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)

ME.

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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)

ME.

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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.

ME.

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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.

Copyright © 2014-2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The European Amateur Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

30th June 2018

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

Nicolai HOJGAARD (DEN) won the 2018 European Amateur Championship at Royal Hague today.

A final round 73 (+1), which included a double bogey 7 on the 18th, was good enough for a 281 (-7) total and a 1 shot win. The victory comes with an exemption to the 2018 Open Championship to be played at Carnoustie Golf Links in three weeks time.

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Nicolai Hojgaard’s Scorecard (Photo: European Golf Association / Golfbox)

Norwegians Viktor HOVLAND and Kristoffer REITAN both recorded best of the day 67’s (-5) in Round 4 to finish the event strongly.

Hovland finished tied 2nd on 282 (-6) alongside Robin DAWSON (IRE), who himself shot a 68 (-4) today, Jerry JI (NED) and Mitch WAITE (ENG). In accordance with the competition rules Dawson and Ji won the silver and bronze medals based on a 36, then 18, hole count back.

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Robin Dawson’s Scorecard (Photo: European Golf Association / Golfbox)

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Mitch Waite’s Scorecard (Photo: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

Dawson’s compatriots Conor PURCELL and Rowan LESTER also finished the Championship well and can be pleased with their 6th and tied 7th place finishes respectively.

Here is a list of the GB&I final results (only players who made the T60 54 hole cut): –
T2   Robin DAWSON (IRE) 71 72 71 68 282 (-6)
T2   Mitch WAITE (ENG) 72 69 68 73 282 (-6)
6     Conor PURCELL (IRE) 74 69 71 69 283 (-5)
T7   Rowan LESTER (IRE) 70 73 71 70 284 (-4)
T16 Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 74 70 69 73 286 (-2)
T21 Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) 75 69 71 72 287 (-1)
T21 Euan WALKER (SCO) 72 71 70 74 287 (-1)
T21 Jack GAUNT (ENG) 70 72 69 76 287 (-1)
T29 Jamie STEWART (SCO) 72 73 72 71 288 (Ev)
T37 Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) 77 70 71 72 290 (+2)
T44 Andrew WILSON (ENG) 75 68 76 73 292 (+4)
T49 Bailey GILL (ENG) 71 77 71 74 293 (+5)
T49 Ben JONES (ENG) 75 71 73 74 293 (+5)
T49 Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) 72 73 72 76 293 (+5)
T54 Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 72 69 72 81 294 (+6)
T59 Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) 78 68 73 76 295 (+7)
T59 Nick POPPLETON (ENG) 71 72 75 77 295 (+7)

To view the detailed final scores click here – 2018 European Amateur Championship Results

ME.

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29th June 2018

Nicolai HOJGAARD (DEN) leads the European Amateur after 54 holes with a 208 (-8) total. The 17 year old identical twin of Rasmus (who is tied 15th) shot a 68 today.

A number of British players moved nicely into position on Friday. Mitch WAITE (ENG) also shot 68 to move into sole second on -7 and Jack GAUNT (ENG) a bogey free 69 to start Day 4 in tied 3rd on -5.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 69, Euan WALKER (SCO) 70 and Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 72 all finished their third rounds strongly to end the day on -3, tied 8th.

Irish trio Conor PURCELLRobin DAWSON and Rowan LESTER all recorded 71’s and are now tied 15th on -2. Dawson and Lester are paired together tomorrow at 11.20am so will hopefully drive each other on to good finishes.

63 players, including 17 from GB&I, made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at 220 (+3). Mark POWER (IRE), Joe PAGDIN (ENG) and BEN HUTCHINSON (ENG) were amongst the 8 players who just missed out on +4. It was particularly hard on both Power, who had fought back well from a first round 79, and 16 year old Pagdin who shot a brave 69 in Round 3.

Australia’s Charlie DANN went out in a blaze of glory recording a 67, the best round of the day. Unfortunately it could only lift him to +5 for the Championship and hence he still missed the cut by two shots.

ME.

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28th June 2018

Whilst Thursday was hot and sunny throughout unfortunately it proved to be a day of two halves with regard to the wind. This morning saw wind speeds of 10mph but this afternoon they were generally stronger gusting up to 30mph.

Inevitably this had an impact on the scoring. The first 72 players out today, teeing off between 7.00am and 11.17am (local time), had an average score of 72.39. The next 72, teeing off between 11.32pm and 3.49pm, were 1.47 shots higher at 73.86.

Blake WINDRED (AUS) finished with 4 birdies in his last 6 holes to post his second 69. He leads on 138 (-6) from overnight leader Perry COHEN (SUI) whose even par 72 left him on 139 (-5).

Giovanni TADIOTTO (BEL) bounced back from a first round 80 with a 66, the best of the week so far. He finished the day tied 51st nicely within the top 60 cut line which will be applied tomorrow.

Mitch WAITE (ENG) and Tom SLOMAN (ENG) who have been pretty inseparable in recent weeks both shots 69’s to move up to tied 5th on 141 (-4).

Jack GAUNT (ENG) is the only other home player in the top 10. He produced a good 72 playing late this afternoon to stay on -2 and tied 8th.

Andrew WILSON (ENG) produced the best GB&I round of the day with a 68 (he’s T19). Conor PURCELL (IRE) had a 69 (also T19), notable as he is the first player to deliver a bogey free round in the Championship to date.

ME.

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27th June 2018

Switzerland’s American-based Perry COHEN leads the European Amateur at the end of Round 1 after a superb 67 (-5). After bogeying the 1st hole the recent graduate of St. Mary’s California University produced an unblemished round featuring three birdies on each side.

