The Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results

Saturday 19th June 2021

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) won the 2021 Amateur Championship at Nairn Golf Club.

The 23 year old from Rye G.C. beat Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) on the 38th Hole of an engrossing Final.

Shepherd, a graduate of Stirling University and a resident of St. Andrews, can now look forward to competing in the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s G.C. next month, the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also the 2022 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, near Boston.

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

Play started at 8.30am and Scowsill came shooting out of the blocks building a 4Up lead after nine holes helped by four birdies in five holes from the 5th.

After further birdies at the 10th and 15th the Woodbridge G.C. man from Suffolk found himself 8Up on the 18th tee.

Shepherd then won the 18th with a par to go into lunch 7Down but perhaps having now won his first hole of the match felt that all was not yet lost.

Shepherd who started the Final as the favourite, based on rankings of SPWAR #2,850 / WAGR #846 v. Scowsill’s SPWAR #4,180 / WAGR #1,181, was certainly not going to rollover without a fight.

However, there was no sign of a Shepherd comeback or a Scowsill faltering in the opening holes of the afternoon round with the first four holes all halved.

It was on the next hole where Shepherd got his comeback underway. A birdie on the 383 yard par 4 5th reduced Scowsill’s lead to 6Up with 13 holes to play.

Two consecutive birdies on 8 and 9 reduced the lead to 4up with 9 holes to play and all of a sudden it was ‘game on’.

Despite losing the par 3 11th to a bogey Shepherd was handed the hole straight back on the next when Scowsill bogeyed.

After pars were shared on the 13th and 14th holes Scowsill finally looked as if he must have done enough – 4Up with four holes to play. Under the pressure of knowing any mistakes would probably be terminal such an advantage would surely prove too big a mountain for Shepherd to climb.

The unbelievable then happened. A combination of good play from Shepherd and badly timed mistakes from Scowsill saw the match amazingly end All Square in regulation.

At this point there was only going to be one winner and indeed that proved to be the case. A shell-shocked Scowsill three putted the 2nd extra hole to hand Shepherd the victory after he had already pared the hole.

After the match Shepherd said “Honestly, at lunch I thought this was over. I was just trying to avoid an embarrassing score line. I can’t believe this really. Monty played so well this morning. My caddie did a great job getting in my ear. So did my girlfriend (Chloe Goadby, who won the Scottish Women’s Amateur a few weeks ago) and my Dad. They were telling me not to give up. But I still couldn’t really see it happening. To win is amazing enough, but to come back like this is completely surreal.”

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

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

ME.

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Friday 18th June 2021

Afternoon – Semi-Finals

Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) and Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) were the two Semi-Final winners this afternoon.

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Match Play Semi-Finals Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Scowsill, who graduated from the University of Exeter in 2019, got off to a great start in his match against James ASHFIELD (WAL) moving into a 2Up lead after a birdie on the 3rd. However some poor play on the 8th and 9th saw the Englishman lose his advantage. The back nine turned into a scrappy affair as the magnitude of the occasion possibly started to influence proceedings. However, Scowsill helped by birdies on the 10th and 15th moved back in front and despite a stumble on the 16th saw out a 2 Holes victory as Ashfield was forced to press down the last.

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

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) added Jack DYER (ENG) to his growing list of impressive wins this week which already included highly regarded England Internationals Arron Edwards-Hill and Sam Bairstow.

Shepherd took the early lead but when he went 1Down after Dyer birdied the 10th I am sure most people’s expectations were that the recent GB&I Walker Cup player would then move forward serenely to the Final. However, Shepherd proved not to be in an accommodating mood and at his competitive best birdied both the 15th and 18th, where he played two high quality shots into the home green to secure a memorable 1Hole win.

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

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Morning – Quarter Finals

Here are the Quarter Final results: –

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Match Play Quarter Final Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Looking at each of the four games in more detail: –

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

Monty SCOWSILL (ENG), the lowest ranked player left in the field at SPWAR #4,180 / WAGR #1,181, was given some early encouragement by a poor start from John PATERSON (SCO), ranked SPWAR #857 / WAGR #567, and saw out the match nicely.

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James Ashfield v. Calum Scott – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

James ASHFIELD (WAL), SPWAR #2,322 / WAGR #1,431, was clearly not in the mood to make friends this morning disposing of the home favourite 17 year old Calum SCOTT (SCO), SPWAR #319 / WAGR #655, by 2&1. If the hole-by-hole scoring is to be believed Ashfield’s double bogey on the 12th are the first shots he has dropped in his last two games. That level of consistency is going to work around a tough course like Nairn where a par will often win you a hole.

