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.

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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.

Some Reflections On The 2019 GB&I Men’s Amateur Golf Year

31st December 2019

Here are a few thoughts on the 2019 Great British & Irish (GB&I) men’s amateur golf season: –

1. I will start with our defining event, the Amateur Championship. It was great to see James SUGRUE (IRL) deliver a memorable win at Portmarnock to the delight of the home fans who supported the event so well. Sugrue peaked perfectly and having played in The Open and in the Walker Cup in 2019 can now look forward to the remainder of his golfing rewards next year.

2. Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) continued to impress winning four times in 2019. The Yorkshireman became just the fourth player to win both the Brabazon Trophy and Carris Trophy – that’s the men’s and U18 boys’ English Open Stroke Play Championships – in the same year. Some achievement.

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Ben Schmidt With The Brabazon Trophy And His Parents (Photo: Jonathan Plaxton)

3. Talking about juniors Conor GOUGH (ENG), Connor MCKINNEY (SCO), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) also stood out amongst the U18’s which hopefully bodes well for the immediate future of GB&I golf. McKibbin winning the Junior Invitational and Pagdin getting to the semi-finals of the U.S. Junior Amateur at Inverness G.C. were particular highlights that stand alongside Ben Schmidt’s wins for me.

4. I am particularly interested to see how the future unfolds for Schmidt and Gough, winners of the two English Amateur Championships this year and our two leading juniors. Schmidt is now focussing on his golf full time and heading towards the professional ranks at some speed whilst Gough appears to be ‘driving with the brakes on’, determined to focus on his education for the time being and happy to enjoy the journey. Followers of amateur golf know there is no right answer to this age old conundrum as everyone is different. Following this tortoise and hare fable over the next few years should be fun.      

5. Whilst I failed to record Tom McKibbin’s chip in to win the McEvoy Trophy on the 2nd play-off hole, despite videoing most of the final play at Copt Heath, I did manage to get Josh MCMAHON‘s (ENG) birdie putt on the 18th which won him the Lytham Trophy. The  “Yes, Get in !” shout from his caddie Dad will live long in my memory.

Josh McMahon Drops The Best Putt Of His Life (Video: GolfBible)

6. I believe a review of Championship entry exemptions may be required for the leading events in the summer months given how quickly one followers another. James NEWTON (ENG) and Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) were the surprise winners of the Irish Amateur Open and the Brabazon Trophy respectively in 2019 but with low WAGR rankings beforehand and having missed the cut off dates had no way of playing in either the St. Andrews Links Trophy or the Amateur Championship. There needs to be a mechanism – a blank entry to cover such eventualities – to allow recent winners to gain a late entry into subsequent events assuming they wish to compete in them. It doesn’t happen too often but this year not playing in two of our major Championships against his direct peers may have cost Ben Schmidt a place in our Walker Cup team.  

7. It was a good year for Scottish amateur golf. Few would argue that Euan WALKER was the outstanding GB&I amateur golfer of 2019 with fellow Walker Cupper Sandy SCOTT not too far behind him. Ryan LUMSDEN also won the prestigious Byron Nelson Award, handed out in late April to a graduating Senior in recognition of their entire collegiate academic and golf career as well as their character and integrity while in college. The Scottish administrators also made the decision to return the Scottish Open Amateur to its late May date from the irrelevant late August fixture it had become since 2018. 

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Euan Walker With His European Amateur Silver Medal (Photo: EGA)

8. Curtis KNIPES (ENG) and Thomas THURLOWAY (ENG) both came through Final Qualifying to join James Sugrue in The Open Championship field. Watching Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Tom SLOMAN (ENG) try and follow them at Hollinwell was a highlight of my golfing year. Unusually no amateur made the cut at Royal Portrush so no Silver Medal was awarded this year.

9. GB&I lost the 47th Walker Cup match against USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. I may be deluded but I still believe this was a match we could have and should have won. I don’t think the opposition was quite as strong as they had been in previous years and playing at home we should have been spot on with our selection, pairings and preperation – we weren’t. Perhaps if the weather hadn’t been so pleasant we may have done a little better.   

