R&A Men’s Home Internationals – 2021 Preview & Results

Friday 17th September 2021 – Day 3 Matches

Ireland won the 2021 R&A Home Internationals after a thrilling contest at Hankley Common GC which went down to the final putt of the competition.

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Ireland With The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Luke Walker / Getty Images / The R&A)

After a disappointing morning Foursomes against England on the final day the Irish fought back bravely to secure an all important half in the match which in turn locked out Scotland. 

Scotland had earlier beaten Wales 11-4 to apply pressure on Ireland and England who both entered the final afternoon with a good chance of winning the competition.

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Final Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland who secured 27.5 winning points, compared with Ireland’s 27, finished second, England a very disappointing 3rd and Wales 4th. 

England had already won the Seniors, Girls and Boys and Women’s Home Internationals this season but were found wanting in the Men’s event. No one would have predicted before play started that they would be comfortably beaten in both Singles series against Scotland (8-2) and Ireland (6.5-3.5) and it was these two performances that cost them.

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Match Overview (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the full results – 2021 R&A Home internationals

Robert MORAN (IRL), Andrew NI (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG) and Luke HARRIES / Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) were the leading players for the four nations based on the SPWAR analysis of team events: –

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Scotland v. Wales

Scotland beat Wales 11-4 to fulfil their side of the last day bargain. 

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All of the Foursomes and Singles games in this match started from the 5th tee after early morning fog in Southern England caused a 30 minute delay in play.

Scotland enjoyed another strong session winning four and halving one of their Foursomes games against Wales.

Captain Matthew CLARK continued his unbeaten run securing a half with partner Angus CARRICK on the final hole (4th) when their opponents conceded early.   

With Ireland struggling against England in their Foursomes encounter (see below) the Scots went into the Singles as favourites for the title.

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Scotland won the Singles 6.6-3.5 to complete a comfortable overall victory over Wales.

George BURNS, Angus CARRICK and Andrew NI all enjoyed 4&3 wins at the tail of the line up after the Scots had made a slow start to the afternoon games.

Ben CHAMBERLAIN, Matt ROBERTS and Tomi BOWEN, who beat Scotland’s talisman Matt CLARK, all signed off from Hankley Common with Singles wins. 

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Scotland v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Ireland v. England

Ireland and England halved their match 7.5-7.5 on the final afternoon.

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England won the Foursomes 4-1 against Ireland to give themselves some hope of recovering from their poor showing against Scotland yesterday. 

The best performance on the final morning came from unbeaten Foursomes pairing Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN who produced six birdies and no bogeys to beat Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN by 6&5.

With Robert MORAN halving his Foursomes with partner Alex MAGUIRE John GOUGH entered the Singles as the only player with a 100% winning record in this year’s competition. He and Olly HUGGINS have also won all three of their Foursomes games.

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The Robert MORAN and John GOUGH match proved to be of the highest quality and in some respects it was nice to see a half meaning both players finished the competition with unbeaten records – the only two do so.

The real heroes for the Irish were Hugh FOLEY and Liam NOLAN who secured 1Up victories over Sam BAIRSTOW and Callan BARROW under the most intense pressure. Barrow had a 10ft birdie putt on the 18th green to half his game and secure the match win for England (and the event win for Scotland). When he missed Ireland had the half and enough points to secure the title. 

Matt MCCLEAN and Caolan RAFFERTY secured big early wins over Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD respectively to provide the Irish with momentum and the confidence that they could overturn the 3-point Foursomes deficit they carried into this final series.

On a disappointing afternoon for the home side Jack BIGHAM confirmed his promise by completing a third Singles win, this time over Alan FAHY

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Ireland v. England Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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Thursday 16th September 2021 – Day 2 Matches

Ireland made it two wins from two games to take control of the 2021 R&A Home Internationals.

However, with Scotland beating England today and Ireland still to face the hosts all three of these teams still have a chance of winning The Raymond Trophy.

