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.

European Tour Q-School – 2017 First Stage Preview & Results

September / October 2017

The First Stage QSchool Results can be found at the bottom of this article.

The 2017 European Tour Qualifying School started on Tuesday 12th September.

A new Far East First Stage Qualifying competition had been scheduled to be played at Saujana G&CC in Malaysia on 5th September. However, the Tour cancelled this on 23rd August due to a lack of interest.

The First Qualifying Stage consisted of eight separate 72-hole events which were split into four Sections, A, B, C and D. The final Section D events of the series came to a conclusion on 6th October.

There were 54-hole cuts at each of these Qualifiers. Only those players who were within 7 shots of the final allocated qualifying place at this point played the final rounds.

2017 saw a record First Stage entry with a total of 838 competitors signing up. 45 countries were represented with England contributing the most with 211 players.

The leading five Q-School entrants as at 23rd August 2017, up to a limit of 15th place, in the World Amateur Golf Rankings were exempted into the Second Stage. This year Scott GREGORY (ENG), Connor SYME (SCO) and Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) were therefore not required to contest the First Stage.

The European Tour Q-School entrance fee is €1,800. Each First Stage Qualifier has a prize fund of €5,000 with the winner being allocated €1,800.

At the end of the series 176 players were allocated places in Second Stage. That’s 21% of the entries received.

The Second Qualifying Stage consists of four separate 72-hole events that will be played concurrently in Spain on 3rd-6th November 2017.

The Final Qualifying Stage consists of 108 holes at Lumine GC which has taken over from PGA Catalunya Resort this year. This competition will be played on 11th-16th November 2017.

As in previous years I am following the Q-School series, specifically focussing on the amateur and recently turned pro entries from Great Britain & Ireland.

Check out all the First Stage results below: –

European Tour QS

FIRST QUALIFYING STAGE RESULTS

SECTION D – BOGOGNO GOLF CLUB, ITALY (3-6 October)

QUALIFIED (24 players at -7 or better)

No GB&I AM / new PRO qualifiers

DID NOT QUALIFY

Richard MANSELL (ENG)  T25 (-6)
Seb CROOKALL-NIXON (ENG)  T83 MC
Owen EDWARDS (WAL)  T96 MC

Click here for the full – Bogogno Q-School Results

SECTION D – FRILFORD HEATH GC, ENGLAND (3-6 October)

QUALIFIED (20 players at -2 or better)

Joe DEAN (ENG)  3rd (-7)
Colin FAIRWEATHER (NI)  T5 (-4)
David BOOTE (WAL)  T10 (-3)
Sam HORSFIELD (ENG)  T10 (-3)
Dermot MCELROY (IRE)  T10 (-3)
Jonathan THOMSON (ENG)  T19 (-2)
Henry SHERIDAN-MILLS (ENG)  T19 (-2)

DID NOT QUALIFY

Kyle MCCLATCHIE (RSA) AM  T21 (-1)
Conor O’ROURKE (IRE)  T21 (-1)
Paul KINNEAR (ENG)  T24 (Ev)
Adam CHAPMAN (ENG)  T29 (+1)
Alex STUBBS (ENG) AM  T29 (+1)
Billy SPOONER (ENG)  T37 (+3)
Craig LAWRIE (SCO)  T42 (+4)
Harrison ENDYCOTT (AUS) AM  T42 (+4)
Travis SMYTH (AUS) AM  T49 (+5)
Dan BROWN (ENG) AM  T58 (+7)
Tomasz ANDERSON (ENG)  T65 MC
Cameron MORALEE (RSA) AM  T65 MC
Stuart GREHAN (IRE)  T65 MC
Luke TURBETT AM  T71 MC
Patrick RUFF (ENG)  T73 MC
Ben AMOR (ENG)  T79 MC
Freddie SHERIDAN-MILLS (ENG)  T92 MC
Kevin LE BLANC (IRE)  97th MC

Click here for the full – Frilford Heath Q-School Results

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SECTION C – HARDELOT, FRANCE (26-29 September)

QUALIFIED (21 players at -6 or better)

No GB&I AM / new Pro qualifiers

DID NOT QUALIFY

Ben ROBINSON (ENG)  T64 MC
Callum MACKAY (ENG) AM  T92 MC

Click here for the full – Hardelot Q-School Results

SECTION C – RIBAGOLFE, PORTUGAL (26-29 September)

QUALIFIED (24 players at -7 or better)

Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG)  T3 (-12)
Jack DAVIDSON (WAL)   T9 (-10) 
Alfie PLANT (ENG)  T15 (-8)

DID NOT QUALIFY

Robin DAWSON (WAL) AM  T33 (-3)
Albert VENTER (RSA)  T51 (+2)
Jamie BOWER (ENG)  T78 MC

Click here for the full – Ribagolfe Q-School Results

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SECTION B – STOKE BY NAYLAND GOLF & SPA, ENGLAND (19-22 September)

QUALIFIED (20 players at -3 or better)

Dan BROWN (Yorkshire, ENG)  5th (-7)
Josh HILLEARD (ENG) AM  T6 (-6)

DID NOT QUALIFY

Ashton TURNER (ENG)  T21 (-2)
Will ENEFER (ENG)  T33 (+1)
James WALKER (ENG) AM  T33 (+1)
Evan GRIFFITH (WAL)  T43 (+3)
Jay BEISSER (ENG) AM  T45 (+4)
Oliver CLARKE (ENG)  T49 (+5)
Tom GANDY (IOM)  T52 (+6)
Jack YULE (ENG) AM  T60 (+10)
Lewis PEARCE (ENG) AM  T72 MC
Jordan FORSTER (ENG) AM  T84 MC
Delon HAU (ENG) AM  T94 MC

Click here for the full – Stoke By Nayland Q-School Results

SECTION B – EBREICHSDORF GC, AUSTRIA (19-22 September)

QUALIFIED (22 players at -4 or better)

No GB&I AM / new PRO qualifiers

Click here for the full – Ebreichsdorf Q-School Results

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SECTION A – FLEESENSEE G&CC, GERMANY (12-15 September)

QUALIFIED (23 players at -1 or better)

Craig ROSS (SCO)  T2 (-9)