10. Craig WATSON (SCO) stood down / was relieved of his GB&I Men’s Team captaincy duties with Stuart WILSON (SCO), the current Boy’s team captain, promoted as his replacement. Stuart will debut with the men at Royal Porthcawl in July in the next edition of the St. Andrews Trophy match against Continent of Europe. Good luck to him.

11. It wasn’t a vintage year for other GB&I men’s teams either – Sweden beat England in the Final of the European Amateur Team Championship and Europe beat GB&I in the boys’ Jacques Léglise Trophy. 

12. WAGR finally announced a new methodology to be introduced to their ranking with effect from January 2020. A more accurate ranking can be expected but at face value it still won’t be better than the SPWAR. If I was The R&A and USGA I’d have used some of my funds to simply take out Fred Solomon and his ‘gold standard’ SPWAR.

WAGR Logo

13. The R&A and the USGA confirmed that they are reviewing the Rules of Amateur Status to make them easier to understand and apply. The results are set to be published in late 2021 – no rush there then. Lucy LI’s (USA) ‘one time warning’ for her Apple Watch advert at the start of the year (she should have had her amateur status removed) and the more recent California State’s ‘Fair Pay To Play’ Act which means NCAA athletes, including golfers, within that jurisdiction will be able to negotiate endorsement deals from 2023 have accelerated the need for an update.     

14. Josh HILL (ENG) qualified to play in both the Dubai Desert Classic and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in early 2020 after winning the MENA Tour’s Amateur Order of Merit and then the Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship. What an opportunity for him on two courses he knows very well.                  

15. Ben JONES (ENG) finished the year as GB&I’s highest ranked amateur in the SPWAR after a top 5 finish at the South Beach International Amateur in Florida helped lift him above Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) a few weeks ago. Scant consolation for his surprise exclusion from the GB&I Walker Cup team.

16. One to watch in 2020 – as I haven’t mentioned him yet I’m going to pick Jake BOLTON (ENG). Jake’s crept up to 37th in the SPWAR and with his confidence high after adding the 2019 Scottish Open Amateur title to his resume, as well as a 4th place finish at this month’s South Beach International Amateur, I expect him to progress further next year.

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Jake Bolton With The Scottish Open Amateur Trophy (Photo: Bolton Family)

17. As always a number of players turned Pro, most notably, Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Calum FYFE (SCO), Bailey GILL (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO), Billy MCKENZIE (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRL), Conor PURCELL (IRL), Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO). I wish them all well in the coming years.

18. Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) and Matthew JORDAN (ENG) gave encouragement to the next generation of amateurs with a number of excellent performances on the European Tour and Challenge Tour. Over in the U.S. on the PGA Tour Viktor Hovland (NOR), Matthew Wolff (USA) and Collin Morikawa (USA) also showed that a quick transition to the big time is possible for the highly talented and fortunate few.

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2019 Preview & Results

18th April 2019

Day 2

Tom MCKIBBIN (IRE) won the 39th Peter McEvoy Trophy after birdieing the second sudden death play-off hole.

A beautifully judged chip over the front right bunker on Copt Heath’s first hole rolled straight into the cup. The Ulsterman had driven into the right hand fairway bunkers off the tee and could only get the ball up to the green side area. Meanwhile his opponents, Aaron MARSHALL (IRE) and Melan DHAUBHADEL (ENG), had both hit the fairway and found the green in regulation on the 440 yard par 4. Unsurprisingly neither could recover from the body blow of a chip in at such a crucial time.

All three had pared the 18th, the first sudden death hole, missing makable birdie putts in the process.

Tom becomes the third Irish winner following in the recent footsteps of Gavin Moynihan (2012) and Mark Power (2016). I would certainly class it as the biggest win of his career to date.

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Peter McEvoy with Tom McKibbin (Photo: GolfBible)

Aaron MARSHALL (IRE) and Melan DHAUBHADEL (ENG) started the day with a 6 shot lead over the chasing pack and would be paired together over the final 36 holes.

With the pins tucked away more on Day 2 the generally low scoring from yesterday was never likely to be repeated.

