The Lytham Trophy – 2019 Preview

7th April 2019

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

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

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (Photo: Brian Young)

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

Format and Tee Times

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

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

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

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

Course

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

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

Prizes

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

Lytham Trophies

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

Players

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

Here are eight players to watch out for (SPWAR rankings as at 7th April): –

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) – SPWAR 11th
A prolific winner in recent years the 2019 South African Amateur champion must start as one of the favourites.

Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) – SPWAR 12th
Not quite in the same league as Nienaber but Schaper will arrive in confident mood after winning the 2019 South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

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

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

Joey SAVOIE (CAN) – SPWAR 37th
Canadian Savoie played well in Australia earlier this year and will be looking to secure a high finish at Lytham.

Euan WALKER (SCO) – SPWAR 39th
The 2019 African Amateur champion knows a top 10 finish at Lytham will go a long way to securing his place in the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup team.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) – SPWAR 84th
Saunton’s Burnage finished 3rd at Lytham in 2017 and whilst he has been a bit inconsistent since he is certainly capable of another high finish.

Tom PLUMB (ENG) – SPWAR 85th
Plumb, recent winner of the Cape Province Open in South Africa, is the highest 2018 finisher returning this year. Another 5th place or better in 2019 would be very welcome for the Dorset man whose Walker Cup ambitions are increasing by the month.

The 2018 Lytham Trophy

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

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Matthew Jordan (Photo: Angie McGlue)

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

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

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

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Royal Lytham website lists all of the Past Winners and their Scores.

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Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

March 2019 Men’s Amateur Rankings

4th April 2019

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.

The latest update covering the March 2019 Quarter period has now been added.

I also select a Player of the Quarter.

For Quarter 1 2019 I have chosen Ireland’s Conor PURCELL. Conor won the Australian Amateur Championship in January and also produced some good results in South Africa afterwards.

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Conor Purcell (Photo: Golf Australia)

Pease click this link to be redirected to my Rankings page – GolfBible Rankings

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Men’s European Nations Championship – 2019 Preview & Results

13th April 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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Tom Sloman (Photos: @Golfing4Life_)

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

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

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

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8th April 2019

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

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

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

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Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scores

Click here to view the – 2019 ENC Tee Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past ENC Winners / 2018 Results

Team Competition

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

2018  England     2018 ENC Team Results

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

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

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

2017  Wales    2017 ENC Team Results

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

2016  Ireland    2016 ENC Team Results

Ireland European Nations Cup 2016

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

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

Past Sherry Cup Team Winners (started 1998)

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

Individual Competition

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

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

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

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

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

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Rory McIlroy (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

Past Sherry Cup Individual Winners

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

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Sergio Gracia (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

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

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Men’s Home Internationals – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

14th September 2018

ENGLAND won the 2018 Men’s Home Internationals beating IRELAND 9 – 6 in today’s championship match.

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

Here is a summary of the final results from this year’s tournament: –

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

In the ENGLAND v. IRELAND match today the foursomes were shared 2.5 – 2.5 but in the afternoon England pulled away with some impressive singles victories.

The highlights were Andrew WILSON’s 7&6 win over the previously unbeaten Conor PURCELL and Mitch WAITE’s 2 Holes win over Robin DAWSON, both of which set the foundation for their team to build on.

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Ireland v. England Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

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

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Host nation WALES once again fell the wrong side of the thin line that sometimes separates winning and losing. Today Scotland edged them out 8 – 7.

Scotland won the foursomes 4 -1 in the morning but were made to work hard for the additional four single wins they needed in the afternoon.

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Scotland v. Wales Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

Whilst it was tough going for SCOTLAND and WALES for most of the week it was possible for some of their individuals to shine.

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

Likewise Paddy MULLINS did well for Wales and can be particularly pleased with his two singles wins.

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Click here to view the full – 2018 Men’s Home Internationals Results
– click the match score to see the individual games and the game score to view the hole by hole scores.

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13th September 2018

IRELAND beat WALES 11.5 – 5.5 on Day 2 of the Men’s Home Internationals at Conwy Golf Club.

The morning foursomes went the way of the Irish 3.5 – 1.5 albeit the Robbie CANNON / JAMES SUGRUE pairing needed a birdie on the 18th to secure a half in their match so the overall series scoreline could have been closer.

Ireland won the singles 6 – 4 with Conor PURCELL, Caolan RAFFERTY and Peter O’KEEFFE (all 4&3) enjoying their biggest wins.

However, the best performance of this match arguably fell to Welshman Jake HAPGOOD. He beat in form Robin DAWSON 4&3 with both players blitzing Conwy’s back nine. Jake recorded four birdies and two eagles between the 7th and 15th holes to unsurprisingly take the game.

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Ireland v. Wales Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

In the second match of Day 2 ENGLAND narrowly beat SCOTLAND 8 – 7.

After the morning foursomes, which England won 4 – 1, it appeared the Scots could be in for another heavy defeat.

However, Scotland showed great heart to run out 6 – 4 winners of the singles series. Ryan LUMSDEN, Euan WALKER, Kieran CANTLEY, Stephen RODGER, Jeff WRIGHT and James WILSON were all victorious in the afternoon.

At the end of the day England won the match and that’s all that matters – unless like last year the two leading nations draw again ! The four single wins they enjoyed were all comprehensive and as such after their dominant foursomes performance there was never really a feeing that an upset might be in the air.

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Scotland v. England Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

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12th September 2018

IRELAND beat SCOTLAND 11.5 – 3.5 in the opening game of the 2018 Men’s Home Internationals at Conwy Golf Club.

Ireland won the morning foursomes 4 – 1. Most of the matches tipping their way due to some exceptional play on the back nine by their four final pairings. Scotland’s Euan MCINTOSH and Ryan LUMSDEN provided the only resistance in game 1.

The Irish carried their momentum into the afternoon series too winning the singles 7.5 – 2.5. Robin DAWSON (5&3), Jonathan YATES (5&4) and Tiarnon MCLARNON (4&3) enjoyed the biggest wins.

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Ireland v. Scotland Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

ENGLAND overcame a stubborn WALES 11.5 – 3.5 in the second match on Day 1. As you can see below the games were generally closer than in match 1 and the margin of victory somewhat flatters England who were made to work hard for many of their points.

The morning foursomes were halved 2.5 – 2.5 with Welsh pairing Matt ROBERTS and Paddy MULLINS enjoying the biggest victory of the series, 5&3.

ENGLAND composed themselves in the afternoon and in the end won nine of the ten singles. Ben JONES won his match 4&3 but otherwise the games were tight affairs. Paddy MULLINS maintained his unbeaten personal record by recording the sole singles win for the hosts.

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England v. Wales Results (Photo: Wales Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

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9th September 2018

The 2018 Men’s Home Internationals will be contested at Conwy Golf Club in Wales between 12th and 14th September.

