The Amateur Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

Saturday 18th June 2022

Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) won the 127th Amateur Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C., beating Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) 3&2 in the 36 hole Final.

Potgieter is the third South African winner after Bobby Cole at Carnoustie in 1966 and Jovan Rebula at Royal Aberdeen in 2018. He is also the second youngest winner in history after Matteo Manassero’s win at Formby in 2009 when he was just 16.

Talking to The R&A afterwards the new champion said “It’s really amazing. I can’t really find the words, there’s no feeling like it and I haven’t felt this good before. The words can’t even come out of my mind. On this golf course, going bogey-free on the first 18 holes was incredible for me. I played really well and everything worked out well. I knew Sam was going to do better than he did this morning. He didn’t play too well, but I knew he was going to come out strong. He wasn’t going to give up. I just had to play steady and keep my lead.”

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Aldrich Potgieter (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)

The 17 year old South African built a 7Up lead in the morning round with a near flawless display of golf and despite not playing as well in the afternoon was sufficiently composed to see out the match. On the few occasions he got out of position his short game and putting quickly got him back on track.

Bairstow was far from his best in the morning but with nothing to lose in the afternoon mounted a comeback. Having got himself to 2 Down with four holes to play it looked like he had a chance but problems off the tee on the 15th soon put an end to the feint hopes of the home supporters.

Potgieter was the deserved winner on the day and can now look forward to playing in The Open Championship next month and The Masters and the US Open Championship in 2023.

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Bairstow v. Potgieter Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Please click here to watch the – R&A Live YouTube Coverage – Final

Please click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Website

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Match Play Results

The 2023 Amateur Championship will be played just down England’s west coast at Hillside G.C. and Southport & Ainsdale G.C.

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Friday 17th June 2022

Semi-Finals

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) completed a memorable day’s work backing up his morning victory against Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) with a dominant performance against England teammate and in-form player John GOUGH (ENG). Gough surprisingly struggled down wind on the way out and being 6 Down turning for home meant it was just a matter of time before the two players would be shaking hands.

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Bairstow v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) beat Alex MAGUIRE (IRL) in the second Semi-Final. Maguire started with a string of bogeys which gave the young South African a buffer to work with for the rest of the match. With the recent Brabazon Trophy winner Christiaan Maas on his bag Potgieter played cautiously to eventually see out the match on the 17th green.

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Maguire v. Potgieter Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Quarter Finals

Neither Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) or Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) were at their very best this morning but served up what proved to be an exciting match play contest. Having lost a 3Up lead after 12 holes Bairstow showed his class by holing two lengthy putts on 17 and 18 to firmly close the door on his opponent.

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Bairstow v. Ludvig Hole-by-Hole Scores  (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) got off to a good start against England’s John GOUGH but handed the initiative back to his opponent around the turn where he lost four holes in a row. It appeared for a while as if Gough would run away with the match but O’Keeffe refused to be beaten and through superb putting kept the deficit down to manageable levels. Gough eventually birdied 16 after a good drive and then holed from off the green on 17, following in O’Keeffe who had birdied from 25 feet just moments earlier, to close out the game.

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O’Keeffe v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Ireland’s Alex MAGUIRE made the semi-finals after edging a tight match with Max CHARLES (AUS) by 2&1. The Irishman’s greater composure coming down Royal Lytham’s strong finish ultimately proved to be the difference in what was largely a scrappy affair.

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Charles v. Maguire Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

One could argue from looking at the scores that Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) played the steadiest golf of all this morning’s Quarter Finalists. At a course of Royal Lytham’s difficulty par will more often than not get the job done and that proved to be the case as Potgieter dealt with the breezy conditions much better than the more experienced Laurenz SCHIERGEN (GER). Whilst the German fought to the end he had simply given himself too much work to do having drifted to 5 Down after 12 holes.

