The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

9th June 2019

Round 4

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) from Saunton G.C. is the 2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy champion.

In a superb performance he recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a remarkable comeback, having started the day 6 shots back of the leader Matty LAMB (ENG).

Talking to the St. Andrews Links Trust organisers afterwards Jake said “I love this pace that’s for sure. It’s basically my home because I’m a links golfer. It’s nothing new for myself. I forgot about last year (when he finished tied 3rd) and concentrated on doing the job this year. It’s amazing to turnaround and you suddenly see a lot of people behind you. It’s pretty cool. I love a crowd. I’m not scared of one, I’d much prefer to have one than not have one that’s my take on it.”

Burnage rose 96 places to 30th in the updated Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking and as an existing initial squad member now looks a certainty for the GB&I Walker Cup team.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

Matty LAMB (ENG) finished 2nd and whilst he will be frustrated there was much to admire in his play this week.

Today’s 36 holes were never going to be a straight forward coronation for Lamb and with conditions much better than originally expected there was always hope for the chasing pack.

Burnage made inroads this morning reducing Lamb’s lead to 3 shots at lunch.

Both players completed the front nine this afternoon in level par, Lamb appearing to be the steadier. However, Burnage then seized the initiative on the 10th with a birdie, reducing Lamb’s lead to 2 shots. The 618 yard par 5 14th proved to be the 2019 Championship’s pivotal hole. Burnage eagled from 10 feet whilst Lamb bogeyed. The three shot swing suddenly put Burnage in the driving seat, now with a 1 shot advantage with four holes to play. A little surprisingly, given the holes in question and the circumstances, both players pared in and the man from Devon was crowned the winner.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) shot 66 this afternoon to secure 3rd place on 271 (-17). James WILSON (SCO) 67 and Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) 68 also finished strongly to tied for 4th on 275 (-13).

Bailey GILL (ENG) recorded the best Round 4 score. His 65 lifted him up to tied 12th.

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The Final Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Click here to view the complete – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

The good news for Matty LAMB (ENG) was he shot a solid 69 (-3) in his morning around on the Old Course. Five birdies were offset by a double bogey 6 on the 16th. As a result he continues to lead the St. Andrews Links Trophy on -20 after 54 holes.

The bad news was his nearest challenger Jake BURNAGE (ENG) showed no signs of going away.  The Devonian shot the best round of the remaining 40 players; a 66 (-6) including 7 birdies to move onto -17, now only 3 shots back with 18 holes to play.

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Jake Burnage’s Rd 3 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The final pair are playing some great golf including these two par rescues on the Road Hole – well worth a watch.

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Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 67, Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) 68 and Josh GREER (AUS) 68 all moved up the leaderboard after good rounds.

ME.

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8th June 2019

Matty LAMB (ENG) followed yesterday’s 64 (-8) on the Jubilee Course with an even more impressive 63 (-9) on the Old Course today. After a bogey on the relatively straight forward first he produced 10 birdies in his remaining 17 holes, finishing with a back nine of 29.

I assume his 127 (-17) 36 hole total must be a Championship record.

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Matty Lamb’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Conditions were a little better than anticipated with fewer showers and only modest winds all day. There were numerous low scores once again as the links was left relatively defenceless.

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) recorded the second best round of the day with a 64 (-8) to move into 2nd on -11.

Jake Burnage’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

One shot further back are Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) and Thomas PLUMB (ENG). Rafferty shot a 65 to move himself nicely into the mix whilst Yeovil’s Plumb produced a steadier 70. Both players will start the final day on -10.

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Caolan Rafferty’s Rd 2 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

The top 40 and ties cut fell at 140 (-4) with 40 players progressing to the final day.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 66 (-6) on Day 2 to make the cut and deliver the best recovery after his opening 74 (+2).

Colm CAMPBELL (IRE) 68, Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) 68, Casey JARVIS (RSA) 68, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) 66, Joe PAGDIN (ENG) 68, Matt ROBERTS (WAL) 66 and Jamie STEWART (SCO) 68 were amongst those to enjoy good scores today. All went down fighting on the Old Course but had simply left themselves too much to do to make the cut.

Nicklas REGNER (AUT) missed the cut on 142 (-2) although he had the consolation of leaving St Andrews having holed his approach on the Old Course’s 18th hole for eagle.

ME.

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7th June 2019

Round 1 was played on the Jubilee Course. With sunny intervals and just a modest breeze blowing the 6,847 yard course was there for the taking. Many of the competitors were happy to oblige particularly on the front nine which played down wind.

Matty LAMB (ENG) and Tom PLUMB (ENG) both recorded 8 under par 64’s on Day 1 to set a sparkling pace.

Matty Lamb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Tom Plumb’s Rd 1 Scorecard (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Alexander FRANCES (DEN), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG) and Rowan LESTER (IRE) are all tied 2nd, two shots back of the two leaders, after 66’s (-6).

There were two notable shots in Round 1. Ronan MULLARNEY‘s (IRE) round of 68 (-4) included a hole-in-one on the 192 yard 9th hole while Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) finished his round of 69 in style by holing his approach to the 468 yard 18th.

76 of the 144 players shot an under par score on Day 1 with a further 17 on level par.

