to make them easier to understand and apply. The results are set to be published in late 2021 – no rush there then. Lucy LI’s (USA) ‘one time warning’ for her Apple Watch advert at the start of the year (she should have had her amateur status removed) and the more recent California State’s ‘Fair Pay To Play’ Act which means NCAA athletes, including golfers, within that jurisdiction will be able to negotiate endorsement deals from 2023 have accelerated the need for an update.     

14. Josh HILL (ENG) qualified to play in both the Dubai Desert Classic and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in early 2020 after winning the MENA Tour’s Amateur Order of Merit and then the Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship. What an opportunity for him on two courses he knows very well.                  

15. Ben JONES (ENG) finished the year as GB&I’s highest ranked amateur in the SPWAR after a top 5 finish at the South Beach International Amateur in Florida helped lift him above Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) a few weeks ago. Scant consolation for his surprise exclusion from the GB&I Walker Cup team.

16. One to watch in 2020 – as I haven’t mentioned him yet I’m going to pick Jake BOLTON (ENG). Jake’s crept up to 37th in the SPWAR and with his confidence high after adding the 2019 Scottish Open Amateur title to his resume, as well as a 4th place finish at this month’s South Beach International Amateur, I expect him to progress further next year.

IMG_1793

Jake Bolton With The Scottish Open Amateur Trophy (Photo: Bolton Family)

17. As always a number of players turned Pro, most notably, Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Calum FYFE (SCO), Bailey GILL (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO), Billy MCKENZIE (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRL), Conor PURCELL (IRL), Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO). I wish them all well in the coming years.

18. Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) and Matthew JORDAN (ENG) gave encouragement to the next generation of amateurs with a number of excellent performances on the European Tour and Challenge Tour. Over in the U.S. on the PGA Tour Viktor Hovland (NOR), Matthew Wolff (USA) and Collin Morikawa (USA) also showed that a quick transition to the big time is possible for the highly talented and fortunate few.

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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

Sunday 18th August 2019

Final

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

IMG_1750

Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)

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

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

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

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

img_1746

img_1747

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Saturday 17th August 2019

Semi-Finals

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

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

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

fullsizeoutput_3ac3

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Friday 16th August 2019

Quarter Finals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fullsizeoutput_3aa7

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Thursday 15th August 2019

Match Play Round of 16

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

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

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

img_1670

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

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

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

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

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

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

Match Play Round of 32

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

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

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

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

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

fullsizeoutput_3a90

fullsizeoutput_3a91

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Wednesday 14th August 2019

Match Play Round of 64

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

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

UPPER HALF (seedings in brackets)

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

img_1639

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

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

LOWER HALF (seedings in brackets)

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

img_1640

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

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

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

img_1641

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

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

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

img_1642

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

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

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Tuesday 13th August and Wednesday 14th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_6574

Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

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

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

Tom Sloman (Photo: USGA / Michael Reaves)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1630

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

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

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

ME.

_____________________________________________

Monday 12th August 2019

Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1625.jpg

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

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

ME

____________________________________________

Friday 9th August 2019 

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

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

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

Competition Format

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

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

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

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

2019 Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 Stroke Play Qualifying

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

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

Host Courses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UK Television Coverage

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

Prizes

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

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

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

and assuming they remain amateur,

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

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

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

and unofficially

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

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

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

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

img_9870

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

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

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

2018 U.S. Amateur Championship

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

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

img_9836

Viktor Hovland (Photo: USGA)

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

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

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

_____________________________________________

U.S. Amateur Championship History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

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

9-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

The Open Championship – 2019 Final Qualifying

21st July 2019

Just a quick note to close the circle on the 2019 Open Championship qualifying programme.

Ireland’s Shane Lowry won The Open in great style at Royal Portrush G.C.

None of the six amateurs made the 36 hole cut which fell at 146 (+1). As such the Silver Medal was not awarded this year.

Here is a summary of the amateur scores and finishing positions: –

fullsizeoutput_3908

Amateur Scores At The Open Championship (Photo: European Tour)

____________________________________________

2nd July 2019

Well done to amateurs Brandon WU (USA), Thomas THURLOWAY (ENG) and Curtis KNIPES (ENG) who have all qualified for the 148th Open Championship.

Here is a summary of all of the amateur results from 2019 Final Qualifying, along with a list of the 12 qualifiers.