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Aldrich v. Schiergen Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Please click here to watch the – R&A Live YouTube Coverage – Quarter Finals & Semi-Finals

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Thursday 16th June 2022

Round 4

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) played a very solid round of golf to secure the first place in tomorrow’s Quarter Finals. Unfortunately for Ireland’s Jack HEARN Round 4 proved to be a game too far with a few unforced errors making life relatively easy for the Sheffield man.

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Bairstow v. Hearn Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) got off to a dream start with two opening birdies and whilst he stumbled a little down the home straight Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) had given him too much of a head start to seriously threaten a comeback.

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Åberg v. McClean Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

All that fitness work is clearly paying off for Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) who held his nerve and produced some great golf down the stretch to reel in Frenchman Nathan LEGRANDE.

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Lengendre v. O’Keeffe Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

John GOUGH (ENG) prevailed against James ASHFIELD (WAL) in what was clearly the outstanding match of the afternoon session. Despite Gough throwing everything he had at him Ashfield showed real grit and refused to lie down. A 15 foot birdie putt on the 18th seems an appropriate way for such a competitive match to end.

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Ashfield v. Gough Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Perhaps it’s time to give the unheralded Australian Max CHARLES some respect and praise. What a week he is having on the Fylde Coast. Whilst Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) clearly struggled this afternoon Charles played well to secure a notable win against the 2019 Walker Cup man.

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Charles v. Rafferty Hole-bHole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Alex MAGUIRE (IRL) built up a strong lead over the opening nine holes against Jamie ROBERTS (SCO) and whilst the Scotsman fought back well he was able to see the match out with a par down the difficult 18th.

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Roberts v. Maguire Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Kyle DE BEER (RSA) holed a 20 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to take his match against compatriot Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) to extra holes but his celebration was short-lived, as Potgieter, who had enjoyed a 3Up lead after 5 holes, took the match on the 19th with a par 3. There were ten South African’s in the starting line up and if you had asked me to list them in order of likely performance at the outset Aldrich, despite some noteworthy performances in 2022, would have been 9th. Golf never ceases to surprise.

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Potgieter v. De Beer Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

A rising Sophomore at Kansas State, where he plays alongside Will Hopkins and Luke O’Neill who both also made match play, and winner of the 2018 Sir Henry Cooper Masters by 10-shots Laurenz SCHIERGEN (GER) is moving through the match play stage nicely. His win against Nevill RUITER (NED) this afternoon and the 2021 British Boy’s Amateur champion Jack Bigham this morning suggests he shouldn’t be under-estimated.

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Ruiter v. Schiergen Hole-by-Hole Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Round 3

English pair Sam BAIRSTOW and John GOUGH delivered the two biggest wins in Round 3. Bairstow took out medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) 6&4 whilst Gough carried on where he left off yesterday by thrashing former GB&I Walker Cupper Sandy SCOTT (SCO) 7&6.

Favourite Ludvig ÅBERG was made to work hard by his Swedish teammate Henrik LILJA only seeing him off with a 20 foot birdie on the 19th hole.

Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL), who has two time Irish Amateur open champion Colm Campbell on his bag, beat Archie DAVIES (WAL) by 3&2.

In the all Irish match Alex MAGUIRE beat Mark POWER by 2&1.

Nine of the Last 16 players will come from Great Britain and Ireland – and five from Ireland alone – after Jack HEARN (IRL), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL), James ASHFIELD (WAL), a semi-finalist last year, and Jamie ROBERTS (IRL) all beat overseas opponents in the morning series.

O’Keeffe is the only player remaining in the field who played in the Preliminary Round 1, i.e. he has played an additional 18 holes to everyone else he will now come up against.

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Match Play Round 3 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Wednesday 15th June 2022

Day 3 of the Amateur Championship saw near perfect weather conditions again and as a result there was some excellent play on show across the Royal Lytham links throughout the day.

Round 2

Medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) overcame home favourite Callan BARROW (ENG) with a narrow 1 Hole victory. Broomhead said afterwards “I’m very happy with the win. There is a bit of past history with the number one seed getting knocked out in this round. I played very nicely today but I did let a few things go towards the end and Callan made some good putts coming down the stretch. There were a lot of people walking with us and I know most of them were supporting Callan.”