36 players scored 69 (-3) or better.

Given the very low scoring today, the forecast of rain for much of tomorrow and the top 40 and ties cut after Round 2 on the Old Course many players will have already played themselves out of the Championship. Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) +3, Wilco NIENABER (RSA) +3, David MICHELUZZI (AUS) +5, Jamie STEWART (SCO) +5 and Matt SAULEZ (RSA) +8 are amongst the more notable names who would appear to have no way back.

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6th June 2019

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 7th June in the 31st St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This event has become one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf helped by its venue and timing.

St Andrews Clubhouse

R&A Clubhouse, St. Andrews (Photo: R&A Website)

Competition Format

The Links Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play competition played over the St. Andrews Links in early June.

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 2nd May 2019 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course – the New Course was used last year – with Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut on Saturday the leading players will play a final 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,742 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,238 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 266 yards longer but to the same par.

Jubilee Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole aggregate score.

In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18 on the Old Course.

Ties for other places will be decided by the lowest score for the last 18 holes or the last 9 or 6 or 3 or 2 or 1 hole if necessary.

The Field

Click here to view the – 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 7th in its 2018 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. It was 8th in the same ranking in 2017.

22 of the 26 members of the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup Squad will be competing at St. Andrews this week.

From the Squad leading contenders Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), Bailey GILL (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Euan WALKER (SCO) will all be looking to cement their places on the GB&I team in front of the watching selectors.

The defending champion John MURPHY (IRE) also returns to Scotland to try and become just the third player to win the Championship twice.

Of the four missing Walker Cup players Sandy SCOTT (SCO) is playing for the International Team at the Arnold Palmer Cup at The Alotian Club in Arkansas whilst Archie DAVIES (WAL), Conor GOUGH (ENG) and Mark POWER (IRE) are all busy with exams.

The attraction of St. Andrews always ensures a strong overseas entry. Blake COLLYER (AUS), Jordan DUMINY (RSA), Adrien DUMONT DE CHASSART (BEL), Mateo FERNANDEZ DE OLIVEIRA (ARG), Falko HANISCH (GER),

Michael HIRMER (GER), Alex HIETALA (FIN), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Jerry JI (NED), Jeong Weon KO (FRA), Charles LARCELET (FRA), Kyle MICHEL (AUS), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Therion NEL (RSA), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Yurev PREMLALL (RSA), Matt SAULEZ (RSA), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Sam SIMPSON (RSA) and Martin VORSTER (RSA) are amongst the most highly rated international entries.

Weather Forecast (as at Tuesday 4th June)

The current weather forecast appears mixed with rain over the weekend and swirling winds throughout.

Friday 8th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph SE. Temp. Max. 14°C / Min 10°C.
Saturday 9th June – Heavy Rain. Wind 11 mph NE. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 9°C.
Sunday 10th June – Light Rain. Wind 16 mph SW. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 8°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in proceedings.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash prizes are awarded to the top 10 finishers in all.

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the Championship.

2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy

John MURPHY (IRE) beat Jannik DE BRUYN (GER) on the first play-off hole to win the 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

John became the third Irish golfer to win the title following in the footsteps of Alan Dunbar (2009) and Conor O’Rourke (2016).

Both players completed the 72 holes in 278 shots (-9). De Bruyn fired a final round 68 on the Old Course to force the play-off.

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John Murphy (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / Kenny Smith Photography)

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Haydn BARRON (AUS) finished tied 3rd on 279 (-8), just one shot back.

The two other leading GB&I players were Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) who tied 5th on 280 (-7) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) whose 281 (-6) total was good enough for tied 8th.

Click here to view the – 2018 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Past Winners

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) won in 2017. Click here to view the – 2017 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results

Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) won in 2016. Click here to view the – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Click here to view a full list of the – St Andrews Links Trophy Past Winners

Only Craig WATSON (1992 and 1998), the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay HOWARD (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

The most famous winner is Justin ROSE who won in 1997.

Interestingly given the normally cosmopolitan nature of the fields the Links Trophy has only been won by players from outside GB&I on three occasions – Australia’s Stuart BOVIER (1990), Daan HUIZING from The Netherlands (2012) and Federico ZUCCHETTI from Italy (2015).

Huizing, who had won the 2012 Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 in 2012 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2019, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

2nd June 2019

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship finishing the competition with another hugely impressive under par round.

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The Schmidt Family (Photo: Yorkshire Golf / Jonathan Plaxton)

When Schmidt took the lead on Friday night very few people would have expected the 16 year old to see out such a prestigious event with apparent ease.

In the end two 69’s over the weekend took him to a 271 (-13) finishing total and a 5 shot victory. He is believed to be the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time.

To drop only 6 shots over the 72 holes at Alwoodley G.C. clearly shows the potential of the Yorkshireman who seemed to thrive on being the hometown favourite.

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Ben Schmidt’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Schmidt and Harry HALL (ENG) were tied on -11 after 11 holes of the final round but it was the teenager who showed nerves of steel over the closing holes. He picked up birdies on the 12th and 17th and calmly pulled away from the experienced Cornishman in what was always going to be an 18 hole shoot out. Three late bogeys from the now chasing Hall helped make the tough Alwoodley finish relatively straight forward for the champion elect.