IRELAND will travel to North Wales hoping to win the Raymond Trophy for a fifth consecutive year.

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Conwy Golf Club (Photo: Golfing Wales)

The Competition

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

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

The winner is the country with the highest number of match points. 1 point is awarded for a win, 0.5 for a half and 0 for a loss. Ties are resolved by considering the number of individual game points secured in the three matches played.

2018 Players

The four national golf unions have selected the following players to represent their countries this year.

I have also included the current Team (total) and Individual Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR) below.

ENGLAND – Team SPWAR 1,432
Jack BURNAGE (93)
Bailey GILL (176)
David HAGUE (99)
Ben JONES (105)
David LANGLEY (169)
Joe LONG (201)
Tom PLUMB (147)
Nick POPPLETON (190)
Tom SLOMAN (64)
Mitch WAITE (40)
Andrew WILSON (148)

IRELAND – Team SPWAR = 3,300
Robbie CANNON (908)
Robin DAWSON (14)
Alex GLEESON (122)
Tiarnan MCLARNON (406)
Ronan MULLARNEY (265)
Peter O’KEEFFE (354)
Mark POWER (240)
Conor PURCELL (37)
Colin RAFFERTY (82)
James SUGRUE (374)
Jonathan YATES (498)

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

SCOTLAND – Team SPWAR = 3,620
Kieran CANTLEY (448)
Matthew CLARK (483)
Stuart EASTON (187)
Calum FYFE (259)
Jim JOHNSTON (562)
Ryan LUMSDEN (80)
Euan MCKINTOSH (156)
Stephen ROGER (406)
Euan WALKER (113)
James WILSON (227)
Jeff WRIGHT (699)

WALES – Team SPWAR = 13,944
Oliver BROWN (2,041)
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (976)
Archie DAVIES (981)
Jacob DAVIES (1,438)
Jake HAPGOOD (395)
Kieron HARMAN (1,698)
Paddy MULLINS (1,572)
Matt ROBERTS (797)
Lewys SANGES (1,095)
Gaelan TREW (2,217)
Tom WILLIAMS (734)

Just 14 of the 44 players competed last year at Moortown. England have 8 new players in their 2018 line up, Ireland 6, Scotland 9 and Wales 7.

I think ENGLAND have got to start as slight favourites this year but I certainly wouldn’t bet against IRELAND making it five in a row.

Venue – Conwy Golf Club

Founded in 1890 the Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club is the third oldest club in Wales.

The course was originally laid out by Jack Harris with more recent alterations completed by Frank Pennink.

One of the best links courses in Great Britain it has hosted many amateur and professional tournaments in the past. It’s next big appointment is the Curtis Cup match which it will stage in 2020.

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Conwy Golf Club Scorecard (Photos: Conwy Golf Club)

The courses measures 6,936 yards from the Blue Championship tees, playing to a par of 72. It is relatively flat with it’s exposed coastal position meaning the prevailing westerly wind is always a major factor particularly as the design has holes going in all directions.

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Conwy Golf Club Course Map (Photos: Conwy Golf Club)

2018 Weather Forecast (as at 9.00am Sunday 9th September)
Wed. 12th Sept. – Light Rain / Temp. Min 9º / Max 15º / Wind 11mph NW
Thurs. 13th Sept. – Sunny / Temp. Min 10º / Max 16º / Wind 11mph W
Fri 14th Sept. – Cloudy / Temp. Min 11º / Max 16º / Wind 15mph SW

2017 Men’s Home Internationals

IRELAND won the 2017 Men’s Home Internationals at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds.

They secured the Raymond Trophy after halving the deciding match with ENGLAND 7.5 – 7.5. This was good enough for the Irish to pip the home nation by a half point in total match points earned, 26.5 against 26.0.

The win was a record breaking fourth consecutive victory in the event for the men in green.

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The 2017 Ireland Team (Photo: Leaderboard Photography) 

WALES beat SCOTLAND 9.5 – 5.5 on the final day to consign the Scots to the wooden spoon.

Click here to view the detailed – Men’s Home Internationals Results

Here is the final Points Table with the ‘Countback’ information at the bottom: –

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2017 Men’s Home Internationals Points Table (Photo: England Golf Event Microsite)

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) and Josh HILLEARD (ENG) delivered the best individual records during the week, both winning five of their six games.

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Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

World Amateur Team Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

8th September 2018

DENMARK won the Men’s World Amateur Team Championship at Carton House in Ireland with a record 541 (-39) team score.

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Denmark With The Eisenhower Trophy (Photo: International Golf Federation)

The Danes produced a -13 team score in the final round which was played on the O’Meara Course. European Amateur champion Nicolai HOJGAARD was their star man producing a 66 (-7) right on cue.

This was Denmark’s first victory in the Championship. Their previous best result was second in Argentina in 2010.

The UNITED STATES finished 2nd paying the penalty for their poor first day. In the final analysis they found themselves coming up 1-shot short on 542 (-38) after a -11 team score today.

SPAIN were third on 544 (-36) two shots further back. Alejandro DEL RAY continued his fine play this week with a 65 (-8) to help the Spaniards finish the day with a -9 team score.

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The Leading Final Team Results (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

ENGLAND recorded the second best team score of the day with a -12. This strong finish lifted them up to 8th on 549 (-31). MATTHEW JORDAN left the amateur game in style shooting a bogey-free 65 (-8), the joint low round of the day. Matthew is set to make his pro debut in the KLM Open in The Netherlands next week.

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Matthew Jordan’s Round 4 Championship Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

IRELAND finished tied 10th on 553 (-27) after a good -9 team score on the final day. John MURPHY 68 (-5) and Robin DAWSON 69 (-4) contributed the Irish scores.

SCOTLAND also finished the Championship well with a -8 team score in Round 4. Sandy SCOTT doing the main damage today with a 67 (-6). The Scottish total of 554 (-26) was good enough for tied 12th.

WALES finished on 560 (-20) for a tied 18th result. Tom WILLIAMS 69 (-4) led the Welsh to a -7 team score on the final day.

Click here to view the – 2018 Eisenhower Trophy Team Scores

Spain’s Alejandro DEL RAY was the low individual with a superb -23 final score. It was a bit harsh on Japan’s Takumi KANAYA who did little wrong today (67 -6) but ended up second best on -22.

Robin DAWSON and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-14) both finished tied 13th to share low GB&I honours. Matthew JORDAN, Sandy SCOTT and Ryan LUMSDEN (-12) were a couple of shots further back.

Dawson and Petrozzi will both be turning Pro in the next few weeks ahead of competing in a European Tour Qualifying Stage 1 event.

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The Leading Final Individual Team Results (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

Click here to view the – 2018 Eisenhower Trophy Individual Scores

ME.