Barclay BROWN (ENG), who had qualified in second place, didn’t fare so well. He was surprisingly brushed aside by Gustav FRIMODT (DEN) 4&3.

It was a good afternoon for the Irish with six of their representatives progressing to the Round of 32. Jack HEARN and Mark POWER perhaps had the pick of the wins given their opponents but Matt MCCLEAN, Peter O’KEEFFE, Caolan RAFFERTY and Alex MAGUIRE certainly made sure they did what was required to progress.

The Welsh contingent of James ASHFIELD, Luke HARRIES and Archie DAVIES all won their games. The highlight was Davies’ battling win against Denmark’s Kristian HJORT BRESSUM. Davies won the 18th to tie the match before scrambling his way to victory on the fourth extra hole after ‘dodging a number of bullets’ from his opponent who had already played 20 holes in his morning Preliminary Round 1 and was perhaps becoming fatigued.

John GOUGH (ENG) enjoyed the biggest win of the Round, destroying the highly ranked Frederik BIRKELUND (DEN) by 8&7.

However, it was generally not a good afternoon for the English who saw seven of their players lose. In addition to Gough their only other wins came from Sam BAIRSTOW, who secured a 1 Hole win when his opponent missed a short put on the 18th green, Joe HARVEY who overcame experienced Dutchman Jerry JI and Will HOPKINS who outstayed the largely unknown American Jack GNAM.

Scotland will have Sandy SCOTT and Jamie ROBERTS in the last 32. It was good to see Sandy back fully fit and producing some of the great golf we know he is capable of.

Of the overseas players Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), Christian BANKE (USA), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Kyle DE BEER (RSA) and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) look the most threatening after another day on the links.

Of the 15 players who came through the morning Preliminary Round 1 just four were able to win again in the afternoon. They were Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL), Matteo CRISTONI (ITA), Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED) and Gustav FRIMODT (DEN).

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Match Play Round 2 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Preliminary Round 1

With 79 players progressing from the Stroke Play Qualifying the lowest 30 players, i.e. those finishing in 50th to 79th place, were required to play in a Preliminary Round 1.

The 15 winners of Preliminary Round 1 then joine the highest finishers, i.e. those finishing in 1st to 49th place, in Round 2.

Royal Lytham member Callan BARROW (ENG) overcame Samuel SLATER (AUS) in the opening match of Preliminary Round 1 to provide medalist Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) were perhaps a tough assignment than he may have been expecting.

Last week’s St. Andrews links Trophy winner Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) saw his hopes of a famous double disappear when he lost a tight match with Jonas BAUMGARTNER (GER).

I would still prefer to see a play-off to resolve the 64th position and ties where the use of a Preliminary Round means a number of players are required to play another round and the Day 1 draw becomes convoluted for spectators as two rounds are played simultaneously.

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Match Play Preliminary Round 1 Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Tuesday 14th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 2

Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) earned medalist honours at The Amateur Championship with a 36 hole score of 135 (-7).

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Jonathan Broomhead’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Barclay BROWN (ENG) finished on the same score after a 65 (-7) at St. Annes Old Links, taking second place on count back.

After their last nine holes on both courses were the same (aggregate 69) it came down to the last six holes. Broomhead recorded a total score of 46, two better than Brown’s 48.

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Barclay Brown’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Third place went to Ireland’s Mark POWER (IRL) on 136 (-6) who matched the low score at St. Anne’s Old with his own 65 today.

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Mark Power’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Welshmen Archie DAVIES and Luke HARRIES both qualified strongly on -5. Harries should enter the match play stage with confidence after his 67 (-3) in Round 2 at Royal Lytham.

img_1912 Luke Harries’ Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

Sitting alongside the two Welshman on 137 (-5) were Nathan LEGRANDE (FRA), who rose 70 places on the leaderboard today with a 66 at St. Annes, and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE), who held steady with a solid even par 70 at Royal Lytham.