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If England beat Ireland and Scotland beat Wales tomorrow the title will be decided by total winning match points. Here’s the current position in this regard: –

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Day 2 Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Scotland

Scotland surprised England by comprehensively out playing them in the afternoon Singles to easily win their Day 2 match.

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England won the morning Foursomes 3-2 but the scoreline hardly told the full story.

Jack DYER and Arron EDWARDS-HILL, who had been 3Up after 7 holes, ended up having to win both the 17th and 18th holes to secure a point against Rory FRANSSEN and James WILSON.

In a game where neither side ever led by more than 1Up Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN birdied the par 3 16th to get their noses in front just in time against Andrew NI and George BURNS.

Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH were again England’s strongest pairing producing five birdies in their match to easily beat Ruben LINDSAY and Darren HOWIE by 5&3.

However, the best performance of the morning came from Scotland’s Lewis IRVINE and Stuart EASTON who fought back from 4Down after 8 holes to run out 3&1 winners against Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD who lost five holes in a row from the 9th to completely lose the initiative.

In the final match Matthew CLARK and Angus CARRICK handed Jack BIGHAM and Josh HILL their second foursomes defeat. The English pair produced two lates birdies to put a little respectability on the final result but having been 5Up after 12 the Scots coasted in to victory.

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Scotland won the afternoon Singles 8-2 to turn the match in their favour.

James WILSON, Rory FRANSSEN, Connor WILSON, Lewis IRVINEMatt CLARK and Andrew NI took their Singles with a barrage of birdies that their English opponents simply couldn’t live with.

Stuart EASTON and George BURNS also won their games but to a greater degree than their teammates benefitted from Callan BARROW and Zach CHEGWIDDEN playing poorly.

On a disappointing day for England the only really bright spot for the home team was 17 year old R&A Boys’ Amateur champion Jack BRIGHAM winning his second Singles game of the event.

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England v. Scotland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Wales v. Ireland

Ireland comprehensively beat Wales 11-4 in the second match of Day 2.

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The Foursomes games in this match ended up being relatively comfortable for the respective winning pairs, Ireland ultimately taking a 3-2 advantage over Wales into the afternoon Singles.

Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN, who replaced Caolan RAFFERTY in the line up, starred for the Irish. Six birdies in the 13 holes played understandably proved too much for Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE who went down by 6&5.

Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY, who had received a drubbing against Scotland yesterday bounced back well to record a solid 4&3 win against Tomi BOWEN and Tom MATTHEWS.

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Just like Scotland in the earlier game Ireland easily beat Wales in the Singles, albeit looking through the hole-by-hole scores the 8-2 margin of victory perhaps flattered them a little.

The biggest winners for the Irish were Robert MORAN, who after a slow start went into overdrive on the back nine, Matt MCCLEAN, who birdied the opening three holes of his match against Aled GREVILLE to take control, and pleasingly Caolan RAFFERTY, who bounced back well after a difficult opening day in Surrey.

For the Welsh Luke HARRIES won his game with a birdie on the last and Ben CHAMBERLAIN hung on well after going 4Up after four holes.

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Wales v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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Wednesday 15th September 2021 – Day 1 Matches

England and Ireland moved into the box seats after recording wins on the opening day of the 2021 R&A Home internationals.

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Day 1 Table (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Wales

England beat Wales in today’s opening match.

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England got off to a good start winning the morning Foursomes 4-1.

The BB&O pairing of Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH produced the best win of the series beating Craig MELDING and Kieron HARMAN by 5&3.

Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE proved too strong for England’s junior pairing of JACK BIGHAM and Josh HILL to ensure Wales took a point into the Singles.

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England won the Singles series 6.5-3.5 with wins from Sam BAIRSTOW, Olly HUGGINS, John GOUGH, Jack BIGHAM, Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Amateur champion Laird SHEPHERD.