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7th September 2018

NEW ZEALAND showed no nerves at all on Day 3 extending their lead over the field to 3-shots. Denzel IEREMIA showed his 66 on the Montgomerie yesterday was no fluke by following it up with a 65 (-7) today.

SPAIN, UNITED STATES and ITALY matched the leaders with a -10 team score in Round 3. With THAILAND and DENMARK still in the mix we now have five teams within 4-shots of New Zealand. A final day shoot out therefore seems assured.

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The Leading Round 3 Team Scores (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

ENGLAND (-19) moved into 11th after posting their best team score of the week so far; a -7 with Gian-Marco PETROZZI once again delivering the low card. Petrozzi’s 67 today took him to -12 for the Championship. He is now the leading GB&I individual with just 18 holes to play.

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Gian-Marco Petrozzi’s Championship Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

IRELAND and SCOTLAND (-18) are now tied 12th. Ireland fell down the rankings with a disappointing +1 team score in Round 3. Conor PURCELL’S 71 (-1) was the best score they could produce. On the other hand Scotland continue to rise; Sandy SCOTT came to the party in Round 3 and his 67 (-5) helped them move up another 5 places on the leaderboard.

WALES (-13) had a steady day with Ben CHAMBERLAIN’S 70 leading them to a -2 team score. They will start the final round in tied 20th place.

ME.

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6th September 2018

A strong finish to their rounds on the Montgomerie Course by Daniel HILLIER 65 (-7) and Denzel IEREMIA 66 (-6) helped NEW ZEALAND rise to the top of the Men’s World Amateur Team Championship leaderboard on Day 2.

New Zealand’s 270 (-20) total has given them a 1-shot lead over DENMARK, IRELAND and THAILAND, who are all tied for 2nd place.

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The Leading Round 2 Team Scores (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

THAILAND enjoyed a superb day on the Montgomerie Course producing a 131 (-13) score which catapulted them up into 2nd place on 271 (-19). Sadom KAEWKANJANA contributed a 65 (-7) and Witchayanon CHOTHIRUNRUNGRUENG a 66 (-6).

The Day 1 leaders, DENMARK, delivered an entirely satisfactory 137 (-8) score on the O’Meara Course but unfortunately it was a day when many of their peers were going even lower. John AXELSEN 69 (-4) again led the way with the HOJGAARD twins, Nicolai and Rasmus, both offering up 70’s (-3).

Home team IRELAND enjoyed another strong team performance in Round 2, producing a good 137 (-9) score on the O’Meara Course. Robin DAWSON, who is still to record a bogey at the Championship, shot a 68 (-5) today and he was well supported by Conor PURCELL who had a 69 (-4).

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Robin Dawson’s Championship Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

CANADA (-13 O’Meara), UNITED STATES (-13 O’Meara), SPAIN (-11 Montgomerie), ITALY (-13 O’Meara), SWEDEN (-11 Montgomerie), AUSTRIA (-10 O’Meara) and GERMANY (-12 O’Meara) all managed ‘double figure’ days to move into the Top 15 by the end of play.

Italy’s Stefano MAZZOLI had the low round of the day on the O’Meara Course with a 64 (-9). A great bounce back from a difficult day on the Montgomerie yesterday. He was 15 shots better today and amazingly -9 after 10 holes of his round.

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Stefano Mazzoli’s Championship Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

Spain’s Alejandro DEL RAY also a shot a 64 (-8) on the Montgomerie which was the best of the day on this course.

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Alejandro Del Ray’s Championship Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

ENGLAND, one of the last group’s out on the Montgomerie Course, battled hard for a second successive -6 score. Gian-Marco PETROZZI shot a 68 (-4) to help lead the English team into tied 12th place.

WALES followed up yesterday’s good start with an even better day on the Montgomerie Course. Jake HAPGOOD’S 68 (-4) and Tom WILLIAMS’ 70 (-2) left the Principality on 279 -11 for the Championship and tied 14th.

SCOTLAND also enjoyed an excellent day. Their 136 (-10) score, thanks to Ryan LUMSDEN’S 67 (-6) and Euan WALKER’S 69 (-4) on the O’Meara moved them through the field into a respectable tied 17th.

SOUTH AFRICA’S Championship continues to go from bad to worse. Today Malcom MITCHELL, their reserve fell ill and was unable to make his tee time. Then playing in the morning, in the worst of the day’s weather, their two remaining players Matt SAULEZ and Wilco NIENABER were only able to manage a 75 and 76 on the O’Meara Course. A 151 (+5) day took them to 294 (+4) in total and a hugely disappointing 46th place.

ME.

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5th September 2018

DENMARK lead the Men’s World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) at the end of Round 1.

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The Leading Round 1 Team Scores (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

Rounds of 64 (-8) and 68 (-4) on the tougher Montgomerie Course from John AXELSEN and Rasmus HOJGAARD respectively helped the Danes post an impressive 132 (-12) score.

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John Axelsen’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

The home nation IRELAND, who were also playing on the Montgomerie, are second on 134 (-10). Robin DAWSON shot a bogey free 65 (-7) with encouragingly both John MURPHY and Conor PURCELL backing him up with 69’s (-3).

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Robin Dawson’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

INDIA and SWITZERLAND are a surprise third on 137 (-9), albeit their scores were both compiled on the O’Meara Course. India’s star man Rayhan THOMAS shot a best of the day 64 (-9) on the easier par 73 track. Switzerland’s Perry COHEN produced a 65 (-8) to underpin his country’s total score.

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Rayhan Thomas’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: IGF / http://www.ghintpp.com)

ENGLAND, who were also on the O’Meara today, finished on 140 (-6) and are tied 7th. Gian-Marco PETROZZI 70 (-3) and Mitch WAITE 70 (-3) contributed their two scores.

WALES have made an encouraging start to the Championship too. Their 141 (-5) total on the O’Meara sees them lying in tied 12th place. Ben CHAMBERLAIN 69 (-4) and Jake HAPGOOD 72 (-1) put their scores on the board.

SCOTLAND 144 (Ev) are tied 34th. On a steady day for the Scots Ryan LUMSDEN shot 71 (-1) whilst Sandy SCOTT and Euan WALKER contributed hard fought matching 73’s (+1).

Two of this year’s favourites, the U.S.A. 140 M (-4) and AUSTRALIA 141 M (-3), have work to do from tied 19th and tied 23rd respectively at the end of Day 1. There is of course plenty of time left for both of them to catch the early leaders.

SOUTH AFRICA 143 M (-1) are tied 30th. Their day got off to a bad start when Jovan REBULA, the reigning Amateur champion, was forced to withdrawal with a back injury before play had started. He was replaced by travelling reserve Malcom MITCHELL.

All of the players and their teams will move onto the other course, i.e. the one they haven’t played today, for tomorrow’s second round.

ME.