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

St. Andrews-based Laird SHEPHERD (ENG), currently ranked SPWAR #2,850 / WAGR #846, showed great determination in overcoming Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), SPWAR #90 / WAGR #141, having been 3Down after six holes and 1Down after 14.

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Jack DYER (ENG), ranked SPWAR #42 / WAGR #168, was the last player Olly HUGGINS (ENG), SPWAR #96 / WAGR #137, needed to give a head start to. Having been ‘handed’ a 4UP lead after four holes it would have been a major surprise if the confident and in form Dyer had done anything other than see out this match easily.

ME.

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Thursday 17th June 2021

Afternoon – Round 3

Here are the Round 3 results: –

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

Looking at the hole-by-hole scores for each Last 16 match: –

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

Ben QUINNEY (ENG) was left to rue a couple of bogeys on 13 and 14 as Monty SCOWSILL‘s consistency on the back nine eventually wore him down.

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John Paterson v. Josef Hacker – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

This was an all US college match up with both players returning Juniors in September. 21 year old John PATERSON (SCO), who is at Colorado University, produced plenty of birdies in overcoming Jersey-based Josef HACKER (ENG), who is studying at Jacksonville University.

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Jack Bigham v. James Ashfield – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

James ASHFIELD (WAL) enjoyed his second 4&3 victory of the day, this time over Jack BIGHAM (ENG) who appears to have played reasonably well himself. I am sure Ashfield would have beaten most of the remaining players this afternoon with his impressive 5-under for 15 holes performance.

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Calum Scott v. Harley Smith – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Nairn’s very own Calum SCOTT (SCO) was again taken to the 19th hole today but was once more up to the task. 15 year old Harley SMITH (ENG) perhaps lacked the experience to close out the match having taken the lead on the 17th.

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

Stirling graduate Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) who has had to overcome some serious back and knee injuries in recent years used all of his links golf experience to get passed Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG). With Shepherd having played only a few events in recent years I am sure Edwards-Hill would not have been expecting a near flawless performance to be coming his way this afternoon.

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Ryan Tattan v. Sam Bairstow – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) appeared to have his match won against Ryan TATTAN (ENG) when he birdied the 8th and 9th to go 3Up. He then lost three holes in a row before recovering with a pitch-in eagle on the 15th to regain the advantage. It looks like a great finish with both players battling all the way to the clubhouse.

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Callan Barrow v. Olly Huggins – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Olly HUGGINS (ENG), who holed an 8 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole on Tuesday evening to qualify for the Match Play Stage and had already endured two close games, will be relieved to have conserved some energy by pulling away from Scottish Open Amateur champion Callan BARROW (ENG) down the back nine.

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Robert Moran v. Jack Dyer – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Jack DYER (ENG) continues to look like the class act in the field and wasn’t overly troubled by Irishman Rob MORAN. Moran backed up his recent win in the ISPS Handa Ulster Men’s Stroke Play Championship with a good run at Nairn but Dyer was just too good for him today.

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Morning – Round 2

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

Josef HACKER (ENG), Jack BIGHAM (ENG) and Callan BARROW (ENG) enjoyed the biggest wins in Round 2 this morning.

Harley SMITH (ENG) beating Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) by 2&1 was perhaps the biggest surprise of the series.

ME.

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Wednesday 16th June 2021

After a course record 62 yesterday and medalist honours there was an inevitability about Matthew CLARK‘s (SCO) 5&4 defeat to Mason ESSAM (ENG) in Round 1 of the Match Play Stage of The Amateur Championship. The fact Essam played beautifully and putted the lights out was probably irrelevant. That ladies and gentleman is golf.

Jack BIGHAM (ENG) and Connor WILSON (SCO) arguably produced the best two wins of the day. Bigham beat Archie DAVIES (WAL) who had finished the US college season strongly for East Tennessee State whilst Wilson took the even bigger scalp of Mark POWER (IRL), hot off the back of his Walker Cup heroics for GB&I.

Calum SCOTT (SCO) demonstrated that he is likely to be a force to be reckoned for a little while longer by beating the former Boys’ Amateur champion and 2019 Walker Cup player Conor GOUGH (ENG) 3&2. Conor is not the player he was a few years ago but nevertheless this was another impressive step forward for the Nairn man.