Aaron shot a 71 (Ev) in the morning Round 3 while Melan could only manage a 74 (+3).

Tom MCKIBBIN (IRE) 68, Jack BIGHAM (ENG) 68, Josh FALLOWS (ENG) 68, Luke O’NEIL (IRE) 69 and Max HOPKINS (ENG) 69 recorded the best morning rounds. McKibbin’s score moved him up to -5, 5 shots behind Marshall and 2 behind Dhaubhadel.

Marshall gave up his lead primarily on the front nine in the afternoon. Bogeys on 1 and 5 were compounded by a poor drive on the 9th followed by a three putt which led to a double bogey. The door was clearly ajar for the chasing pack on the back nine.

McKibbin was also 2-over after 7 holes of his final round. However an aggressive tee shot on the short 8 led to a birdie, another followed on the 10th before birdies on 15 and 17 saw him home in 69. At the time it felt as if his 277 (-7) total would prove to be one or two shy of the potential winning total.

However, the two leaders, now settled into their final round, couldn’t move back out in fornt. Marshall played the final nine holes in even par but a bogey on the dog leg 16th brought him back to -7. Dhaubhadel, a new name to me, made some early mistakes in his final round but played the back nine in -1 and fought to the very end.

When the cards were added up McKibbin, Marshall and Dhaubhadel had all finished on 277 (-7) and a sudden death play-off was required to determine our winner.

As you can see from the Top 20 Results below Luke O’NEILL 68 and Max HOPKINS 67 also continued their strong play into the afternoon to secure high finishes.

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Results (Photo: Copt Heath G.C.)

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Matthew Freeman, Max Hopkins, Tom McKibbin, Peter McEvoy, Luke O’Neill, Aaron Marshall and Melan Dhabhadel At The Prize Giving Ceremony (Photo: GolfBible)

Well done to Copt Heath G.C. too on another successful tournament. It was good to see some reasonable crowds following the players. The relatively modest 6,541 yard course once again proved to be a good test and delivered another impressive champion.

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Melan Dhaubhadel Just Misses His Birdie Putt On The 72nd Hole (Photo: GolfBible)

Click here to view the – 2019 McEvoy Trophy Results

Click here to view the – McEvoy Trophy Rounds 3 & 4 Tee Times

ME.

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Day 1

Melan DHAUBHADEL (ENG) 68 64 and Aaron MARSHALL (IRE) 65 67 share the Day 1 lead at Copt Heath G.C. on 132 (-10).

This is a new record for the competition where previously the best opening 36 holes total was 133 (-9) recorded by Jake Amos (ENG) in 2005.

Both players took advantage of favourable conditions. Preferred Lies had generously been allowed and with sunny intervals and a modest breeze the order of the day low numbers were certainly available.

Melan’s best of the day 64 (-7) in Round 2 included 8 birdies.

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Meanwhile Aaron’s 65 in Round 1 was unblemished with an eagle and four birdies recorded. Whilst he shot a 67 in the afternoon he may remember it better as it included a hole-in-one on the 3rd.

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Harry LORD (ENG) is 3rd after two rounds of 69 (-4) with Max KENNEDY (IRE) 4th after a 71 and 68 (-3).

The Top 40 and Ties cut fell at 149 (+7) with 43 players set for the final 36 holes tomorrow.

The record low score for the overall 72 holes is 272 (-12).

ME.

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15th April 2019

The 39th Peter McEvoy Trophy will be contested on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th April at Copt Heath Golf Club in Solihull, England.

Competition Format

The McEvoy Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play medal competition played over two consecutive days by boys aged under 18 (on 1st January 2019).

PM Trophy

The Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

The format, limited daylight and the greater risk of poor weather in April means the field is restricted to 72 players.

All competitors play the first 36 holes on Day 1, playing in groups of three. The leading 40 players (and ties) then return for the final 36-holes on the following day, which is played in two-balls. A two tee start is used on both days.

In the event of a tie the result will be decided by a ‘sudden death’ play-off, utilising holes 18, 1 and 9.

