The Amateur Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

Saturday 23rd June 2018

Jovan REBULA (RSA) is the 2018 Amateur champion.

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Jovan Rebula (Photo: The R&A / Mark Runnacles / Getty Images)

He is the first South African winner since Bobby Cole in 1966 and can now look forward to playing in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie Links, the 2019 Masters at Augusta National and the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

He beat Robin DAWSON, 22, (IRE) 3&2 in today’s 36 hole Final at Royal Aberdeen G.C.

Following his win 20 year old Jovan spoke to The R&A: “It’s unreal. It’s really something that is hard to describe. I feel like many have been in this position before but its an unreal feeling. It hasn’t sunk in quite yet but hopefully tomorrow morning I can wake up and I will feel a little different.

“I’m shattered. It’s been a long week and especially today. I should have finished maybe a couple of holes earlier, but it’s been awesome. A very tiring week. I’m standing here right now and there’s so much adrenaline pumping through me.

“I had my friend Matt (Saulez) on the bag and he has been unbelievable for me this week. He’s been the foundation to me, keeping me calm, and we just have an awesome time out there. It’s just so much fun.”

It was cloudy with a modest north westerly breeze blowing when the morning round started at 8.30am; conditions which remained throughout the day, save for a slight increase in the wind speed later in the day.

Here’s The R&A film of the opening tee shots.

Both players made a steady start halving the first five holes. The South African then birdied 6 before being gifted 7 and 8 when Dawson bogeyed. The remainder of the morning round was up and down with Rebula eventually taking a 1-Up lead into lunch.

A poor front nine in the afternoon round by Dawson allowed Rebula to extend his lead to 5-Up by the turn. Both players settled and halved the opening three holes of the back nine in par. Then the nerves seemed to kick in particularly for the South African whose mind may have started to wander given his strong position. Double bogeys on the 13th and 15th gave Dawson some encouragement.

However, hopes of a big turnaround over the last few holes like last year were quickly extinguished on 16 when Rebula got up and down from a green side bunker to close out the match 3&2.

Here are the full hole by hole scores from today’s Final.

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Jovan Rebula v. Robin Dawson Final Scoreboard (Photo: R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Final Scores

With Wilco NIENABER also winning the Stroke Play Qualifying the Championship proved to be a very successful one for the South African’s.

It was the fifth time a South African had made the Final but just the second time they had claimed the Gold Medal: –
2014 – Zander Lombard Lost 2&1
1997 – Trevor Immelman Lost 3&2
1988 – Ben Fouchee Lost 1 Hole
1980 – David Suddards Lost 4&3
1966 – Bobby Cole Won 3&2

It wasn’t long before his Uncle Ernie passed on his congratulations to Jovan too.

ME.

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Friday 22nd June 2018

Playing conditions proved to be far more amenable today. Whilst cloudy, with temperatures struggling to rise above 13°C, the north westerly wind was much more manageable at 15mph.

Semi Finals

Jovan REBULA (RSA) beat Mitch WAITE (ENG) 6&4. Waite has enjoyed a very good year and Championship but like compatriot Tom Sloman this morning was unable to find his game in this afternoon’s semi final. Rebula was again not made to work very hard for his victory.

Rebula, the 20 year old nephew of Ernie Els, plays for Auburn University in Alabama and finished tied 21st in the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship in late May. He joined up with the South African touring party for the recent St. Andrews Links Trophy but missed the cut by 1-shot.

Speaking to The R&A afterwards Jovan said: “My game was really solid and I kept the ball in play all day. I took advantage on the holes you need to attack, played it clever out there and I’ve got a good feel of the golf course at this stage. I’m honestly having so much fun. I’m not even looking at my opponents beforehand. I just take it easy and spend time with my mates. They’ve been a great support structure. Also, they keep me motivated and it’s awesome having one of my good friends (Matt Saulez) on the bag too. I’ve been working hard towards this so being able to reach the final is such a big thing and hopefully I can take it a step further tomorrow.”

Tomorrow he will play Robin DAWSON in the 36 hole Final over the Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen G.C., their match starting at 8.30am.

Dawson was too good for Conor PURCELL this afternoon winning 3&2. Purcell handed Dawson the initiative with bogeys on the 1st and 3rd and despite fighting all the way to the end couldn’t get close to his fellow Irishman.

Speaking to The R&A afterwards Robin said:“It feels good. I’m somewhat relieved to make it this far and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m a bit tired now so it’ll be good to get a good sleep tonight and get set for tomorrow. Today was great but it wasn’t easy (playing against fellow countrymen). They are both good friends of mine from being in Ireland teams in the past but we had a couple of good friendly matches out there today. It was nice. I had a good strategy in place and was just hitting decent shots. My swing was good and I was in my own little world at times out there, which was great. To get the chance to play in one major, never mind three, is great. I would love that opportunity but there is still a lot of golf to play tomorrow.”

Dropping very few shots in his two matches today Robin should go in to the Final with great confidence. The winner of the Irish Amateur in May is seemingly in complete control of his game.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Semi Final Results

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Quarter Finals

The Quarter Finals started at 8.15am with Tom SLOMAN (ENG) taking on Jovan REBULA (RSA) in Match 1. Unfortunately it proved to be a game too far for Sloman who will be disappointed that he didn’t make the South African work harder for his 2&1 victory. Neither player was at their best this morning in a poor quality affair.

England’s other quarter finalist Mitch WAITE faired better beating Christoffer PÅLSSON (SWE) 3&2. As is becoming the norm for Waite it was far from straight forward. He was 3-Up after 7, before slipping to AS after 12 and then recovering to win comfortably on the 16th.

Conor PURCELL recorded an eagle and 4 birdies in a great 3&2 win over David MICHELUZZI (AUS). Micheluzzi, the highest ranked player left in the field, was simply unable to live with the Irishman’s superb play in the middle of their match.

In perhaps the highest quality Quarter Final Robin DAWSON overcame fellow Irishman John MURPHY 2&1. The Waterford man had the upper hand throughout but was certainly made to work hard for the win.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Quarter Final Results

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Thursday 21st June 2018

It was a dry but cool day in Aberdeen, temperatures not rising much above 13°C. The wind was the big story. Like yesterday it was primarily from the north west but today it consistently blew at 25mph with occasional gusts reported of up to 45mph.

This made playing conditions particularly challenging. With hole-by-hole scoring now available (click the score or result in the middle of each game to reveal) it was clear to see how tough the links played today.

Round 4

Round 4 proved to be the end of the line for Wilco NIENABER (RSA). In a tight match where neither player led by more than 1 hole Tom SLOMAN (ENG) was handed a 1-Up win when the 18 year old South African missed a relatively short par putt on the last hole.

Fellow South African Jovan REBULA was behind for virtually all of his match before two bogeys on the last two holes by Ben HUTCHINSON ensured there would be Boks representation in the Quarter Finals. Rebula won by 1 hole.

Match 3 arguably proved to be the most exciting in the last 16 with Bristol’s Mitch WAITE attempting to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory before thankfully saving the day against Timo VAHLENKAMP. As you can see from the scorecard below the German made a strong comeback over the last 8 holes but a three putt on the 19th meant it was all in vein.

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Mitch Waite v. Timo Vahlenkamp Rd 4 Scoreboard (Photo: R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Christoffer PÅLSSON (SWE) again didn’t have to work very hard to progress. Luca FILIPPI (RSA) struggled this afternoon and easily fell to a 4&3 defeat.

Conor PURCELL (IRE) was the first of three Irish to make the last 8 at The Amateur Championship. The Charlotte 49ers via Dublin golfer reeled off five birdies in 6 holes from the 11th to blow away Adam BLOMMÉ (SWE).

Robin DAWSON was next up. He beat Elis SVÄRD 6&5 as the relatively inexperienced Swede finally bowed out having enjoyed a very good Championship.

John MURPHY, who seems to have transformed himself into a world beater in the last two weeks, was the third Irishman to make it through to the Quarter Finals. He beat a clearly out of sorts Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) 6&5.

Murphy talking to The R&A afterwards said: “I feel a lot more confident coming off the back of winning the St. Andrews Links Trophy. I feel I can win against the top ranked players in the world and I don’t think I would have felt that way without the victory last week. I’m feeling good and every part of my game is clicking. I was the 14th Reserve so when I got the call to say I was playing here at Balgownie I was delighted.”

There were a number of one sided matches this afternoon as perhaps the physical and mental exertions of the last four days started to affect some of the remaining competitors.

In the other last 16 game David MICHELUZZI played well to beat Paul PEREDA (MEX) 5&4. The experienced Australian seems to be making very comfortable progress, largely under the radar, and must now be one of the favourites for the title.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship MP Round 4 Results

Round 3

The highlight of this morning’s golf was the final match, played between relatively unknown Tom FORSTER (ENG) and WAGR Number 5 Viktor HOVLAND (NOR).

Forster, who is studying in the USA at NCAA Division II college Carson-Newman, is clearly not a respecter of reputations as he gave Hovland, one of the star players at Oklahoma State, the 2018 NCAA Division I champions, a game to remember.

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Tom Forster v. Viktor Hovland Rd 3 Scoreboard (Photo: R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

As you can see from the above scoreboard Forster led 4-Up after 13 holes, Hovland in all kinds of trouble in the wind. Thankfully the Norwegian recovered his senses just in time and with a little help from an increasingly nervous Forster escaped with a 1 hole victory.

Round 3 started at 7.30am with Wilco NIENABER (RSA) playing US-based Perry COHEN (SUI) in Match 1. The stroke play medalist started well and quickly built a 3-Up lead after 8 holes. However, some loose play around the turn and improvement by Cohen saw the match All Square with just the 18th to play. In the end a par down the last was good enough to secure the win for the South African protégé.

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) enjoyed a tight match with Jeff WRIGHT (SCO). A bogey on the 17th by the battling Scotsman finally letting in the big man from Somerset, who would hold on down the last for a 1 hole win.

Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) overcame Rowan LESTER 2&1 in Match 3. The Irishman was leading 1-Up after 15 but sadly stumbled down the last 3 holes.