Talking to England Golf afterwards Schmidt said “It’s amazing. I played great. It’s good to get my name on the trophy and to be the youngest ever one to do it makes it even more special.”

Hall finished 2nd on -8 one shot ahead of a fast finishing Euan WALKER (SCO) whose 66 was the joint best score of the day and lifted him into 3rd place. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) matched the Scotsman’s -5 round earlier in the afternoon.

Ben FIRTH, also from Yorkshire, finished 4th on 280 (-4) for the best finish of his career.

In what proved to be a largely disappointing tournament for International players Kyle DE BEER (RSA) benefited from a 7-under weekend to finish tied 5th alongside David LANGLEY (ENG).

Here’s a screenshot of the leading players with a link to the full results beneath.

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Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Round 4 saw an average score of 72.30 (+1.30). The average front nine score today was 35.83 (-0.17 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.47 (+1.47).

ME.

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1st June 2019

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) moved on to -11 after a third round 69 (-2) at Alwoodley. He showed no sign of nerves with a 3-under par front nine but may live to regret a final hole bogey which took the edge of a steady back nine and saw his 54 hole lead reduced to just 1 shot.

Harry HALL (ENG), who produced a new course record 63 (-8), moved back up the leaderboard and into 2nd place on -10.

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Harry Hall’s Round 3 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) continues to impress in Yorkshire. Three under par rounds of 69, 68 and 70 will see him enter the final day in 3rd place on -6.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 70 and David LANGLEY (ENG) 71 are on -5 and are tied 4th.

Luca FILIPPI (RSA) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) both enjoyed good days too. Their 66’s (-5) lifted them up to 7th and tied 14th respectively.

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Leading Round 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Round 3 saw the average score lowered to 71.74 helped by a reduction to 63 competing players. 64 players made the cut but Alex Dixon +4 WD before play started. The average front nine score today was 35.57 (-0.43 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.14 (+1.17).

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31st May 2019

16 year old Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) backed up his good opening round with a 64 (-7) in Round 2. He tied the Alwoodley course record with an unblemished card and 7 birdies. He now leads the Brabazon Trophy by 3-shots on 133 (-9).

Talking to England Golf afterwards Ben said “I got off to a good start, birdieing the first three holes. Front nine was really solid, quite a few birdies. I hit a lot of good iron shots in today. I hit a couple really stiff for tap in birdies. A couple of long irons which were key for me. It’s my lowest ever round, 7-under. I’m just looking for the same again for the next few days. It’s probably not going to be 7-under again but I can’t go out with the mindset of like I’m leading. I’ve just got go out, refresh and start again. I’ve played well and putted well, key putts and long birdie putts.”

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Ben Schmidt’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 70 in Round 2 and will go into the weekend in 2nd place on -6.

Day 2 saw much lower scoring. There were 21 rounds in the 60’s compared with just 6 yesterday.

David LANGLEY (ENG) 67, Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) 68, Jamie STEWART (SCO) 65, Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 67, Ben FIRTH (ENG) 66, Ben HALLAM (ENG) 68, Ben JONES (ENG) 68, Ben CATON (SCO) 69, Euan WALKER (SCO) and Josh MCMAHON (ENG) all moved nicely into contention.

Of particular note Jamie Stewart’s 65 included a 29 (-7) on the front nine whilst Ben Firth’s 69, a 30 (-5) on the back nine.

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

The Round 2 scores followed a similar pattern to Round 1 but with easier playing conditions and more experience the scoring was better. The average front nine score today was 35.91 (-0.09 to par / Rd 1 36.70) whilst the back nine score was 37.04 (+2.04 / Rd 1 38.29). The average Round 2 score by the field was 72.95 (+1.95 / Rd 1 74.99).

64 players made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at 146 (+4). Amongst those to miss out were Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) +5, John MURPHY (IRE) +5, Oliver FARRELL (ENG) +6, Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) +7, Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) +7, David HAGUE (ENG) +8 and Kieran CANTLEY (ENG) +9.

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30th May 2019

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) leads the Brabazon Trophy at the end of Day 1. Charlie has shown good form in 2019 and will be delighted with an opening bogey-free 66 (-5) around the tough Alwoodley course.

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Charlie Strickland’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Harry HALL (ENG) is second on 68 (-3), two shots further back. Harry, who recently graduated from UNLV, travelled back from the NCAA Division I National Championship in Arkansas earlier this week and I am pleased to see he has quickly re-acclimatised to the UK.

James WILSON (SCO), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) and Jake BOLTON (ENG) are all tied 3rd on 69 (-2).

Ben Schmidt is unsurprisingly not the only Yorkshireman to be featuring at home. Bailey GILL 70 (-1), Sam BAIRSTOW 70 (-1), Charlie THORNTON 71 (Ev), winner at Alwoodley of the 2018 North of England Amateur Open, and Charlie DAUGHTREY 71 (Ev) are all in the top 15 too.

Irish pair Caolan RAFFERTY 70 (-1) and Conor PURCELL 71 (Ev) are both nicely placed despite disappointing finishes today. Both continue to be travelling nicely down the path to Walker Cup selection in my eyes.

