World Amateur Team Championship – 2018 Preview, Reports & Results

8th September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the – 2018 Eisenhower Trophy Team Scores

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the – 2018 Eisenhower Trophy Individual Scores

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7th September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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6th September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5th September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4th September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Venue

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

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

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

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

Competition Format

72 teams are competing in the 2018 WATC.

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

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

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

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

GB&I Competitors

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 WATC Prediction

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

This is my Top 10 prediction: –

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

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

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

Future WATC Venues

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

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

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

2016 WATC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T6.     USA                 -15

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

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

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

2014 WATC

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

2014 Eisenhower Trophy

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

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

Historic Results

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

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

Here is the full list of historic results: –

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Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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

Friday 27th July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Individual Performances Analysis

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Day 2 Afternoon Singles

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

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

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

Day 2 Morning Foursomes

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

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Thursday 26th July 2018

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

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

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

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

Day 1 Afternoon Singles

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

Day 1 Morning Foursomes

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

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

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25th July 2018

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

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15th July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Teams

Each team has nine players.

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

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

Continent of Europe

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

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

Edgar CATHERINE – France  #153 (15th)

Marc HAMMER * – Germany  #537 (102nd)

Angel HIDALGO PORTILLO – Spain  #113 (11th)

Matias HONKALA – Finland  #325 (53rd)

Frédéric LACROIX – France  #126 (13th)

Stefano MAZZOLI – Italy  #62 (7th)

Frederik NILEHN – Sweden  #23 (2nd)

Lorenzo SCALISE – Italy  #29 (4th)

Sami VALIMAKI – Finland  #172 (22nd)

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

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

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

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

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

Great Britain & Ireland Team

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

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

Robin DAWSON (22) – Ireland  #8 (1st)

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

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

John MURPHY (20) – Ireland  #61 (7th)

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

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

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

Mitch WAITE (23) – England  #17 (3rd)

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

Match Format 

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

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

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

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

Venue – Linna Golf, Finland

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

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

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

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Linna Golf, Finland (Photo: European Golf Design)

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

2016 Match – Prince’s Golf Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Past Results

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

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

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

Here are the historic match results in full: –

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Appendix – My 2018 St. Andrews Trophy Team With Analysis

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

1. SPWAR (as at 15th July 2018)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking at the individual performances: –

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

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

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

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

4. St. Andrews Trophy Squad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

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

ME.

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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

ME.

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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

ME.

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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

ME.

_____________________________________________

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.

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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.