The Winner receives a small replica salver and a voucher for £250. A total prize fund of around £1,000 is shared out amongst those players finishing in the Top 8 places (and ties).

2019 Entrants & Draw

This year the handicap entry ballot fell at +0.3 highlighting the quality of the field.

Click here to view the McEvoy Trophy Day 1 Start Sheet

Three members of the nine man GB&I Jacques Léglise trophy team that beat Europe last August in Finland have entered and headline the field; these are Archie DAVIES (WAL), Max HOPKINS (ENG) and Tom MCKIBBIN (IRE).

Joseph BYRNE, Max KENNEDY, Odhrán MAGUIRE, Aaron MARSHALL, Tom MCKIBBIN and Luke O’NEILL will all be travelling to the West Midlands as part of a strong looking Golf Union of Ireland squad. Kennedy (14th in 2018), Maguire (19th), Marshall (3rd) and O’Neill (42nd) are all returning after playing last year so should be better for the experience. However, it is perhaps McKibbin, the Holywood protege, that represents their best chance of finding a successor to the two previous Irish winners Gavin Moynihan (2012) and Mark Power (2016).

Matt FREEMAN, Josh HILL and Max HOPKINS are the three English boy internationals competing. Freeman has recorded top 10 finishes in the Henry Cooper Junior Masters and Carris Trophy over the last two years and will be hoping to improve on his 17th place in 2018. Hopkins, winner of the 2017 Telegraph Vitality Junior Golf Championship when he was just 14, continues to show huge promise. Finally Dubai-based Hill, now 15 and with the lowest handicap in the field (-4.8), is considered to be one of the most promising GB&I youngster’s. Having played on the MENA Pro Tour throughout the winter he should arrive well prepared and could well breakthrough in 2019.

2018 Welsh Golfer of the Year Archie DAVIES, who performed well for the full Welsh men’s team at last week’s European Nations Championship in Sotogrande, Spain must also start as one of the favourites. His win at the 2018 Irish U18 Boys Open Amateur Championship clearly demonstrates he has what it takes to compete a this level.

Shergo AL KURDI, born in England but representing Jordan, is an interesting entry. Like Josh Hill he has been playing in the Middle East during the winter and showed that he maybe ready to step up by co-winning the Duncan Putter at Southerndown G.C. last weekend. Charlie Strickland is the only player to complete the Putter / McEvoy double in April 2017.

Corhampton’s Jamie MARKWICK and Lindrick’s Callum MACFIE may also be worth keeping an eye on. Like Aaron Marshall they have some Copt Heath form to fall back on, finishing 10th and 13th last year respectively.

Unfortunately this year’s dates clash with the French International Boys’ U18 Amateur Championship which starts on 18th April and is being played two weeks later than last year. Enrique Dimayuga, Habebul Islam, George Leigh, Ben Pierleoni and Ben Schmidt are all playing at Les Aisses G.C.

Scottish Golf have disappointingly given the event a miss this year. The Scottish Boys’ Open Championship was played at West Kilbride last week (10-12 April) and they have the Battle Trophy and a Boys U16 Quadrangular match scheduled for the Easter bank holiday weekend (20-22 April) making it hard for them to accommodate it. Perhaps Cameron GALLAGHER or Andrew THORNTON, who have entered individually, can become the first Scottish winner.

Finally there are very few entries from the Midlands. Perhaps the closest is Jack SEVERN from Cleobury Mortimer who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow club member Emily Price who won the English Girls’ U15 Open Amateur Championship at Copt Heath in July 2014.

Weather Forecast

After last year’s heavy rain I am pleased to report that the weather forecast (as at Monday 15th April) looks very promising for both competition days.

Wednesday 17th April – Light Cloud / Wind 7 mph E / Temp. Min. 8°C, Max. 16°C.
Thursday 18th April – Sunny Intervals / Wind 12 mph E / Temp. Min. 7°C, Max. 19°C.

2018 Results

Harrison ARNOLD won the 2018 Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath G.C. Reduced to 36 holes for the first time in its history due to heavy rain the Castle Royle player recorded rounds of 72 and 67 for a 139 (-3) total.