Ominously for the remaining players the highly rated English group of Haider HUSSAIN (ENG), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Callan BARROW (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and Jack DYER (ENG) are all safely through to the last 32.

Here are the full Round 1 results: –

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

ME.

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Tuesday 15th June 2021

Experienced Scottish International Matthew CLARK, a 39 year old TSB bank manager, has played many great rounds in his illustrious amateur career. Today’s bogey free course record 62 (-9) at Nairn to secure medalist honours in the Amateur Championship may very well be the best of the lot.

A delighted Clark, who has never qualified before, said “I hit a lot of good golf shots, played conservatively and avoided the bunkers, which you need to do around this golf course. It’s a nice place to get a course record, but I think you’d give the 62 up to hold the trophy on Saturday. That’s what we’ve all come here for and they’ll be gunning for the guy who did something good today, so let’s see how it goes.”

img_5329 Matthew Clark’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Aron Snær JÚLÍUSSON (ICL) 65 and Jack DYER (ENG), Gregor TAIT (SCO), Luke HARRIES (WAL), Joe SULLIVAN (ENG) and Rory BROWNE (ENG) all 67 clearly enjoyed the calmer conditions in Round 2.

Round 1 leader Calum SCOTT (SCO) did what he needed to posting a 72 to finish on -3 and 5th.

57 year old Derek PATON (SCO) was by some distance the oldest qualifier finishing on 147 (+5) to secure the 57th seed.

With a Round 2 card countback being used for the first time to ensure a clean 64 player match play draw could be made there was always the potential for some late drama and so it proved. Four of the last six players on the course, John CLEARY (IRL), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Ryan TATTAN (ENG) and Tom STAGG (ENG), all finished strongly – Cleary and Tattan both eagled the 18th – to jump the right side of the 148 (+6) qualifying line. Huggins produced the best comeback in the field following up is opening 80 with a 68 to scrape through.

Nine players on +6 missed out due to the countback rule; the most unfortunate being Jack BROOKS (ENG), Jacob DAVIES (WAL), Jamie MANN (SCO) and Stuart EASTON (SCO) who all lost their places as the final two groups came in.

The average score in Round 2 was 72.65, four shots better than in Round 1. With the westerly wind less of a factor it was no surprise to see all of those four shots being saved on the front nine.

Here is a list of all the Stroke Play qualifiers with their final scores: –

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Final Stroke Play Qualifying Leaderboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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

ME.

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Monday 14th June 2021

17 year old home favourite Calum SCOTT (SCO) played the opening shot of the 126th Amateur Championship. Little did he know at 7.00am that 14 hours later he would be leading the Stroke Play Qualifying having only played another 66 shots on his way to a bogey free round of 67 (-4).

img_5316Calum Scott’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

By the close of play just four competitors from the other 143 had managed to record an under par round. Jack DYER (ENG) finished the day on -3 with 15 year old Florida-based Frank KENNEDY (ENG), Liam O’NEILL (IRL) and Max KENNEDY (IRL) two shots further back after 70’s.

The prevailing westerly wind blew hard today which meant the opening seven holes became a battle with the players having to limit the damage whilst hoping for better things when they turned for home with the wind in their sails.

Josh GREER epitomised these struggles but also demonstrated his strong mental approach. He started and finished with triple bogey 7’s in a front nine of 43. Lesser players would have perhaps given up but not the Australian; he played the back nine in 31 with five birdies and left Nairn with a respectable 74 in 25th place.

The average score in Round 1 was 76.66, 5.66 over par. On the front nine it was 39.93, 4.93 shots over par. Coming home it was 36.73, even with the more favourable conditions still 0.73 over par.

The leading 25 players after 18 holes are shown below: –

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Round 1 Stroke Play Qualifying Leaderboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

ME.

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Sunday 13th June 2021

The 126th Amateur Championship will be played at The Nairn G.C. near Inverness in Scotland on 14th – 19th June 2021.

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 2021 Championship was originally due to be co-hosted by The Nairn G.C. and Nairn Dunbar G.C. but due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 and the likelihood of international travel restrictions remaining in place The R&A took the decision, as they did last year, to play the Championship solely at Nairn with a reduced field.

Format

The normal field of 288 players has been reduced to 144 players this year. It was 120 last year at Royal Birkdale G.C. when the Championship was played in late August and there was less light available.

Two stroke play qualifying rounds will be completed on Monday 14th June and Wednesday 15th June.