Click here for the – Fleesensee Q-School Results

SECTION A – ROXBURGHE HOTEL & GC, SCOTLAND (12-15 September)

QUALIFIED (22 players at -5 or better)

Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) AM  T4 (-9)
Craig HOWIE (SCO) AM  T8 (-7)
Jamie CLARE (ENG) AM  T8 (-7)
JR GALBRAITH (IRE) AM  T11 (-6)

DID NOT QUALIFY

Will WHITEOAK (ENG)  T27 (-3)
Sean TOWNDROW (ENG)  T47 (+2)
George BLOOR (ENG) AM  T76 MC
Tom DOLAN (ENG) AM  T76 MC
Chris MACLEAN (SCO) AM  T82 MC
Bradley MOORE (ENG)  T100 MC
Marco PENGE (ENG)  RETIRED AFTER RD 1 MC

Click here for the – Roxburghe Q-School Results

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2017 Preview, Reports & Results

28th May 2017 – Round 4 Report

South Africa’s Kyle MCCLATCHIE today celebrated his 20th birthday by winning the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship and lifting the famous Brabazon Trophy.

Kyle shot 71 (-2) today with five birdies, including one on the last, offsetting three bogeys. His -10 score was good enough for a narrow 1-shot win.

He follows in the footsteps of four previous South African winners of the Brabazon Trophy – Neville Sundelson (1974), Richard Kaplan (1986), Craig Rivett (1989T) and Charl Schwartzel (2002).

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Kyle McClatchie (Photo: Ernest Blignault)

If that wasn’t enough the victory also took McClatchie to the top of the Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR). He is the first South African to hold the No. 1 spot in this ranking. However, with the NCAA Division I National Championships currently being played this status is likely to be short lived (at least for the time being).

Jamie STEWART (SCO), Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) all finished on -9 to tie for second place.

Jamie Stewart had a superb weekend shooting the lowest two scores on both days. He followed yesterday’s 67 (-6) with a 68 (-5) today. Having dropped two shots in his first three holes he reeled off 7 unblemished birdies over his remaining 15 holes. He will surely take huge confidence from a 5 birdie 32 on his finishing 9 holes.

Jake Burnage continued his rich vein of form too. Having finished 3rd at the Lytham Trophy he put together a very consistent 71, 70, 70 and 72 at Woodhall Spa. I was particularly impressed with his three birdies in a row finish in the heat of battle. He has moved up to 98th in the SPWAR and must now firmly be in the GB&I Walker Cup mix.

Jack Singh Brar also shot 72 for another excellent finish in 2017. He continues to look in complete control of both himself and his golf game.

Matthew JORDAN (ENG) shot a final round 70 (-3) to finish 5th. He has now finished in the Top 10 at the Lytham Trophy, Irish Amateur Open and the Brabazon in the last month which clearly tells you he is starting to fulfil his potential and that he now sits firmly amongst our finest amateurs.

It was also good to see Dan BROWN (ENG) finish in 6th place after rounds of 72, 68, 75 and 72. Hopefully he can use this as momentum to put together a string of good results in the coming weeks.

David BOOTE (WAL) finished 7th and Connor SYME (SCO) tied 8th. Both started poorly today but showed their experience in grinding out good scores at the end of the day. Boote was 4-over after 5 holes before securing 4 birdies on the way back home to record a very creditable par 73. Syme (71) was 2-over after 3 holes before he turned his day around with 3 birdies and an eagle on the par 5 14th.

Both Boote and Syme will travel south tonight to Walton Heath GC to join the other three amateurs competing in tomorrow’s 36 hole US Open Sectional Qualifying event. Good luck to them all.

Click here to see the full Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

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27th May 2017 – Round 3 Report

After another windy day at Woodhall Spa Jake BURNAGE (70), Jack SINGH BRAR (74) and Kyle MCCLATCHIE (75) share the 54 hole lead on -8.

The trio have a 4 shot lead over a group of five players on -4. Jamie STEWART (67) and Matthew JORDAN (68) produced the best two scores of the day to join David BOOTE (72), Conor O’ROURKE (72) and Dan BROWN (75) as the leading chasers.

Having played in Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Harry GODDARD‘s disrupted preparation and long journey up to Lincolnshire haven’t affected his performance. Rounds of 72, 70 and 74 (-3) have left him in striking distance with 18 holes to play.

David HAGUE (73 73 71 -2), who won the Laguna Trophy so impressively last week, continues to creep up the leaderboard too. He’ll start the final day in tied 12th place.

After his disappointing 78 in the opening round Connor SYME recorded his second successive 70 to move up to -1 and tied 16th place.

ME.

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26th May 2017 – Round 2 Report

South Africa’s Kyle MCCLATCHIE matched the best round of the week (66) to move into the 36-hole lead on -10 on a pleasant but windy day at Woodhall Spa.

Craig ROSS (67) and Jack SINGH BRAR (70) are tied for 2nd place on -9.

Dan BROWN (68), Mitch WAITE (69) and Tom THURLOWAY (69) all enjoyed good days and went into the weekend nicely placed in the top 10.

A little further down the leaderboard just three other players broke 70 on Day 2. Rowan LESTER (67), David BOOTE (69) and Alisdair MCDOUGALL (69).

The 36 hole cut saw 63 players on +4 and lower qualify for the final 36 holes on Saturday and Sunday.

Ben CHAMBERLAIN (76 75 / +5) just missed the cut but left Lincolnshire with the consolation of having scored the Championship’s fifth hole-in-one on the 5th hole.

Josh HILLEARD (74 77 +5), Robin DAWSON (68 83 +5), Marco PENGE (79 73 +5), Owen EDWARDS (74 78 +6), Colm CAMPBELL (73 79 +6), Charlie STRICKLAND (75 80 +9), Charlie THORNTON (75 81 +10) and Liam JOHNSTON (79 77 +10) were amongst the more notable, in form players to miss the cut.

ME.

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25th May 2017 – Round 1 Report 

Playing in near perfect conditions a course record 66 (-7) gave Braintree’s Todd CLEMENTS the Round 1 lead at the Brabazon Trophy. His only bogey came on the par 4 2nd hole before he reeled off eight birdies including six on the back nine to finish with an inward score of just 31.