Jack GAUNT (ENG), Alex GLEESON (IRE), Rowan LESTER (IRE) and Tom PLUMB (ENG) were the best of the 36 Great British and Irish players competing at Royal Hague. Their 70’s (-2) represented a very creditable start to this prestigious amateur event.

Gleeson had more birdies (7) than any other player in the field in Round 1 and will clearly have been disappointed to tarnish a great day with a double bogey 7 on the home hole.

Robin DAWSON (IRE), Bailey GILL (ENG) and Nicholas POPPLETON (ENG) are also under par for the championship after shooting 71 (-1) today.

Congratulations to Alexander HERRMANN (GER) who recorded a hole-in-one on the par 3 12th in his round of 69.

The average score on Day 1 was 74.39 (+2.39) so anything around par represented a solid start.

The field of 144 players will be cut to the top 60 and ties after 54 holes so there is still lots to play for.

ME.

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26th June 2018

The 31st International European Amateur Championship starts tomorrow at Royal Hague Golf & Country Club in Netherlands.

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

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Royal Hague G. & C.C. 18th Green and Clubhouse (Photo: rcedejong)

Competition Format

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

A cut will take place after 54 holes with the 60 lowest scores and ties qualifying for the final round on Saturday 30th June.

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

Entries

144 players will contest the Championship this week.

All of the players must have handicaps of 0.0 or better with an entry ballot applied based on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Exemptions were also available to the defending champion, a single nomination from each EGA member nation, four nominated players from the host nation, Netherlands, competitors in the most recent Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy matches, the 2018 South American Amateur champion and the 2018 European Mid-Amateur champion.

Most of the leading European and Great Britain and Irish (GB&I) players will be on show. There are 36 GB&I players in total competition at Royal Hague.

There are 17 of the current Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking’s Top 100 competing. These are Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) #7, Matthew JORDAN (ENG) #11, Robin DAWSON #16, Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) #30, Frederik NILEHN (SWE) #35, Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) #41, Mitch WAITE (ENG) #52, Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) #56, David HAGUE (ENG) #71, Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) #66, TOM SLOMAN (ENG) #79, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) #82, Alex GLEESON #86, Victor PASTOR (ESP) #87, Conor PURCELL (IRE) #92, Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) #93 and Shae WOOLS-COBB (AUS) #100.

Stefano Mazzoli is a past champion having won the event at Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia in 2015.

Event Information

Round 1 starts at 7.00am local time (BST + 1)

Click here to view the – 2018 European Amateur Championship Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2018 European Amateur Championship Leaderboard

I will be providing a short report after each day’s play on this webpage throughout the Championship.

Royal Hague Golf Club

The 2018 Championship is being staged at Koninklijke Haagsche Golf & Country Club in Wassenaar, Netherlands. Better known to us in English as Royal Hague.

It is generally acknowledged to be the best course in Netherlands and one of the most challenging in Europe.

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15th hole, Royal Hague G. & C.C. (Photo: Frank Pont / Infinite Variety Golf Design)

Founded in April 1893 the Club is celebrating it’s 125th anniversary this year.

The current course was designed by Englishmen C. Hugh Alison and Harry Colt and opened for play in 1939.

Since 2008 Dutch architect Frank Pont has been engaged on an extensive course restoration project. He has reviewed all of the greens, bunkers and tees greatly improving Royal Hague’s playability and presentation.

Located on the famous strip of Dutch links land, just north of The Hague city centre, the course lies a couple of miles inland from the North Sea. Uneven stances on an undulating dune landscape, with a few blind shots thrown in, are very much the order of the day here.

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10th hole, Royal Hague G. & C.C. (Photo: Frank Pont / Infinite Variety Golf Design)

A standard par 72 championship course it stretches to 6,844 yards with two very even nines.

It is going to play firm and fast this week albeit I understand the upturned saucer greens have been watered and are therefore holding well struck approach shots.

Weather Forecast

A hot and sunny week is forecast for Northern Europe and conditions should be very good over the four competition days. Winds tend to increase in speed here as the day goes on.

Weds 27th June – Sunny. Wind 15 mph (NNE). Max. 23°C / Min 14°C.
Thurs 28th June – Sunny. Wind 17 mph (NNE). Max. 24°C / Min 14°C.
Fri 29th June – Sunny. Wind 20 mph (NNE). Max. 23°C / Min 13°C.
Sat 30th June – Sunny. Wind 16 mph (NNE). Max. 24°C / Min 16°C.

Prizes

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

More importantly the champion receives an exemption into this year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland. Last year Alfie Plant used his exemption to go on and win the low amateur Silver Medal at Royal Birkdale G.C.

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

2017 European Amateur Championship

England’s Alfie PLANT won the 2017 European Amateur Championship on the Old Course at Walton Heath Golf Club in England.

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Alfie Plant, 2017 European Amateur Champion (Photo: GolfBible)

Alfie overcame Italian duo Luca CIANCHETTI and Lorenzo SCALISE on the fifth play-off hole after all three had tied on -15 for the 72 holes of stroke play.

Luca had won the 2016 European Amateur in Estonia after seven play-off holes with Norway’s Victor HOVLAND so a trend appears to be developing.

Click here to view the – 2017 European Amateur Championship Results

Click here to view the – 2016 European Amateur Championship Results

History

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

2018 will be the second occasion the Netherlands have hosted it. It has been held in 18 different countries in total.

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

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

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

ME.

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