FAIRMONT ST. ANDREWS – Results
72 players / 24 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

QUALIFIERS
Brandon WU (a) – USA EX (WAGR) 64 67 (-9) 1st
Connor SYME – Unattached (SCO) 67 67 (-6) 2nd
Sam LOCKE – Paul Lawrie Golf Centre 69 67 (-4) 3rd

fullsizeoutput_3815

Brandon Wu’s Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Euan WALKER (a) – Kilmarnock (Barassie) EX (Amateur Runner-Up) 69 70 (-1) T7
Ben SCHMIDT (a) – Rotherham RQ 71 69 T10 (Ev)
Tiarnan MCLARNON (a) – Massereene RQ 69 72 (+1) T14
Alastair THURLOW (a) – Murrayfield RQ 71 70 (+1) T14
Eugenio LOPEZ-CHACARRA COTO (a) – Spain EX (WAGR) 73 69 (+2) T16
Kieran CANTLEY (a) – Liberton RQ 70 72 (+2) T16
Tom MCKIBBIN (a) – Holywood RQ 74 71 (+5) 30th
Kyler TATE (a) – USA RQ 71 75 (+6) T31
Daniel BRADBURY (a) – Wakefield RQ 80 67 (+7) T35
Joe LYONS (a) – Galway RQ 72 75 (+7) T35
John MURPHY (a) – Kinsale EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy) 76 72 (+8) T38
Jack FLOYDD (a) – Haywards Heath RQ (Res. 19) 77 71 (+8) T38
Hugh FOLEY (a) – Royal Dublin RQ 76 73 (+9) T41
Tiger CHRISTENSEN (a) – Germany RQ 76 74 (+10) T44
Colm CAMPBELL (a) – Warrenpoint RQ 72 78 (+10) T44
Richard GILL (a) – Tantallon RQ 75 76 (+11) 49th
James REED (a) – Exeter RQ 76 76 (+12) T50
Will PORTER (a) – Carnoustie RQ (Res. 3) 72 80 (+12) T50
Richard KNIGHTLY (a) – Royal Dublin RQ (Res. 5) 79 74 (+13) T53
Darren CARLISLE (a) – Fairhaven RQ (Res. 18) 85 80 (+25) 61st
Akshay BHATIA (a) – USA EX (WAGR) 70 WD
Jeff WRIGHT (a) – Forres RQ 79 WD
Shaun CARTER (a) – Royal Dublin RQ 81 WD

NOTTS G.C. (HOLLINWELL)Results
72 players / 17 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

QUALIFIERS
Andrew WILSON – Rockliffe Hall 69 68 (-7) 1st
Thomas THURLOWAY (a) – Chartham Park EX (2018 English Amateur) 69 69 (-6) 2nd
Ashton TURNER – Kenwick Park 67 72 (-5) T3 (after play-off)

fullsizeoutput_3814

Thomas Thurloway’s Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Tom SLOMAN (a) – Taunton & Pickeridge EX (OWGR) 68 72 (-4) T5
Jake BURNAGE (a) – Saunton RQ 68 72 (-4) T5
Philip WHITE (a) – Burnham & Berrow RQ 74 68 (-2) T7
Olly HUGGINS (a) – Frilford Heath RQ 73 69 (-2) T7
Jack HAWKSBY (a) – The Millbrook RQ 72 72 (Ev) T14
David HAGUE (a) – Malton & Norton EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy) 75 71 (+2) T25
Sam BROADHURST (a) – Atherstone RQ 74 73 (+3) T29
Angus FLANAGAN (a) – St George’s Hill RQ 71 76 (+3) T29
Jake HIBBERT (a) – Delamere Forest RQ 74 74 (+4) T34
Robert BRAZILL (a) – County Louth RQ (Res. 31) 73 75 (+4) T34
Ben FIRTH (a) – Leeds Golf Centre RQ 80 70 (+6) T44
James BIGGS (a) – Diss RQ 74 76 (+6) T44
Thomas DORAN (a) – Delamere Forest RQ (Res. 30) 76 75 (+7) T48
Oliver FARRELL (a) – Evesham RQ 77 77 (+10) T55
Oliver SULLIVAN (a) – Phoenix RQ (Res. 9) 78 83 (+17) 62nd
Luke ROGERS (a) – Kidderminster RQ 86 78 (+20) 63rd