Nairn member Calum SCOTT (SCO), will hit the first shot of the Championship at 7.00am. With an 11 minute gap between tee times the final group will go out at 3.52pm on each of the opening days.

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Tee Times

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

A Round 2 card countback will be used for the first time to ensure a clean 64 players advance. Ties for 64th place will not advance as they have done previously and as a result there will be no preliminary round and a standard match play draw will be made. The card count back approach was due to be used in 2020 but the decision was rescinded when the Stroke Play Qualifying competition had to be reduced to 18 holes due to bad weather.

The Match Play stage will then be played between Wednesday 16th and Saturday 19th June.

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.

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The Nairn G.C. 2nd Hole and Clubhouse (Photo: The Nairn G.C.) 

Players

The 144 competitiors were firstly drawn from a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections.

Thereafter places were allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 19 2021, i.e. the Wednesday 19th May release, and then via WHS Handicap index at the date of entry.

I take no pleasure in saying this but the COVID-19 international travel restrictions and the early playing of the Walker Cup mean this is undoubtedly the weakest field that has ever assembled for an Amateur Championship.

92% of the field are from the home nations; England have 70 players in the field (49%), Scotland 36, Ireland 16 and Wales 9.

There are just 12 overseas players from a total of six countries with Iceland providing six of these. 34 countries were represented in 2019 highlighting the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction in field size.

At the start of play just three of the field were in the WAGR top 100 and just 14 in the top 250. 26 of the players competing do not even have a WAGR ranking. With Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #7 withdrawing on the eve of the competition the highest ranked player in the field is now Jack COPE #29.

Jack DYER (ENG) and Mark POWER (IRL), who reached the semi-finals in 2020, are the only two from the sixteen players selected for the 2021 GB&I Walker Cup Team and earlier Squad that will be teeing off.

The defending champion Joe LONG (ENG) will be using his exemption to appear in the 2021 U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines G.C. which starts on 17th June. Last year’s runner up Joe HARVEY (ENG) does return.

Based on the SPWAR, in my opinion the most accurate ranking of amateur golfers, the favourites this year should be Jack DYER (ENG) #54, Mark POWER (IRL) #60, Callan BARROW (ENG) #82, who reached the quarter finals at Birkdale and recently won the Scottish Open Amateur at Southerness, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #90, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #97, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #98, Archie DAVIES (WAL) #99, Jack COPE (ENG) #101, who won the St Andrews Links Trophy last weekend, Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) #105 and Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #113.

Fraser FOTHERINGHAM and Calum SCOTT (SCO) are both members of The Nairn G.C. Only time will tell if home advantage proves to be a benefit for the two of them or a distraction as higher expectations locally can often weigh heavily on the shoulders.

Sadly Calum’s brother Sandy, who played in the 2019 Walker Cup match and was selected for the recent one at Seminole before having to withdraw, was due to play but ultimately missed out again due to his longstanding wrist injury which has now prevented him from playing competitively since last October.

One of the last player to make the field was Louis SANDERS (ENG) who got the nod at 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon. Louis plays out of Copt Heath G.C. in Warwickshire, the home club of amateur legend Peter McEvoy and less importantly my good self.

Another Warwickshire player who is competing is Kenilworth’s Warren Bladon; the 1996 winner is the only former champion in the field.

As we all know Championships are not won on paper or via rankings. The 126th Amateur Championship looks a particularly open one to me and, even more so than normal, virtually any of the players could win it if they have a good week, hole a few putts and benefit from some kind bounces at the right time.

Host Course

The Nairn G.C. is located in The Highlands, around 160 miles north of Scotland’s capital Edinburgh.

The most notable features are the gorse and the Moray Firth which is visible from every hole and in play, for a particularly wild shot, on the opening seven. As these holes play into the prevailing westerly wind such a shot occurs more often than one may think possible at first sight.

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The Nairn G.C. Course Map (Photo: The Nairn G.C. / Strokesport Ltd)

Nairn was established by an Edinburgh born lawyer Robert Findlay in 1887 with Old Tom Morris, James Braid, Ben Sayers, Braid again and finally architect C.K. Cotton in the 1970’s all having a hand in the development of the course over the years.

The course was lengthened ahead of the 1999 Walker Cup match which GB&I memorably won 15-9.

The Championship course measures 6,832 yards and has a par of 71.