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Harrison Arnold with the Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

Josh TURNOCK (Prestbury G.C.) and Aaron MARSHALL (Lisburn G.C.) came 2nd and 3rd respectively on -2 with count back rules separating them. Overnight leader Marshall bogeyed two of his last three holes to reverse out of the title.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2018 Final Results

Here is the Golfing World video of the 2018 Peter McEvoy Trophy including an interview with Harrison.

Copt Heath Golf Club

Copt Heath Golf Club is the permanent home of The Peter McEvoy Trophy.

Copt Heath, despite its name, is essentially a parkland course. The current course was designed and built in 1913 by Harry Colt, the famous architect, and is predominantly flat but well protected with around 95 deep bunkers.

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Copt Heath Golf Club – 18th hole (Photo: GolfBible)

The course measures 6,541 yards and has a par of 71, made up of 2 par 5’s, 13 par 4’s and 3 par 3’s. The front nine is shorter at 3,216 yards (par 35) but is tighter. The more expansive back nine is played over 3,325 yards (par 36).

Golfing World did a profile piece on Copt Heath in 2016, featuring interviews with honorary members Peter McEvoy and Claire Dowling, which you may like to watch: –

Competition Background

Legendary British Amateur golfer Peter McEvoy OBE has been a member of Copt Heath for 54 years. If you would like to learn more about his career then click this link for my profile – Peter McEvoy.

Following Peter’s Amateur Championship victories in 1977 and 1978 Copt Heath made him an honorary life member. He was also invited to suggest a way in which the Club could commemorate his achievements. He chose a 72 hole boys competition to be held annually at Copt Heath.

PM Amateur Champion

Peter McEvoy – 1977 Amateur Champion at Ganton GC

Starting in 1981, The Peter McEvoy Trophy was originally held during August. In 1985, at the request of the English Golf Union, it was moved to April, where it has stayed ever since. This request was prompted by a wish for an early season national competition to assist the home nations with the selection of their teams ahead of the Boys Home Internationals and European Championships held later in the year.

As Peter McEvoy’s playing achievements and influence grew, culminating with him becoming a Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) men’s selector and Walker Cup captain, so has the prestige of the competition. Of course having a stellar past winner’s list also adds to the gravitas. The McEvoy remains one of the leading British junior golf events to this day.

Past Winners

The Peter McEvoy Trophy has an enviable list of former winners, reflecting both the quality of the annual entry but also the fair challenge presented by the course for players of this age.

A number of the players in the full list of past winners below have gone on to play in the Walker Cup and many more have enjoyed successful professional careers: –

1981  Rob Sallis (Wollaton Park)
1982  Jeremy Robinson (Woodhall Spa)
1983  Peter Baker (Lilleshall)
1984  Wayne Henry (Redbourn)
1985  A Morley (Belton Park)
1986  Cameron Mitchell (Copt Heath)
1987  Wayne Henry (Porters Park)
1988  Peter Sefton (Camberley Heath)
1989  David Bathgate (Sandiway)
1990  Paul Sherman (Ashford)
1991  Lee Westwood (Worksop)

PM Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood with the McEvoy Trophy in 1991 (Photo: Copt Heath GC)

1992  Brian Davis (East Herts)
1993  Steve Webster (Atherstone)
1994  Jamie Harris (Nevill)
1995  Carl Duke (Porters Park)
1996  Mark Pilkington (Nefyn & District)
1997  Philip Rowe (West Cornwall) – now Assistant Coach for UNLV Men’s Golf.
1998  Justin Rose (North Hants)

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Justin Rose with the McEvoy Trophy (Photo: Copt Heath GC)

In 2013 Justin Rose became the first McEvoy Trophy winner to win a Major Championship, when he won the U.S. Open at Merion GC. He of course went on to also win Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

1999  David Porter (Stoneham)
2000  Zane Scotland (Woodcote Park)
2001  Ben Harvey (Dudsbury)
2002  Matthew Richardson (Pinner Hill)
2003  Tommy Hunter (Ilford)
2004  John Parry (Harrogate)
2005  Tom Sherreard (The Ridge)
2006  Luke Goddard (Hendon)