Ben JONES (ENG) had an horrific start in his match and was quickly 5-Down to Timo VAHLENKAMP after just 7 holes. The German youngster ran out a surprisingly easy winner 7&5 in the end.

Mitch WAITE (ENG) beat Stuart EASTON (SCO) by 1 hole in a rollercoaster match.  Waite was 2-Up after 4 before then falling 3-Down after 11. Easton then lost his way, recording four bogeys in a row, allowing the man from Bristol to pull 1-Up after 15. Both players then steadied themselves before halving the last in double-bogey 6, Waite moving on.

James SUGRUE (IRE) lost 3&2 to Christoffer PÅLSSON (SWE) in what appears to have been a poor quality Match 7. The Irishman bogeyed or failed to finish 11 of the 16 holes contested.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) looked comfortable early on against Conor PURCELL (IRE) but let things slip. Purcell, who plays out of Portmarnock, the 2019 host course, drew level after Jordan bogeyed the 18th and then completed the coup de grâce with a 40 foot chip in on their first extra hole.

Scotland bowed out of the Championship later in the morning when their remaining player Sandy SCOTT lost 3&1 to Mexico’s Paul PEREDA.

Match 13 saw Robin DAWSON (IRE) take on Spain’s Victor PASTOR. Dawson struggled on the front nine but played the back nine superbly in 3-under to run out the winner by 2 holes.

In a very similar match Dawson’s compatriot John MURPHY played the back nine very well to overcome Lee WALKER (USA) 4&2 having earlier been 2-Down after 8 holes.

Jovan REBULA (1 Hole) and Luca FILIPPI (4&3) were the winners in the two all-South African matches beating  Malcolm MITCHELL and Therion NEL respectively.

There were also wins for Adam BLOMMÉ (SWE), the ever impressive Australian David MICHELUZZI and giant killer Elis SVÄRD (SWE).

At the end of the morning our 14 GB&I players had been reduced to just 6.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship MP Round 3 Results

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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Round 2

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) started his Round 2 match against Niclas WEILAND at 9.15am. Showing no signs of faltering, as often happens with the medalist, he quickly despatched the Swede 5&4.

Malcolm MITCHELL (RSA), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Paul PEREDA (MEX) and Victor HOVLAND (NOR) are amongst the other highly ranked overseas players who are through to Round 3. However, it was a surprise to see Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) lose, albeit he took Adam BLOMMÉ (SWE) to the 21st in the longest match of the Championship so far.

GB&I contributed 26 players to the 64 that started Round 2. We finished the day down to 14.

The Irish party are doing well. Rowan LESTER will be pleased with his performance; he beat fellow St. Andrews Trophy squad member David HAGUE (ENG) 6&5. James SUGRUE beat Australian Kyle MICHEL on the 19th hole whilst Conor PURCELL overcame Pablo RODRIGUEZ-TABERNERO TORRES (ESP) 2&1 to progress. Robin DAWSON took control of his match against David RAVETTO (FRA) from the start and ran out a comfortable 4&2 winner. Finally, John MURPHY made it 5 for the ‘Green Army’ coming from being behind early on to beat Oliver FARRELL (ENG) 4&2.

Scotland have three representatives in Round 3. Jeff WRIGHT showed great determination to take out compatriot Euan MCINTOSH on their first extra hole; Euan having qualified strongly and played well for most of this match too. Stuart EASTON beat Australian Will HEFFERNAN by 1 hole before Sandy SCOTT took care of Claudio CONSOL (GER) 3&2.

Of the 13 Round 1 winners just four could do the business again. One of these was Thomas FORSTER who surprised Daniel HILLIER (NZE) 2&1. The Englishman was joined by Tom SLOMAN, who beat Jediah MORGAN (AUS) by 1 hole, and Mitch WAITE, who enjoyed the biggest win of the afternoon, 6&4 against German Alexander HERRMANN. Wins for Ben HUTCHINSON, Ben JONES and Matthew JORDAN took the English qualifiers up to 6. Hutchinson beat Jamie LI (ENG) 5&3, Jones recorded a good 2 holes win against Matt SAULEZ (RSA) whilst Jordan ended up having to go to the 20th to finally despatch Finland’s battling Matias HONKALA.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship MP Round 2 Results

 

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The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: Dominik Holyer) 

Round 1

Game 1 of the Match Play Stage between Eetu ISOMETSÄ (FIN) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) teed off at Royal Aberdeen G.C. at 7.00am. It was raining, with a north westerly wind appearing for the first time.

It was a game that Williams would disappointingly go on to lose 3&2.

Of the 30 qualifying GB&I players 8 were required to play in this preliminary Round 1 which consisted of 13 matches.

John PATERSON (SCO), Jack COPE (ENG), Oliver FARRELL (ENG) and Thomas FORSTER (ENG) were successful with the last three all requiring extra holes to overcome stubborn opponents. Cope ended up beating compatriot Max O’HAGAN, who had led for much of their match, on the 20th hole.

Callan BARROW (ENG) lost 4&3 to Top 100 SPWAR ranked Mexican Paul PEREDA.

Australia-based Scot Robbie MORRISON lost by 1 hole to experienced German Claudio CONSUL.

The 13 winners of these Round 1 matches fed into the bottom of the Round 2 draw and would therefore be required to play again in the afternoon.

The rest of the field will certainly have been pleased to see Takumi KANAYA (JAP), Alvaro ORTIZ (MEX) and Matias SANCHEZ (AUS) all surprisingly fall at this first step.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship MP Round 1 Results

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Tuesday 19th June 2018

18 year old Wilco NIENABER (RSA) shot a 67 (-4) at Royal Aberdeen G.C. today to secure medalist honours at the 2018 Amateur Championship. His impressive 133 (-8) total included 11 birdies and just three bogeys.

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Wilco Nienaber’s Stroke Play Scores (Photo: R&A / Golfbox)

In an interview quoted on The R&A website Wilco said: “When I heard I was going to play The Amateur Championship this year I was really excited. To finish at the top after the qualifying is great. I made good decisions from the tee, stuck to my game plan and hit the greens. When I missed a green I got up and down – I kept the momentum going and didn’t really make a lot of bogeys. The match play stage is a different game but winning this or finishing at the top makes me feel like I can beat the other guys, which is really nice. So we will see what happens this week.”

Watch Wilco’s interview with GolfWeek’s Alistair Tait after the stroke play qualifying prize presentation: –

Two shots further back was Victor HOVLAND (NOR) who finished second in the stroke play qualifying on 135 (-6). Hovland shot a 65 (-5) at Murcar Links today, the best score on this course over the two days.

Sam MEEK (CAN), who recorded rounds of 69 and 69 for a 138 (-3) total, finished third to claim the final stroke play qualifying prize.

MATT SAULEZ (RSA) and Blake WINDRED (AUS) joined Wilco in shooting 67 at Royal Aberdeen today. This was the best score at the lead host course during the stroke play stage.

Harry HALL (ENG) recorded a second successive 70 today to finish on 140 (-1). His tied 5th result was the best of all of the GB&I players in the field.

Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) Ev and Mitch WAITE (ENG) +1 finished 8th and tied 9th respectively.

At the end of play the top 64 and ties match play cut fell at +6 with 77 players progressing.

There were 30 GB&I qualifiers in total including 2018 winners John MURPHY (IRE) +2, Matthew JORDAN (ENG) +3, Robin DAWSON (IRE) +3 and Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) +4.

With the wind dropping on Day 2 and the sun shining for the most part the scores were much improved. Murcar Links (par 70) saw it’s average score drop to 73.94 from yesterday’s 77.30 (-3.36) whilst Royal Aberdeen’s (par 71) fell from 76.86 to 73.98 (-2.88). Clearly those that played at the tougher Murcar Links yesterday had a slight disadvantage over the two days of qualifying.

Click here to view the – 2018 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

Amongst the leading players to miss out were Joe PAGDIN (ENG) +7, Dylan PERRY (AUS) +7, Andrew WILSON (ENG) +7, Calum FYFE (SCO) +8, Euan WALKER (SCO) +8, John AXELSON (DEN) +8, Angel HIDALGO (ESP) +8, Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA) +8, Clayton MANSFIELD (RSA) +9, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) +9, Sam LOCKE (SCO) +9, Nick POPPLETON (ENG) +9, Alex GLEESON (IRE) +10, Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) +10, Jake BURNAGE (ENG) +11, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) +13, Bailey GILL (ENG) +14, Jamie STEWART (SCO) +16, Garrick HIGGO (RSA) +17, Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) +17 and John PAK (USA) +18. 

ME.

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Monday 18th June 2018

Wilco NIENABER (RSA) shot a 66 (-4) at Murcar Links to lead the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying after Round 1 of the 123rd Amateur Championship.

David MICHELUZZI (AUS) and Sam MEEK (CAN) are second having both posted 69’s (-2), the best round of the day, at Royal Aberdeen G.C.

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) was the only GB&I player to post an under par score; his 69 (-1) at Murcar Links leaving him in tied 4th place.

Euan MCINTOSH (SCO), who hit the first tee shot at Royal Aberdeen at 7.00am this morning, shot 71 (Ev) and finished the day tied 7th alongside Harry HALL (ENG) whose 70 (Ev) at Murcar Links looked like being much better for most of his round.

On a windy but sunny day in Scotland the average score was higher at Murcar Links (77.30 / +7.30 in relation to par) than at Royal Aberdeen (76.86 / +5.86).

After 18 holes there are 60 players on +3 or better, with a further 31 on +4, implying that the top 64 and ties cut will be around +7.

The final stroke play round will start at 7.00am tomorrow morning with each competitor playing on the other host course.

ME.

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17th June 2018

Unsurprisingly Chun An YU (CTP), who played the first two rounds of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, has withdrawn from this year’s Amateur Championship.

Other late withdrawals include William BUHL (USA), Falko HANISCH (GER) – winner of the 2016 Boys’ Amateur Championship at Muirfield -, Noah COMBS (USA), Yuxin LIN (CHN), Zach MURRAY (AUS) and Raphael GEISSLER (GER).