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), the Round 1 leader, found the going a little tougher at Royal Lytham. His 73 saw him finish in 8th place on -4.

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) were the leading English qualifiers, both finishing on 139 (+3), taking the 10th and 12th seeds respectively.

Christian BANKE (USA) finished 9th moving up 122 places after he posted the third 65 of the day, and the fourth in overall Qualifying, at St. Annes Old Links. Christian’s father Danke has travelled over with his son. Danke himself played in the Amateur Championship four times between 1982-1985 and was Stroke Play Qualifying medalist in both 1985 and 1986, the latter played at the same venues as this year.

Day 2 saw average scores of 73.88 (+3.88) at Royal Lytham [Round 1 75.40 (+5.40)] and 72.30 at St. Annes Old [Round 1 73.77 (+1.77)].

It was a perfect day for golf by the coast – the sun shone and a light breeze took the edge off the rising temperatures.

At the end of play 79 players on 143 (+1) or better made the 64 lowest scores and ties cut to advance to the match play stage.

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Stroke Play Qualifying Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Please click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Website

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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Monday 13th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 1

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) lived up to his billing as the highest ranked player in the field shooting a blemish free 65 (-7) at St. Annes Old Links (par 72).

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Ludvig Åberg’s Round 1 Scorecard

However, Jamie ROBERTS (SCO) arguably posted the best round of the day with a superb 66 (-4) at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (par 70) which included an eagle 2 on the par 4 13th and five other birdies.

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Jamie Roberts’ Round 1 Scorecard

Day 1 saw average scores of 75.40 (+5.40) at Royal Lytham and 73.77 (+1.77) at St. Annes Old, a 3.63 differential against par. Just three players in the current top 30 played their opening 18 holes at Royal Lytham.

Whilst it was dry, the winds were strong all day only abating late in the afternoon, thus giving the late starters an advantage.

Åberg leads Mathias LORENTZEN (DEN) -6 and Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) -5 after they shot a 66 and 67 at St. Annes Old.

Irish players enjoyed a good opening day at St. Annes Old with Paul COUGHLAN -4, Matt MCCLEAN -4, Jack HEARN -4 and Luke O’NEILL -3 all high up the leaderboard. Robert MORAN‘s 68 -2 at Royal Lytham was noteworthy too.

Åberg’s Texas Tech University teammates Sandy SCOTT and Calum SCOTT, the Scottish brothers, both shot 70’s (-2) at St. Annes Old Links.

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Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1 Leading Scores (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

As is always the case a number of competitors played themselves out of the Championship on the opening day, either doing too much damage at Royal Lytham or not giving themselves enough of a buffer from St. Annes Old.

Field Update

Following further withdrawals over the weekend eight additional players were called up from the Reserve List, set after Pre-Qualifying had finished. Kipp POPERT (ENG), who lost the 8-for-7 73 (+1) play-off and thus finished 31st, Matthew GAUNTLETT (ENG) 74 (+2) 32nd, Adam CHARLTON (ENG) 74 33rd, Taylor PAUL (ENG) 74 34th, Dominic BARRON HOLDEN (ENG) 74 35th, Timothy CHAN (HKG) 74 36th, James NASH (ENG) 74 38th and Carl BANNER (ENG) 75 (+3) 39th are all now in the starting field. Oscar DORAN (ENG) 73, who finished 37th must have declined his place.

Popert, who lives with a form of Cerebal Palsy, is understood to be the first golfer with a disability to compete in the Amateur Championship.

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Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Qualifier

Gregor TAIT (SCO) won the 18 hole Pre-Qualifying (PQ) competition which was played today at St. Annes Old Links. His 67 (-5) included eight birdies and three bogeys.

Ireland’s Charlie DENVIR finished second with a 68 (-4) and Jake BENSON (ENG) and Hannes HILBURGER (GER) tied third on -3.

Louis TALARCZYK (ENG)  71 -1 and Jamie VAN WYK (ENG) 72 Ev, both members of Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C., were amongst the players to progress.