The Round 1 scores clearly highlighted the fact that the front nine at Alwoodley is much easier than the back. As the table below shows the average front nine score was 36.70 (+0.70 to par), helped by the prevailing wind, whilst the back nine played to 38.29 (+3.29).  The closing holes proved to be very challenging and their rankings show why so many of today’s rounds were ruined in the latter stages. The average round by the field was 74.99. (+3.99).

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Round 1 Course Stats (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

As you can also see there were 9 eagles on Day 1, all on the front nine. Interestingly three of them came on par 4’s. I assume Cameron LOMBARD (ENG) and Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) both chipped in on the 305 yard 2nd but Alexander HERMANN (GER) must have holed a longer shot on the 370 yard 5th.

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27th May 2019

The 73rd English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Alwoodley Golf Club between 30th May and 2nd June.

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Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

A 36 hole cut will take place with only the leading 60 competitors and ties progressing to the two weekend rounds.

In the event of a tie for the Championship on Sunday, there will be a sudden death play off.

Field

164 competitors will start the 2019 Championship, an increase of 8 on last year at Frilford Heath.

England has 94 entries with 10 other countries represented.

The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Draw

98 players were exempted into the field based on their previous accomplishments with a further 66 progressing from two qualifiers held on 14th May 2019.

Charlie DAUGHTREY (Rotherham G.C.) and Blair MORTON (Royal Troon G.C.) shot 68’s (-2) at Lindrick to lead the way in the North Qualifier. Ben HALLAM (Wychwood Park G.C.) was one of 10 players to shoot 73 (+3) but the only one to progress as he picked up the 33rd spot on count back.

James NEWTON (ENG) finished T56 at Lindrick after a 74 (+4) to miss out. I mention this as just a few days later he easily won the Irish Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo G.C.

Click here to view the full North Qualifier Results

Liam PHIPPS (Olton G.C.) and George LEVERSUCH (Wanstead G.C.) led the qualifiers at Hindhead G.C. in the South Qualifier after both posted 66 (-4). 73 (+3) was again the cut mark with Josh DAVIS (Sedlescombe G.C.), James EARL (Tandridge G.C.) and Matt KIPPEN (Enmore Park G.C.) taking the final qualifying spots. A further 8 players missed out after the count back was applied.

Phipps went on to win The Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog G.C. on 23rd May so is clearly confident and in form.

Click here to view the full South Qualifier Results

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9th Hole, Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

19 of the 26 players included in the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup Squad will be competing at Alwoodley. These are Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Kieran CANTLEY (SCO), Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL), Bailey GILL (ENG), David HAGUE (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL), Ben JONES (ENG), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO), John MURPHY (IRE), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), James SUGRUE (IRE), Tom THURLOWAY (ENG), Euan WALKER (SCO) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG).

Other players who have shown good form in 2019 and are therefore worth keeping an eye on include Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Jake BOLTON (ENG), Joe BRYCE (SCO), Harvey BYERS (ENG), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG), Oliver FARRELL (ENG), Harry GODDARD (ENG), Marc HAMMER (GER), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Matty LAMB (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG), Laurie OWEN (ENG), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) and Charlie THORNTON (ENG).

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked 41st by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a significant fall from 17thin 2017. Hopefully it will recover some of its prestige this year when the field analysis is completed.

Interestingly Alwoodley G.C. will also be broadcasting live coverage of the first round on their YouTube channel and sharing highlights across their other social media channels.

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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The Champion’s Prize and Brabazon Trophy (Photo: Golf Bible)

Prize vouchers will be awarded to those players finishing in the top three.

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

The George Henriques Salver is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

The Philip Scruton Jug is awarded later in the year to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 22nd and 23rd June).

Alwoodley Golf Club

Alwoodley G.C. is located on heathland a few miles north of Leeds city centre in Yorkshire.

The first design by renowned architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, one of the founders of the Club, it was opened in 1907. Alwoodley is nowadays rightly considered one of the finest courses in Great Britain.

The recent addition of new championship tees has stretched the course to over 6,900 yards so whilst the players are in for a treat they are hopefully going to be challenged too given the par of 71.

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Alwoodley G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Alwoodley G.C.)

Whilst the back nine is a little shorter it delivers a good finish with six strong finishing holes. The inward nine has the lower par of 35 and generally plays into the prevailing westerly wind.

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking good; generally dry with a modest breeze over the four days.

Thu 30th May – Showers / Wind 17 mph W / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 19°C.
Fri 31st May – Light Cloud / Wind 14 mph SW / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 21°C.
Sat 1st June – Light Cloud / Wind 10 mph SW / Temp. Min. 15°C / Min 23°C.
Sun 2th May – Light Cloud / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 19°C.

It is worth remembering that Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 7.00am right through until 3.40pm.

2018 Brabazon Trophy

Nick POPPLETON (ENG) won the 2018 Brabazon Trophy at Frilford Heath G.C.

Poppleton and Wilco NIENABER (RSA) both finished the 72 holes on the Red Course with 272 -16 totals.

The par 3 9thhole was used for the sudden death play-off. On the second playing of it Poppleton chipped in to take the famous title.

Click here to view the – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

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Nick Poppleton (Photo: Golf Bible)

Click these links to view the other recent results: –

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The English Amateur International Trophy competition was first played in 1947.