Clements’ 31 was matched by Jack SINGH BRAR the recent winner of the Lytham Trophy. Jack had just the one bogey in his round of 67 (-6) on the tough Woodhall Spa heathland course.

Frenchman Alexandre FUCHS (-6) is tied second having hit something of a purple patch on Woodhall’s fourth and fifth holes. His 2-1 scores, two eagles and four under the card, clearly went along way to making him the the early clubhouse leader in Round 1.

Robin DAWSON, Robert MACINTYRE and Jacob OAKLEY followed Fuchs in on the short 5th, playing 163 yards to a back pin. Amazingly four holes-in-one were recorded on this hole during round 1. Dawson and MacIntyre went on to deliver 68’s (-5) and therefore were tied 4th after Day 1.

Other players to make solid starts to this 72-hole stroke play championship included Craig ROSS (-3), George BLOOR (-3), Alfie PLANT (-2), James WALKER (-2), Jake BURNAGE (-2), Kevin LE BLANC (-2), Conor O’ROURKE (-2), John Ross GALBRAITH (-2), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-1), Jack DAVIDSON (-1), Daniel BROWN (-1) and Matthew JORDAN (-1) all of whom are nicely placed in the Top 25.

England international Bradley MOORE withdrew after 10 holes.

ME.

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21st May 2017

The English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Woodhall Spa Golf Club this coming week.

The 71st playing of this event takes place between Thursday 25th and Sunday 28th May on the Lincolnshire Club’s Hotchkin Course.

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Woodhall Spa G.C. (Photo: WoodhallSpaGolf.com)

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

150 competitors will start the 2017 Championship.

The 2017 start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – Brabazon Trophy Start Sheet.

88 players were exempted into the field based on their previous accomplishments with 62 coming through a qualifying process.

Two Qualifying Competitions were held last week; the North at Sandiway G.C. in Cheshire and the South at Littlestone G.C. in Kent, with 31 players progressing from each one.

Sam BROADHURST (-5) of Atherstone G.C. was the medalist at Sandiway. Click here to view the full North Qualifier Results

Matt TURNER (-5) from Burnham & Berrow G.C. led the qualifiers at Littlestone. Click here to view the full South Qualifier Results

16 of the 21 Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup Squad players will be competing at the Brabazon. These are David BOOTE (WAL), Dan BROWN (ENG), Colm CAMPBELL (IRE), Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Owen EDWARDS (WAL), Alex GLEESON (IRE), Craig HOWIE (SCO), Bradley MOORE (ENG), Robert MACINTYRE (SCO), Conor O’ROURKE (IRE), Marco PENGE (ENG), Alfie PLANT (ENG), Craig ROSS (SCO), Connor SYME (SCO) and James WALKER (ENG).

Sandy SCOTT (SCO) had entered but withdrew before play commenced.

Barry HUME (SCO), Stuart GREHAN (IRE), Scott GREGORY (ENG) and Paul MCBRIDE (IRE) are the four that are missing. Gregory is playing in The Memorial Tournament and US Open Championship in early June so has travelled over to USA this week.

Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG), who by rights should also be in the Squad based on their 2017 performances, are also competing at Woodhall Spa.

Other players on show who have been doing well this year and could easily feature at the top of the scoreboard are Jake BURNAGE (ENG), David HAGUE (ENG), Josh HILLEARD (ENG), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Chris MACLEAN (SCO), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG), Charlie THORNTON (ENG) and Sean TOWNDROW (ENG).

In 2016 the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) listed the Brabazon Trophy as it’s 24th most important amateur competition in the world based on the strength of it’s field.

Prizes

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

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The Brabazon Trophy and Other Prizes (Photo: London Golf Club)

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

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 24th and 25th June).

Woodhall Spa Golf Club

Situated in Lincolnshire Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin course is one of England’s finest heathland layouts.

From the blue Championship tees it plays to 7,080 yards with a par of 73. Here is the scorecard: –

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* The 12th has been extended to 176 yards since the above card photo was taken so the course now plays to 7,084 yards in total.

Golf in Woodall Spa dates back to 1890 with the Hotchkin opening for play in 1905. Harry Vardon (1902), Harry Colt (1911) and the Hotchkin Family (1920-1995) all playing a part in the course’s development since.

The Hotchkin family sold the facilities to the English Golf Union in 1995. Over time an impressive National Golf Centre has been developed with a second course, The Bracken, also opened in 1998.

The Hotchkin Course is currently in the middle of a three year refurbishment programme by Renaissance Golf, with the work being overseen by their acclaimed lead architect Tom Doak.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at Tuesday 23rd May) is currently positive for all four competition days.

Thu 25th May – Sunny / Wind 4 mph N / Temp. Min. 12°C, Max. 22°C.
Fri  26th May – Sunny / Wind 10 mph SE / Temp. Min. 12°C, Max. 21°C.
Sat  27th May – Sunny / Wind 12 mph SE / Temp. Min. 15°C / Min 24°C.
Sun 28th May – Cloudy / Wind11 mph SE / Temp. Min. 12°C / Max. 21°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.

The 2016 Brabazon Trophy

Jamie BOWER won the Brabazon Trophy last year at the London Golf Club with a total score of -12. He pipped Cameron DAVIS (-11) on the final green after a rain delay with Ryan LUMSDEN (-10) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-9) finishing third and fourth respectively.

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Jamie Bower (Photo: London Golf Club)

Click this link to view the 2016 Brabazon Trophy results – 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.

Here is a list of all of the past winners, their scores and the Championship venues: –

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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).

There have been several overseas winners over the years. South African’s Neville SUNDELSON (1974), Richard KAPLAN (1986) and Charl SCHWARTZEL (2002) have all won.  Other notable European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Lytham Trophy – 2017 Preview & Results

Sunday 7th May 2017 – Round 4 Report

Jack SINGH BRAR won the 2017 Lytham Trophy on an exciting final day at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.

Whilst a two shot wire-to wire win looks reasonably comfortable on paper the afternoon final round was far from straight forward for the Remedy Oak based Englishman.