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4th September 2018

The 31st Men’s World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) starts tomorrow at the Carton House resort in County Kildare, Ireland.

The WATC is a biennial international amateur golf competition run by the International Golf Federation (IGF), formerly known as the World Amateur Golf Council.

The IGF comprises 151 national governing bodies of golf in 146 countries and 22 international professional tours. It is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the body responsible for golf and as such, in addition to the Men’s and Women’s WATC’s it also organises the golf competitions in both the Olympics and Youth Olympics.

The competition has in recent years moved by rotation around the world taking in Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Europe-Africa in turn.

The first WATC took place in 1958 and was played over the Old Course at St. Andrews. Bobby Jones captained the United States of America famously receiving the Freedom of the Town during the trip, although his team ended up losing a play-off to Australia for the title.

Venue

The WATC will be played over Carton House’s two golf courses and will be hosted by the Golfing Union of Ireland and Irish Ladies Golf Union.

The Montgomerie is a par 72 inland-links course which measures 7,301 yards from the championship tees. The nines are relatively similar in length and follow the standard configuration with two par 3’s and two par 5’s on each side. It hosted the Irish Open Championship on the European Tour in 2005, 2006 and 2013.

The O’Meara is a par 73 parkland course which measures 7,165 yards from the championship tees. Again the two nines are similar in length, albeit the front nine includes three par 5’s.

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18th hole, The Montgomerie Course, Carton House (Photo: Albrecht Golf Guide)

Competition Format

72 teams are competing in the 2018 WATC.

The three players from each team play 72 holes of stroke play over four days. The two lowest rounds recorded on each day count towards the team’s total score.

The winning team receive the Eisenhower Trophy. The Trophy was provided in 1958 by the American Friends of Golf through the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient GolfGolf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. It is named in honour of the then United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The inscription on the trophy reads: “To foster friendship and sportsmanship among the Peoples of the World.”

Players in the leading three teams receive gold, silver and bronze medals.

Whilst individual results are reported and the player with the lowest score is recognised at the closing ceremony there is no prize awarded for the honour.

GB&I Competitors

Each of the home nations will be represented with the following players having been selected (Age / SPWAR): –

ENGLAND
Matt JORDAN (22 / #16), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (21 / #108) and Mitch WAITE (23 / #37)

IRELAND
Robin DAWSON (22 / #15), John MURPHY (20 / #94) and Conor PURCELL (21 / #34)

SCOTLAND
Ryan LUMSDEN (21 / #88 ), Euan WALKER (22 / #114 ) and Sandy SCOTT (20 / #132)

WALES
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (NK / #972), Jake HAPGOOD (NK / #395 ) and Tom WILLIAMS (NK / #728)

Good luck to all of the home nation teams competing in Ireland this week.

2018 WATC Prediction

Whilst there are 72 teams competing at the 2018 WATC just ten have a chance of a medal in my opinion.

This is my Top 10 prediction: –

1. United States of America
2. ENGLAND
3. IRELAND
4. South Africa
5. Australia
6. Denmark
7. Norway
8. Canada
9. France
10. Italy

The U.S.A. will be represented by Cole HAMMER (SPWAR #6), Colin MORIKAWA (#2) and Justin SUH (#10). The ‘undisputed’ World No. 1 Braden THORNBERRY has either not be selected or declined the opportunity to travel to Ireland.

Jovan REBULA and Victor HOVLAND, the 2018 Amateur and U.S. Amateur champions, are in action for South Africa and Norway respectively.

Future WATC Venues

2020 – Hong Kong G.C. (composite) and The Clearwater Bay G. & C.C., Hong Kong, China
2022 – Le Golf National and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche, near Paris, France

The choice of France in 2022 was something of a surprise as the WATC was scheduled to be played in the Americas based on the rotation system that has been in place.

From 2024 due to escalating costs the WATC will be staged at a single course with the field reduced accordingly. It is expected a new qualifying competition for the smaller and newer golfing nations will be established ahead of this Championship.

2016 WATC

AUSTRALIA won the 2016 World Amateur Team Championship in Mayakoba, Mexico by a massive 19-shots.

The team of Cameron DAVISHarrison ENDYCOTT and Curtis LUCK equalled the 72 hole scoring record of 534 (-38).

It was the fourth time Australia had won the Eisenhower Trophy, following victories in 1958, 1966 and 1996.

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Australia – Harrison Endycott, Cameron Davis, Curtis Luck, Matt Cutler – with the Eisenhower Trophy (Photo: Golf Australia)

ENGLAND (-19) collected the silver medal with AUSTRIA and IRELAND (-18) sharing bronze.

Alfie PLANT holed a 9-foot birdie putt on the last to secure second place for England. The Irish team appeared to have second sown up but a double bogey from Jack HUME (68) and a bogey from Stuart GREHAN (72) on the 18th, in their two counting rounds, ended up costing them dear.

It was the first time that both ENGLAND and IRELAND had medalled since the home nations started competing individually rather than under the Great Britain & Ireland banner.

SCOTLAND (-11) finished in a disappointing 11th place given the strong team they put out and particularly after holding the Round 1 lead when they posted a -10 score.

WALES finished in tied 16th. David BOOTE (-9) was their mainstay but he was supported well by Owen EDWARDS and Joshua DAVIES, both of whom provided two scores over the Championship.

Team Results
1.       AUSTRALIA     -38
2.       ENGLAND       -19
T3.     IRELAND         -18
11.     SCOTLAND     -11
T16.   WALES             -8

T6.     USA                 -15

AUSTRALIA’s Cameron DAVIS (269 / -17) recorded the Championship’s lowest individual score. His compatriot Curtis LUCK (271 / -15) finished second, helped in no small part by a superb 63 (-9) in the third round.

England’s Alfie PLANT (-12) was GB&I’s leading player at the Championship. David BOOTE (-9), Jack HUME (-7) and Paul MCBRIDE (-5) all played very well too, finishing in the Top 20 Individual standings.

GB&I Individual Results
T3.      Alfie PLANT (ENG)              -12
9.        David BOOTE (WAL)            -9
T11.    Jack HUME (IRE)                  -7
T20.    Paul MCBRIDE (IRE)            -5
T27.    Robert MCINTYRE (SCO)    -3
T38.    Connor SYME (SCO)            Ev
T38.    Grant FORREST (SCO)        Ev
T38.    Scott GREGORY (ENG)       Ev
T48.    Stuart GREHAN (IRE)         +2
T53.    Jamie BOWER (ENG)         +3
T71.    Owen EDWARDS (WAL)     +5
T100.  Joshua DAVIES (WAL)       +11

2014 WATC

The United States of America, represented by  Bryson DECHAMBEAUBeau HOSSLER and Denny MCCARTHY won the 2014 Eisenhower Trophy in Karuizawa, Japan. The U.S. team set a new record score of 534 (-38).