Luke HARRIES, Tom MATTHEWS, who was rested in the morning, and Kieron HARMAN were victorious for the Welsh.

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England v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland v. Ireland

Ireland got the better of Scotland in a competitive opening match at Hankley Common.

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Ireland edged the morning Foursomes 3-2.

Robert MORAN and Alex MAGUIRE gelled perfectly to win the opening game against Angus CARRICK and Connor WILSON by 8&6. Six birdies in their opening eight holes set them up for a memorable win.

Almost as impressively Matt CLARK and Darren HOWIE posted a 6&5 win against an out of sorts Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY.

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Ireland won the Singles series 5.5-4.5 to complete the win over Scotland.

Liam NOLAN, who sat out the Foursomes, and Hugh FOLEY, who bounced back well after his loss this morning, were the big winners for the Irish. Nolan beat Connor WILSON 5&4 whilst Foley got the better of Darren HOWIE by the even bigger margin of 7&5.

Scottish playing captain Matt CLARK, starting as he finished the 2019 competition – unbeaten, took down TJ FORD by 6&5 whilst a flawless Andrew NI surprised 2019 Walker Cupper Caolan RAFFERTY by 7&6.

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Scotland v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

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9th September 2021

The R&A Men’s Home Internationals will be played at Hankley Common Golf Club on the North Downs in Surrey, England between 15th and 17th September 2021.

This year’s staging will be the 80th playing of this prestigious event.

England will start as favourites but will carry the burden of expectation whilst having to overcome highly motivated opponents.

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7th Hole, Hankley Common Golf Club (Photo: David Lee / @Davidlee123)

The Competition

Historically the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Golf Unions have taken it in turns to host the event but from this playing The R&A will be taking over responsibility for it.

The competition was first played in 1932.

The 2020 competition was due to be played at Royal Dornoch G.C. in Scotland but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last cancellation came in 1979 when the competition was scheduled to be played at Royal County Down G.C. in Northern Ireland. Before that there had been an uninterrupted run stretching back to 1947 when six years (1939-46) were lost due to World War II.

To assist with the selection of this year’s Walker Cup team The R&A initially attempted to bring forward the 2021 Men’s Home Internationals to 14-16 April and to play them at Royal Dornoch but the pandemic again led to a postponement.

The 2021 event had originally been scheduled to be played at Hankley Common G.C. on 8-10 September but is now taking place a week later.

Format

11-man teams from ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND and WALES play against each other once over three days.

Each series consists of five morning foursomes and ten afternoon singles match play games.

The overall winner is the country with the highest number of match points. 1 point is awarded for a win, 0.5 for a half and 0 for a loss.

Ties are resolved by considering the number of individual game points secured in the three matches played.

Since 1952 the winning team has received The Raymond Trophy.

In the 79 competitions played today England have won 38, Scotland 21, Ireland 12 and Wales 1. The remaining 7 were tied before it was decided that ties would be resolved by using game points.

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

2021 Players

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

I have also included the Team (total) and Individual Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR) and World Amateur Golf Rankings below (as at 9th September): –

ENGLAND – Team SPWAR 1,728 / WAGR 3,569
Sam BAIRSTOW (34 / 30) – Hallowes
Callan BARROW (114 / 188) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes
Jack BIGHAM (159 / 1,586) – Harpenden
Zach CHEGWIDDEN (125 / 642) – Orsett
Jack DYER (44 / 110) – Boyce Hill
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (101 / 274) – Chelmsford
John GOUGH (65 / 136) – Stoke Park
Josh HILL (177 / 217) – Trump International Dubai
Olly HUGGINS (100 / 163) – Frilford Heath
Haider HUSSAIN (125 / 173) – The Kendleshire
Laird SHEPHERD (684 / 50) – Rye

All 11 English players are making their debut in the tournament.

Jack Dyer is the only 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player in the field.