Click here to view the final – 2018 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Draw

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15th June 2018

The 123rd Amateur Championship starts on Monday 18th June at Royal Aberdeen G.C. and Murcar Links G.C. in north east Scotland.

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.

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Royal Aberdeen Golf Club (Photo: Royal Aberdeen G.C.)

Format

288 players will play two stroke play qualifying rounds, one round on each course, on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June.

As in previous years tee times will commence at 7.00am and end at 3.52pm on both days.

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores, and ties for 64th place, will advance to the match play stage and be seeded in line with their qualifying finishes.

The match play games will be played solely at Royal Aberdeen between Wednesday 20th and Saturday 23rd June.

Matches will be played over 18 holes except for Saturday’s Final which will be over 36 holes.

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5th hole, Murcar Links Golf Club (Photo: Albrecht Golf Guide)

Players

The 288 players are drawn firstly from a number of exempt categories covering R&A and U.S.G.A. Championship performances and representative teams. Thereafter places are allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at 16th May 2018 and, if required, by reference to exact handicaps.

Players from 38 different countries will contest the 2018 Amateur Championship.

Outside of the home nations the best represented countries are France (31 players), U.S.A. (23), Australia (20), Germany (14), Spain (13), Sweden (13), South Africa (10), The Netherlands (9) and Italy (8).

Whilst there are a large number of Americans playing it sadly remains the case that the vast majority of their leading players continue to skip the Championship. It is a sad state of affairs that most of them prefer to play in the Northeast Amateur Invitational at Wannamoisett C.C. in Providence, Rhode island – an event that starts on Wednesday 20th June. Without their participation The Amateur will always lack a little something despite the Major exemptions on offer. The best American this year is John PAK (SPWAR 52).

Harry ELLIS, the defending champion, has not entered the Championship. He has been playing in the U.S. Open Championship at Shinnecock Hills this week and is expected to turn pro immediately afterwards. Last year’s runner up Dylan PERRY (AUS) is back for another go at claiming the title that eluded him last year.

KristofferREITAN (NOR) 40 and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) 51 had both entered the Championship but both withdrew when they qualified for the U.S. Open. Chun An YU (CTP) 28 is also currently playing in New York but remains entered. It will be interesting to see if he is at Murcar Links on Monday for his 1.02pm tee time. Good on him if he is.

Looking at the the current SPWAR top 50 the leading players, in addition to Yu, competing are Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) 9, Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 12, Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA) 17, Garrick HIGGO (RSA) 24, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) 26, Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) 27, Matt SAULEZ (RSA) 29, Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) 31, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 33, Joey SAVOIE (CAN) 37, Malcom MITCHELL (RSA) 42 and Alvaro ORTIZ (MEX) 45.

From a GB&I perspective Robin DAWSON (IRE) 57, Jake BURNAGE (ENG) 67, Harry HALL (ENG) 68, Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) 73, David HAGUE (ENG) T74, Alex GLEESON (IRE) T74, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) 91, Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) 95, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 115, Ben JONES (ENG) 124, Andrew WILSON (ENG) 128, John MURPHY (IRE) 145, Bailey GILL (ENG) 177, Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 189 and Nick POPPLETON (ENG) 194 will all arrive with high hopes given their current good form.

With the nine-man GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team due to be announced in mid-July a good Amateur Championship by any of the home players will undoubtedly resonate with the selectors.

Finally, Spain’s Alejandro LARRAZABEL is an interesting entry. Alejandro won The Amateur in 2002 at Royal Porthcawl G.C. and has recently been reinstated to the amateur game. He will be the only past winner in the field.

Host Courses

For the first time in it’s history the Amateur Championship is being staged at Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links in Scotland.

Royal Aberdeen was founded in 1780 and is the 6th oldest golf club in the world. Originally known as The Society of Golfers at Aberdeen the club’s name was changed in 1815 to Aberdeen Golf Club. In 1903 the ‘Royal’ title was conferred on the club by His Majesty King Edward VII.

The club has hosted many prestigious championships, including seven Scottish Amateurs, two Boys’ Amateur Championships, the Boys’ Jacques Léglise Trophy and perhaps most memorably the 2011 Walker Cup, when GB&I defeated the United States by a single point.

In 2005, it hosted the Senior Open which was won by five-time Open champion Tom Watson. In 2014, the Scottish Open was held there for the first time with Justin Rose coming out on top.

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Royal Aberdeen – Balgownie Links Indicative Scorecard (Photo: mygolfdays.com)

The Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen is a classic links with the outgoing holes played through the undulating dunes on the coast before the return on an inland plateau with numerous blind shots and hidden ditches coming into play.

Neighbouring Murcar Link’s was established in 1909 and lies to the north of the Royal Aberdeen course.

Murcar hosted the inaugural Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play competition on the European Tour in 2016. Previously it had staged the European Girls Team Championship (2009), the Scottish Amateur Stroke Play (2009) and the European Boys Team Championship (2013).

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Murcar Links Indicative Scorecard (Photo: mygolfdays.com)

Weather Forecast (last updated Sunday 17th June)

The weather forecast looks good, with very little rain and a consistent and south westerly wind expected: –

Mon 18th June – Sunny. Wind 17 mph SW. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 7°C.
Tue 19th June – Sunny. Wind 15mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 10°C.
Wed 20th June – Showers. Wind 11mph W. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 8°C.
Thu 21st June – Light Cloud. Wind 15mph NW. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 9°C.
Fri 22nd June – Light Cloud. Wind 10mph SW. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 10°C.
Sat 23rd June – Light Cloud. Wind 11mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 11°C.

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

Players will tee off throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday so changes in the weather and wind speed early in the week may impact the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the players finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties determined by a second round count back.

The winner of the match play stage will become the Champion Amateur Golfer for the year and is awarded 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 next month’s 147th Open Championship down the coast at Carnoustie Golf Links.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C.

Finally, they will also be exempt into the 2019 U.S. Open Championship which is being held at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

2017 Amateur Championship

England’s Harry ELLIS won the 2017 Amateur Championship on the 38th hole at Royal St. George’s G.C.

4 Down with five holes to play the odds were well and truly against the then 21 year old Hampshire player. However, his opponent Dylan PERRY (AUS) bogeyed four of the last five holes to let Ellis back in.

On the second extra hole Perry got into trouble and Ellis was able to secure the famous trophy with another par, his seventh in a row.

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Harry Ellis (Photo: @RandA / Getty Images)

This was Ellis’ second major amateur victory. In 2012, aged just 16, he became the youngest player to win the English Amateur Championship.

Following in the footsteps of fellow Hampshire player Scott Gregory, Ellis said in his post round press conference: “I can’t believe what I have just done but you should never give up and never give in. I just kept giving myself chances down the stretch and luckily played much better than I had all day. It has always been a dream to play in Majors and I get to play in three now. My game is in a good place so hopefully I can do something .”

Click here to view the – 2017 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

Click here to view the – 2017 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Here is the Golfing World / R&A highlights film of the 2017 Amateur Championship: –

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. 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.

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 Ellis’ win in 2017 the last 10 winners of The Amateur Championship have been: –

2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl GC
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie GL
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush GC
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports GC
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRE) – Royal Troon GC
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside GC
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield
2009  Matteo Manassero (ITA) – Formby GC
2008  Reinier Sexton (NED) – Trump Tunberry
2007  Drew Weaver (USA) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC

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.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 GB&I Results

30th May 2018

As there was only limited GB&I interest in the National Championships I couldn’t justify a separate article. However, I thought I would add some comments on this event to my Regional Championships article. The original Regionals article follows immediately beneath these.

No. 1 seed Oklahoma State won the NCAA Championship for the 11th time beating Alabama 5-0 in the match-play final which fortunately for them was being staged on their home course, Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Broc Everett and Oklahoma (Photos: Oklahoma University Men’s Golf)

In the stroke-play stage of the event Broc Everett from Augusta University defeated Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno in a playoff to win the individual national championship. Playing as an individual after his team missed the 54-hole cut, the 23-year-old claimed his first college victory at just the right time.

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Broc Everett (Photo: Augusta University Men’s Golf)

It proved to be a disappointing event for the handful of GB&I representatives who made it this far.

Sandy Scott (SCO) was our only player to play all four rounds in the stroke play stage. He shot rounds of 77, 73, 76 and 85 (+23) to finish T79 in the individual standings. Just one of his four rounds counted to his team’s total as Texas Tech qualified in 3rd place. Texas Tech then lost 3-2 in Round 1 of the match play to eventual runners-up Alabama. Sandy lost his match 2&1 to Davis Shore.

Daniel Sutton (ENG) shot rounds of 71, 73 and 75 (+3) but his Kansas team missed the 54 hole stroke play cut.

Ryan Lumsden (SCO) started well with a 67 but fell away with subsequent rounds of 76 and 80 (+7). As I feared in my NCAA Regional Results article Ryan’s teammate Eric McIntosh (SCO) was dropped for the Finals. However, he was subbed in for the 3rd round where he shot a creditable even par 72. Nevertheless Northwestern fell just short of the first cut mark.

Harry Ellis (ENG) recorded scores of 75, 73 and 80 as UNLV crashed out on Day 3 too.

Here are the links to all of the results: –
Team SP Results / Individual SP Results / Team MP Results

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16th May 2018

Over the last three days 81 teams and 45 individuals not on those teams have competed in six 54 hole NCAA Division I Regional Championship events.

The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional have now advanced to the National Finals, which will be played on 25th – 30th May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

For more background information on these events please read my previous article – NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 Preview.

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This follow up article summarises the results of the 21 Great British and Irish (GB&I) players who competed in the 2018 Regional Championships.

The links for both the Team and Individual Player Results are provided in RED under each Regional heading for those seeking more detail.

Well done to Ryan Lumsden and Eric McIntosh (both Northwestern), Harry Hall (UNLV), Sandy Scott (Texas Tech) and Daniel Sutton (Kansas) who have all played this week and have seen their Teams qualify for the National Championships.