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The Nairn G.C. Scorecard (Photo: The Nairn G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Sunday 13th June)

The weather forecast for the week ahead is positively tropical for this part of the world with the only exception being the strong winds which are forecast for Monday, particularly around lunchtime: –

Mon 13th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 20-40 mph W. Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 16°C.
Tues 14th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph S. Temp. Min. 12°C / Max. 16°C.
Wed 15th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SW. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 18°C.
Thu 16th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph W. Temp. Min. 7°C / Max. 16°C.
Fri 17th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph W. Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 15°C.
Sat 18th – Light Cloud. Wind 14 mph S. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 15°C.

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

Tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm mean changes in the weather can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with 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. As The Open was cancelled last year there will be two Amateur champions in the field, Joe LONG joining this year’s winner.

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 2022 U.S. Open Championship which will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, near Boston.

2020 Amateur Championship

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

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

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

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.

Long shot a 74 (-3) in the stroke play qualifying, which was reduced to 18 holes due to bad weather, to finish tied 30th. In reaching the Final he had to overcome three of England’s leading players Olly HUGGINS, Barclay BROWN and Jake BOLTON.

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

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

2020 was the first time that The R&A had been unable to complete the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying since introducing it in 1983. Round 1 was abandoned late in the afternoon on Day 1 after heavy rain and strong winds made the course unplayable.

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

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

A Short History of The Amateur

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

Up until the Second World War it was a hugely prestigious event and in many of these early years was afforded a much higher standing in the game than The Open 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.

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

Past Winners

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

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

Prior to Joe Long’s win in 2020 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

2019  James Sugrue (IRL) – Portmarnock G.C.
2018  Jovan Rebula (RSA) – Royal Aberdeen G.C.
2017  Harry Ellis (ENG) – Royal St. George’s G.C.
2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl G.C.
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie G.L.
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush G.C.
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports G.C.
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRL) – Royal Troon G.C.
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside G.C.
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield

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

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2021 Preview & Results

6th June 2021

Play-Off

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

Speaking to the tournament organisers Jack said “I was committed to every shot I hit out there over those four holes. I probably played the best I played all week tee to green. I guess that was a nice time to really peak. I love the home of golf. I particularly like the Old Course, mainly because I normally score alright round there which helps. Just walking over that bridge, taking photos, thinking about all the players who have won here and played here. This is very special to me.”

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

Cope and Williams parred the 1st to eliminate the Scotsman Burns.

The English pair then halved the 18th in birdie and the 1st in par before Cope prevailed with a birdie on the 18th, the fourth extra hole they played. Cope’s drive to 25 feet on the home hole this time proving to be decisive.

Round 4

Reigning English Amateur champion Jack COPE shot a bogey free final round of 67 to take the early clubhouse lead on Sunday evening. Cope had entered the final day tied 13th on -2 and five shots behind the overnight leader Charlie THORNTON.

As the later players came in Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS both birdied their 18th hole for 70’s to join Cope on 280 (-8).

John GOUGH recorded a 66 in the final round, the best score of the three rounds played on the Old Course this weekend.

Here are the final results which include the play-off: –

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Round 4 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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

Round 3

Charlie THORNTON (-8) leads Scott WORMLEIGHTON (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW, Callan BARROW, Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS (-6) with 18 holes to play on the Old Course.

Wormleighton produced the best Round 3 score, matching Callan Barrow’s 67 on the Old yesterday.

Scottish pair Liam WALDRON (-4) and Ruben LINDSAY (-2) moved up the leaderboard with morning rounds of 69 and 68 respectively.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

ME.

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5th June 2021

Charlie THORNTON recorded a 71 in Round 2 on the Old Course to maintain his 1-shot lead on 137 (-7).

Richard KNIGHTLY matched the leader’s score to also stay in second place. He is now joined on 136 (-6) by Dubai-based Englishman Josh HILL who went out in 32 to post a 68.

There were six other 68’s in Round 2 of the St Andrews Links Trophy but the best rounds of the day were 67’s (-5) from Darren HOWIE and Callan Barrow. Howie’s highlight being a front nine 30 which included a hole-in-one on the 8th.

img_5219 Darren Howie’s Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Scotland’s Rory FRANSSEN and George BURNS are joined in tied 3rd by 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player Jack DYER on 139 (-5).

With 36 holes to play on Sunday there is clearly an opportunity for a player well down the leaderboard currently to come from well back to take the title.