Jack BROOKS (The Mere) and Joe HARVEY (The Kendleshire) were also named as 1st and 2nd Reserves respectively.

IRELAND – Team SPWAR 4,706 / WAGR 5,490
Marc BOUCHER (281 / 321) – Carton House
Alan FAHY (427 / 353) – Dun Laoghaire
Hugh FOLEY (290 / 542) – Royal Dublin
T.J. FORD (515 / 592) – County Sligo
Alex MAGUIRE (372 / 428) – Layton & Bettystown
Matt MCCLEAN (487 / 513) – Malone
Jack MCDONNELL (720 / 1,066) – Forrest Little
Robert MORAN (278 / 231) – Castle
Liam NOLAN (308 / 1,008) – Galway
PETER O’KEEFFE (520 / 293) – Douglas
Caolan RAFFERTY (508 / 143) – Dundalk

Matt McClean and Caolan Rafferty both played in 2019 at Lahinch Golf Club.

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SCOTLAND – Team SPWAR 6,305 / WAGR 7,049
George BURNS (688 / 533) – Williamwood
Angus CARRICK (962 / 1,605) – Cragielaw
Matthew CLARK (713 / 1,015) – Renfrewshire
Stuart EASTON (459 / 423) – Irvine
Rory FRANSSEN (193 / 238) – Auchterarder
Darren HOWIE (821 / 717) – Peebles
Lewis IRVINE (388 / 396) – Kirkhill
Ruben LINDSAY (655 / 775) – Turnberry
Andrew NI (395 / 461) – Murrayfield
Connor WILSON (210 / 335) – Castle Park
James WILSON (821 / 551) – Balmore

Scotland are the most experienced team with George Burns, Matthew Clark, Stuart Easton, Darren Howie, Lewis Irvine and James Wilson all having played in 2019. Indeed Clark will be playing in his ninth consecutive Home Internationals.

WALES – Team SPWAR 27,931 / WAGR 15,551 + 2 ‘No Ranking’ players
James ASHFIELD (283 / 449) – Delamere Forest
Tomi BOWEN (2,566 / NR) – Welshpool
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (2,783 / 943) – Padeswood & Buckley
Jacob DAVIES (5,181 / 1,076) – Rhuddlan
Aled GREVILLE (2,510 / 1,391) – Ashburnham
Kieron HARMAN (2,466 / 4,180) – St Athan
Luke HARRIES (1,010 / 1,201) – Tenby
Tim HARRY (3,808 / 4,624) – The Vale
Tom MATTHEWS (2,902 / 1,111) – Aldersey Green
Craig MELDING (2,783 / NR) – Neath
Matt ROBERTS (1,639 / 576) – Royal Porthcawl

Ben Chamberlain, Jacob Davies, Kieron Harman and Matt Roberts all return for the Welsh in Surrey.

Highlighting the speed at which players turn professional nowadays just 12 of the 44 players who competed at Lahinch in 2019, admittedly two years ago, are on show this year. This compares with 23 returnees last time and 14 at Conwy in 2018.

Venue – Hankley Common Golf Club

Hankley Common G.C. in Tilford, near Farnham in Surrey was first opened as a nine hole course in May 1897. A further nine holes were added by James Braid in 1923/24 but it was only after Harry Colt undertook some remodelling and replaced three holes in 1935 that it started to be recognised as one of England’s best inland courses.

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Hankley Common G.C. (Photo: Jake Austin / @jbaustin2703)

It sits on a huge piece of heathland which allows the holes to meander across the property often in isolation. The area has been designated as a ‘site of special scientific interest’ due to its range of trees and abundant wildlife.

Off the back tees the course measures 6,909 yards and plays to a par of 71, there being only one par 5 on the back nine.

The uphill par three 7th is the ‘signature hole’ but in truth their are many memorable holes on the property.

There are a number of roads, paths and tracks on the course all of which have been deemed integral with no free relief available.