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Traditions Club – Bryan, Texas
Hosted by Texas A&M University, College Station

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Texas A&M Univesity (1), Clemson (3), Baylor (2), UCLA (5) and Kentucky (4) qualified. This was the only Regional where all of the top 5 seeds progressed.

2017 U.S. Walker Cup player Braden Thornberry (Ole Miss) finished 4th to claim the Individual qualifying spot.

San Francsico finished last on +40. I am not sure why Toby Briggs (ENG / FR) was not selected this week as he seems to have played for them throughout the College season.

Our only other representative in Texas was Lewis George (ENG / JR), the Central Arkansas man playing as an Individual. After a solid 73 in round 1 Lewis fell away with rounds of 77 and 75. He finished tied 50th out of a field of 75.

OSU Golf Club, Scarlet Course – Columbus, Ohio
Hosted by The Ohio State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Oklahoma State (1), Illinois (2), UNLV (4), Northwestern (6) and Texas Tech (3) qualified.

Kyle Mueller from Michigan, playing as an Individual, justified his selection by winning the event and qualifying as the low individual.

Ryan Lumsden (SCO / JR) recorded rounds of 75, 70 and 66 to finish tied 4th. Eric McIntosh (SCO / FR) finished tied 46th after rounds of 72, 78 and 77. Ryan and Eric were both in the Northwestern team who qualified for the Nationals. Eric, who was 5th in the line up, had one counting round and therefore may find his place under scrutiny next week.

Harry Hall (ENG / JR) shot rounds of 70, 70 and 75 to finish tied 13th. His team UNLV finished 3rd so he can look forward to playing in the National Championship.

Sandy Scott (SCO / SO) finished well with a 70 after earlier scores of 81 and 75. With two counting rounds and Texas Tech claiming the final qualifying team spot Sandy can also look forward to contesting the season finale.

Paul McBride (IRE / SR) finished tied 20th alongside two of his Wake Forest teammates. Paul shot three counting rounds of 76, 70 and 73 but will see his time in the U.S. come to an end without playing in the National finals, Wake Forest finishing a disappointing 8th.

Louisville finished 9th where they were seeded for the event and therefore failed to qualify. Devin Morley (IRE / SO) 75, 77 and 76 finished 51st whilst John Murphy (IRE / SO) 79, 78 and 73 was tied 57th in the individual rankings. Hugh O’Hare (IRE / FR) failed to make Louisville’s starting 5 for the Regionals.

Rhys Nevin-Wharton (ENG / SO) delivered a 76, 73 and 75 for Tennessee to finish tied 37th. Whilst all three of his rounds counted his team were well off the pace this week.

Elliott Fullalove (ENG / SR) was not selected by Jacksonville who went on to finish tied 10th. Their No. 5 player Aaeri Krishnan shot rounds of 82, 86 and 80 (+35) and finished last of those players completing all 54 holes.

Yale finished 12th out of the 13 competing teams with Eoin Leonard (IRE / JR) not finding the Ohio State University course to his liking (79,79, 80 / 67th).

Reunion Resort, Watson Course – Kissimmee, Florida
Hosted by University of Central Florida

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Florida (2), UCF (10), Vanderbilt (1), North Carolina (3) and Kent State (5) qualified.

George Cunningham from Arizona qualified as the low individual.

Pavan Sagoo (ENG / SR) recorded rounds of 73, 72 and 71 (216) to finish tied 39th. His St. Mary’s CA (9) team finished 11th.

Jack Ainscough (ENG / FR) shot rounds of 76, 68 and 72 (216) to also finish tied 39th. His team, Colorado State (8), finished 7th.

NCAA Logo

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club – Norman, Oklahoma
Hosted by University of Oklahoma

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Oklahoma (1), Brigham Young (7), North Florida (5), Auborn (2) and Arkansas (3) qualified.

Joshua McCarthy from Pepperdine qualified as the low individual.

Florida State came into this Regional as the 4th seeds and finished 6th just one shot behind Arkansas. Jamie Li (ENG / SO) recovered from a first round 75 with rounds of 72 and 70 to end up tied 26th. Similarly Harry Ellis (ENG / RS SR) started poorly with a 79 before posting a 71 and 73. Nevertheless I am sure both he and the team would have been hoping for more than a tied 47th finish from their No. 1 player.

Jack Hermeston (ENG / SR) struggled at the Jimmie Austin OU G.C. this week. His rounds of 86, 76 and 76 and a tied 72nd finish didn’t really help his University of Missouri-Kansas City team, although two of them were counting.

Lonnie Poole Golf Course – Raleigh, North Carolina
Hosted by North Carolina State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 14 teams competing here Texas (3), Duke (5), North Carolina State (6), Augusta (12) and Arizona State (4) qualified.

Campbell’s Pontus Nyholm won a three way -9 play-off to qualify as the low individual.

Harrison Taee (ENG / SO) was not selected by Duke who finished 2nd as a Team on -22.  

Missouri pair Rory Franssen (SCO / SO) and Jamie Stewart (SCO / FR) both played consistently well finishing on -1 to tie 32nd. Rory shot rounds of 71, 72 and 69 whilst Jamie contributed a 68,72 and 72. Missouri finished tied 8th, missing out on 5th place by just 6 shots.

Oisin Devereux (IRE / SO) recorded rounds of 75, 77 and 76 to finish 70th as his Iona team found themselves out of their depth at this level.

Charlotte’s Conor Purcell (IRE / SO), playing as an Individual, couldn’t build on his 67 in round 2. His other rounds of 79 and 74 saw him finish on +7 and tied 61st, 16 shots away from the play-off and required qualifying mark.

In passing I should note this event was won by SPWAR World No. 1 Doug Ghim. Doug shot 64, 66 and 66 for a stunning 196 (-17) total and a 3-shot victory.

The Reserve at Spanos Park – Stockton, California
Hosted by University of the Pacific 

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

From the 13 teams competing here Kansas (8), Stanford (3), Iowa State (10), Alabama (2) and Oregon (5) qualified.

Charles Corner from Texas El Paso secured the Individual qualifying spot by finishing tied 3rd on -9.

Kansas were the surprise winners of the Stockton / Pacific Regional. Daniel Sutton (ENG / SR) went along way to delivering this shock. His opening round of 67 was followed up with a 73 and 71 which secured him a tied 9th result in the individual standings, the second best in the Kansas line up..

Thomas Mulligan (IRE / FR) was not selected for the successful Oregon team this week but will have his fingers crossed the coach has a change of heart before the Nationals.

Likewise Danny Daniels (ENG / FR) of Iowa State was not selected but his Team progressed.

Colorado just missed out finishing 6th. However, Daniel O’Loughlin (ENG / SO) continues to impress. Rounds of 73, 69 and 71 saw him finish a creditable tied 16th.

This event was won by 2017 USA Walker Cup player Norman Xiong with rounds of 68, 67 and 66 (-15).

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

NCAA Division I Men’s Regionals – 2018 Preview

13th May 2018

The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee announced the teams and individuals they had selected to participate in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships on 2nd May.

81 teams and 45 individuals not on those teams will compete in six 54 hole Regional Championships that will all be played on 14th – 16th May. All of the teams are seeded and spread across the various Regional events.

The low five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional will then advance to the National Finals.

The 2018 National Team and Individual titles will be decided on 25th – 30th May at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma with Oklahoma State University hosting this year’s Championship.

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The 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf National Championships were held at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois. Oklahoma won the team title last year, beating the defending champion Oregon 3-1-1 in the match play final. Braden Thornberry of Ole Miss claimed the individual title with a four-day stroke play total of 277 (-11).

 ______________________________________________

21 Great British and Irish (GB&I) players will be competing in the NCAA Regional Championships. Six other GB&I players have not been selected by their Colleges.

Most of our players are members of five man Teams. The two exceptions to this being Lewis George and Conor Purcell who were both selected as Individuals based on their own performances during the season. It is not easy to stand out in this way so well done to both of them.

Lewis earned his place by winning the Southland Conference Championship. He has been named to the All-Southland Conference Team and is the Conference’s Player of the Year. He led the UCA Bears in scoring average this season at 72.4 strokes, with a low round of 65. He has enjoyed two wins this season and finished runner-up twice.

Conor, an at-large selection by the NCAA panel, was named to the Conference USA’s all-conference first team. He led the Charlotte 49ers with a 71.77 stroke average this season, posting four top-10 finishes along with a top-five.

______________________________________________

Listed below are the teams and individuals selected to participate in the six Regional Championships.

Each Team is listed in seed order. Therefore the No. 1 team at each site can be considered the main favourites to win the National Championship. Oklahoma State, playing in Columbus, Ohio, go into the post season as the Team to beat.

After the College or University name you will also find the Team’s Golfweek / Sagarin national ranking and if they earned automatic qualification the Conference Championship they were victorious at.

I have included the names of all of the GB&I players on their rosters so we can easily see who our players are attached to and which of them will be competing this week.

Finally the links for both the Team and Individual Player Scores are provided in RED.

Traditions Club – Bryan, Texas
Hosted by Texas A&M University, College Station

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Texas A&M (3)
  2. Baylor (11)
  3. Clemson (16)
  4. Kentucky (24)
  5. UCLA (28)
  6. Ole Miss (31)
  7. South Carolina (46)
  8. San Francisco (52)

          – Toby Briggs (ENG / FR) not selected.

  1. Georgia (47)
  2. Mississippi State (60)
  3. UNC Wilmington (71)  [Colonial Athletic Association]
  4. Northern Colorado (150)  [Big Sky Conference]
  5. Bradley (167)  [Missouri Valley Conference]

Individuals

  1. Michael Perras, Houston
  2. Mitchell Meissner, Rice
  3. Blake Elliott, McNeese
  4. Zander Lozano, University of Texas at San Antonio
  5. Mario Carmona, Rice
  6. Hunter Eichhorn, Marquette
  7. Lewis George, Central Arkansas (ENG / JR)
  8. Jake Brown, Indiana
  9. Matt Murlick, Marquette
  10. Michael Sass, College of Charleston

OSU Golf Club, Scarlet Course – Columbus, Ohio
Hosted by The Ohio State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Oklahoma State (1)
  2. Illinois (12)  [Big Ten Conference]
  3. Texas Tech (14)

          – Sandy Scott (SCO / SO)

  1. UNLV (20)  [Mountain West Conference]

          – Harry Hall (ENG / JR)

  1. Wake Forest (23)

          – Paul McBride (IRE / SR)

  1. Northwestern (40)

          – Ryan Lumsden (SCO / JR)
          – Eric McIntosh (SCO / FR)

  1. Penn State (34)
  2. Tennessee (43)

          – Rhys Nevin-Wharton (ENG / SO)

  1. Louisville (49)

          – Devin Morley (IRE / SO)
          – John Murphy (IRE / SO)
          – Hugh O’Hare (IRE / FR) not selected.