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

Here is a summary of the leading players and those that made the cut: –

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Round 2 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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4th June 2021

Teeing off at 7.40am Yorkshire’s Charlie THORNTON produced seven birdies in his 66 (-6) on the Jubilee Course to secure the opening round lead at the 2021 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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Charlie Thornton’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

George GRIFFITHS, Richard KNIGHTLY and Matthew HIBBS all fired 67’s to finish the day tied for 2nd place, one shot back of our leader.

Griffiths enjoyed a particularly memorable round with a hole-in-one on the 17th.

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George Griffith’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Pre-Championship favourites Jack DYER (-4), Dan BRADBURY (-1), Arron EDWARD-HILL (-1) and Olly HUGGINS (Ev) are all well placed to mount an attack over the weekend.

Here is the top 25 leaderboard after Round 1: –

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Round 1 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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2nd June 2021

144 golfers will tee off on Friday 4th June in the 32nd St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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

I will add the live score link to this article once it becomes available and provide daily reports on play over the weekend.

St Andrews Clubhouse

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

Competition Format

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

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 29th April 2021 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Field

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

Due to the early playing of the Walker Cup and COVID-19 travel restrictions the field is much weaker than has previously been seen.

Whereas we normally see over 20 countries represented only a handful of overseas players have been able to make the journey in 2021.

The impact of the R&A’s decision to agree to play the Walker Cup in early May is going to be seen very clearly in men’s amateur events this summer.

There are just 15 of the leading 30 GB&I players in today’s Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) competing. This excludes the seven international class amateurs who have turned pro since the Walker Cup team was announced on 30th March. Extending the same analysis to the top of the current tree there are only 10 of the top 20 and just 3 of the top 10 playing in St. Andrews this week.

The highest ranked players in the SPWAR are Jack DYER (ENG) #75, Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) #114, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #119, Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #125, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #131, Callan BARROW (ENG) #144, winner of last week’s Scottish Open Men’s Championship, and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #148.

The highest ranked Irish, Scottish and Welsh players are Marc BOUCHER #351, Calum SCOTT #404 and Matt ROBERTS #1,427.

Perhaps the most interesting entry is Paul HOWARD (ENG). Paul turned pro in March 2015 shortly after a successful tour of Australia where he won the New South Wales Amateur. He went on to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour in June 2015 and then the European Challenge Tour in August 2017. He has clearly now regained his amateur status and I assume must have received one of the nominations from either England Golf or the St. Andrews Links Trust as he currently has no ranking. Best wishes to Paul on his return to elite amateur competition.

Whilst it doesn’t overly affect the field quality it should be noted that most of the Irish players are staying at home to play in the Ulster Men’s Stroke Play Championship which starts on Monday 7th June at Royal County Down GC and that the Arnold Palmer Cup match starts on 11th June at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois.

Weather Forecast (as at Wednesday 2nd June)

The current weather forecast looks great with a dry championship currently expected.

Friday 4th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph SW. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 15°C.
Saturday 5th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph SW. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 18°C.
Sunday 6th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph W. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 17°C.

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

Prizes

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

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

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

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

2020 St. Andrews Links Trophy

The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy

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

Burnage recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a memorable comeback, having started the final day 6 shots back of the 36-hole leader Matty LAMB (ENG), who ultimately had to settle for 2nd place on -19. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) finished 3rd on -17.

It was a surprise to many that the Devonian links specialist was subsequently overlooked for the GB&I Walker Cup team that played USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. just two months later.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

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Final 2019 Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

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

Past Winners

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

South Beach International Amateur – 2020 Preview & Results

22nd December 2020 – Round 4 

Cole HAMMER (USA) won the 2020 South Beach International Amateur with a 267 (-16) total. He completed the tournament with a final round 69 at Miami Beach G.C. to extend his victory margin to 5 shots.

Four under par rounds in the 60’s, on his way to breaking Pierceson Coody’s 2018 winning score record by 5-shots, must have impressed a watching USA Walker Cup captain Nathanial Crosby.

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Cole Hammer (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Pierre VIALLANEIX (FRA) -11 finished second with Kelly CHINN (USA) and Zach TAYLOR (USA) -9 tieing for third place.

Archie DAVIES (WAL) -4 was the highest placed GB&I player in tied 15th. In the 5th strongest field of 2020 according to the SPWAR this was arguably a career best performance for the Welshman. 

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SBIA Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Dan BRADBURY (ENG) finished strongly with a 68 to secure a tied 41st finish on Even par.