With the wind picking up Singh Brar quickly saw his four shot 54-hole lead evaporate. Two doubles and a bogey led to an outward 39 and when he bogeyed the short 10th it appeared he maybe opening the door for the chasing pack. It was to his credit that he pulled himself together and parred the remaining holes, save for the 17th where a birdie – he holed out from a bunker – gave him some breathing space to play the finishing hole.

Jack Singh Brar (Photo: @Golfing4Life_)

Charlie STRICKLAND, 18 later this month, continued his rich vein of form with an impressive 2nd place finish. A final round 73, with a bogey on the last, represented another excellent result for the Ham Manor player.

Making it an England 1-2-3 was Saunton’s Jake BURNAGE. Burnage won the Hampshire Hog a couple of weeks ago and showed with a consistent final day pair of 72’s at Lytham that he is increasingly a player to be reckoned with in 2017.     

Earlier in the afternoon, with Singh Brar hitting reverse, it looked like William WHITEOAK may set an unbeatable clubhouse target. Standing on the 17th tee on +9 he unfortunately finished 5-7 to drift out to +13 and a 6th place finish that could clearly have been much better.

Other players to finish strongly with good final rounds included Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 70 / +15 (7th),  Sam DONE (ENG) 71 / +15 (8th) and Owen EDWARDS (WAL) 71 / +15 (9th).

The best final round scores came from England’s George BLOOR (+17) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (+17) both shot 69’s (-1) to secure Top 20 finishes.

In what was generally a disappointing event for our leading players Welsh pair Owen EDWARDS (+15 / 9th) and Jack DAVIDSON (+16 / 14th) were the two highest finishers of the 18 GB&I Walker Cup squad players competing.

The average score fell to it’s lowest level in Round 4 – 73.8. The CSS was 75.

Round 4 Start Sheet / Round 4 Results / Final Results

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Sunday 7th May 2017 – Round 3 Report

Jack SINGH BRAR (72 / +3) took a 4-shot lead over Charlie STRICKLAND (71 / +7) and Simon RICHARDSON (73 / +7) into the afternoon final round.

Today’s ‘star pairing’ of Robert MACINTYRE (70 / +9) and Jack DAVIDSON (72 / +11) both did well in Round 3 moving up the standings.

Jamie STEWART (+12) recovered some of the ground he lost yesterday with a 71, finishing with 13 straight pars.

Early starters William WHITEOAK (+10) and Todd CLEMENTS (+12) showed that good scores were going to be possible. The English pair recorded rounds of 69 and 70 respectively in Round 3.

The average score from the 42 qualifiers in Rd 3 was 75.2 with the CSS being 76.

Round 3 Start Sheet / Round 3 Results

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Saturday 6th May 2017 – Round 2 Report

Jeff WRIGHT produced a 67, ultimately the best round of the week, to move into a share of the lead on +1 with first round leader Jack SINGH BRAR (73).

On a slightly easier day the average score in Round 2 was 75.8 and the CSS 76.

Simon RICHARDSON (ENG) shot only the third under par round of the competition. His 69 lifting him in to third place on +4.

Charlie STRICKLAND, recent winner of both the Duncan Putter and U18 Peter McEvoy Trophy, recorded a second 73 to remain firmly in the mix on 146 (+6).

Tom SLOMAN (78, 70), Jack DAVIDSON (79, 70), Dan BROWN (78, 71) and Llew MATTHEWS (78, 71) showed admirable toughness in bouncing back from high first round scores to move into the Top 15.

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) is also tied 12th on +9 after he followed an opening 76 with a 73.

The cut fell at +12 with 42 players qualifying for the final day’s 36 holes. 13 of the 18 Walker Cup squad players competing missed the cut.

Round 2 Start Sheet / Round 2 Results

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Friday 5th May 2017 – Round 1 Report

Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) produced a superb round of 68 (-2) to take the early lead at Royal Lytham & St. Annes GC.

To put this round in context the average score from the 144 players who teed off was 79.9 and the CSS was 79. Whilst it was dry the offshore easterly wind proved challenging particularly on the outward nine holes.

Matthew CLARK (SCO) was second after an even par 70 and in form Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) third after his 73. A group of seven players, including Scottish trio Jeff WRIGHT, Liam JOHNSTON and Jamie STEWART, were tied for fourth after shooting 74 (+4).

Round 1 Start Sheet / Round 1 Results

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26th April 2017

The Lytham Trophy, played annually at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C., is the first major event in the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf season.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (Photo: Brian Young)

In 2016 the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) ranked it the 13th most important amateur competition in the world based on the strength of it’s field. It normally ranks 3rd in GB&I behind the Amateur Championship and the St. Andrews Links Trophy. I anticipate the 2017 field will be slightly weaker than recent years but will remain in the top 20 in the world in quality terms.

The famous links course certainly presents a stern test. Playing off the blue championship tees competitors have to meet a 7,118 yard par 70 challenge; the front nine being 3,437 yards, a par 34, and the back nine being 3,681 yards, a par 36.

The Lytham Trophy is a 72-hole stroke play event. 18 holes are played on the first two days before a top 40 and ties cut is made. 36-holes are then played on the final day by the leading competitors.

In the event of a tie for the lowest score there is a 3-hole stroke play play-off on holes 1, 2 and 18. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes. The Winner receives a silver replica of the Lytham Trophy, both of which are shown below.

Lytham Trophies

The Lytham Trophy and the Winner’s Replica (Photo: Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.)

The 2017 Lytham Trophy

This year’s Lytham Trophy will be played between Friday 5th May and Sunday 7th May.

144 scratch golfers from 16 different countries have paid the £90 entry fee and will tee off in what will be the 53rd playing of this prestigious competition.

The 2017 start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – Lytham Trophy Start Sheet.

Most of GB&I’s leading amateur golfers will be competing. Here is a list of some players showing some early season form as well as those who I expect to do well (SPWAR rankings as at 26th April): –

David BOOTE (WAL) – SPWAR 31st
David has finished tied 4th in the Portuguese Int. Amateur and tied 10th in the European Nations Cup this year.

Daniel BROWN (ENG) – SPWAR 148th
After some encouraging results in South Africa Dan will be looking to make a strong push for a Walker Cup spot.

Jack DAVIDSON (WAL) – SPWAR 75th
GB&I’s star player this season with wins in both the Spanish Int. Amateur and European Nations Cup.