PRINCE’S G.C.Results
72 players / 19 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

QUALIFIERS
Curtis KNIPES (a) – Chelmsford RQ 67 68 (-9) T1
Callum SHINKWIN – Moor Park 70 65 (-9) T1
Austin CONNELLY – Canada 70 66 (-8) 3rd

fullsizeoutput_3813

Curtis Knipes’ Scorecard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Conor PURCELL (a) – Portmarnock EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy) 71 71 (-2) T11
Stephen SHEPHARD (a) – USA RQ 69 73 (-2) T11
Bradley BAWDEN (a) – Rochford Hundred RQ (Res. 2) 70 72 (+2) T11
Jamie LI (a) – Cumberwell Park EX (OWGR) 73 69 (-2) T11
Jensen HULL (a) – Hever Castle RQ 71 72 (-1) T18
Charlie STRICKLAND (a) – Ham Manor EX (OWGR) 70 74 (Ev) T20
Ryan COX (a) – Warley Park RQ 74 71 (+1) T25
Giles GILL (a) – Plum Creek RQ 75 71 (+2) T32
Ryan LUMSDEN (a) – Royal Wimbledon RQ 73 73 (+2) T32
Harvey BYERS (a) – Walton Heath RQ 70 76 (+2) T32
Harry BUTLER (a) – Chigwell RQ 70 77 (+3) T36
Conor GOUGH (a) – Stoke Park EX (2018 Boys Amateur champion) 71 77 (+4) T42
Jarle VOLDEN (a) – Norway EX (OWGR / Eisenhower Trophy) 77 71 (+4) T42
John GOUGH (a) – Stoke Park RQ 73 75 (+4) T42
Adam BIRDSEYE (a) – Maidenhead RQ 72 77 (+5) T49
Liam BURNS (a) – Chislehurst RQ 70 81 (+7) T55
Maxim FRENCH (a) – RAC RQ (Res. 8) 76 85 (+17) T63
Jack KELLY (a) – Sandy Lodge RQ (Res. 10) 81 84 (+21) 65th

ST. ANNES OLD LINKS – Results
72 players / 18 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

QUALIFIERS 
Garrick PORTEOUS – Unattached (ENG) 67 67 (-10) T1
Jack SENIOR – Carus Green 67 67 (-10) T1
Matthew BALDWIN – 65 70 (-9) 3rd

Callum BLINKHORN (a) – Leigh RQ 67 69 (-8) T4
Alex FITZPATRICK (a) – Hallamshire EX (WAGR) 69 69 (-6) T9
Tom PLUMB (a) – Yeovil RQ 71 69 (-4) T16
Wilco NIENABER (a) – South Africa EX (OWGR) 72 69 (-3) T18
Greg HOLMES (a) – Royal Birkdale RQ 73 69 (-2) T20
Ben BAILEY (a) – The Wynyard Club RQ 72 72 (Ev) T30
Callan BARROW (a) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes RQ 75 69 (Ev) T30
Ben JONES (a) – Northamptonshire County EX (WAGR) 72 75 (+3) T38
James NEWTON (a) – Prestbury RQ 72 76 (+4) T41
Dylan KEATING (a) – Seapoint RQ 73 76 (+5) T45
Maxwell MARTIN (a) – Harborne RQ (Res. 6) 73 76 (+5) T45
Michael DOWNES (a) – The Mere RQ 77 74 (+7) T48
Josh MORTON (a) – Huddersfield RQ 76 77 (+9) T54
Nicholas PEOPLES (a) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes RQ 75 78 (+9) T54
Thomas MULLIGAN (a) – Laytown & Bettystown RQ 76 78 (+10) T57
Ben HUTCHINSON (a) – Howley Hall RQ 76 81 (+13) 63rd
Thomas WINN (a) – Morecombe RQ 79 82 (+17) T64
Robbie CANNON (a) – Balbriggan EX (2018 Irish Amateur champion) 70 WD

____________________________________________

1st July 2019

Final Qualifying for the 2019 Open Championship will take place on Tuesday 2nd July at four courses across Great Britain.

The qualifying venues are Fairmont St. Andrews, Notts G.C. (Hollinwell), Prince’s G.C. and St. Annes Old Links.