72 players were competing for 30 spaces in the Amateur Championship which starts on Monday. It was a windy day on the Fylde Coast so the scoring was particularly good.

A minimum of 10 places were originally allocated to PQ by The R&A. However, as there had been 20 withdrawals from the main field, after the close of entries and prior to PQ starting, this number had increased to 30.

31 players ultimately finished on 73 (+1) or better. As eight of them were on +1 there was an 8-for-7 play-off to determine which player missed out.

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Pre-Qualifying Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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Wednesday 8th June 2022

The 127th Amateur Championship will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. and St. Annes Old Links in England between Monday 13th and Saturday 18th June 2022.

For the first time a Pre-Qualifying competition will also be staged. This will take place at St. Annes Old Links on Friday 10th June 2022.

The Amateur is the most prestigious amateur golf event played outside of the United States and without question the highlight of the Great British and Irish (GB&I) amateur season.

Championship Format

Stroke Play Qualifying

Two rounds of stroke play will be completed on Monday 13th June and Tuesday 14th June to determine the match play field.

Each contestant will play 18 holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. and St. Annes Old Links with three-ball tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm on both days.

The 64 lowest scores and ties for 64th place will advance to the match play stage. This is a change on last year’s format where a Round 2 card count back was used to break ties for 64th place.

Match Play Stage

The Match Play stage will be played between Wednesday 15th and Saturday 18th June and held solely at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

The decision to again take all ties through to match play will almost certainly necessitate a Preliminary Round 1 so that a proper 64 player Round 2 can take place. I believe a play-off, as used in the U.S. Amateur Championship, to determine a clean 64 for Round 1 would be a more efficient solution.

Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the Final which will be played over 36 holes. Any tied matches will continue into sudden death extra holes to determine a winner.

Pre-Qualifying

In a welcome change The R&A have this year introduced a Pre-Qualifying (PQ) event to offer some of the players not allocated an automatic place in the field an opportunity to earn one.

72 players will play 18 holes of stroke play at St. Annes Old Links on Friday 10th June. This field was made up of the 15 highest ranked WAGR players (cut off 1,478th) followed by a lowest handicap ballot for the remainder (cut off +3.6).

A minimum of 10 places are to be made available from PQ. However, additional spaces will become available if there are any withdrawals from the main field after the close of entries and prior to PQ starting.

Ties for the last qualifying place from PQ will be resolved via sudden death play-off.

Withdrawals following PQ and before the Championship commences will be handed to players on a card count back from PQ rather than any play-off results.

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. in 2012 (Photo: David Cannon / Getty Images / The R&A)

Click here to view the full – Amateur Championship Terms of Competition

Field

288 male amateur golfers will contest the Championship. With competitors coming from 42 different countries the 2022 Amateur will see a full international field return.

It is worth noting that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic only 120 and 144 competitors could be accommodated by The R&A in 2020 and 2021.

There were originally 585 entries, a record for the Championship.

278 competitiors were originally drawn from 1) a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections and 2) allocated to those highest ranked players 1st-2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 19 2022, i.e. the Wednesday 18th May release, and then via WHS Handicap index at the date of entry.

The remaining 10 players plus any players to cover for early Withdrawals and to create a Reserve List will be drawn from the Pre-Qualifying event discussed above. Current information suggests a total of 29 players may now come through the Qualifier into the starting line-up.

The defending champion Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) is playing in the U.S. Open Championship, using his exemption from Nairn, and turning pro immediately afterwards. He will be debuting in the BMW International Open in Germany on 23rd June.

Leading Players

Whilst is is never easy to predict anything in golf here are 20 players that I think could feature in the latter stages of the Championship and are worth watching as the week unfolds: –

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Paul BEAUVY (FRA), Kyle DE BEER (RSA), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), Rory FRANSSEN (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG), Connor GRAHAM (SCO), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Connor MCKINNEY (AUS), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Robert MORAN (IRL), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) Bård SKOGEN (NOR), Hugo TOWNSEND (SWE) and Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED).