2014 Eisenhower Trophy

U.S.A. – Bryson DeChambeau, Denny McCarthy, Jim Hyler (c) and Beau Hossler – with the Eisenhower Trophy (Photo: USGA / Steven Gibbons)

In 2014 Spain’s Jon RAHM won the Individual with a record breaking 263 (-23) total.

Historic Results

GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND (GB&I) have won the Eisenhower Trophy four times but only SCOTLAND have won it in their own right since each of the home nations started to compete separately.

The competion holds a special place in the story of English amateur Peter MCEVOY. He participated in the winning GB&I team in 1988, he also ‘won’ the Individual (284) that year and he went on to captain the GB&I team that won it again in 1998. A hat trick of Eisenhower Trophy achievements that may prove difficult for anyone else to match.

Here is the full list of historic results: –

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ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

29th August 2018

Victor VEYRET today won the 2018 Carrick Neill Scottish Open Amateur Championship at Gleneagles.

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Victor Veyret (Photo: Scottish Golf / Kenny Smith Photography)

Four under par rounds of 69, 65, 67 and 67 on the Kings Course gave the tall Frenchman a 268 (-12) total and an impressive 6-shot victory.

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Victor Veyret’s Scorecards (Photo: Scottish Golf / Golfbox Scoring)

Ireland’s Conor PURCELL (-6) finished second coming through the field strongly on the final day with rounds of 67 and 68.

Euan WALKER (-5) wasn’t able to repeat his form of the first two days but two par 70’s helped him secure third, taking the leading Scot honours in the process.

Joe LONG (ENG), Thomas PLUMB (ENG) and Stuart EASTON (SCO) all finished tied 4th on 278 (-2).

Just seven players finished under par in the Championship. The final one being Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) who finished in seventh on -1.

The highlight of Round 3 in the morning was Robin DAWSON‘s (IRE) 63 (-7). His low round of the week included just 29 shots on the back nine. Starting the final round in tied second place, four shots back of Veyret, it was something of a surprise when he could only managed a 75 (+5) this afternoon. A 75 which could have been a lot worse too – four birdies in his final five holes which he played in 3-under after a bogey on 16 helped tidy up the card a little.

Click here to view the – 2018 Scottish Open Amateur Results

ME.

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28th August 2018

Frenchman Victor VEYRET shot a 65 (-5) in Round 2 to take the lead on 134 (-6). His round included 5 birdies and an eagle, on the short par 4 14th.

Scotland’s Euan WALKER backed up his Day 1 67 with a 68 today to finish alone in second place on 135 (-5). Four under after 15 in Round 2 he will have been disappointed to bogey both 16 and 18, holes where many in the field have been picking up shots.

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Nurtai SALDAROV (SCO), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) and Joe LONG (ENG) all remain in contention on 138 (-2).

17 players are on 140 (Ev) or better after 36 holes so there is still plenty to play for tomorrow.

43 players made the 36 hole cut which fell at 143 (+3).

Round 1 joint leader Sam ROOK (ENG) missed out on +4 after he followed his 67 with a 77.

Whilst Wales’ Hapgood is in the mix his Eisenhower Trophy teammates Ben CHAMBERLAIN (+7) and Tom WILLIAMS (+11) both missed out.

ME.

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27th August 2018

Koen KOUWENAAR (NED), Euan WALKER (SCO) and Sam ROOK (ENG) all shot 67 (-3) to share the Round 1 lead at the Scottish Open Amateur.

All three players finished strongly over Gleneagles’ Kings Course to secure their 67’s. Koen birdied four of his last five holes, whilst Euan and Sam birdied three and four of their last 6 respectively albeit both threw in a bogey on 15.

23 other players recorded under par rounds, 5 on -2 and 18 on -1 so the overall leaderboard remains very tight.

ME.

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23rd August 2018

The 52nd Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship, sponsored by Carrick Neill, starts on Monday at the Gleneagles Resort, Auchterarder in Perth and Kinross.

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5th hole, Kings Course, Gleneagles (Photo: http://www.hiddenlinksgolf.com)

Format

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

18 holes will be played on both Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th August.

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

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

Field

144 competitors, all off scratch or better, will start the 2018 Championship.

The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2018 Scottish Open Amateur Tee Times

The Championship has historically been played in late May or early June. The move to late August in 2018 has inevitably been detrimental to the field quality. There are a variety of reasons for this. Overseas touring parties have moved on, teams have largely been selected, players are returning to college in the United States, others are finalising moves into the Pro ranks and in some cases funds have simply run out.

Just two members of the nine man Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) St. Andrews Trophy team are competing at Gleneagles; these are Ireland’s Robin DAWSON and Conor PURCELL. England’s David HAGUE was a late withdrawal from the event.

In form Euan MCINTOSH and James WILSON, winner of last week’s Welsh Open Amateur, will lead the home challenge.

Only Euan WALKER from Scotland’s three man Eisenhower Trophy team, which starts in Ireland on 5th September, is competing. Ryan LUMSDEN and Sandy SCOTT are notable absentees but presumably both have had to return to College in the States before coming home again next week.

Other leading Scottish players in the field include Matthew CLARK, Greg DALZIEL, Stuart EASTON, Calum FYFEDarren HOWIE, Jim JOHNSTON and Jeff WRIGHT.

Ben CHAMBERLAIN, Jake HAPGOOD and Tom WILLIAMS, the three members of Wales’ Eisenhower Trophy team, will all be in action.

Their is a strong English contingent at Gleneagles which includes Jake BOLTON, Callum FARR, Jack GAUNT, Bailey GILL, Ben JONES, Matty LAMB, Joe LONG, Joshua MCMAHON, Billy MCKENZIE, Thomas PLUMB and Laird SHEPHERD. The three members of England’s Eisenhower Trophy team Matthew JORDAN, Gian-Marco PETROZZI and Mitch WAITE are all skipping this year’s Scottish Open Amateur.

There are a small number of overseas entires, the best appearing to be Frenchman Victor VEYRET.

Prizes

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

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

Gleneagles, Kings Course

Located 20 miles south of Perth Gleneagles is a world class golf resort with three Championship golf courses.

James Braid was the primary architect of the first and arguably still the best course, The Kings. Located on moorland it offers outstanding views with vast countryside and mountains providing a spectacular backdrop.

9th hole, Kings Course, Gleneagles (Photo: http://www.golfnorth.co.uk)

A number of prestigious amateur and professional events have been staged on the course since it opened in 1919. However, this is the first time the Scottish Open Amateur has been staged at Gleneagles.

Recent restoration work, widening fairways so bunkers moved out of the rough, has returned this famous old course back to its best too.

The Kings course will play 6,752 yards this week to a par of 70. The front nine will measure 3,321 yards and the back nine 3,431 yards. The 10th, which normally plays as a par 5 is being played as a 440 yard par 4.