There are 12 places available, 3 at each Qualifier.

There are currently three amateurs in the 2019 Open Championship field. These are: –
The Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion 2018 – Takumi KANAYA (JAP);
The Amateur Champion for 2019 – James SUGRUE (IRE); and
The European Amateur Championship 2019 – Matthias SCHMID (GER).

Viktor HOVLAND (NOR), the 2018 U.S. Amateur Champion, and Braden THORNBERRY (USA), winner of the 2018 Mark H. McCormack Medal (Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking No. 1 in August 2018) have both turned pro and therefore foregone their exemptions.

Regional Qualifying

150 players initially progressed from the 13 Regional Qualifying events staged on Monday 24th June with 50 amateurs amongst them.

Withdrawals from Final Qualifying have subsequently seen more players brought forward from the Regional Qualifying Reserves List. As at 5.00pm on Monday 1st July 11 amateur reserves have been called up. Rob BRAZILL (IRE), who was Reserve 31, being the latest one.

For more information on this year’s first stage please read my earlier report – ‘The Open Championship – 2019 Regional Qualifying’.

Final Qualifying

36 holes of stroke play golf will be played by each competitor in Final Qualifying.

288 players, including 78 amateurs, have been allocated across the four venues.

Looking at these amateurs 50 qualified from the Regional Stage, 11 were Reserves from these events and 17 have benefited from exemptions directly into Final Qualifying.

The three leading players at each of theses events will advance to the 148th Open Championship to be played at Royal Portrush Golf Club on 18th – 21st July.

Any ties for the last qualifying place in each competition will be resolved by a hole by hole play-off at the end of play.

As always 156 players will contest The Open itself, with the majority of these already being exempted into the field.

All tee times at Hollinwell will be off the 1st whilst the other three venues will be utilising their 1st and 10th tees.

Click here for the Official Website and more information on all of the players competing as well as the live blog – The Open Championship Final Qualifying

Royal Portrush G.C. (Photo: Royal Portrush G.C.)

Amateur Players / Tee Times

Here is a list of the amateur entries at each of the Final Qualifying events with links to The R&A’s Golfbox tee times and scoring links: –

EX = exempt into Final Qualifying
RQ = qualified via Regional Qualifying
Res. = Reserve

Exemptions are awarded based on WAGR, past Championship wins and for previous participations in major team matches.

FAIRMONT ST. ANDREWS
72 players / 24 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Akshay BHATIA (a) – USA EX (WAGR)
Daniel BRADBURY (a) – Wakefield RQ
Colm CAMPBELL (a) – Warrenpoint RQ
Kieran CANTLEY (a) – Liberton RQ
Darren CARLISLE (a) – Fairhaven RQ (Res. 18)
Shaun CARTER (a) – Royal Dublin RQ
Tiger CHRISTENSEN (a) – Germany RQ
Jack FLOYDD (a) – Haywards Heath RQ (Res. 19)
Hugh FOLEY (a) – Royal Dublin RQ
Richard GILL (a) – Tantallon RQ
Richard KNIGHTLY (a) – Royal Dublin RQ (Res. 5)
Eugenio LOPEZ-CHACARRA COTO (a) – Spain EX (WAGR)
Joe LYONS (a) – Galway RQ
Tom MCKIBBIN (a) – Holywood RQ
Tiarnan MCLARNON (a) – Massereene RQ
John MURPHY (a) – Kinsale EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy)
Will PORTER (a) – Carnoustie RQ (Res. 3)
James REED (a) – Exeter RQ
Ben SCHMIDT (a) – Rotherham RQ
Kyler TATE (a) – USA RQ
Alastair THURLOW (a) – Murrayfield RQ
Euan WALKER (a) – Kilmarnock (Barassie) EX (Amateur Championship Runner-Up)
Jeff WRIGHT (a) – Forres RQ
Brandon WU (a) – USA EX (WAGR)

NOTTS G.C. (HOLLINWELL)
72 players / 17 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