Robin DAWSON (IRE) – SPWAR 45th
Runner up three times this season already at the South African SP, Cape Province Open and European Nations Cup.

Owen EDWARDS (WAL) – SPWAR 282nd
Owen followed up his tied 10th finish at the European Nations cup by recently winning the West of England SP at Saunton GC.

Alex GLEESON (IRE) – SPWAR 127th
The reigning Irish Amateur Close champion has performed well in Argentina and South Africa in 2017.

Stuart GREHAN (IRE) – SPWAR 59th
Stuart won the R&A Foundation Scholars event at St. Andrews a few weeks ago following up solid early season performances in both South Africa and Europe.

Scott GREGORY (ENG) – SPWAR 46th
The 2016 Amateur champion has continued his good form into 2017 already winning both the New Sales Wales Amateur and Georgia Cup.

Craig HOWIE (SCO) – SPWAR 52nd
Winner of the 2017 Criagmillar Park Open in Scotland last weekend, Craig is due a big win soon.

Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) – SPWAR 55th
The 2017 African Amateur champion will be keen to get his European season up and running with a big Lytham performance.

Bradley MOORE (ENG) – SPWAR 226th
Bradley will be looking for a big result in this Walker Cup year. What better place than Lytham where he has form; 8th here in 2015 and tied 2nd in 2016.

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) – SPWAR 32nd
Robert has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Amateur and finished tied 7th in the European Nations Cup this year.

Marco PENGE (ENG) – SPWAR 88th
Finalist at both the New South Wales Amateur and Spanish International Amateur this year. On his day capable of beating anyone.

Alfie PLANT (ENG) – SPWAR 79th
After an impressive 2016 the defending champion (see below) has made a slowish start to 2017. He will be looking to get back on track at a course he will have happy memories of.

Craig ROSS (SCO) – SPWAR 124th
The 2016 South African Amateur Champion again wintered well and looks to be coming into form nicely after a tied 4th place at the recent Battle Trophy at Crail GS.

Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) – SPWAR 102nd
Jack is making a big move in 2017. After a string of fine results in Australia his continued good form culminated in a win at the Hampshire Salver earlier in April.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) – SPWAR 295th
Charlie delivered two wins in a week in April; he quickly followed the Duncan Putter with the Peter McEvoy Trophy (U18).

Connor SYME (SCO) – SPWAR 16th
After top 10s in the African Amateur and European Nations Cup Connor recently won the Battle Trophy back home.

Barry HUMEPaul MCBRIDE and Sandy SCOTT are the only two members of the 2017 GB&I Walker Cup squad who are not competing. MCBRIDE and SCOTT are obviously still committed to Wake Forest and Texas Tech as the US College season comes to a close.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at Thursday 3rd May) is positive for all three days.

Fri  5th May – Sunny / Wind 17 mph E / Temp. Min. 7°C, Max. 15°C.
Sat  6th May – Cloudy / Wind 13 mph E / Temp. Min. 7°C / Min 13°C.
Sun 7th May – Sunny / Wind 7 mph NW / Temp. Min. 5°C / Max. 15°C.

Like The Open Championship players will tee off between 7.30am and 3.40pm on Friday and Saturday so changes in the weather and wind speeds throughout the first two days may very well play a big part in the scoring.

The 2016 Lytham Trophy

Alfie PLANT won the Lytham Trophy by 7-shots with a +4 total score. He led from the front after following up an opening round 67 with a 73, 74 and 70.

Alfie Plant Lytham Trophy 2016 Photo 2

Alfie Plant (Photo: Darren Plant)

Click this link to view the 2016 Lytham Trophy results – Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The competition was first played in 1965 after the Club identified a need for a new top class amateur competition and one that could be played in the North of England.

A date on the first weekend in May was established and a 72 hole stroke play format adopted.

Member’s subscribed to purchase the unique sputnik trophy. This remains at Royal Lytham with a smaller replica handed out annually to the winner.

As one would expect the list of past winner’s is a who’s who of GB&I and more recently world amateur golf.

Of the older winners the most notable are: –
Michael BONALLACK – 1965(s), 1972
Rodney FOSTER – 1967, 1968
Geoffrey MARKS – 1970 (s)
Charles GREEN – 1970 (s), 1974
Michael KING – 1973
Peter MCEVOY – 1978
Ian HUTCHEON – 1980
Roger CHAPMAN – 1981
John HAWKSWORTH – 1984
Paul BROADHURST – 1988
Gary EVANS – 1990, 1991
Graham RANKIN – 1997

In 2004 21 year old James HEATH won with a record score of 266 (-18), recording rounds of 67, 68, 66, and 65. No one else has ever come close to this mark before or after. The next best scores being Daan HUIZING’s 273 in 2013 and Richard MCEVOY’s 276 in 2001. Garth McGimpsey, the then Walker Cup captain, described Heath’s performance as ‘the best amateur golf I’ve ever seen’.

In 1999 the Lytham Trophy was won by Tino SCHUSTER, the first time a non-GB&I player had been successful.

The six winners prior to Alfie PLANT show just how international the amateur game has become as well as the increasing attraction of the Lytham Trophy beyond these shores: –
Paul CUTLER – 2010 (Irish)
Jack SENIOR – 2011 (English)
Daan HUIZING – 2012 (Dutch)
Albert ECKHARDT – 2013 (Finnish)
Thriston LAWRENCE – 2014 (South African)
Marcus KINHULT – 2015 (Sweden)

The Royal Lytham website lists all of the Past Winners and their Scores.

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Lytham Trophy Winner’s Board (Photo: Andrew Pennington)

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

European Nations Cup – 2017 Preview & Results

1st April 2017

WALES, represented by David BOOTE, Jack DAVIDSON, Joshua DAVIES and Owen EDWARDS, yesterday won the European Nations Cup team competition in Spain.

WALES’ total of +13 was 11 shots better than second placed IRELAND (+24) and 21 shots better than fourth placed SCOTLAND (+34). 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.

Wales – l-r Josh Davies, David Boote, Jack Davidson and Owen Edwards (Photo: GUW)

ME.

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27th March 2017

The Men’s and Ladies’ European Nations Championship or as we prefer to call it Cup (ENC) starts on Wednesday 29th March at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in Southern Spain.