  1. Jacksonville (66)

          – Elliott Fullalove (ENG / SR) not selected.

  1. Michigan State (69)
  2. Yale (125)  [The Ivy League]

          – Eoin Leonard (IRE / JR)

  1. Cleveland State (200)  [Horizon League]

Individuals

  1. Kyle Mueller, Michigan
  2. Matthew Naumec, Boston College
  3. Alex Schaake, Iowa
  4. Patrick Flavin, Miami (Ohio)
  5. David Kocher, Maryland
  6. Daniel Wetterich, Ohio State
  7. Peter Knade, Maryland
  8. Jacob Poore, Northern Kentucky
  9. Zach Schroeder, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne
  10. Nick Wilkins, Morehead State

Reunion Resort, Watson Course – Kissimmee, Florida
Hosted by University of Central Florida

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Vanderbilt (2)
  2. Florida (10)
  3. North Carolina (19)
  4. South Florida (22)  [American Athletic Conference]
  5. Kent State (30)  [Mid-American Conference]
  6. Arizona (33)
  7. Purdue (45)
  8. Colorado State (39)

          – Jack Ainscough (ENG / FR)

  1. Saint Mary’s (48)  [California]

         – Pavan Sagoo ( ENG / SR)

  1. UCF (58)
  2. Coastal Carolina (83)  [Sun Belt Conference]
  3. Jacksonville State (144)  [Ohio Valley Conference]
  4. Georgetown (148)  [Big East Conference]
  5. Central Connecticut State (229)  [Northeast Conference]

Individuals

  1. Steven Fisk, Georgia Southern
  2. R.J. Keur, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  3. Yannick Schütz, South Alabama
  4. Billy Tom Sargent, Western Kentucky
  5. Saptak Talwar, Sacred Heart

NCAA Logo

Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club – Norman, Oklahoma
Hosted by University of Oklahoma

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Oklahoma (4)  [Big 12 Conference]
  2. Auburn (9)  [Southeastern Conference]
  3. Arkansas (15)
  4. Florida State (27)

          – Harry Ellis (ENG / RS SR)
          – Jamie Li (ENG / SO)

  1. North Florida (26)  [Atlantic Sun Conference]
  2. Pepperdine (25)  [West Coast Conference]
  3. Brigham Young (41)
  4. Virginia (53)
  5. San Diego State (50)
  6. Nevada (55)
  7. Sam Houston State (70)  [Southland Conference]
  8. University of Missouri-Kansas City (122)  [Western Athletic Conference]

          – Jack Hermeston (ENG / SR)

  1. Navy (214) [Patriot League]
  2. Prairie View A&M (269)  [Southwestern Athletic Conference]

Individuals

  1. Ian Snyman, North Texas
  2. McClure Meissner, SMU
  3. Peyton Wilhoit, Southern Illinois
  4. Chris Korte, Denver
  5. Tanner Napier, Arkansas State

Lonnie Poole Golf Course – Raleigh, North Carolina
Hosted by North Carolina State University

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. Georgia Tech (8)  [Atlantic Coast Conference]
  2. California (5)
  3. Texas (18)
  4. Arizona State (17)
  5. Duke (29)

          – Harrison Taee (ENG / SO) not selected.  

  1. NC State (35)
  2. Liberty (38)  [Big South Conference]
  3. Missouri (36)

          – Rory Franssen (SCO / SO)
          – Jamie Stewart (SCO / FR)

  1. Santa Clara (51)
  2. Campbell (62)
  3. Middle Tennessee State (73)  [Conference USA]
  4. Augusta (111)  [Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference]
  5. Davidson (194)  [Atlantic 10 Conference]
  6. Iona (262)  [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference]

          – Oisin Devereux (IRE / SO)

Individuals

  1. Dawson Armstrong, Lipscomb
  2. Mark Lawrence, Virginia Tech
  3. Conor Purcell, Charlotte (IRE / SO)
  4. Alex Weiss, Marshall
  5. Brendan MacDougall, High Point

The Reserve at Spanos Park – Stockton, California
Hosted by University of the Pacific

GOLFSTAT SCORES – TEAM and PLAYER

Teams (seeded in the following order)

  1. LSU (6)
  2. Alabama (7)
  3. Stanford (13)
  4. Southern California (21)  [Pac-12 Conference]
  5. Oregon (37)

          – Thomas Mulligan (IRE / FR) not selected.

  1. TCU (32)
  2. Colorado (44)

          – Daniel O’Loughlin (ENG / SO)

  1. Kansas (42)

          – Daniel Sutton (ENG / SR)

  1. Kennesaw State (56)
  2. Iowa State (54)

          – Danny Daniels (ENG / FR) not selected.

  1. UNC Greensboro (91)  [Southern Conference]
  2. UC Irvine (130)  [Big West Conference]
  3. North Dakota State (181)  [The Summit League]

Individuals

  1. Carl Yuan, Washington
  2. Riley Elmes, Loyola Marymount
  3. Vinnie Murphy, Grand Canyon
  4. Felix Mory, California State University, Northridge
  5. Blake Tomlinson, Utah
  6. Charles Corner, UTEP
  7. Henry Lee, Washington
  8. Jeremy Gandon, Kansas State
  9. Ryan Han, UC Davis
  10. Michael Christifulli, Siena

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Georgia Cup – 2018 Preview & Results

25th March 2018

Harry Ellis, the Amateur Champion, beat Doc Redman, the U.S. Amateur champion 6&5 to claim the 2018 Georgia Cup.

IMG_8877

Harry Ellis Receives The Georgia Cup (Photo: Harry Ellis)

Ellis took the lead on the 2nd hole when Redman three putted for bogey. The Englishman then extended his lead on the 5th hole before a sequence of birdies around the turn effectively ended the match. 6Up after 11 Ellis pared the 12th and 13th to comfortably see out a one sided match.

This was the 5th time in the last 6 years that the Amateur champion has come out on top. The Amateur champions now lead the U.S. Amateur champions 12 – 9 in the Georgia Cup series.

ME.

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21st March 2018

The Georgia Cup is an 18-hole match play event played between the reigning United States and (British) Amateur champions.

This year’s match, the 21st, will be contested by Doc Redman (USA) and Harry Ellis (ENG).

The two reigning Amateur champions are always in town in late March ahead of The Masters for which their respective wins gained them honorary invitations, albeit only one year competing (2018).

The Georgia Cup (Photo: The Golf Club of Georgia)

The match was established by The Golf Club of Georgia (GCOG) and was first contested in 1998. Craig Watson was the Amateur Championship representative in that first match. He lost to Matt Kutcher, obviously now a well known PGA Tour pro, 3 & 1.

Located in Alpharetta the GCOG has two Arthur Hills-designed courses, the Lakeside (L) and the Creekside (C). Both have hosted the event in the past but since 2006 the Lakeside has taken precedence when it comes to hosting the Georgia Cup match.

The 2018 Georgia Cup is being played at 12.30pm (5.30pm GMT) on Sunday 25th March. It is a charitable event with funds this year being raised for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Following last year’s win for Scott Gregory (ENG) over Curtis Luck (AUS) the Amateur champions lead the United States champions 11 – 9. Gregory’s win made it five wins out of the last six for the Amateur champion. All of the previous results can be seen in the Appendix below.

Doc Redman won the U.S. Amateur in Los Angeles last August beating Doug Ghim on the 37th hole of the final after some stunning play over the closing holes. From Raleigh in North Carolina he is a sophomore at Clemson. He comes into the match having made the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando last weekend. Current world rankings: SPWAR #12 / WAGR #35.

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Doc Redman – 2017 US Amateur champion (Photo: USGA)

Harry Ellis won the Amateur in equally dramatic fashion coming from four down with five holes to play to overcome Australian Dylan Perry on the 38th hole of the final. Ellis, from Southampton in Hampshire, is a Redshirt Senior at Florida State. He has played 8 events for the Seminoles this year winning two of them. He is expected to turn pro in early June once the U.S. College season has ended. Current world rankings: SPWAR #36 / WAGR #38.

img_7757

Harry Ellis – 2017 Amateur champion (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

With both Redman and Ellis at College in the U.S. and having also played in the 2017 Walker Cup match they should be pretty familiar with each other. A good match can be expected with two of the most competitive and mentally strong amateurs in the world on show.

As always it will be interesting to see which player wins and gains a small confidence boost ahead of the main event – The 2018 Masters at Augusta National.