James BIGGS (a) – Diss RQ
Robert BRAZILL (a) – County Louth RQ (Res. 31)
Sam BROADHURST (a) – Atherstone RQ
Jake BURNAGE (a) – Saunton RQ
Thomas DORAN (a) – Delamere Forest RQ (Res. 30)
Oliver FARRELL (a) – Evesham RQ
Ben FIRTH (a) – Leeds Golf Centre RQ
Angus FLANAGAN (a) – St George’s Hill RQ
David HAGUE (a) – Malton & Norton EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy)
Jack HAWKSBY (a) – The Millbrook RQ
Jake HIBBERT (a) – Delamere Forest RQ
Olly HUGGINS (a) – Frilford Heath RQ
Luke ROGERS (a) – Kidderminster RQ
Tom SLOMAN (a) – Taunton & Pickeridge EX (OWGR)
Oliver SULLIVAN (a) – Phoenix RQ (Res. 9)
Thomas THURLOWAY (a) – Chartham Park EX (2018 English Amateur champion)
Philip WHITE (a) – Burnham & Berrow RQ

PRINCE’S G.C.
72 players / 19 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Bradley BAWDEN (a) – Rochford Hundred RQ (Res. 2)
Adam BIRDSEYE (a) – Maidenhead RQ
Liam BURNS (a) – Chislehurst RQ
Harry BUTLER (a) – Chigwell RQ
Harvey BYERS (a) – Walton Heath RQ
Ryan COX (a) – Warley Park RQ
Maxim FRENCH (a) – RAC RQ (Res. 8)
Giles GILL (a) – Plum Creek RQ
Conor GOUGH (a) – Stoke Park EX (2018 Boys Amateur champion)
John GOUGH (a) – Stoke Park RQ
Jensen HULL (a) – Hever Castle RQ
Jack KELLY (a) – Sandy Lodge RQ (Res. 10)
Curtis KNIPES (a) – Chelmsford RQ
Jamie LI (a) – Cumberwell Park EX (OWGR)
Ryan LUMSDEN (a) – Royal Wimbledon RQ
Conor PURCELL (a) – Portmarnock EX (2018 St Andrews Trophy)
Stephen SHEPHARD (a) – USA RQ
Charlie STRICKLAND (a) – Ham Manor EX (OWGR)
Jarle VOLDEN (a) – Norway EX (OWGR / Eisenhower Trophy)

ST. ANNES OLD LINKS

72 players / 18 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Ben BAILEY (a) – The Wynyard Club RQ
Callan BARROW (a) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes RQ
Callum BLINKHORN (a) – Leigh RQ
Robbie CANNON (a) – Balbriggan EX (2018 Irish Amateur champion) 
Michael DOWNES (a) – The Mere RQ
Alex FITZPATRICK (a) – Hallamshire EX (WAGR)
Greg HOLMES (a) – Royal Birkdale RQ
Ben HUTCHINSON (a) – Howley Hall RQ
Ben JONES (a) – Northamptonshire County EX (WAGR)
Dylan KEATING (a) – Seapoint RQ
Maxwell MARTIN (a) – Harborne RQ (Res. 6)
Josh MORTON (a) – Huddersfield RQ
Thomas MULLIGAN (a) – Laytown & Bettystown RQ
James NEWTON (a) – Prestbury RQ
Wilco NIENABER (a) – South Africa EX (OWGR)
Nicholas PEOPLES (a) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes RQ
Tom PLUMB (a) – Yeovil RQ
Thomas WINN (a) – Morecombe RQ

____________________________________________

2018 Final Qualifying

Scotland’s Sam LOCKE was the only amateur to progress from Final Qualifying in 2018. He recorded rounds of 69 and 66 to claim medalist honours on 135 (-7) at The Renaissance event. Sam had been exempted into the Final Qualifying stage as the 2017 Scottish Closed Amateur champion.

He went on to win the low amateur silver medal at the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links and immediately turned professional thereafter.

img_9400-1.jpg

(l-r) Thomas Curtis, Sam Locke and Grant Forrest (Photo: @Renaissancegc)

____________________________________________

For more information on the Low Amateur prize at The Open Championship you may like to take a look at this article – ‘The Open Championship’s Silver Medal’.

ME.

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

South Beach International Amateur – 2018 Preview & Results

22nd December 2018 – Results

Pierceson COODY (USA), a Freshman at the University of Texas and the grandson of 1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody, won the 2018 South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) with a 272 (-11) total.

The pre-tournament weather forecast suggested conditions would be challenging for the 210 players in the field, particularly on Days 2 and 3 when very strong winds were expected. That certainly proved to be the case with winds of 25mph gusting to 50 mph recorded.