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Where My Ball Finished Off The 13th Tee When I Played There In September 2015 ! (Photo: GolfBible)  

Hankley Common has hosted a number of major events through the years most recently the English Men’s Amateur Championship (Closed) in 2019 which was won by Conor Gough.

2021 Weather Forecast (as at 14th September)

The latest forecast is encouraging with dry weather and low winds forecast for the three competition days: –

Wed. 15th Sept. – Light Cloud / Wind 7mph NW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Thurs. 16th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 6mph SW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Fri. 17th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 8mph S / Temp. Min 12º, Max 20º

2019 Men’s Home Internationals

The 2020 Men’s Home Internationals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

England won the 2019 Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch G.C. in Ireland, winning all three of their games, and retaining The Raymond Trophy after their 2018 win at Conwy G.C.

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The England Team (Photo: Nigel Edwards)

Matty LAMB was the star man for England winning five of his matches. The whole team contributed with Ben SCHMIDT and Ben JONES, who both won four games, next in line for praise.

Experienced Matt CLARK contributed the most for Scotland winning four games, including two Singles, and halving another.

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Colm CAMPBELL was the star man for Ireland with Caolan RAFFERTY and Conor PURCELL also contributing strongly with four wins. Connor JONES played the best for Wales winning two Singles.

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Click here to view the – Men’s 2019 Home Internationals Results
– click the match score to see the individual games and the game score to view the hole by hole scores.

Historic Results

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

ME.

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

The Jacques Léglise Trophy – 2021 Preview & Results

28th August 2021 

Continent of Europe won the The 44th Jacques Léglise Trophy match against Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) at Falsterbo Golfklubb in Sweden.

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Continent of Europe Team (Photo: European Golf Association)

The final score was 16.5-8.5 with the Continent of Europe winning ten points on Day 2 whilst GB&I could only muster three.

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Day 2 Scoreboard (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

Continent of Europe won the Saturday Singles 6.5-2.5 to complete a comprehensive victory over GB&I.

GB&I’s two wins came from Harley SMITH and Cameron ADAM with Joshua HILL earning a half in his game.

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Saturday Afternoon Singles Results (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

Continent of Europe won the Saturday Foursomes series 3.5-0.5 to take control of the Jacques Léglise Trophy match in Sweden.

Jack BIGHAM and Josh HILL secured the half for GB&I.

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Saturday Morning Foursomes Results (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

Click here to view the final – Jacques Léglise Trophy Results

Here is my assessment of the individual performances in the match: –

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Marco FLORIOLI was unbeaten for Continent of Europe winning all three of the games he was selected for. Tim WIEDEMEYER played all four series, wining three games and halving his Day 1 Singles. Oihan GUILLAMOUNDEGUY was the only European player to win both of their Singles. 

Harley SMITH and Cameron ADAM were the two GB&I players to come out of the match with a positive record, winning three and two of their games respectively. Smith enhanced his growing reputation by winning both of his Singles.

ME.

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27th August 2021

Continent of Europe lead Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) by 6.5-5.5 at the end of the opening day at Falsterbo Golfklubb in Sweden.

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Day 1 Scoreboard (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

It was a better afternoon for GB&I who took the Friday Singles 4.5-3.5 to reduce Continent of Europe’s lead to a more manageable one point. Ruben LINDSAY, Harley SMITH, Archie FINNIE and Cameron ADAM delivered wins whilst Joshua HILL halved the final match.

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Friday Afternoon Singles Results (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

Continent of Europe won the Friday Foursomes series 3-1 to take an early advantage in the Jaques Léglise Trophy match against GB&I.

On a tough morning for GB&I Daniel BULLEN and Harley SMITH were the sole winners for the away side.  

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Friday Morning Foursomes Results (Graphic: European Golf Association / Golfbox) 

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24th August 2021

The 44th Jacques Léglise Trophy match between Continent of Europe and Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) will take place at Falsterbo Golfklubb, Sweden on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th August.