Appendix

The previous results are shown below (with the Amateur titles won shown in brackets): –
1998 (L) – Matt Kuchar (US) def. Craig Watson (British) – 3 & 1
1999 (L) – Sergio Garcia (British) def. Hank Kuehne (US) – 5 & 4
2000 (L) – David Gossett (US) def. Graeme Storm (British) – 3 & 2
2001 (C) – Mikko Ilonen (British) def. Jeff Quinney (US) – 6 & 4
2002 (C) – Michael Hoey (British) def. Bubba Dickerson (US) – 4 & 2
2003 (L) – Ricky Barnes (US) def. Alejandro Larrazabal (British) – 4 & 2
2004 (C) – Gary Wolstenholme (British) def. Nick Flanagan (US) – 4 & 2
2005 (C) – Ryan Moore (US) def. Stuart Wilson (British) – 2 & 1
2006 (L) – Brian McElhinney (British) def. Edoardo Molinari (US) – 3 & 2
2007 (L) – Richie Ramsay (US) def. Julien Guerrier (British) – 2 & 1
2008 (L) – Colt Knost (US) def. Drew Weaver (British) – 2 & 1
2009 (L) – Danny Lee (US) def. Reinier Saxton (British) – 2&1
2010 (L) – Matteo Manassero (British) def. Byeong-hun An (US) – 5&4
2011 (L) – Peter Uihlein (US) def. Jin Jeong (British) – 4&2
2012 (L) – Brydon Macpherson (British) def. Kelly Kraft (US) – 2&1
2013 (L) – Alan Dunbar (British) def. Steven Fox (US) – 1Up
2014 (L) – Garrick Porteus (British) def. Matthew Fitzpatrick (US) – 3&2
2015 (L) – Gunn Yang (US) def. Bradley Neil (British) – 3&2
2016 (L) – Romain Langsaque (FRA) def. Bryson DeChambeau – 4&3
2017 (L) – Scott Gregory (ENG) def. Curtis Luck – 19th hole

Scott Gregory and The Georgia Cup (Photo: Georgia State Golf Association)

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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

24th December 2017

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

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

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

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JANUARY

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

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

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

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

FEBRUARY

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

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

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

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

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

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Liam Johnston (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

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

Ben AMOR (ENG) turned Pro in February.

MARCH

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

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

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

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

APRIL

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

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

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

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: @GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Hague (Photo: Kevin Diss)

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

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

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

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

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) turned Pro in May 2017.

JUNE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Power (Photo: Castleroy GC)

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

Kevin LE BLANC (IRE) turned Pro in June.

JULY

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

 

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 Alfie Plant (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_4962Jake Burnage (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER

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

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

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The USA Walker Cup Team (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

DECEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

U.S. Amateur Championship – 2017 Preview, Daily Reports & Results

Sunday 20th August 2017

Final Results

Doc REDMAN came back from 2 Down with two holes to play to beat Doug GHIM in the 36 hole U.S. Amateur Final at Riviera Country Club.

Redman eagled the 17th and birdied the 18th to force extra holes. Ghim, presumably in shock, then made a mess of the tricky short par 4 10th, the 37th hole played, and having made a bogey conceded Redman his birdie putt and the Championship.

img_8417Doc Redman, 2017 U.S. Amateur Champion (Photo: USGA)

Click here to review the full Stroke Play Qualifying Match Play results – U.S. Amateur Championship Live Scoring

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Final Preview

Doug GHIM (21) will play Doc REDMAN (19) for the Havemeyer Trophy in today’s 36 hole U.S. Amateur Final at Riviera Country Club. The Final will tee off at 7.45am (3.45pm GMT).

The champion will also receive a Gold Medal, whilst the runner-up a Silver one.

Both finalists are now exempt in to the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills G.C. The champion will also be exempt in to the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links and can expect an invitation to play in the 2018 Masters at Augusta National G.C.

img_8405Finalists Doug Ghim (l) and Doc Redman (r) with the U.S. Open Trophy (Photo: USGA)

Both players are US College students; Ghim plays for the University of Texas and Redman for Clemson University.

Doug Ghim is ranked 1st in the SPWAR (updated as at 19/08/17) and 7th in the WAGR (as at 13/08/17). Ghim has enjoyed a very strong season and was already a very likely Walker cup pick for the U.S.A.

Doc Redman is ranked 7th in the SPWAR (as at 19/08/17) and 70th in the WAGR (as at 13/08/17). Redman has come on strong in the last few weeks. He was runner up in the Final of the Western Amateur a couple of weeks ago and has now backed it up with a great run at the U.S. Amateur. He must therefore be right in the Walker Cup picture too.

Sophia Schubert, who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur last week also studies at Texas. Whilst I am sure Doug Ghim won’t be thinking too much about it never in the history of the USGA have their reigning men’s and women’s amateur champions attended the same College.

ME.

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Saturday 19th August 2017

Semi-Finals (4)

Doug GHIM (USA) beat Theo HUMPHREY (USA) 2&1

Mark LAWRENCE Jr (USA) lost by 1 hole to Doc REDMAN (USA)

ME.

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Friday 18th August 2017

Quarter Finals (8)

In a game where neither player was at their best Connor SYME eventually lost 2&1 to Doug GHIM (USA) in the Quarter Final match.

Connor was 5-over par for the 17 holes played, albeit a double bogey on the 16th hole makes this appear worse than it really was. A single birdie on the 8th only produced a half for the Scotsman and against an in form and confident Ghim this was unlikely to be enough.

In his post round interview with the USGA Connor said “I just didn’t quite have my best stuff today. I was grinding away as much as I could. It was a good Championship but I’m obviously disappointed to lose today.”

Nevertheless a great week for Connor and he can now positively look forward to the Walker Cup down the road at Los Angeles Country Club.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

img_8396Match Play Quarter Finals Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

ME.

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Thursday 17th August 2017

PM – Match Play Round 3 (16)

Connor SYME beat Norway’s Kristoffer VENTURA by 1 hole in their Round of 16 match.

In the previous round Ventura beat Stroke Play medalist Hayden WOOD (USA) 3&2.

In a tight match it took a forty yard chip in on the 18th hole for Connor to come out on top.

Connor was 1-under par for the round and continues to play very well.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

After the round Connor spoke with Shane O’Donoghue on Fox Sports.

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ME.

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AM – Match Play Round 2 (32)

Connor SYME beat Ricky CASTILLO (USA) 4&3 in a very impressive performance. Teeing off at 7.25am Connor wasted little time in taking the lead, birdieing the 493 yard 1st. A sequence of birdies on holes 6, 7 and 8 put the Scotsman 4 Up and cruising. The match finished on the 15th with Connor -4 for the holes played and bogey free. Let’s hope he can maintain that kind of form for a little while longer.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Robert MACINTYRE lost 3&1 to Dawson ARMSTRONG (USA) in their Round of 32 match. Robert made a great start – two birdies helping him into a 3Up lead after four holes. However, Armstrong, one of USA’s strongest players, won the 5th with a birdie before winning five holes in a row between the 7th and 11th to lead 3Up. Unfortunately he didn’t have to work too hard for this match turning run as MacIntyre bogeyed four of the five. The end of the line for Robert but he can take comfort in a good Championship which must surely have secured his GB&I Walker Cup place.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

img_8352Match Play Round 2 (32) & Round 3 (16) Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

ME.

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Wednesday 16th August 2017 – Match Play Round 1 (64)

The day started badly for GB&I with Harry ELLIS losing out in the play-off on the famous short par 4 10th hole at Riviera Country Club. His double bogey 6 in the second group out sadly saw him fall out of contention quickly.

Some better news was to come when the Round of 64 started in earnest.

Connor SYME beat Maverick MCNEALY (USA) 2&1. Connor won his match around the turn, winning the 9th with a par, the 10th with a conceded eagle 2 and the 11th with a birdie 4. 3Up at this point he was able to see out the match, albeit bogeys on 13 and 14 gave McNealy some hope. However, the American then proceeded to bogey the short 160 yard 16th and after shared birdies on the par 5 17th the match was over. Connor finished 2-under for the 17 holes played.

img_8321Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Fellow Scot Robert MACINTYRE then beat Cameron YOUNG (USA) by 1 hole. In what appears to have been a high class game our man from Oban had to be at his match play best to overcome Young who battled all the way to the finish line. Robert finished 2-under for the 18 holes played.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

In the final GB&I match to finish Jack SINGH BRAR lost by 3 & 1 to Joey VRZICH (USA). As can be seen from the scores below Jack had a bad day at the office, starting very poorly and not really improve. He finished 7-over par for the 17 holes played. Worryingly in the context of the forthcoming Walker Cup this is the second time in three weeks, following the English Amateur, that Jack has qualified easily in stroke play before falling to a relatively unknown player in the first round of match play.

Hole-by-Hole Scores (Photo: USGA Scoring)

Here are the hole locations for the Round of 64 Match Play at Riviera Country Club: –

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Match Play Round 1 (64) Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

ME.

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Tuesday 15th August 2017 – Stroke Play Round 2 

Jack SINGH BRAR, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME have all qualified for the Match Play Stage of the U.S. Amateur Championship.

Harry ELLIS will contest a 13 player for 8 spots play-off tomorrow morning to see if he can join them.

Here are the Round 2 GB&I scores from the U.S. Amateur Championship which started today.

GB&I Round 2 Scores (Photo: USGA US Amateur Scoring)

The Stroke Play Medalist was Hayden Wood who broke the U.S. Amateur Championship 36-hole qualifying record with a total of 131. Wood followed his 64 at Riviera with a 67 at Bel-Air to beat the 132 shot by Hank Kim (1994), Gregor Main (2011) and Bobby Wyatt (2012).

Wood said. “To play that way these last two days has been good. I like where my game is. I feel comfortable on this course (Riviera) and it fits my game. I am looking forward to it because the tournament starts tomorrow.”
ME.

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Monday 14th August 2017 – Stroke Play Round 1 

Here are the Round 1 GB&I scores from the U.S. Amateur Championship which started today.

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GB&I Round 1 Scores (Photo: USGA US Amateur Scoring)

Here are the hole locations for the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying at Riviera Country Club and Bel-Air Country Club: –

Stroke Play Qualifying Hole Locations (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

ME.

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Sunday 13th August 2017

The 117th U.S. Amateur Championship starts tomorrow in Los Angeles, California.

This year the championship is being staged at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles.img_8291Administered by the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

Competition Format

On Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th August all of the contestants will play 36-holes of stroke play, one at Riviera and the other at Bel-Air.

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

18 hole match play rounds will then be played between Wednesday 16th and Saturday 19th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 20th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

2017 Field

A field of 312 players from 29 different countries will contest this year’s Championship.

251 players are from the U.S.A. with Australia (11) and Canada (7) the next best represented countries.

This year 100 (2015: 99) 36 hole Sectional Qualifying events were held in July across the USA, with one each in Canada and Mexico too.