With the greens running at around 11 feet on the stimpmeter and the par set at a demanding 70 I do not expect a low scoring Championship.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast is generally cool and dry with a modest breeze:-

Mon 27th Aug – Light cloud / Wind 15 mph W / Temp. Max. 18°C, Min. 9°C.
Tues 28th Aug – Light cloud / Wind 13 mph SW / Temp. Max. 18°C / Min. 11°C.
Wed 29th Aug – Light cloud / Wind 10 mph SW / Temp. Max. 17°C / Min. 7°C.

Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 7.00am right through until 3.20pm.

The 2017 Scottish Men’s Open Amateur

Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) shot rounds of 69, 66, 69 and 71 to win the 2017 Carrick Neill Scottish Men’s Open Championship with a 275 (-9) total at Western Gailes.

Liam was the first home winner since Wallace Booth in 2008.

Liam Johnston (Photo: Kenny Smith / Scottish Golf)

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) finished second, two shots further back, continuing a superb run off form. Matthew recorded successive Top 5’s in the Irish Open Amateur, Brabazon Trophy and Scottish Open Amateur before winning the St. Andrews Links Trophy last summer.

Craig HOWIE (SCO) and David MICHELUZZI (AUS) shared third place on -5 as both stumbled a little in the final round as the wind picked up.

Connor SYME (SCO) finished 5th on -4, whilst Clément CHARMASSON (FRA) and Matty LAMB (ENG) shot final round 67’s to move through the field and finish tied 6th on -3.

Click here to view the – 2017 Scottish Open Amateur Results

Past Winners

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

2016 – Cameron John (AUS)
2015 – Marco Penge (ENG)
2014 – Gavin Moynihan (IRE)
2013 – Garrick Porteous (ENG)
2011 – Andy Sullivan (ENG)
2009 – Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
2004 – Richie Ramsay (SCO)
2003 – Gary Wolstenholme (ENG)
2002 – Barry Hume (SCO)
1997 – Barclay Howard (SCO)
1996 – Alastair Forsyth (SCO)
1995 – Stephen Gallacher (SCO)
1992 – Dean Robertson (SCO)
1991 – Andrew Coltart (SCO)
1985 – Colin Montgomerie (SCO)
1981 – Philip Walton (IRE)
1980 – Gordon Brand Jr (ENG)
1975 and 1984 – Charlie Green (SCO)
1971, 1974 and 1979 – Ian Hutcheon (SCO)
1970 – Dale Hayes (RSA)
1968 – Ronnie Shade (SCO)
1967 – Bernard Gallacher (SCO)

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Trophy – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Friday 27th July 2018

The Continent of Europe beat Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) 15.5 – 9.5 in the 32nd St. Andrews Trophy match played this year at Linna Golf in Finland.

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The Continent of Europe Team (Photo: European Golf Association)

This was just the sixth time Europe had won the match and the 6 point margin represented their biggest ever victory. Prior to this year their best win had come in 1982 when they won 14.5 – 9.5 at Rosendaelsche G.C. in Netherlands.

GB&I entered the final day leading 7 – 5 but were comprehensively outplayed by an inspired European team who won the Day 2 games 10.5 – 2.5.

Europe won the morning Foursomes 3 – 1 to leave the match tied at 8 points each and in theory to perfectly set up the afternoon series of Singles where all eighteen players would be in action.

Unfortunately GB&I were thrashed 7.5 – 1.5 in the Singles. Matthew JORDAN (ENG) won his match and Mitch WAITE (ENG) secured a late half.

It is difficult to put a positive spin on this result for GB&I given that Europe were ‘missing’ at least five of what I would consider to be their potential first team. A number of Europe’s leading players chose to play in this week’s Porsche European Open on the European Tour or to return early to the Unites States in the run up to the U.S. Amateur.

I can’t criticise the GB&I selection as I picked exactly the same team independently before the match started. They were simply outplayed on the final day.

In The R&A’s match report GB&I Captain Craig Watson said: “The team is obviously very disappointed but if you look at the scoring by the Continent of Europe you can see we were up against a very high standard of golf. This is the level that the players need to aspire to and achieve and when they look back on the performance there will be many learning points to take away. If you are to win a match like this you obviously need to make your fair share of putts when it matters. We just couldn’t match the Continent of Europe today. I don’t think we were complacent.”

Coming a year after the 19 – 7 record breaking thrashing at the hands of the United States in the Walker Cup GB&I have just over 400 days to find a team ready to face them again at Royal Liverpool in September 2019.

Looking at the individual performances Matias HONKALA (FIN) was the star man for Europe winning all four of his matches. Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) didn’t play in the Day 1 Singles but won all three of the other matches he was selected for.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) was comfortably GB&I’s star man winning three of his four games.

Click here to view the St. Andrews Trophy – Match Results

Individual Performances Analysis

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Day 2 Afternoon Singles

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Day 2 Afternoon Singles Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

The Continent of Europe’s captain Yves HOFSTETTER will be pleased with the changes he made to his pairings on Day 2 as the home side ran out 3 – 1 winners in the morning Foursomes.

Thankfuly for Great Britain & Ireland, who looked like they were heading for a clean sweep of losses after 9 holes, the Irish pairing of Robin DAWSON and John MURPHY battled back well to secure a 2 hole win in Game 2. Unfortunately our other pairings were all well beaten in the series (see below).

Day 2 Morning Foursomes

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Day 2 Morning Foursomes Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

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Thursday 26th July 2018

Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) lead the Continent of Europe 7 – 5 after Day 1 of the 32nd St. Andrews Trophy match in Finland.

English pair Matthew JORDAN and Gian-Marco PETROZZI are unbeaten for GB&I having won their foursomes match this morning before winning their individual Singles this afternoon.

Home favourite Matias HONKALA is the only European player to have a 100% unblemished record so far.

Nick POPPLETON (ENG) and Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) were both part of winning partnerships in the morning but were stood down for the afternoon Singles.

Day 1 Afternoon Singles

Day 1 Afternoon Singles Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Day 1 Morning Foursomes

Day 1 Morning Foursomes Results (Photo: EGA / Golfbox)

Robin Dawson In Action During The Day 1 Foursomes (Photo: @LinnaGolf)

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25th July 2018

Earlier today The R&A confirmed that the 2020 St. Andrews Trophy match will be played at Royal Porthcawl G.C. in South Wales.

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15th July 2018

The 32nd St. Andrews Trophy match will be contested on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th July at Linna Golf in Finland.

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9th Green and Clubhouse, Linna Golf (Photo: golfboo.com)

This amateur men’s team match has been played biennially between Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) and the Continent of Europe since 1956.

It was originally established by The R&A to give more European players the chance to play at the highest level and GB&I players more team match play experience for the Walker Cup which is held in alternate years with this competition.