Having won the Lytham Trophy last month John Gough will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sir Michael Bonallack by completing the double by winning the Amateur in the same year. He arrives with a 21 game unbeaten match play record so he will certainly start as a favourite.

Thailand’s highly ranked Ratchanon ‘TK’ Chantananuwat was invited to play in the LIV Golf Series and is warming up by playing in the Centurian event near London this week.

Host Courses

Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

7,060 yards / Par 70 / Slope Rating 147 / Course Rating 74.3

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Founded in 1886, Royal Lytham & St Annes is one of the premier links courses in the world, renowned for it’s superb bunkering.

It has hosted The Open on 11 occasions, the last one being in 2012, and The Ryder Cup twice in 1961 and 1977.

This will be the fifth Amateur Championship that the Club has staged. Previous champions at Lytham include Lawson Little (USA) in 1935, Joe Conrad (USA) in 1955, David Curry (WAL) in 1986 and Drew Weaver (USA) in 2007.

It has also hosted the prestigious Lytham Trophy since 1965, most recently won by England’s John GOUGH in May 2022, and memorably the 2015 Walker Cup match won by the GB&I Team.

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Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (Photo: Golf Bible)

St. Annes Old Links G.C.

6,875 yards / Par 72 / Slope Rating 143 / Course Rating 74.5

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Founded in 1901, St Anne’s Old Links is one of many fine championship links courses on England’s north west coast.

It has been used by The R&A as a Final Qualifying course for The Open on a number of occasions and is currently on the 2019-2022 rota.

Amongst numerous amateur Championships it staged the Boys’ Home Internationals in August 2017 which some of this year’s Amateur competitors will have played in.

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9th Green and Clubhouse, St. Annes Old Links G.C. (Photo: St. Annes Old Links G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Friday 10th June)

The weather forecast is very good for the Championship with largely dry conditions and moderate breezes expected: –

Fri 10th – Sunny. Wind 21mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Mon 13th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14mph W. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 16°C.
Tues 14th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 10 mph SW. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 17°C.
Wed 15th – Light Cloud. Wind 10 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Thu 16th – Light Cloud. Wind 13 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Fri 17th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14 mph SW. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.
Sat 18th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 14 mph W. Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 19°C.

Click here to view the – Latest BBC Weather Forecast For Lytham St. Annes

Tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm mean changes in the weather during the opening two days can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying competition.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties for this prize decided on the lowest aggregate score for the second nine holes on both courses (or the last six or three or one if necessary).

The winner of the match play stage will become the The Amateur Champion receiving the Championship Trophy and a Gold Medal.

The runner-up receives a Silver Medal and each losing semi-finalist a Bronze Medal.

The winner of The Amateur Championship, on the basis they remain an amateur, will receive the following exemptions / invitations into –

a) the 150th Open Championship being staged on the Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland in July 2022;

b) the 2023 U.S. Open Championship which will be held at The Los Angeles Country Club in California, venue of the 2017 Walker Cup match;

c) the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C.; and

d) a DP World Tour event to be determined.

The other Semi-Finalists, on the basis they are still an amateur, will receive an invitation to compete in a Challenge Tour event to be determined.

The other Quarter Finalists, on the basis they are still an amateur, will receive exemptions into Final Qualifying for The 150th Open Championship.

More Information

Click here to view the – R&A Amateur Championship Official Website

2021 Amateur Championship

23 year old Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) won the 2021 Amateur Championship at Nairn G.C. to become the 52nd Englishman to lift the famous silver trophy.

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Laird Shepherd (Photo: The Nairn G.C.)

In a second consecutive all-English Final Shepherd, a graduate of Stirling University and now a St. Andrews resident, beat Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) on the 38th Hole. Shepherd was 8-Down on the 18th tee in the morning round and 4-Down with four holes to play before completing an astonishing comeback.

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Monty Scowsill v. Laird Shepherd – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

In the earlier Semi-Finals Shepherd beat Jack DYER (ENG) by 1-Hole and Scowsill overcame James ASHFIELD (WAL) by 2-Holes.