The introduction of a European Sectional Qualifier, like the U.S.G.A. stage for the U.S. Open Championship, is long overdue. Perhaps it could be rolled into the South of England Open Amateur Championship ? Walton Heath have staged the U.S. Open one for many years so I am sure they would be pleased to extend their relationship with the U.S.G.A. further.

This year’s average competitor age is 22.39 (2016: 22.29).

The oldest player being George ZAHRINGER (64, b. 23rd April 1953), who successfully came through Sectional Qualifying and will be playing in his 19th U.S. Amateur.

The youngest Alec NACHMANN (15, b. 27th March 2002) will be one of three 15 year olds competing. One of them Karl VILIPS (AUS), who is certainly one to watch, turns 16 on 16th August.

There are nine GB&I players competing this year. There were 11 in 2016 at Oakland Hills.

Here is a list of them with their exemption category or sectional qualifying event noted: –

David BOOTE 22 (WAL) – QF 2016 U.S. Amateur, Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Harry ELLIS 21 (ENG) – 2017 Amateur Champion

Scott GREGORY 22 (ENG) – 2016 Amateur Champion, 2017 U.S. Open Qualifier, Top WAGR 21/6/17

Stuart GREHAN 24 (IRE) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Robert MACINTYRE 21 (SCO) – WAGR 21/6/17

Alfie PLANT 25 (ENG) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

Jack SINGH BRAR 20 (ENG) – Qualifier at New City, New York (07/07/17)

Daniel SUTTON 21 (ENG) – Qualifier at Iowa City, Iowa (17/07/17)

Connor SYME 21 (SCO) – Top 50 WAGR 21/6/17

2017 Stroke Play Qualifying Draw

The draw for the 36-hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition was confirmed yesterday and can be viewed here – U.S. Amateur SP Draw

Interestingly the two Scots in the field, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME, have been drawn together.

Host Courses

Riviera Country Club
7,284 yards, Par 70.
Opened 1927.
Designed by George C. Thomas and William P. Bell.

Riviera has hosted one U.S. Open (1948 Ben Hogan), two P.G.A. Championships (1983 Hal Sutton & 1995 Steve Elkington) and one U.S. Senior Open (1998 Hale Irwin) as well as serving as the perennial host of the US PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open.

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Riviera Country Club (Photo: California GOLF)

Bel-Air Country Club
6,785 yards, Par 70.
Opened 1926
Designed by George C. Thomas and William P. Bell, assisted by Jack Neville.

Bel-Air has previously hosted the U.S. Amateur (1976 Bill Sander) and 2004 U.S. Senior Amateur (2004 Mark Bemowski).

Bel-Air Country Club (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Weather Forecast (as at 7.00pm 13th August 2017)

Stroke Play Stage

Mon 14th Aug – Sunny. Wind 8mph (N). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 18°C.

Tues 15th Aug – Sunny. Wind 8mph (N). Temp. Max. 23°C / Min 17°C.

Match Play Stage

Weds 16th Aug – Sunny. Wind 7mph (N). Temp. Max. 25°C / Min 15°C.

Thurs 17th Aug – Sunny. Wind 7mph NW). Temp. Max. 27°C / Min 15°C.

Fri 18th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (W). Temp. Max. 28°C / Min 16°C.

Sat 19th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Max. 27°C / Min 17°C.

Sun 20th August – Sunny. Wind 7mph (NW). Temp. Max. 26°C / Min 17°C.

As one would expect in California in August the weather is expected to be perfect for golf all week.

UK Television Coverage

Sky Sports normally take the US television feed, via the Red Button, over the final weekend.

Prizes

The 2017 U.S. Amateur Champion will receive the following (assuming they remain amateur): –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the ensuing year.

b) An exemption to play in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills G.C.

c) An exemption to play in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links.

d) An invitation to play in the 2018 Masters at Augusta National G.C.

e) An exemption to play in the 2018 – 2027 U.S. Amateurs; and no doubt

f) Invitations to play in a variety of PGA Tour and European Tour competitions.

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

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

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

Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the USGA Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

The 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship

The 2016 U.S. Amateur Championship was played at Oakland Hills Country Club near Detroit.

Curtis LUCK (AUS) won beating Brad DALKE (USA) 6&4 in the 36-hole Championship match.

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Curtis Luck (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Alex SMALLEY (USA) earned medalist honours in the Stroke Play Qualifying. His 133 (-7) total came after two impressive rounds; a 65 on the North Course (NC), followed on Day 2 by a 68 on the tougher South Course (SC).

In the Stroke Play 56 players scored +1 or better to progress. A further 23 players finished with a +2 total and were required to participate in a sudden death play-off to determine the final 8 qualifiers.

Collectively Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) enjoyed a relatively successful Championship. Six of our players progressed to the Match Play Stage including one from each of the four home nations.

Here is a summary of the GB&I performances (in order of success): –

David BOOTE (WAL)
MP – Brad DALKE (USA) won 3&2 in the Quarter Finals.
SP – Tied 57th, SC 70 / NC 72 (+2)*

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG)
MP – Dylan MEYER (USA) won 19th hole in Round of 16.
SP – Tied 11th, NC 66 / SC 72 (-2)

Scott GREGORY (ENG)
MP – Nick CARLSON (USA) won 19th hole in Round of 32.
SP – Tied 6th, NC 69 / SC 68 (-3)

Connor SYME (SCO)
MP – Dylan MEYER (USA) won 2Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 30th, SC 70 / NC 70 (Ev)

Bradley MOORE (ENG)
MP – Dawson ARMSTRONG (USA) won 1Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 57th, NC 71 / SC 71 (+2)*

Jack HUME (IRE)
MP – Bryson NIMMER (USA) won 1Up in Round of 64.
SP – Tied 41st, SC 72 / NC 69 (+1)

Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 80th, SC 71, NC 72 (+3)

Ewen FERGUSON (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 80th, NC 72, SC 71 (+3)

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 99th, NC 68, SC 76 (+4)

Grant FORREST 23 (SCO)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied185th, NC 73, SC 75 (+9)

Jamie BOWER (ENG)
MP – Did Not Qualify
SP – Tied 243rd, SC 74, NC 77 (+11)

* David BOOTE and Bradley MOORE both birdied the 11th in the Stroke Play Qualifying play-off to progress to the match play stage, holing putts of 20 and 45 yards respectively on the 465 yard par 4.

To review all of the U.S. Amateur Championship results click this link – 2016 U.S. Amateur Results

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and this will be its 117th playing.

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

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

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

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

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

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) is the only  player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

2018 – Pebble Beach Golf Links, California.

2019 – Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, North Carolina.

2020 – Bandon Dunes, Oregon

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The European Amateur Championship – 2017 Preview, Reports & Results

1st July 2017

Alfie PLANT (ENG) today won the European Amateur Championship on another beautiful day for golf on the perfectly presented Old Course at Walton Heath.

With his win Alfie earned an exemption into this month’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and certainly made a very well timed and strong statement with regard to his inclusion in the 2017 Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team.

Scheduled the week after the Amateur Championship in nearby Kent the field was the strongest it has ever been, helped by a high number of non-European entries. The SPWAR expects to rank it the 5th strongest event in 2017, after the NCAA Division I Championship, The Amateur and the forthcoming Western Amateur (US) and US Amateur.

All in all what a win for Alfie, the biggest of what has been a very good amateur career.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of a year. You’ve got to take the highs and the lows and I know I’ve been playing really good golf so it was only a matter of time.” said Plant beside the 2nd green as he reflected on what had largely been a disappointing season to date. “I can also have a few days off now as I don’t have to go up to Hollinwell tomorrow” where he had a 6.45am tee time in Tuesday’s Final Qualifying event for The Open.

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

Play-Off

Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA), Afie PLANT (ENG) and Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA), who had all tied on -15 for the 72 holes of stroke play, qualified for the play-off.

Plant, who is probably the best supported amateur golfer in the world, had the strong backing of ‘Alfie’s Army’ who were certainly out in full force for what was a ‘local’ event for them. In a family affair his brother Albert was also caddying for the Kent man.

Alfie’s Army (Photo: @lad_golf)

A 3 hole aggregate score play off over holes 1, 2 and 18 was the order of the day. If this proved to be insufficient to separate the players then a sudden death play-off would commence over the same holes.

So off we went. Last year’s Championship took 7 play off holes to decide and with three experienced players contesting the 2017 version no one expected this one to be over quickly.

On the 235 yard par 3 1st hole Plant and Scalise both found the heart of the green but Cianchetti pulled his tee shot well to the left, short siding himself and finding a poor lie in long grass thirty feet from the green. Cianchetti hacked out well on to the green but was ultimately unable to save his par. Plant misjudged his long first putt allowing it to run well past the hole. Scalise who was last to play, and foreseeing an early advantage, lagged his effort down the hill to comfortably secure his par. In what would prove to be a critical moment Plant bravely stepped up and holed his 10 footer back up the hill to huge cheers from the spectators.

On the 472 yard par 4 2nd hole, a sweeping down and up right handed dog leg the players all pared. However, this was the moment you felt Cianchetti’s race may be run. He had played a superb second shot up the hill leaving himself a short four footer for birdie and the opportunity to regain parity with his playing partners. It was an unexpectedly bad miss in the circumstances.

On the 404 yard par 4 18th Plant found the green, albeit some distance from the flag, as did Cianchetti who was much closer. Scalise was unfortunate to bounce through the back with his approach. The Tennessee University man was unphased however playing a beautifully judged chip which ended up a matter of inches from the hole. Plant two putted to ensure that at least he and Scalise would progress with their Even par scores. Cianchetti’s birdie putt was hit too firmly and missed the break. He bravely holed for his par putt but at +1 he had to step down.

Cianchetti’s consolation being that he had already qualified for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale via his 2016 win. Last year’s Championship in Estonia was played in August after The Open was staged at Royal Troon. The European Golf Association, in conjunction with The R&A have subsequently brought the Championship forward so in the future the winner can enjoy their Open exemption almost immediately.