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Luke Goddard (Photo: Tom Ward)

2007  Matt Haines (Rochester & Cobham Park)
2008  Stiggy Hodgson (Sunningdale)

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Stiggy Hodgson (Photo: Tom Ward)

2009  Max Smith (Newbury Racecourse)

Max Smith (Photo: Tom Ward)

2010  Rhys Pugh (Vale of Glamorgan)

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Rhys Pugh (Photo: Tom Ward)

2011  Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa)

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Nathan Kimsey (Photo: Tom Ward)

2012  Gavin Moynihan (The Island)

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Gavin Moynihan (Photo: GolfBible)

2013  Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park)

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Bradley Moore (Photo: GolfBible)

2014  Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest)

PM McEvoy Trophy

Haydn McCullen (Photo: GolfBible)

2015  Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood)

Marco Penge PM 2015

Marco Penge (Photo: GolfBible)

2016  Mark Power (Kilkenny)

Mark Power McEvoy Trophy 2016

Mark Power (Photo: GolfBible)

2017  Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor)

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

2018  Harrison Arnold (Castle Royle)

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Peter McEvoy with Harrison Arnold (Photo: GolfBible)

Peter McEvoy Trophy Records

Most Wins
2 Wayne Henry (1984 Redbourn / 1987 Porters Bar)

Wayne Henry PM

Wayne Henry pictured with Seve Ballesteros at the 1984 Open at St. Andrews

Youngest Winners
Wayne Henry 15 years [exact birthday not known] (1984)
Bradley Moore 15 years, 7 months and 15 days (2013)
Mark Power 15 years, 10 months and 6 days (2015)

Lowest 72-hole winning score
272 (-12) – John Parry 2004 (68, 68, 68, 68)
272 (-12) – Nathan Kimsey 2011 (69, 67, 69, 67)
272 (-12) – Marco Penge 2015 (65, 71, 70, 66)

Highest 72-hole winning score
300 – Jamie Harris 1994 (73, 75, 75, 77)

Lowest Day 1 opening 36 holes score
132 – Melan Dhaubhadel 68 64 (-10)
132 – Aaron Marshall 65 67 (-10)
133 – Jake Amos 68 65 (-9)

Lowest 18 hole score
61 – Dermot McElroy 2011 (Course Record)

Best McEvoy Trophy Record
Bradley Moore – 4th (283 -1, 2012), 1st (287 +3, 2013), 2nd (281 -3, 2014), 2nd (280 -4, 2015).

Notable Former Competitors

In addition to the winners listed above many other notable amateur and now professional golfers have competed over the years.

These include (in alphabetical order): – David Boote, Jamie Bower, James Byrne, Stuart Cage, Paul Casey, Ashley Chesters, Lee Corfield, Mark Crossfield (@4golfonline), Paul Cutler, Jack Davidson, Joe Dean, Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald, Bradley Dredge, Scott Drummond, Paul Dunne, Simon Dyson, Greg Eason, Jamie Elson, Harry Ellis, Oliver Farr, Kenneth Ferrie, Oliver Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Mark Foster, Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest, Scott Gregory, Tyrrell Hatton, David Horsey, David Howell, Jack Hume, Simon Hurd, Andrew Johnston, Simon Khan, Nathan Kimsey, Tom Lewis, David Lynn, Nick Marsh, Jack McDonald, Dermot McElroy, Ross McGowan, Robert MacIntyre, John Morgan, James Morrison, Jimmy Mullen, Bradley Neil, Max Orrin, John Parry, Jim Payne, Eddie Pepperell, Van Phillips, Alfie Plant, Garrick Porteous, Iain Pyman, Robert Rock, Jamie Savage, Chris Selfridge, Jack Senior, Callum Shinkwin, Jack Singh Brar, Lee Slattery, Jordan Smith, Michael Stewart, Andy Sullivan, Graeme Storm, Connor Syme, Ben Taylor, Jonathan Thomson, Ashton Turner, Sam Walker, Anthony Wall, Danny Willett, Oliver Wilson, Tom Whitehouse and Chris Wood.

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.