The St. Andrews Trophy was put forward for the match by the Royal and Ancient G.C. of St. Andrews in 1963.

2018 Teams

Each team has nine players.

The golfing calendar is extremely busy at this time of year and therefore player availability may be impacted by other opportunities.

The 2018 St. Andrews Trophy clashes with the Porsche European Open (European Tour, 26-29 July), Euram Bank Open in Austria (Challenge Tour, 26-29 July), German International Amateur (Europe, 26-29 July), Pacific Coast Amateur (U.S., 24-27 July) and to a lesser degree the Western Amateur Championship (U.S., 30 July-4 August).

Continent of Europe

Yves HOFSTETTER (Switzerland) will once again be the Non-Playing Captain of the European team.

His team was announced by the European Golf Association (E.G.A.) on 11th July and is listed below. Each player’s nationality, their SPWAR’s and their SPWAR Regional Ranking on the date of selection is also provided.

Edgar CATHERINE – France  #153 (15th)

Marc HAMMER * – Germany  #537 (102nd)

Angel HIDALGO PORTILLO – Spain  #113 (11th)

Matias HONKALA – Finland  #325 (53rd)

Frédéric LACROIX – France  #126 (13th)

Stefano MAZZOLI – Italy  #62 (7th)

Frederik NILEHN – Sweden  #23 (2nd)

Lorenzo SCALISE – Italy  #29 (4th)

Sami VALIMAKI – Finland  #172 (22nd)

* replaced Falko HANISCH – Germany  #586 (106th) who withdrew on 24th July 2018.

Home players Matias HONKALA and Sami VALIMAKI were both in the Finnish team who yesterday won the 2018 European Men’s Amateur Team Championship.

It is disappointing that just 3 of the team were in the SPWAR’s Continent of Europe Top 9 on the date of selection.

The most obvious ‘missing persons’ include John AXELSEN (Denmark), Oliver GILLBERG (Sweden), 2018 European Amateur Championship Nicolai HOJGAARD (Denmark), Rasmus HOJGAARD (Denmark), Viktor HOVLAND (Norway), Hurly LONG (Germany), Victor PASTOR (Spain) and Kristoffer REITAN (Norway).

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The St. Andrews Trophy (Photo: Suomen Golfliitto / Finnish Golf Union)

Great Britain & Ireland Team

The R&A Selection Committee, including Non-Playing Captain Craig WATSON (Scotland), announced their nine man team on 16th July. Each player’s nationality, their SPWAR’s and their SPWAR Regional Ranking on the date of selection is also provided.

Todd CLEMENTS (21) – England  #36 (4th)

Robin DAWSON (22) – Ireland  #8 (1st)

David HAGUE (21) – England  #T75 (T10th)

Matthew JORDAN (22) – England  #11 (2nd)

John MURPHY (20) – Ireland  #61 (7th)

Gian-Marco PETROZZI (21) – England  #76 (9th)

Nick POPPLETON (24) – England  #223 (26th)

Conor PURCELL (21) – Ireland  #47 (5th)

Mitch WAITE (23) – England  #17 (3rd)

Unlike the European Team above it is hard to argue with The R&A’s GB&I team or feel disappointed with the players that have not made themselves available. Indeed I selected the same team on 15th July (when this article was first published), explaining how I came to it in the Appendix below.

Match Format 

The St. Andrews Trophy is played over two days and consists of match play foursomes and singles matches.

Thursday 26th July AM – Foursomes x 4
Thursday 26th July PM – Singles x 8
Friday 27th June AM – Foursomes x 4
Friday 27th June PM – Singles x 9

The additional Singles on Day 2 was first played in 2016.

With a maximum total of 25 points available and one point awarded for each match a team will be required to accumulate 13 points to secure victory. GB&I can of course retain the Trophy by reaching 12.5 points as they did in 2016.

Venue – Linna Golf, Finland

Linna Golf is a luxury golf resort located in the Vanajanlinna area of Hämeenlinna in Southern Finland. Linna is around 60 miles north of the capital city Helsinki.

The course was designed by European Golf Design and Tim Lobb and opened for play in 2005. It is a hilly parkland course routed through a pine and birch forest. Three lakes and elevated, well protected and quick undulating greens make Linna a challenge from the back tees.

From these Championship Tees the course can be stretched to 7,244 yards. The front 9 is 3,541 yards long with a par of 35 (one par 5) and the back 9 3,703 yards with a par of 37 (three par 5’s). However, previous major events have seen the nines switched and I expect this to be the case again at the forthcoming St. Andrews Trophy match.

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Linna Golf, Finland (Photo: European Golf Design)

Linna is consistently ranked as one of the best courses in Finland, normally alongside the two courses at Kytäjä.

It has previously hosted European Challenge Tour (2009) and Staysure Senior (2017) events as well as the 2010 European Amateur Championship. A part of the European Tour Properties chain it is expected to host a European Tour event in due course.

Weather Forecast

The long range weather forecast for Finland looks very good for both the practice and competition days: –

Thur 26th July – Sunny. Wind 8mph E. Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 16°C.
Fri 27th July – Sunny. Wind 8mph E. Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 16°C.

2016 Match – Prince’s Golf Club

GB&I fought back bravely to draw the 2016 match at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, England 12.5-12.5 and thus retain the St. Andrews Trophy they had won in Sweden in 2014.

GB&I lost the opening morning’s Foursomes series 0-4 and entered Day 2 4-8 down after halving the eight Day 1 Singles.

GB&I won the Day 2 Foursomes 3.5-1.5 before securing sufficient points in the final Singles series to clawback the deficit. Wales’ David BOOTE secured the all important point in the last game still out on the links.

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Great Britain & Ireland Retained The St. Andrews Trophy In 2016 (Photo: Darren Plant) 

Click here to view the complete – 2016 St. Andrews Trophy Match Results

Here are the Individual Player Contributions for the 2016 St. Andrews Trophy match: –

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Past Results

To date GB&I have won the St. Andrews Trophy 25 times with Europe having just five wins to their name, albeit two of them came recently in 2010 and 2012. GB&I got back on track in 2014, winning 14-10 at Barsebäck, Sweden.

2016 was the first time the match had been halved. This arguably represents another win for GB&I but I have excluded it from the above numbers.

Europe have won only once on GB&I soil in the history of the match, at Portmarnock GC in 2012.

Here are the historic match results in full: –

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Appendix – My 2018 St. Andrews Trophy Team With Analysis

Nobody who follows GolfBible will be surprised to learn that my primary reference point for selection is the latest Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR).