Coody made a solid start to the competition with a 67 (-3) at Normandy Shores (NS) on Day 1 before backing it up with a joint best of the day 67 (-4) at Miami Beach (MB). However, the SBIA was won in Round 3. Benefitting from his late tee time and the subsequent suspension of play due to the high winds he was able to complete his third round in the calmer conditions of this morning. His 64 (-7) at Miami Beach, which included eight birdies, was four shots better than any other player managed.

Despite taking a 6 shot lead into the final round a fast finishing Manuel TORRES (VEN) made the Texan sweat. Torres, who studies at the nearby Lynn University, shot an impressive 33 on the back nine for a 66 (-5) but was left rueing a final hole bogey.

Coody played the front nine in Round 4 in even par but started to leak oil on the back side. When he also bogeyed the last he was left signing for a 74 (+3) and relieved to hear he had secured a narrow one shot victory.

Ranked 183rd in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) at the start of the week Coody now sits 40th after the biggest win of his career.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) was our leading performer, finishing a clear 3rd on 275 (-8). Jake shot a 64 (-6) at Normandy Shores on Day 1 to share the lead before playing very consistently throughout the remainder of the tournament; rounds of 70, 70 and 71 at Miami beach testament to that.

I assume all of those rounds on the exposed links of Saunton G.C. came in useful when the wind started to blow in South Florida. With six birdies on his card in Round 4 and Torres’ late run he probably feels a little frustrated not to have been closer to the win and certainly the runner-up spot.

Nevertheless this is notable result for Jake who now sits 44th in the SPWAR. Just a handful of points behind Harry Hall amortisation over the next few days may still see him finish as GB&I’s leading golfer by the year end. Not a bad place to be going into a Walker Cup year.

img_0227

Jake Burnage at Miami Beach G.C. (Photo: Burnage Family)

Fellow Englishmen Jake BOLTON 71 NS, 70 MB, 74 and 69 (+1) finished tied 21st and Joe PAGDIN 68 NS, 73 MB, 74 and 71 (+3) was tied 26th.

The two other GB&I players to make the cut found the going harder over the final two rounds finishing tied 62nd on +10. Max MARTIN recorded rounds of 66 NS, 75 MB, 80 and 72 and Ben JONES, who finished tied 2nd last year, 71 NS, 71 MB, 74 and 77.

74 players made the 36 hole cut on Thursday which fell at 144 (+3) with each competitor having played a round at Miami Beach G.C. (par 71) and Normandy Shores G.C. (par 70).

The remaining GB&I players in the field all missed the cut: –

145 (+4)
Sam ROOK (ENG) – 71 NS 74 MB
Charlie THORNTON (ENG) – 71 NS 74 MB
David LANGLEY (ENG) – 68 NS 77 MB

146 (+5)
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) – 71 NS 75 MB
Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) – 67 NS 79 MB
Michael YOUNG (IRE) – 75 MB 71 NS

147 (+6)
Conor GOUGH (ENG) – 72 NS 75 MB
Conor RICHARDS (ENG) – 71 NS 76 MB
Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) – 74 MB 73 NS

149 (+8)
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) – 74 NS 75 MB
Bradley BAWDEN (ENG) – 70 NS 79

150 (+9)
Thomas PLUMB (ENG) – 75 NS 75 MB 150 (+9)

152 (+11)
John GOUGH (ENG) – 70 NS 82 MB 152 (+11)

155 (+14)
Eoin LEONARD (IRE) – 74 NS 81 MB 155 (+14)

Click here to view the – SBIA 2018 Results

ME.

______________________________________________

17th December 2018

The 8th South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) will be played between 19th – 22nd December 2018 in Miami Beach, Florida.

img_0206

First played in 2011 it has within a few years become one of the world’s leading amateur golf competitions.

It has always attracted an International field and many of Europe’s leading amateurs will again be competing this year.

Format

The SBIA is a 72 hole stroke play competition played over four days.

18 holes are played at both Miami Beach G.C. and the nearby Normandy Shores G.C. over the first two days. Tee times between 7.30am and 12.19 pm (GMT -5 hrs).

After a top 72 and ties cut the final 36 holes are played exclusively at Miami Beach over the remaining two days.

img_0214

Miami Beach Golf Club (Photo: Miami Beach GC)

Players

A field of 210 players have paid the $385 entry fee and will contest the 2018 SBIA.