Meanwhile, Plant and Scalise crossed the road back towards the clubhouse to play the 1st hole again, this time in a sudden death format. Both players found the green. Plant putted first and having learned from his near identical putt half an hour earlier was unlucky to lip out, a tad too much pace preventing the ball from dropping. Scalise had a bit of a rush of blood to the head with his first effort, misjudging the slope as Plant had done earlier, and needed to bravely hole from four feet to allow the fun to continue.

Alfie Plant Lips Out On The 4th Play-Off Hole

Both players found the fairway on the 2nd hole, albeit Scalise pulled his drive, leaving a slightly longer approach than he would have liked. The Italian came up just short of the green. Plant seized the advantage and played his iron into the centre of the green, about 15 feet from the flag. Scalise putted up to 6 feet leaving the stage free for the Englishman. Plant prevented Scalise suffering the ignominy of potentially losing the play-off with a bogey by confidently holing his left to right putt for a winning birdie.

The cheers from Alfie’s Army were long and loud and continued all the way back to the clubhouse where the celebrations could properly begin.

Alfie Plant Holes The Winning Putt On The 5th Play-Off Hole With Brother Albert Watching 

Alfie Plant, the 2016 Lytham Trophy winner, who also holed England’s crucial silver medal winning putt at the World Amateur Championship in Mexico, once again showed nerves of steel. He birdied the 18th to put pressure on the Italian leaders before outlasting them, by simply not missing a shot, in the play-off.

Round 4

After bogeying his first hole of the day our winner Alfie PLANT produced an unblemished card with five birdies to shoot a fine 68. He saved his best hole till last though. Knowing he needed a birdie on the par 4 18th to have any chance of making a play-off he played a magnificent approach to 4 feet and calmly holed the putt.

He had just watched his playing partner Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) bogey the hole, unable to recover from a drive into the left hand fairway bunker which required a sideways chip out. Scalise, who shot 69, had something of a rollercoaster round littered with 6 birdies and an eagle but sadly for him five bogeys.

In the final group the defending champion Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) looked well placed after he eagled the par 5 14th and birdied the 15th to move onto -16. However having watched Scalise bogey in front of him he was unable to secure the par he needed to win the 2017 Championship. His approach to the elevated 18th found a tricky spot on the greenside bank above the left bunker. A slightly clumsy chip left him 10 feet for the title but he missed.

Luca Cianchetti Misses His Putt On The 72nd Hole

A few groups further back Victor PASTOR (ESP) had made a late run for the title. He stood on the 17th tee in Round 4 on -15, -7 for his round, but again fell foul of the 18th. His bogey left him on -14 after a 66 and a tie for 4th place.

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) also shot a final round 66. His bogey free effort lifted him up to -14 where he set the early clubhouse mark before Pastor joined him. Robert must surely have secured his Walker Cup spot now.

GB&I’s most in form player Matthew JORDAN (ENG) once again delivered on the big stage. His final round 66, which included a holed mid-iron from the fairway of the 485 yard par 4 4th, finished on -13 and tied 6th. Interestingly he had failed to par the 4th, dropping four shots in the process, during the first three rounds.

John-Ross GALBRAITH (IRE) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) also enjoyed strong finishes, tieing for 7th place. Both players shot 8 birdies in their rounds with Galbraith recording a best of the day 65 and Singh Brar a 66.

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 70 and Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) 68 tied for 10th place on -11. Both of these young lads have big futures.

View the Results here – 2017 European Amateur Championship Results

ME.

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30th June 2017

Round 3

At the end of 54 holes Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA), Jeremy GANDON (FRA) and Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) share the lead at the European Amateur, tied on -12 (204).

Lorenzo SCALISE and Zan Luka STIRN (SLO) both shot best of the day 7-under 65’s on another day of very good scoring at Walton Heath GC.

Alfie PLANT (ENG) backed up his 66 of yesterday with a 67 today. On -11 he is well placed to make a push for the title in tomorrow’s final round.

Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) 69 -10, Joshua MCMAHON (ENG) 70 -9, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 67 -9, Daniel BROWN (ENG) 66 -9 and Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) 70 -9 are Great Britain and Ireland’s (GB&I) other leading players.

Jack SINGH BRAR, who this week chose to has pass on the European Amateur Team Championships to try and qualify for the US Amateur, shot 66 to move up to tied 21st on -6. Connor SYME (SCO) 67 -6, JR GALBRAITH (IRE) 66 -5, Scott GREGORY (ENG) 66 -5 and Owen EDWARDS (WAL) 67 -4 were the other GB&I players to enjoy their rounds.

Sean CROCKER (USA) finally sorted himself out and shot a 66 to move onto -3 (tied 45th), securing himself another round and no doubt an even higher finish.

The Top 60 and Ties cut fell at -2 (214) highlighting the standard of play this week. 64 players achieved this mark or better.

Notable players to miss the cut included James WALKER ENG, 2015 champion Stefano MAZZOLI ITA, Alex GLEESON IRE, Min Woo LEE AUS, Marco PENGE ENG (all -1), Josh HILLEARD ENG (Ev), Harry HALL ENG (+4), Jack DAVIDSON WAL, Charlie STRICKLAND ENG, Jamie STEWART (all +5) and Craig ROSS SCO (+11 Rd2 WD).

ME.

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29th June 2017

Round 2

Day 2 ended at Walton Heath GC with a three way tie for the European Amateur lead. Victor PASTOR (ESP), Jeremy FREIBURGHAUS (SUI) and Dylan PERRY (AUS) shot 64, 66 and 69 respectively to all move onto -9.

The best round of the day, and for that matter the week so far, came from Matthias SCHMID (GER). His 63 (-9) included two eagles and seven birdies.

Defending champion Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) shot a 67 in Round 2 and is nicely placed in tied 6th on -7.

Despite this strong start from a number of the overseas entries there is still plenty of hope for the Great Britain and Irish players in the field.

England’s boys from the Wirral Matthew JORDAN (-8) and Joshua MCMAHON (-7) lead the way. Jordan shot a second 68 whilst McMahon went one better with a 67. Compatriots Alfie PLANT (-6) moved into contention on -6 after a 66 today whilst Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (-6) held firm after a 71.

Scotland’s Liam JOHNSTON (-7), Rory FRANSSEN (-7), Robert MACINTYRE (-6) and Craig HOWIE (-5) as well as Ireland’s Conor O’ROURKE (-7) and Paul MCBRIDE (-5) are also doing well.

After tomorrow’s third round there will be Top 60 and Ties cut.

ME.

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28th June 2017

Round 1

Italy’s Lorenzo SCALISE leads the European Amateur after Day 1. The University of Tennessee student shot a bogey free 64 (-8).

On a day of generally low scoring 61 players in the field of 144 recorded under par scores in Round 1.

Toby BRIGGS (ENG) and Keegan DE LANGE (RSA), both of whom had eagles in their round, are both one shot back on -7.

Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG), who played well at The Amateur last week, continued his form at Walton Heath. His 67 (-5) saw him finish the day in tied 6th place with Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) and Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) for company.

Daniel BROWN (ENG), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) and Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) all shot 68’s in Round 1. Their -4 scores leaving them nicely placed in tied 9th with 54 holes still to play.

ME.

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25th June 2017

The 30th European Amateur Championship starts on Wednesday 28th June at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.

This prestigious international Championship is being run by the European Golf Association (EGA), assisted this year by England Golf.

Competition Format

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

A 54-hole cut will be in force with the 60 lowest scores and ties qualifying for the final round on Saturday 1st July.

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, competitors in the most recent Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy events as well as four players from England, the host nation.

All of the leading European and Great Britain and Irish (GB&I) players will be on show. Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) will be defending the title he won in Estonia last August and new Amateur Champion Harry ELLIS (ENG) will also be competing.

Whilst some of the Australian and South African touring parties have now returned home a number of their top players are entered at Walton Heath, notably Min WOO LEE and Albert VENTER respectively.

Amongst the United States entries are highly ranked Sean CROCKER, who made the cut at the BMW International on the European Tour last week, and Jimmy STANGER. Stewart HAGESTAD had entered but withdrew prior to the event commencing.

Walton Heath Golf Club

The 2017 Championship is being staged on Walton Heath’s famous Old Course. 

Seve Ballesteros 16th hole, Old Course, Walton Heath GC (Photo: Walton Heath GC)

This heathland masterpiece in Surrey, known for it’s superb turf, heather fringed bunkers and large greens, has hosted many major amateur and professional golf events in its illustrious history.

The par 72 championship course stretches to 7,406 yards, as the scorecard below shows, and is noted for it’s strong finishing holes.

img_4772Old Course Scorecard (Photo: Walton Heath GC)

Weather Forecast

A generally dry week is forecast in the south east of England this week (as at Tuesday 27th June 7.00 pm): –

Weds 28th June – Showers. Wind 9 mph (SW). Max. 22°C / Min 13°C.
Thurs 29th June – Showers. Wind 5 mph (NW). Max. 19°C / Min 12°C.
Fri 30th June – Showers. Wind 7 mph (NW). Max. 23°C / Min 13°C.
Sat 1st July – Cloudy. Wind 12 mph (N). Max. 23°C / Min 14°C.

Prizes

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

The winner also receives an invitation to compete in this year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in Lancashire, England.

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

2016 European Amateur Championship

Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) beat Viktor HOVLAND (NOR) on the seventh play-off hole to win the 2016 European Amateur Championship.

Luca Cianchetti (Photo: Italian Golf Federation)

Both players were tied on -16 at the end of the 72 hole stroke play event which was taking place at the Estonia Golf & Country Club.

Scotland’s Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) -13 and Connor SYME (SCO) -12 were the best of the GB&I players, finishing 4th and 5th respectively. Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) -9 finished tied 9th.

Click here to view the – 2016 European Amateur Championship Results

History

The competition was first contested in 1986.

It has been hosted in 18 different countries to date.

2017 will be the seventh time it has been played in GB&I and the second time in England. The previous courses to host the event being Hillside (1991), Dalmahoy (1993), Celtic Manor (1999), Nairn (2003), Carton House (2012) and The Duke’s St. Andrews (2014).

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).

Chesters is the only player to have won the Championship twice.

ME.

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