1. SPWAR (as at 15th July 2018)

The top 20 players in the SPWAR’s GB&I Region Ranking, updated for the European Men’s and Boys’ Team Championships which finished yesterday, are: –

1. Robin DAWSON, Ireland  #8
2. Matthew JORDAN, England  #11
3. Mitch WAITE, England  #17
4. Todd CLEMENTS, England  #36
5. Conor PURCELL, Ireland  #47
6. Ryan LUMSDEN, Scotland  #57
7. John MURPHY, Ireland  #61
8. Harry HALL, England  #66
9. Gian-Marco PETROZZI, England  #74

T10. David HAGUE, England  #T75
T10. Jake BURNAGE, England  #T75
12. Tom SLOMAN, England  #88
13. Ben JONES, England  #99
14. Alex GLEESON, Ireland  #101
15. Laird SHEPHERD, England  #105
16. Caolan RAFFERTY, Ireland  #122
17. Sandy SCOTT, Scotland  #126
18. Rowan LESTER, Ireland  #137
19. Sam LOCKE, Scotland  #142
20. Andrew WILSON, England  #153

I personally wouldn’t bother but for completeness others may want to cast an eye over the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

2. WAGR (as at 8th July 2018 / published 11th July 2018)

Here are the current top 20 players from GB&I in the WAGR: –

1. Matthew JORDAN, England  #5
2. Robin DAWSON, Ireand  #10
3. Todd CLEMENTS, England  #14
4. Alex FITZPATRICK, England  #42
5. Gian-Marco PETROZZI, England  #43
6. Billy MCKENZIE, England  #71
7. Harry HALL, England  #84
8. Ben JONES, England  #95
9. David HAGUE, England  #97

10. Ryan LUMSDEN, Scotland  #102
11. David WICKS, England  #113
12. Alex GLEESON, Ireland  #124
13. Tom SLOMAN, England  #178
14. Peter O’KEEFFE, Ireland  #182
15. Caolan RAFFERTY, Ireland  #189
16. Euan WALKER, Scotland  #193
17. Joe PAGDIN, England  #196
18. Charlie STRICKLAND, England  #199
19. Mitch WAITE, England  #201
20. Rowan LESTER, Ireland  #213

Next I would want to look at current form. Obviously this is fully reflected in the SPWAR (but not so well in the WAGR) but specifically we have a perfect last (team match play) event to also consider.

3. European Men’s Amateur Team Championship (10-15 July 2018)

Accepting England’s strength in depth the first thing to say here is if a player isn’t being picked for their 6-man National Team last week why should I pick them for a GB&I Team this week.

That’s obviously not good news for original St. Andrews Trophy Squad members Alex FITZPATRICK, Calum FYFE, Harry HALL, Ben JONES, Sam LOCKE, Billy MCKENZIE, Robin WILLIAMS and Andrew WILSON. All have had their moments in the critical recent months but perhaps haven’t shone to the same degree as some of their peers.

The above rule is of course only true if the teams for the European Men’s were picked well ! In the case of Ireland I feel Conor PURCELL was an unlucky omission. Conor’s strong end of season form in the U.S. was initially ignored by the Irish selectors before he then emphasised the point by having a great Amateur. Immediately after the team announcements in July Conor backed his form up with an excellent European Amateur Championships.

In the European Men’s Team Championship in Germany England finished 2nd, Scotland 8th and Ireland 10th in Germany. Wales played in Division 2. Therefore I see no reason for England not to dominate my selection. This benefits Nick POPPLETON who was selected for England on the back of his Brabazon Trophy win and who played his part for England last week.

Looking at the individual performances: –

ENGLAND (SP 2nd  – 693 / -27)
Gian-Marco PETROZZI – SP 1st 62 70 (-12), MP W3/L2/H1
Matthew JORDAN – SP 5th 69 66 (-9), MP W4/L1/H1
Nick POPPLETON  – SP 28th 77 66 (-1), MP W2/L2/H0
David HAGUE – SP 30th 72 71 (-1), MP W2/L1/H2
Todd CLEMENTS – SP 45th 74 71 (+1), MP W1/L2/H0
Mitch WAITE – SP 77th 72 77 (+5), MP W2/L1/H0

SCOTLAND (SP 6th – 709 / -11)
Euan MCINTOSH – SP 14th 72 68 (-4), MP W0/L3/H0
Sandy SCOTT – SP 20th 69 72 (-3), MP W0/L1/H2
Stuart EASTON – SP 35th 72 72 (Ev), MP W0/L3/H0
Jamie STEWART – SP 39th 71 73  (Ev), MP W2//L2/H0
Ryan LUMSDEN  – SP 41st 77 68 (+1), MP W2/L2/H0
Euan WALKER – SP 46th 73 72 (+1), MP W1/L3/H0

IRELAND (SP 9th– 719 /  -1)
John MURPHY – SP 6th 68 67 (-9), MP W2/L1/H0 
Robin DAWSON – SP 27th 67 75 (-2), MP W3/L0/H0
Caolan RAFFERTY – SP 49th 72 73 (+1), MP W2/L1/H0
Rowan LESTER – SP 68th 77 71 (+4), MP W2/L0/H1
Jonathan YATES – SP 88th 75 76  (+7), MP W1/L2/H0
Alex GLEESON  – SP 92nd 81 74 (+11), MP W2/L1/H0

Finally, I have looked back at the 20 man St Andrews Trophy Match Squad announced by The R&A on 14thMay 2018 to ensure no one has slipped through the net.

4. St. Andrews Trophy Squad

Todd CLEMENTS, England
Robin DAWSON, Ireland
Alex FITZPATRICK, England
Calum FYFE, Scotland
Alex GLEESON, Ireland
David HAGUE, England
Harry HALL, England
Ben JONES, England
Matthew JORDAN, England
Rowan LESTER, Ireland
Sam LOCKE, Scotland
Ryan LUMSDEN, Scotland
Billy MCKENZIE, England
Gian-Marco PETROZZI, England
Caolan RAFFERTY, Ireland
Sandy SCOTT, Scotland
Jamie STEWART, Scotland
Euan WALKER, Scotland
Robin WILLIAMS, England
Andrew WILSON, England

In early June Nick POPPLETON (England), who had just won the Brabazon Trophy, was added to the Squad ahead of a planned gathering at St. Andrews prior to the St. Andrews Links Trophy event.

There were 11 English players, 6 Scottish, 4 Irish and 0 Welsh players selected by the R&A.

Based on the above information the following players are definite’s for me: –

Matthew JORDAN – England
Robin DAWSON – Ireland
Gian-Marco PETROZZI – England
Mitch WAITE – England
John MURPHY – Ireland
David HAGUE – England

To make up my nine man team I’ve gone for: –

Todd CLEMENTS – England
Nick POPPLETON – England
Conor PURCELL – Ireland

but could as easily have included one of the following: –

Tom SLOMAN – England
Ryan LUMSDEN – Scotland
Harry HALL – England
Jake BURNAGE – England

Unfortunately I could find no justification for any Scottish or Welsh players in this team other than a desire to see representation from as many home nations as possible.

ME.

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