Format
72 holes of stroke play, with 18 holes played daily, are contested by both Teams and Individuals. There is no cut.

In the Team event the best three 18-hole scores from the four men count and the best two scores of the three ladies count towards the overall total. In the case of a tie for 1st place a team member will be nominated and a sudden death play-off will be contested on the 9th hole. Other ties will be determined by a count back of the team score for the last 18, 27, 36, etc. holes.

The Individual prizes are awarded to the lowest male and female player. Ties will be broken in line with the Team approach outlined above.

Teams
Men – 94 players (16 teams of 4 players)

The following players have been selected to represent the home nations.
England – Dan BROWN, Marco PENGE, Alfie PLANT, Jack SINGH BRAR
Ireland – Robin DAWSON, Alex GLEESON, Stuart GREHAN, Kevin LE BLANC
Scotland – Craig HOWIE, Liam JOHNSTON, Robert MACINTYRE, Connor SYME
Wales – David BOOTE, Jack DAVIDSON, Joshua DAVIES, Owen EDWARDS

RCG Sotogrande also invites a small number of players to compete as Individuals. It would appear that England’s Cameron SHAW has received such an invite in 2017.

Women – 30 players (10 teams of 3 players)

Just England and Scotland will be contesting the Ladies’ competition from GB&I.
England – Louisa BRUNT, Annabell FULLER, Sophie LAMB.
Scotland – Chloe GOADBY, Hannah McCOOK, Shannon MCWILLIAM

Event Information
Click this link to view the daily pairings – Startsheets

Links to the various competition Leaderboards, are provided below: –
Men’s Individual
Men’s Team
Women’s Individual
Women’s Team

Prizes
Winning Team members each receive a replica of the Nations Trophy.

The winning Individuals each receive a trophy and a yellow Amateur Masters Jacket.

Ireland European Nations Cup 2016

2016 Winners –  Ireland, (l-r) Stuart Grehan, Alex Gleeson, Jack Hume and Dermot McElroy (Photo: GUI Website)  

Weather Forecast
Wednesday – Sunny AM 15°C / PM 17°C; 18mph W
Thursday – Light Cloud AM 11°C / PM 17°C; 17mph NW
Friday – Sunny AM 10°C / PM 22°C; 8mph E
Saturday – Sunny AM 11°C / PM 21°C; 8mph SE

Past Winners / 2016 Results

Team
The home nations have an excellent record in the Men’s Team event as one would expect. In recent years England won it in 2013 and 2015, Scotland in 2014 and Ireland in 2016.

2016 Men’s – 1st Ireland (882), 2nd France (892), 3rd Wales (895), 4th England (906), 5th Scotland (908).

2016 Women’s – 1st Spain (594), 9th England (641). Ireland, Scotland and Wales DNP.

Individual
Jack HUME (Ireland) and Emma SPITZ (Austria) won the Men’s and Women’s Individual titles last year. Hume probably played the best round of amateur golf in the world in 2016 at La Reserve in Round 2 (see ‘Venue’ below). His 64 was an astonishing 8 shots better than any other player in the men’s field.

2016 Men’s – 1st Jack Hume (285), T2 Owen Edwards (291), T6 Robert MacIntyre (297), T9 Ashton Turner (300), T14 Marco Penge & Jack McDonald (302), 18th Alex Gleeson (303), T19 Evan Griffith & Dermot McElroy (304).

2016 Women’s – 1st Emma Spitz (296), T22 Gemma Clews & Samantha Giles (323), 25th Sophie Lamb (328).

Venue
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is the permanent home of the ENC. The club was opened in 1964 and was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones. One of the best courses in Europe it first held the Spanish Open in 1966, won that year by Roberto de Vicenzo.

In 1970 The Sherry Cup, the precursor of the European Nations Cup, was born. Former winners include Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy.

In 1973 a Ladies event started to be played alongside it.

In 1983 Sotogrande hosted the Spanish Amateur Championship with Jose Maria Olazabel victorious.

Sotogrande was awarded royal patronage by HM King Juan Carlos I in 1994.

Between 1996 and 2001, alongside nearby San Roque GC, the course hosted the Qualifying School for the European Tour.

In 2011, ahead of it’s 50th anniversary, the Club decided to embark upon a major course renovation project appointing Roger Rulewich and David Fleury. With the work on greens, bunkering and drainage taking place in 2015 and early 2016 the ENC moved temporarily to the nearby La Reserva Club de Golf for two years. This year will be the first time the ENC has been played on the renovated Sotogrande.

The Men’s Course at Sotogrande plays 6,492m and the Women’s 5,382m both to par of 72.

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Men’s Home Internationals – 2016 Results & Reflections

13th August 2016

Ireland won the 2016 Home Internationals after a nail biting 8-7 victory over England on the final day at Nairn Golf Club.

img_9405

Ireland with the Raymond Trophy (Photo: Kenny Smith)

England had led the match 3-2 after the morning Foursomes but Ireland came out fighting in the afternoon Singles. Early on they appeared to be leading virtually all of the matches. England did well to recover a few of the games but at the end of the day the Irish were able to carry their early momentum through to a crucial 6-4 series win.

Man of the moment was Colm Campbell Jr who birdied the last to secure a narrow 1 hole win over Adam Chapman. Playing in the final Singles it proved to be the crucial winning point.

Please click the link to review the full competition results – 2016 Men’s Home Internationals Results.  [Click on the match results to see the individual game scores]

Ireland’s win was their third consecutive one in the Home Internationals and they will no doubt travel to Moortown GC, England full of confidence next year. Next year’s match will be played between 16-18 August 2017.

Well done to Ireland.

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Here are some additional thoughts on this year’s Home Internationals and the Individual Player performances: –

1) It remains a frustration to me that such an historic and important competition is treated so poorly by the GB&I Unions even after allowance for the crowded amateur golf calendar. The scheduling of the event against next week’s US Amateur Championship left it sadly bereft of 10 of our leading players.

Hosts Scotland, the reigning European Men’s Amateur Team champions, were the most affected, left playing without Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest, Robert MacIntyre and Connor Syme.