In 1957 the official title was changed to the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The current trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1948 and the event has come to be widely known as the Brabazon Trophy.

Click here to view the full list of – Brabazon Trophy Past Winners

The first player to successfully defend the title was Ronnie WHITE who won at Birkdale in 1950 and nearby Formby in 1951.

Shortly afterwards Philip SCRUTTON won the Brabazon three times in four years (1952, ‘54 & ‘55).

Sir Michael BONALLACK has four wins to his name. The first came at Royal Cinque Ports in 1964 and the last at Hillside in 1971. At Moortown in 1969, with play-offs having been discarded at this time, he shared the title with Rodney FOSTER.

Other well known British winners of the Brabazon include Gordon Brand Jnr, Sandy Lyle (2), Peter MCEVOY, Ronan Rafferty and Ronnie SHADE (3).

Other notable European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Irish Amateur Open Championship – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

19th May 2019

James NEWTON (ENG), from the Prestbury G.C. in Cheshire, England, has won the 2019 Irish Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo G.C.

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James Newton (Photo: Pat Cashman Photography / @GUIGolf)

Entering the event Newton was ranked 1,879th in the SPWAR and 2,710th in the WAGR so a victory of this magnitude has to be considered a major surprise.

He recorded rounds of 66, 66, 69 and 74 for a 275 -9 total.

Not surprisingly he started and finished a little nervously today but having settled down he played very nicely between holes 4 and 14, where he was 4 under par, to ensure he completed the job with some ease. After a triple bogey on the par 3 16th he showed good composure to par his final two holes.

“It’s nice to have a win early on in the season,” Newton said in an interview with the Golf Union of Ireland afterwards. “One of my goals was to win a 72 hole event, I’ve ticked that off quite early. I need to go back and re-evaluate my goals now. I changed coach last October and moved to Peter Barber at Didsbury Golf Club. The good has always been good enough and he has made the bad a lot better”.

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James Newton’s Complete Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Sadly earlier this week he failed to qualify for the Brabazon Trophy at the Lindrick Qualifier and with the above rankings has currently not made the grade for either the St. Andrews Links Trophy or The Amateur Championship. Hopefully a ‘Committee Exemption’ can be found to get him into some or all of these events in the next few weeks.

Conor PURCELL (IRE) 280 -4 finished 2nd 5-shots back. It was another excellent result for GB&I’s number 1 player, particularly coming after his missed cut at Lytham.

Josh MCMAHON (ENG), recent winner of the Lytham Trophy,  also continued his good form with a tied 7th finish on +2.

The best Round 4 came from the Italian International Amateur champion Brandon DIETZEL (GER) who shot a bogey free 67. He rose 39 places to finish alongside McMahon in the Top 10.

The average score on Day 4 was 74.53 with the majority of the players again going backwards.

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The Irish Amateur Open Final Results (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

View the Full Results here – 2019 Irish Amateur Open Results

ME.

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18th May 2019

Overnight leader James NEWTON (ENG) showed no sign of nerves on Day 3. His 69 lifted him to -12 and extended his lead to 5 shots heading into tomorrow’s final round.

Scoring proved to be much tougher in Round 3 with cloudier and windier conditions finally allowing County Sligo to take some revenge on the field. The average score rising to 76.26, nearly four shots higher than in both of the opening two rounds.

With 18 holes to play tomorrow Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) is 2nd on -7 and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) -6 3rd.

Mark POWER (IRE) benefitted from an early tee time to post a 68 (-3), the best score of the day. Like Marc Hammer yesterday he finished with an eagle 2 on the short 18th. As a result he rose 65 places to tied 28th on moving day.

Conor PURCELL‘s (IRE) consistent play, rounds of 70, 69 and 69 to date, has seen him creep up the leaderboard each day; he’s now up to tied 4th on -5. He should theoretically be able to play with a bit more freedom than his peers tomorrow so could easily mount a challenge.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) shot a 1-over 72 today to finish the round on -5 for the tournament. He now sits alongside Purcell in tied 4th.

The top 50 and ties cut fell at +6 with 56 players progressing.

ME.

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17th May 2019

James NEWTON (ENG) shot a second successive 66 at the Irish Amateur Open to move into the lead on -10. In an almost identical round to yesterday he recorded one eagle (again on the 12th), four birdies and a bogey.

Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) unsurprisingly found golf a little harder on Day 2 after the heroics of yesterday. His 72 (+1) saw him finishing Round 2 in 2nd place overall.

The best round of the day came from Marc HAMMER (GER) who shot a 7-under 64. The icing on the cake coming with a holed wedge on his final hole. Marc moved to -7 and will start tomorrow in 3rd.

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Marc Hammer’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Five players are tied 4th for the Championship on -6. Keith EGAN (IRE) 66, Robert MORAN (IRE) 68, Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) 69,  Koen KOUWENAAR (NED) 69 and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) 69 all played their way into contention in Round 2.

It’s worth recording the consistency to date of both Moran and Edwards-Hill. They have both just bogeyed one hole over the first 36 holes on the testing County Sligo course.

Lytham Trophy winner Josh MCMAHON (ENG) is tied 9th after a 65 (-6) lifted him 50 places up the leaderboard.