In 2017 the SBIA was ranked 5th in terms of field quality by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). Only the U.S. Amateur (1st), The Amateur (2nd), Western Amateur (3rd) and NCAA Division I National (4th) were stronger. It is likely to be 6th in 2018 as the World Amateur Team has been played this year too.

A review of the 2018 entries suggests it will retain its status after this latest edition.

Historically around 50% of the field has been drawn from overseas with as many as 30 countries represented.

This year the highest ranked player competing is Tyler STRAFACI (USA) who is 19th in the SPWAR. Floridian Tyler is a junior at Georgia Tech. He was medalist at the 2017 U.S. Amateur, qualified for the 2018 U.S. Open and reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Western Amateur.

There are 19 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) playing this year. The previous highest number was 13 in 2014. I’ve listed them all below with their current SPWAR: –

Bradley BAWDEN (ENG) #404
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #483
Jake BURNAGE (ENG) #121
Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) #2,949
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #338
John GOUGH (ENG) #267
Ben JONES (ENG) #123
David LANGLEY (ENG) #140
Eoin LEONARD (IRE) #295
Maxwell MARTIN (ENG) #1,053
Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) #1,067
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) #191
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #321
Thomas PLUMB (ENG) #136
Conor RICHARDS (ENG) #1,558
Sam ROOK (ENG) #510
Charlie THORNTON (ENG) #609
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) #199
Michael YOUNG (IRE) #2,526

This event starts the countdown for me to the 2019 Walker Cup match and a high finish in Miami this week will certainly be rankings enhancing and lay down a nice early marker to the GB&I selectors.

In 2017 Ben JONES was our leading finisher, securing tied 2nd with an impressive -12 total. Harry HALL (ENG) -7 was tied 10th and Joe PAGDIN -4 tied 19th.

Click here to view the – SBIA 2017 Results

Courses

Both courses were designed by Arthur Hills and play to around 6,800 yards.

They are typical Florida layouts with numerous lakes coming into play throughout the 18 holes. As a result scores can be high if the wind blows – which it often does.

Normandy Shores plays to a par of 70 and Miami Beach a par of 71 during the SBIA.

img_0211-e1545084987917.jpg

Normandy Shores G.C. (Photo: miamibeachguest.com) 

Weather Forecast

As one would expect the weather forecast looks generally good for the duration of the competition, albeit strong winds are expected to move around from day to day.

Wed 19th Dec. – Sunny / Wind 13 mph SE / Temp. Min. 20°C, Max. 27°C.
Thur 20th Dec – Thundery Showers PM / Wind 24 mph S / Temp. Min. 20°C, Max. 29°C.
Fri 21st Dec – Sunny / Wind 28 mph W / Temp. Min. 11°C / Min 22°C.
Sat 22nd Dec – Sunny / Wind 11 mph NW / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 21°C.

SBIA Website Links

Click here to view the – SBIA 2018 Tee Times

Click here to view the – SBIA 2018 Leaderboard

Click here to view the – SBIA website

History

Here is a list of past winners and the 36 hole cut marks for each year: –

2017 – Jacob BERGERON (USA) -3 / Cut Ev
2016 – Danny WALKER (USA) -4 / Cut +1
2015 – Jorge GARCIA (VEN) -5 / Cut +6
2014 – Gabriel LENCH (USA) -4 / Cut +3
2013 – Greg EASON (ENG) -5 / Cut +6
2012 – JuanPablo HERNANDEZ (MEX) -10 / Cut +3
2011 – Kelly KRAFT (USA) -4 / Cut +11

Following in the footsteps of Greg EASON it would be great to see a second GB&I winner in 2018.

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

September 2018 Men’s Amateur Rankings

4th October 2018

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

This information is maintained on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

This is a short note to subscribers to flag up that the latest update covering the September 2018 Quarter period has been added.

I also select a Player of the Quarter.

For Quarter 3 2018 I have chosen England’s Conor GOUGH. 15 year old Conor has enjoyed a superb summer winning both the Boys’ Amateur and McGregor Trophy as well as representing GB&I and Europe with distinction.

img_9497

Conor Gough with the McGregor Trophy (Photo: England Golf / Leaderboard Photography)

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

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.