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) were our only other players to make the cut with neither able to push on during the final 36 holes.

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SBIA GB&I Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Click here to view the complete Final Results – SBIA 2020 Leaderboard

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21st December 2020 – Round 3 

Cole HAMMER (USA) took control of the SBIA after a best of the day 62 (-9) in Round 3 at Miami Beach G.C.

Hammer was afforded the final tee time at Normandy Shores G.C. on Saturday after attending the USA Walker Cup team session in Orlando which finished on Friday. His decision to then travel south, the only member of the squad to do so, now looks like being a very good one. After a relatively lacklustre summer a win tomorrow will almost certainly secure his place in the USA team. 

Cole now leads Kelly CHINN (USA), the AJGA Rolex Player of the Year, Zack TAYLOR (USA) and Pierre VIALLANEIX (FRA) by 4-shots heading into the final round. Given his experience Hammer should go on to win but nothing can be taken for certain around the demanding Miami Beach course.  

Archie DAVIES (WAL) fell back to tied 11th after a 72 on Monday. As on Day 1 he again struggled on Miami Beach’s opening holes, particularly the 4th and 5th which have collectively now cost him 6-shots over two rounds. Nevertheless he showed his battling skills by getting back to even par before a bogey on the 18th took the edge off his back nine comeback. 

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SBIA Round 3 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), Dan BRADBURY (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) stayed in the pack after all struggling to over par rounds in Round 3. 

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SBIA Round 3 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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20th December 2020 – Round 2 

Frankie CAPAN (USA) and Ben SMITH (USA) share the 36 hole lead at the SBIA on 133 (-8) after recording second rounds of 65 and 63 at Normandy Shores G.C.

Archie DAVIES (WAL) extended his run of bogey free holes to 31 with his own 65 at Normandy Shores and heads into Round 3 alone in 3rd place.

Conditions were near perfect on Sunday and many of the players scored well. Michael ROME’s (USA) 61 at Normandy Shores, which included nine birdies with 6 coming in his final 7 holes, was the highlight.

The 72 players plus ties cut fell at Even par (tied 65th place) with 74 players progressing. 

Miami Beach (par 71) played to an average score of 73.77 on Day 2, up by 1.5 shots on Round 1, and Normandy Shores (par 70) to an average score of 70.55, down by 0.61 shots on the opening round. To the extent these things can be assessed a Miami Beach then Normandy Shores draw therefore appears to have been favourable. 

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SBIA Round 2 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), Dan BRADBURY (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) all joined Davies in the latter stages of the tournament. With 36 holes still to play and the field tightly bunched they still have every opportunity to achieve a high finish. 

Bradbury’s 69 included a homeward nine of 34 (-2) to comfortably make the cut on -2 overall. 

Jake HIBBERT (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) and Max O’HAGAN (ENG) all missed the cut by one shot. Hibbert was perhaps the most unfortunate shot a battling 70 (-1) at Miami Beach on Day 2.

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SBIA Round 2 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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19th December 2020 – Round 1

Calvin MCCOY (USA) from Colorado leads the SBIA at the end of Round 1. Playing at Miami Beach G.C. he shot a 65 (-6) which included eight birdies but also a double bogey on the 13th.  

Keller HARPER (USA), Jake MAPLES (USA) and Julien SALE (FRA) are all 1-shot further back. Maples’ 65 (-5) was the lowest round recorded at Normandy Shores G.C. on Day 1.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s top 72 cut 92 players finished Round 1 on Even par (tied 63rd) or better. On Sunday all of the players will play their second round on the other host course.

Miami Beach (par 71) played to an average score of 72.27 (+1.27) in Round 1 and Normandy Shores (par 70) to an average score of 71.16 (+1.16).

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 SBIA Round 1 Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG), now a sophomore at nearby Florida Atlantic University, leads the way in tied 5th for the GB&I contingent after a 66 (-4) at Normandy Shores. Enrique’s round included 6 birdies including four in a strong finish over his last eight holes. 

Archie DAVIES (WAL) showed excellent fighting spirit on Day 1. 4 over par after 5 holes he produced six unblemished birdies in the remainder of his round at Miami Beach to more than recover his position.

Joe PAGDIN (ENG), playing at Normandy Shores, is tied 43rd on -1. 5 birdies were offset by 4 bogeys on an up and down day for the Walker Cup squad man.