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Josh McMahon’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Cathal BUTLER (IRE) matched McMahon with a blemish free 66 of his own. The Kinsale man jumped 82 spots after opening with a 75 in Round 1.

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Cathal Butler’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

The Round 2 average score was identical to yesterday’s at 72.49 so despite a little more breeze lots of high quality golf was again seen.

By way of reminder the top 50 and ties cut will take place after Saturday’s third round.

ME.

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16th May 2019

Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) shot a course record 62 (-9) to take the Round 1 lead at the Irish Amateur Open.

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Ronan Mullarney’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: GUI / Golfbox)

Tied for 2nd James NEWTON (ENG), Robbie MUIR (SCO) and Euan WALKER (SCO) all posted 66’s (-5).

The average Round 1 score was 72.49 with 36 players shooting under par on a near perfect day at Rosses Point.

ME.

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12th May 2019

The 2019 Irish Amateur Open Championship, sponsored by Flogas, starts on Thursday 16th May at County Sligo G.C. at Rosses Point, in the western province of Connacht.

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County Sligo G.C. (Photo: Rossespoint.ie)

Format and Tee Times

A field of 132 golfers from 14 different countries will tee off in what will be the 82nd playing of this competition.

The Irish Amateur Open is a 72-hole stroke play event organised by the Golfing Union of Ireland (GUI).

18 holes are played on the first three days before a top 50 and ties cut is made. A final 18 holes are then played by the leading competitors.

View the Draw for Rounds 1 and 2 here – 2019 Irish Amateur Open Tee Times

In the event of a tie for the Championship the players concerned will play 3 holes of stroke play. The player with the lowest aggregate total being the winner. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes.

The Irish Amateur Open Champion Golfer is awarded a superb silver trophy (see below). Irish winners are allowed to take the trophy back to their Club for the year whereas overseas winners must return it to the GUI after the prize presentation.

Course

County Sligo G.C.’s championship course was designed by Harry Colt and measures 7,157 yards, playing to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,557 yards long (par 36) and the back nine 3,600 yards (par 35).

Players will tee off between 7.00am and 3.15pm on each of the first three days so changes in the weather and wind speeds can be expected to play a big part in scoring.

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County Sligo G.C. (Photo: Golfbreaks.com)

Players

Many of GB&I’s leading amateur golfers will be competing in north west Ireland.

However the field does look weaker than in previous years when Royal County Down was the host. Players finishing the U.S. college season, some taking exams at home and the harder logistics of getting to Sligo have all contributed to this position.

There are nine members of the recently announced 26-man Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Squad playing; these are (Nationality / SPWAR), Jake BURNAGE (ENG / #114), Kieran CANTLEY (SCO / #450), Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL / #508), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL / #372), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO / #242), Mark POWER (IRE / #183), Conor PURCELL (IRE / #22), James SUGRUE (IRE / #220) and Euan WALKER (SCO / #45).

Josh MCMAHON (ENG / #123), the winner of the Lytham Trophy, is in the field as are Harry GODDARD (ENG / #173), Stephen ROGER (SCO / #326) and Laurie OWEN (ENG / #401) who also featured prominently in Lancashire.

Other players who could contend include Jake BOLTON (ENG / #276), Aaron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG / #304), Michael HIRMER (GER / #69), Matias HONKALA (FIN / #352), Jim JOHNSTON (SCO / #494), Matty LAMB (ENG / #332), David LANGLEY (ENG / #126),  Peter O’KEEFFE (IRE / #659), Tiarnan MACLARNAN (IRE / #207), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE / #120), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG / #606), Charlie THORNTON (ENG / #459), James WILSON (SCO / #358) and Jeff WRIGHT (SCO / #569).

Weather Forecast

The latest weather forecast (as at Sunday 12th May) currently looks very good for all four competition days – mainly sunny with relatively modest winds.

Thu 16th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph E / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 17°C.
Fri  17th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 10 mph E / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 16°C.
Sat  18th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph NE / Temp. Min. 8°C / Min. 16°C.
Sun 19th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph E / Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 17°C.

The 2018 Irish Amateur Open Championship

Robin DAWSON (IRE) completed a wire to wire victory at the 2018 Irish Amateur Open, helped in no small part by a superb 65 (-6) in Round 1.

The Tramore G.C. man started the final round 6-shots clear but after a final round 77 had to settle for a 282 (-2) total.

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Robin Dawson (Photo: Cashman Photography)

John GOUGH (ENG) and Alex GLEESON (IRE) tied for 2nd on +2 with Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) one shot further back on +3, 3rd.

Click this link to view the final – 2018 Irish Amateur Open Championship Result

History, Past Winners and Records

The Irish Amateur Open Championship was first played in 1892 with early winners including the English amateur greats John Ball and Harold Hilton.

Between 1894 and 1901 (6 years) the competition was played as part of the Irish Championship Meeting alongside a professional tournament.

The Championship was not played during both World Wars.

It was also not played between 1960 and 1994, I assume, due to a lack of interest from overseas players amidst concerns over safety.

Prior to 1958 it was a match play event but since returning to the amateur calendar in 1995 it has been 72 holes of stroke play.