Until this is properly resolved the Home Internationals results will to a degree continue to have something of a hollow ring to them.

2) It was pleasing to see five mid-amateur players amongst the ‘positive’ contributors. Colm Campbell (IRE), Barry Hume (SCO), Matthew Clark (SCO), Lee Jones (WAL) and Graeme Robertson (SCO) all showed they remain competitive at this level. Could we have a mid-amateur in our 2017 Walker Cup team ?

3) Ireland’s production line remains strong. Despite losing Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley,  Dermot McElroy, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin in the last year, and not having Jack Hume available, they still won.

Robin Dawson did very well in the Singles – he beat Thomas Williams (WAL) who was unbeaten in his other two games, George Duncan (SCO), the recently crowned Scottish Amateur champion and Jack Yule (ENG) who had a disappointing week but has been playing well this year.

Ireland failed to win a foursomes series all week. However, the JR Galbraith and Colm Campbell foursomes pairing won all of their matches – pretty comfortably too, 3&2 being their ‘worst’ result – and provided a foundation for their own individual performances and the Irish victory.

The Irish player that continues to impress me more and more though is Stuart Grehan who enjoyed another good week. Fingers crossed he stays amateur for another year.

With Kevin Le Blanc, Marc McKinstry, Thomas Mulligan and Mark Power all coming through the ranks the future continues to look bright for Ireland.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 08.22.57

4) England will obviously be disappointed they couldn’t close out yesterday’s winner takes all match against Ireland after winning the Foursomes series.

Ashton Turner played superbly winning all 6 of his matches, pairing up well with James Walker in the foursomes and taking care of Sandy Scott (SCO) 5&3, Evan Griffith (WAL) 3&2 and most impressively Stuart Grehan (IRE) 3&2 in the Singles. Grehan was previously unbeaten in 2016 international Singles games, winning 5 and drawing 1 across the Arnold Palmer Cup, the St. Andrews Trophy and the Home Internationals. Ashton was the only player to achieve the 100% ‘clean sweep’ and was justifiably awarded the Fairstone Player of the Championship award. I wonder if this achievement had anything to do with him not playing in last week’s European Amateur Championship in Estonia, unlike many of the other competitors.

img_9406Ashton Turner – Fairstone Player of the Championship (Photo: Kenny Smith)

Marco Penge, who has been missing in action in recent months, made a welcome return to form with a strong contribution, notably winning all three of his Singles. Hopefully he is now fully back on track.

Marco’s results were indicative of the England team’s week to some degree – players who you would have expected to be leading the way like experienced campaigners Alfie Plant and Dan Brown and young up and comers Will Enefer and Gian-Marco Petrozzi never really got going. It was therefore left to the likes of James Walker, Adam Chapman, Harry Hall and Josh Hilleard (who was unbeaten in his three games) to pick up the points that nearly took England to the title.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 08.23.48

England, with greater strength in depth, suffered less from US Amateur absences than Scotland but I am sure their selectors would still liked to have been able to consider Jamie Bower, Scott Gregory, Bradley Moore and Jack Singh Brar, all of whom were en route to Oakland Hills in Detroit.

5) Scotland, weakened by their inability to select their leading players, put up a valiant fight. All of their matches were tight affairs and their two losses to England and Ireland both came by narrow 8.5-6.5 scorelines.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 08.25.02

Liam Johnston and Jamie Savage formed a successful foursomes pairing, winning two and halving one. Johnston also did well in the Singles, preventing James Walker on Day 1 from subsequently going 100% and beating Owen Edwards on the final afternoon.

Sandy Scott and Calum Fyfe won all three of their foursomes games but surprisingly both could only manage one Singles win each.

Foursome partners Craig Howie and Craig Ross will wonder how they didn’t finish higher up the above table. The answer probably lies in generally playing up the order and as a result of some inconsistency. Both seemed to have their moments before then losing a bit of form.

6) Save for the England game where they were thrashed 11.5-3.5 Wales put up a good fight this year. 8-7 losses to both Ireland and Scotland could easily have gone the other way on another day.

Perhaps if David Boote had been available to them these two losses could have been turned around, making them a real factor in this year’s competition.

On a positive note, the Welsh selectors will take heart from the performances of relative newcomers Thomas Williams and Patrick Mullins.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 08.25.48

This year’s Home Internationals were clearly a really competitive event. With the exception of one match all the results were very close which has to be a good thing for Great British & Irish golf and player development.

It’s now time to see whether those players that missed the competition in Nairn can make an impact on the biggest stage of all – the US Amateur Championship.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2016 Preview & Results

1st May 2016

Here is the Golfing World highlights video of the 2016 Peter McEvoy Trophy.

14th April 2016

UPDATE

15 year old Irishman Mark Power won the 2016 Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath G.C. with rounds of 70, 68, 71, 68 and a 277 (-7) total.

Mark Power McEvoy Trophy 2016

Mark Power with Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

For me the key hole in Mark’s final round was the 14th, a short par 4. He somewhat carelessly drove into the front bunker, chipped out well but then holed a 20ft putt to take a 2-shot lead and some breathing room into the finishing holes. I managed to capture it on video.

Prior to the 2016 McEvoy Trophy Mark Power had no WAGR ranking and was outside the Top 1,500 in the SPWAR.  Following his win he moved up to 1,499 in the SPWAR and was awarded 4,606th spot by the WAGR the following week.

On the back of this performance I think it is is safe to predict a rapid rise up both rankings in the months ahead.

RESULTS

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2016 Results

DRAW SHEETS

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 13/04/16 Rds 1 & 2 Draw

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 14/04/16 AM Rd 3 Draw

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 14/04/16 PM Rd 4 Draw

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10th April 2016

The 2016 Peter McEvoy Trophy will be contested on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th April at Copt Heath Golf Club in Solihull, England.

Marco Penge PM 2015

Marco Penge, 2015 Winner, With Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

Background

Legendary British Amateur golfer Peter McEvoy OBE has been a member of Copt Heath for 50 years. If you would like to learn more about his career then click this link for my profile – Peter McEvoy.