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This annual match is contested by two nine-player U18 boys’ teams. It is essentially a junior equivalent of the biennial men’s St. Andrews Trophy match also played between these two regions.

The 2020 match, which was due to be played at Blairgowrie GC last August, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will be updating this article with daily reports during the match.

2021 Teams

The R&A have selected the following team to represent GB&I: –

Cameron ADAM (18, Playing Captain) – Scotland
Daniel BULLEN (16) – Scotland
Jack BIGHAM (17) – England
Archie FINNIE (16) – Scotland
Connor GRAHAM (14) – Scotland
Josh HILL (17) – England
Joshua HILL (18) – Ireland 
Ruben LINDSAY (17) – Scotland
Harley SMITH (16) – England

Wales’ Chris KING, GB&I’s Boys’ Captain / Manager, will finally take charge of his first event. He succeeds Stuart Wilson (SCO) who stepped up to be the GB&I Men’s Captain in 2020.

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2021 GB&I and Continent of Europe Teams (Photo: European Golf Association)

The 2021 Continent of Europe team, selected by the European Golf Association, consists of: –

Tiger CHRISTENSEN – Germany
Riccardo FANTINELLI – Italy
Marco FLORIOLI – Italy
Oihan GUILLAMOUNDEGUY – France
Yannick MALIK – Germany
Flavio MICHETTI – Italy
Jaime MONTOJO – Spain
Daniel SVÄRD – Sweden
Tim WIEDEMEYER – Germany

Europe will be led for the second time by Captain Joachim FOURQUET of France. He succeeded Jeroen Stevens (NED) who captained the team to two wins and a loss during his three year term of office between 2016-2018.

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The Jacques Léglise Trophy (Photo: European Golf Association) 

Format

Four foursomes games are played each morning.

Singles are then played in the afternoon; eight on Day 1 and nine on Day 2.

As there will be 25 points to play for each team will require 13.0 points to claim outright victory.

Venue

Falsterbo GK is a links course set in a nature reserve beside the Baltic Sea on the south west tip of Sweden.

The club was established in 1909 with the current course opened in 1930. It plays to around 6,650 yards with water hazards featuring on a number of holes. 

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  Falsterbo Golfklubb (Photo: Falsterbo GK )

Weather

The current weather forecast suggests cloudy conditions with moderate winds can be expected.

Friday 27th August – Cloudy, PM Showers / Wind 14 mph N / Temp. Min. 14°C, Max. 17°C.
Saturday 28th August – Cloudy, PM Showers / Wind 14 mph N / Temp. Min. 14°C, Max. 18°C.

The 2019 Jacques Léglise Trophy Match

Continent of Europe beat Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) 15.5 – 9.5 to win the 43rd Jacques Léglise Trophy at Aldeburgh G.C. in England.

They won three out of the four series with GB&I halving the opening foursomes.

Daniel DA COSTA RODRIGUES and Bård Bjørnevik SKOGEN were both unbeaten for the Continent of Europe. Loïc ETTLIN also won three of his four matches for the winning team.

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Continent of Europe Team (Photo: @EGA_golf)

Click here to view the full – 2019 Jacques Léglise Trophy Results

Previous Matches

A junior match was first played between 1958 and 1966 with GB&I winning all of them.

After a short break it was re-instated to the amateur calendar in 1977 as the Jacques Léglise Trophy. Jean-Louis Dupont donated the new trophy in memory of Jacques Léglise, a former President of both the French Golf Association and the European Golf Association. Leglise was also a past French amateur champion and national team captain.

Since becoming the Jacques Léglise GB&I have won 29 of the matches with the Continent of Europe claiming 13 victories with the 2015 match tied. Surprisingly nine of Europe’s wins have been in away matches.

Originally played in a single day the match moved to two in 1996.

Click here to view all of the – Jaques Léglise Trophy Historic Results

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, 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.