The losing Quarter Finalists were John PATERSON (SCO), Calum SCOTT (SCO), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) and Olly HUGGINS (ENG).

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship Match Play Results

Experienced Scottish International Matthew CLARK secured medalist honours in the Stroke Play Qualifying competition. The highlight being his bogey free course record 62 (-9) in Round 2.

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Matthew Clark’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

As is the way of the golfing gods Clark inevitability slipped to a 5&4 defeat to Mason ESSAM (ENG) in Round 1 of the Match Play Stage.

A Round 2 card count back was used by The R&A for the first time to ensure a clean 64 player match play draw could be made. The cut came on 148 (+6). 16 players achieved this score with nine of them missing out due to the new rule.

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

The 2021 Championship was originally due to be co-hosted by The Nairn G.C. and Nairn Dunbar G.C. but due to the continuing impact of COVID-19 the R&A took the decision, as they did in 2019, to play the Championship solely at Nairn with a reduced field. With the Walker Cup having also been played prior to the event in May 2021 this was possibly the weakest field ever assembled for the Championship.

For more information on this championship please click here – The Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results Article

A Short History of The Amateur

The Amateur Championship was first played in April 1885 at Royal Liverpool G.C. Allan Macfie (SCO) was the first champion beating Horace Hutchinson (ENG) 7&6 in the Final.

Up until the Second World War it was a hugely prestigious event and in many of these early years was afforded a much higher standing in the game than The Open Championship. Players like Johnny Ball (ENG), Harold Hilton (ENG) and Freddie Tait (SCO) were all amateurs and as good if not better than most of the professionals of the day.

With only modest rewards available in the professional game many of the better players simply stayed amateur. The great American Bobby Jones, who won The Amateur in 1930 on the way to his Grand Slam, remains the most well known career amateur.

Even after the war players remained amateur for much longer and famous names like Frank Stranahan (USA), Joe Carr (IRE), Sir Michael Bonallack (ENG) and Peter McEvoy (ENG) all built their reputations on Amateur Championship wins.

With the growth and transformation of the professional game from the early 1980s onwards both the better players and the media increasingly started to turn their backs on the amateur game.

Save for exceptional cases like Gary Wolstenholme (ENG) all continuity has been lost over the last 30 years and most of the young golfing stars of today rarely play any more than 2 or 3 Amateurs before being lured into the pro ranks by the potentially huge rewards on offer.

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The Amateur Championship Trophy (Photo: The Nairn G.C.) 

Past Winners

The greatest player in the history of The Amateur is Johnny Ball. The Hoylake man won the Championship a record 8 times between 1888 and 1912.

Only three other players have won the competition more than twice; Sir Michael Bonallack (5), Harold Hilton (4) and Joe Carr (3). Bonallack amazingly won it three years in a row between 1968-1970. The last person to retain The Amateur was Peter McEvoy in 1977 and ’78.

Prior to Laird Shepherd’s win in 2021 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

2020 Joe Long (ENG) – Royal Birkdale G.C.
2019  James Sugrue (IRL) – Portmarnock G.C.
2018  Jovan Rebula (RSA) – Royal Aberdeen G.C.
2017  Harry Ellis (ENG) – Royal St. George’s G.C.
2016  Scott Gregory (ENG) – Royal Porthcawl G.C.
2015  Romain Langasque (FRA) – Carnoustie G.L.
2014  Bradley Neil (SCO) – Royal Portrush G.C.
2013  Garrick Porteous (ENG) – Royal Cinque Ports G.C.
2012  Alan Dunbar (IRL) – Royal Troon G.C.
2011  Bryden Macpherson (AUS) – Hillside G.C.

A great achievement and honour for all of the players listed above. However, looking through the names reminds us of how incredibly tough golf is and that wins in the biggest amateur events are no guarantee of success in the professional game.

Click here to view a complete list of – Past Amateur Championship Winners

Click here to view a complete list of – Past Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Medalists

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, 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.