To view a list of past winners click here – Irish Amateur Open Past Champions

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

European Tour Q-School – 2018 Second Stage Preview & Results

October / November 2018

I continue to follow the progress of all of the amateurs and some selected Great British and Irish (GB&I) professionals in the 2018 European Tour Q-School series.

This article focuses on SECOND STAGE QUALIFYING which ended on Monday 5th November at Desert Springs GC, Las Colinas G&CC, El Encin GH and Alenda Golf, all in Spain.

Each competition was played concurrently over 72 holes over four days with no cut.

291 players started these events with 98 (34%) of these hailing from Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I).

804 players contested First Stage Qualifying this year with 171 (21.3%) progressing to Second Stage. These numbers included 62 amateurs, 13 of which were successful. Of these Spain’s Angel Hidalgo and Switzerland’s Perry Cohen chose to turn pro ahead of Second Stage.

These 171 qualifiers were joined by those players who were exempt from First Stage due to their performances on the 2018 European Tour, Challenge Tour and other feeder / satellite tours.

Exemptions were also given to the leading five Q-School entrants as at 29th August 2018, up to a limit of 15th place, in the Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking. As a result of this Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Robin DAWSON (IRE) and Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) – all of whom have recently turned Pro – started their Q-School journeys at Second Stage this year.

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95 qualifying places were made available for Second Stage with sudden death play-offs required at three of the four sites to separate tied players for the final space(s) and to determine the alternates.

Well done to Kristoffer REITAN (NOR), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Andrew WILSON (ENG) and Allen JOHN (GER), the four amateurs who progressed from Second Stage.

These 95 qualifiers will be joined by 61 exempt players at Lumine GC for next week’s Final Stage event. The total field of 156 will play 108 holes with the target for all of the players being a Top 25 finish and a European Tour card.

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Here are the links to the European Tour’s Q-School results webpages as well my own selected player summaries (name / country / scores / result / 1st stage qualification where applicable) : –

1. DESERT SPRINGS GOLF CLUB, ALMERÍA – 6,745 yards, Par 72

Click here for the full Desert Springs – Results

Entries – 73 players with 28 from GB&I (38%) started with 24 qualifying.

QUALIFIED
Deyen LAWSON (AUS) -21 WINNER
Gavin MOYNIHAN (IRE) -15 4th
Jamie ABBOTT (ENG) -9 T14 (Stoke By Nayland 1st – Winner)
Daniel YOUNG (SCO) -9 T14 (Bom Sucesso 1st)

DID NOT QUALIFY
Matthew JORDAN (ENG) TURNED PRO 9/18 -8 T19 / Lost in a 6 from 8 play-off
Jonathan CALDWELL (N.I.) -8 T19 / Lost in a 6 from 8 play-off
Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) TURNED PRO 8/18 -4 T37
Victor VEYRET (FRA) AM -2 T42 (Hardelot 1st)
Leandro MARELLI (ARG) -2 T42 (Bogogno 1st – Winner)
Jack FLOYDD (ENG) AM Ev T51 (Frilford 1st)
Gary HURLEY (IRE) Ev T51 (Frilford 1st – Winner)
Craig HOWIE (SCO) +7 63rd
[Luke DONNELLY (IRE) – WD before play started on Day 1 (The Players 1st)]

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2. LAS COLINAS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, ALICANTE – 6,974 yards, Par 71

Click here for the full Las Colinas – Results

Entries – 71 players with 18 from GB&I (25%) started with 23 + 1 qualifying.

QUALIFIED
Christian BRAEUNIG (GER) -15 WINNER (on countback)
Kristoffer REITAN (NOR) AM -12 T8 (Stoke By Nayland 1st)
Kurt KITAYAMA (USA) -9 T13 (Hardelot 1st – Winner)
Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) AM -7 T19 (Frilford 1st)

Will ENEFER (ENG) -6 T24 (Fleesensee 1st) 1st Alternate

DID NOT QUALIFY
Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) TURNED PRO 9/18 -4 T32 (The Players 1st)
Angel HIDALGO (ESP) TURNED PRO 10/18 -3 T35 (Bogogno 1st)
Cameron RAYMOND (IRE) +1 T47 (Bogogno 1st)
Vince VAN VEEN (NED) TURNED PRO 9/18 +2 T50 (Bogogno 1st)
Dan HEBENSTREIT (AUT) AM +3 T53 (Ebreichsdorf 1st)
Joshua WHITE (ENG) +4 T57 (Frilford 1st)
Maximilian LECHNER (AUT) AM +10 66th (Ebreichsdorf 1st)
Bradley MOORE (ENG) +15 67th (Stoke By Nayland 1st)
Bryden MACPHERSON (AUS) WD After Rd 3 on +11 (Ebreichsdorf 1st)

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3. EL ENCIN GOLF HOTEL, Madrid – 7,539 yards, Par 72

Click here for the full El Encin – Results

Entries – 74 players with 24 from GB&I (32%) started with 24 qualifying.