Pleasingly Dan BRADBURY (ENG), Eric MCINTOSH (SCO), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL), Max O’HAGAN (ENG), all on Even par, and John HOPKINS (ENG) on +1 are all still well within sight of the likely cut line.  

Here is a summary of all of the GB&I Round 1 scores / positions: –

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 SBIA Round 1 GB&I Leaderboard (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

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17th December 2020

The 10th South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) will be played between 19th – 22nd December 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida (GMT -5 hours).

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First played in 2011 the SBIA has quickly become one of the world’s leading amateur golf competitions.

Unfortunately this year the organisers have been hampered by the USGA holding a USA Walker Cup practice session on 16th – 18th December, the Arnold Palmer Cup being rescheduled for 21st – 23rd December and the COVID-19 pandemic. As such the field appears a little weaker than we have seen in recent years. 

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.

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

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Miami Beach Golf Club (Photo: Miami Beach GC)

Players

A field of 210 players have paid the $395 entry fee and will contest the 2020 SBIA.

10 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are in this year’s starting field, most of whom are studying at U.S. Colleges. The highest number to date was 19 in 2018 and there were 18 last year.

I’ve listed all of this year’s GB&I entries below (in alphabetical order) along with their current SPWAR (as at 17th December): –

Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #250
Archie DAVIES (WAL) #623
Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) #141
Jake HIBBERT (ENG) #1,212
Jon HOPKINS (ENG) #1,484
Eric MCINSTOSH (SCO) #778
Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) #66
Max O’HAGAN (ENG) #986
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #171
John PATERSON (SCO) #647

Tom McKibbin and Joe Pagdin are both members of the 2021 GB&I Walker Cup Squad and will be hoping for high finishes to boost their selection hopes.

Other players in the SPWAR Top 150 competing include (in rank order): –

William HOLCOMB (USA) #15
Ben SHIPP (USA) #20 – defending champion
Parker COODY (USA) #21
Travis VICK (USA) #25
Trent PHILLIPS (USA) #26
Cole HAMMER (USA) #30
Aman GUPTA (USA) #43
Chris GOTTERUP (USA) #49
Karl VILIPS (AUS) #62
Ryan GRIDER (USA) #69
James PIOT (USA) #79
Frankie CAPAN (USA) #94
Julien SALE
(FRA) #108
David FORD
(USA) #111
Matt MCCARTY
(USA) #114
Jamie WILSON
(USA) #116
Max MOLDOVAN (USA) #129
Ben CARR (USA) #131
Connor SCHMIDT (USA) #136
Kelly CHINN (USA) #137

Cole Hammer is the only member of the 16-man 2021 USA Walker Cup Squad that is competing. The SBIA is played just down the coast from Seminole G.C. where the match will be contested next May.

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 frequently does.

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

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

Weather Forecast (as at 17th December)

The weather looks good for the duration of the 2020 event with sun throughout and only moderate breezes blowing.

Sat 19th Dec. – Sunny / Wind 12 mph E / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 24°C.
Sun  20th Dec – Sunny / Wind 9 mph SE / Temp. Min. 16°C, Max. 26°C.
Mon 21st Dec – Sunny with AM Showers / Wind 13 mph S / Temp. Min. 13°C, Min 26°C.
Tue 22nd Dec – Sunny Intervals / Wind 13 mph NE / Temp. Min. 15°C, Max. 25°C.

SBIA Website Links

Click here to view the – SBIA 2020 Leaderboard

Click here to view the – SBIA 2020 Pairings

Click here to view the – SBIA Website

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

2019 South Beach International Amateur

Ben SHIPP (USA) won the 2019 South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) after a play-off with Garett REBAND (USA). Both players finished on 281 (-2). This was the highest winning score in the history of the event reflecting the unusually wet and windy conditions.  

Ben Shipp (Photo: SBIA)

From a GB&I perspective Jake BOLTON (ENG) finished 4th on 283 (Ev), Ben JONES (ENG) 5th on 284 (+1) and Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) 8th on 287 (+4).

Click here to view the – SBIA 2019 Results

Click here to view the – SBIA 2018 Results

Click here to view the – SBIA 2017 Results

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

2019 – Ben SHIPP (USA) -2 / Cut +8
2018 – Pierceson COODY (USA) -11 / Cut +3
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 – Juan Pablo HERNANDEZ (MEX) -10 / Cut +3
2011 – Kelly KRAFT (USA) -4 / Cut +11

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, 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: –

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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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.