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

PM Amateur Champion

Peter McEvoy – 1977 Amateur Champion at Ganton GC

Starting in 1981, The Peter McEvoy Trophy was originally held during the August summer holidays. In 1985, at the request of the English Golf Union (now England Golf), it was moved to April, where it has stayed ever since. This request was prompted by a need for an early season national competition to assist them with the selection of their team ahead of the Home Internationals and European Championships held later in the year.

As Peter McEvoy’s playing achievements and influence grew, culminating with him becoming a Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) Men’s selector and Walker Cup captain, so has the prestige of the competition. Of course having a stellar past winner’s list also adds gravitas to the competition. The McEvoy is without question one of the “must enter” Junior Majors.

Peter McEvoy is the current Chairman of Selectors and Team Manager for the R&A’s GB&I Boys U18 Team. As such he will again lead GB&I in this year’s Jacques Leglise Trophy match against the Continent of Europe at Princes G.C. on 26-27 August.

Competition Format

The McEvoy Trophy is contested over 72 holes of scratch stroke play golf played over two consecutive days by Under 18 Boys (U18 on 1st January of that year’s competition). An Entry Fee of £40.00 is charged.

PM Trophy

The Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

The format, limited daylight and the greater risk of poor weather in April means the field is sensibly restricted. Historically 72 players, albeit this year 75 are being accommodated – see below. A handicap ballot is applied to the entrants in what is always an oversubscribed event. The cut-off handicap in 2016 was +0.4, slightly higher than has been seen in recent years.

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

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

Due to unprecedented levels of rainfall in the Midlands it is almost certain that Preferred Lies will be in operation this year. Despite this the course is situated on a sandy sub-soil so drains well and should be reasonably well presented for such an early season date.

Live Scoring on the Club’s website – updated after each nine on Day 1 and more frequently for the leaders on Day 2 – makes it easy for family, friends and other interested observers to keep up to date.

Last year the event was filmed by Golfing World who I understand are returning to Copt Heath again this year. Take a look at their highlights package for the 2015 competition: –

Copt Heath Golf Club

Copt Heath Golf Club is the home of The Peter McEvoy Trophy. It is run by the Club and administered by their staff and member volunteers.

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

CHGC Clubhouse

Copt Heath Golf Club (Photo: GolfBible)

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

Golfing World also did a profile piece on Copt Heath’s course last year, featuring interviews with honorary members Peter McEvoy and Claire Dowling, which you may like to watch: –

2016 Entrants & Draw

I mentioned above that Copt Heath had added three additional players to the field a few weeks ago.  Amongst them are Darren HOWIE and Eric MACINTOSH from Scotland. With MacIntosh winning the Scottish Boys’ Amateur Championship yesterday this is now looking like an inspired decision. In fact Scotland are well represented with Jamie STEWART and Rory FRANSSEN arguably the standouts in a total party of nine.

As one would expect all seven of England’s Boys Squad are on show – Jake BENSON, Toby BRIGGS, Oliver CLARKE, Harry GODDARD, Matty LAMB, Rhys NEVIN -WHARTON and Arrun SINGH-BRAR. Matty Lamb, who finished 5th in 2014 and 4th in 2015, will clearly have to be respected. Arran Singh-Brar finished 6th on his second visit to Copt Heath last year so should arrive confident, as will Charlie STRICKLAND who debuted in 2015 with a creditable 5th place. John GOUGH, who played well at the French Boys Amateur last month, should also be worth watching out for.

Ireland are represented by John BRADY, Alan FAHY, Marc MCKINSTRYThomas MULLIGAN and Mark POWER. Big hitting Mulligan (-2)  finished 3rd last year and there is little to suggest he won’t go close again this year.

There are three German players this year, Anton ALBERS, Rene SCHWENK and without question the most likely to feature Timo VAHLENKAMP who has previously shown form in other European events.

Unfortunately two of the leading GB&I players have chosen not to play this year. I guess there has to be sacrifices when trying to play a joint Men’s and Boy’s schedule. Marco PENGE, who was eligible to defend his title, chose not to enter whilst Sandy SCOTT originally entered but withdrew just a few weeks ago. I am disappointed not to see Sandy, who finished 22nd last year, as there has never been a Scottish winner of The McEvoy and he would certainly have been amongst the favourites this week.

Weather Forecast

There is likely to be some rain during the competition but generally speaking it will be dry with little wind. With a wettish course some low scores could be in order.

Wednesday: Sunny, PM Showers (20%). Wind 5 mph N. Temp. H 13°c / L 7°c
Thursday: Sunny, PM Showers (30%). Wind 10pm NW. Temp. H 12°c / L 7°c

Past Winners

The Peter McEvoy Trophy has an enviable list of former winners, reflecting both the quality of the annual entry but also the fair challenge presented by the course. Two Winners Boards adorn the entrance hall to the club.

PM Trophy Board 1Peter McEvoy Trophy Winners Board 2015

The McEvoy Trophy Winner Boards (Photos: GolfBible)

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

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

PM Lee Westwood

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

1992  Brian Davis (East Herts)
1993  Steve Webster (Atherstone)
1994  Jamie Harris (Nevill)
1995  Carl Duke (Porters Park)
1996  Mark Pilkington (Nefyn & District)
1997  Philip Rowe (West Cornwall)
1998  Justin Rose (North Hants)

PM Justin Rose

Justin Rose with the McEvoy Trophy in 1998 (Photo: Copt Heath GC)

[In 2013 Justin Rose became the first McEvoy Trophy winner to win a Major Championship, when he won the U.S. Open at Merion GC.]

1999  David Porter (Stoneham)
2000  Zane Scotland (Woodcote Park)
2001  Ben Harvey (Dudsbury)
2002  Matthew Richardson (Pinner Hill)
2003  Tommy Hunter (Ilford)
2004  John Parry (Harrogate)
2005  Tom Sherreard (The Ridge)
2006  Luke Goddard (Hendon)
2007  Matt Haines (Rochester & Cobham Park)
2008  Stiggy Hodgson (Sunningdale)
2009  Max Smith (Newbury Racecourse)
2010  Rhys Pugh (Vale of Glamorgan)
2011  Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa)
2012  Gavin Moynihan (The Island)
2013  Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park)
2014  Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest)
2015  Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood)

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

McEvoy Trophy Records

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

Wayne Henry PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notable Former Competitors

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.