QUALIFIED
Josh GEARY (AUS) -17 WINNER
Toby TREE (ENG) -13 T6
Cormac SHARVIN (NI) -13 T6
Robin DAWSON (IRE) TURNED PRO 9/18 -13 T6
David BOOTE (WAL) -12 T14 (Frilford 1st)
Andrew WILSON (ENG) AM -11 T18 (Frilford 1st)

DID NOT QUALIFY
Joshua MCMAHON (ENG) AM -7 T31 (Stoke By Nayland 1st)
Lorenzo SCALISE (ITA) TURNED PRO 9/18 -5 T43 (Bogogno 1st)
Haydn MCCULLEN (ENG) -6 T35 (The Players 1st – Winner)
Casey WITTENBERG (USA) WD After Rd 3 on +5 (Ebreichsdorf 1st – Winner)

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4. ALENDA GOLF, ALICANTE – 6,843 yards, Par 72 

Click here for the full Alenda – Results

Entries – 73 players with 28 from GB&I (38%) started with 24 qualifying.

QUALIFIED
Joe DEAN (ENG) -15 WINNER
Jack MCDONALD (SCO) -12 T3 (Hardelot 1st)
Allen JOHN (GER) AM -12 T3 (Hardelot 1st)
Sebastian GARCIA RODRIGUEZ (ESP) -10 T8 (Bom Sucesso 1st – Winner)
Scott GREGORY (ENG) -10 T8 (The Players 1st)
Craig ROSS (SCO) -9 T12 (Fleesensee 1st)
Frederik DREIER (DEN) -6 T21 / Won in a 4 from 6 play-off (Fleesensee 1st – Winner)

DID NOT QUALIFY
Jack DAVIDSON (WAL) -6 T21 / Lost in a 4 from 6 play-off (Stoke By Nayland 1st)
Bradley NEIL (SCO) -5 T27
Ross CAMERON (SCO) -3 T33 (Ebreichsdorf 1st)
Marco PENGE (ENG) -3 T33 (The Players 1st)
Alfie PLANT (ENG) -3 T33 (Bogogno 1st)
Hunter STEWART (USA) -2 T39 (Bogogno 1st)
Ashton TURNER (ENG) -1 T46 (Frilford 1st)
Mike TOOROP (NED) AM Ev T50 (Hardelot 1st)
Richard MANSELL (ENG) +1 T54 (The Players 1st)
Nick POPPLETON (ENG) AM +2 T58 (Frilford 1st)
Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) +4 65th (Bom Sucesso 1st)
Perry COHEN (SUI) TURNED PRO 11/18 +11 70th (Ebreichsdorf 1st)

European Tour QS

THE 2018 EUROPEAN TOUR QUALIFYING SCHOOL SERIES

The European Tour Qualifying School was first played in 1976, four years after the European Tour was founded. What started out as a 72 hole test has grown into potentially a 252 hole marathon.

Nowadays there are three stages of stroke play qualifying, First, Second and Final.

This year the European Tour Q-School entrance fee has been increased to €2,000 (2017: €1,800).

First Stage

First Stage consists of eight 72 hole stroke play qualifying events split into four Sections, A, B, C and D.

Around 20% of each field, normally 15-30 players, progress from each event.

A 54-hole cut, where players need to be within 7 shots of the final allocated qualifying place, reduces the field for the final round. Ties for the final qualifying place at the end of play proceed too.

For a recap on the eight First Stage competitions played between 11th September and 12th October please read my earlier article – European Tour Q-School – 2018 First Stage Preview & Results

Second Stage

The Second Qualifying Stage consists of four separate 72-hole events that will be played at Desert Springs R&GC, Las Colinas G&CC, El Encin GH and Alenda Golf, all in Spain, concurrently on 2nd-5th November 2018.

El Encin GH on the outskirts of Madrid was announced as a replacement venue for Panoramica G&SR on 9th October. El Encin is a former host of the Madrid Masters and the Challenge Tour’s Challenge de Madrid. I assume Panoramica failed the final European Tour inspection given the late change.

Final Stage

The Final Qualifying Stage consists of 108 holes on the Lakes and Hills Courses at Lumine GC in Tarragona, Spain. Lumine replaced PGA Catalunya Resort in 2017 and will host Final Stage both the this year and in 2019. This competition will be played on 10th-15th November 2018.

The leading 25 players (and ties) from the 156 that will contest Final Stage will be eligible for membership of the European Tour and membership of the Challenge Tour for the 2018/19 season. The leading 70 players (and ties) who make the 72-hole cut will obtain a lower category memberships of the European Tour and the Challenge Tour. Those who miss the cut receive an even lower category membership of the Challenge Tour.

ME.

Copyright © 2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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

24th December 2017

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

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

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

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JANUARY

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

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

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

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

FEBRUARY

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

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

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

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

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

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Liam Johnston (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

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

Ben AMOR (ENG) turned Pro in February.

MARCH

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

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

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

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

APRIL

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

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

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

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: @GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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David Hague (Photo: Kevin Diss)

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

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

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

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

Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) turned Pro in May 2017.

JUNE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mark Power (Photo: Castleroy GC)

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

Kevin LE BLANC (IRE) turned Pro in June.

JULY

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

 

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 Alfie Plant (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_4962Jake Burnage (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

AUGUST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEPTEMBER

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

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

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The USA Walker Cup Team (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

OCTOBER

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

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

NOVEMBER

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

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

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

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

DECEMBER

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.