U.S. Amateur Championship – Preview, Reports & Results

16th August 2020 – Match Play Final

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) is the 120th U.S. Amateur champion. He beat Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) in a high quality Final by 1 Hole.

Allowing for the usual match play concessions there were 23 birdies and 1 eagle in the 36 holes played. Strafaci shot rounds of 69 and 67 and Osborne rounds of 66 and 68.

2020 U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci With The Havemayer Trophy (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

Tyler STRAFACI (USA), 22, started the Final as favourite based on his WAGR of 56th compared with Osborne’s 460th. Strafaci had also won the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst earlier this summer too.

There were two facts that made Tyler’s participation in the Final interesting. His late grandfather Frank Sr was a USGA champion, winning the U.S. Public Links Championship in 1935 and like the 2019 U.A. Amateur champion, Andy Ogletree (USA), he is a product of the Georgia Tech University golf program.

However, golf is no respecter of rankings or history. Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA), 20, a rising junior at Southern Methodist University (SMU), made a dream start birdieing the opening three holes and building a 5Up lead after 12 holes having played just 41 shots (6-under par).

Perhaps the key part of the Final were the next 5 holes where Strafaci found his form and reduced the deficit to just 1Up after the opening 18 holes.

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Strafaci v. Osborne Match Play Final Scorecard, 1-18 Holes (Photo: USGA)

Strafaci achieved parity on the second hole of the afternoon round with a birdie on the 2nd and moved into the lead for the first time on the 25th with another.

Whilst pegged back on the 31st birdies on the 32nd and 33rd appeared to have earned Strafaci the title. He was after all now 2Up with 3 holes to play.

However, the realisation of what he was about to achieve perhaps overcame him and bogeys on the 34th and 35th set up a nervy final hole decider. Strafaci recovered his composure and a 245 yard 4-iron to 25 feet set up a tap-in birdie which proved good enough to win the Championship.

The Final was the fourth consecutive match which Strafaci had won on Bandon Dunes’ 18th hole.

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Strafaci v. Osborne Match Play Final Scorecard, 19-36 Holes (Photo: USGA)

Conditions were again near perfect in Oregon with sunshine and a gentle breeze seen for almost all of the match. A sea mist drifted in as the players completed the final holes.

Here are the USGA’s video highlights of the Final: –

The two finalists earned an exemption into the 2021 U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines and the 2021 U.S. Masters Tournament.

By taking the title Strafaci also secured a place in the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s (if he remains an amateur) and a place on the USA’s 2021 Walker Cup team. Hailing from Davie, near Fort Lauderdale, in Florida Strafaci’s family home is a short distance from Seminole, the venue of the next May’s match.

Click here to view the full – 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship Results

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15th August 2020 – Match Play Semi-Finals

Playing conditions were perfect on Saturday with temperatures in the 70’s and very light winds.

Tyler STRAFACI (USA) was taken to the final hole for the third match running before overcoming Aman GUPTA (USA) 1Up. Strafaci had led 4Up after 12 holes but needed to win the 18th to take his place in the final.

‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA) took control of his match with Matthew SHARPSTENE (USA) with a birdie on the 9th, a winning par on the difficult par 4 11th and consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th.

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14th August 2020 – Match Play Quarter Finals

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Match Play Quarter Finals Results (Photo: USGA)

Tyler STRAFACI (USA), 22, beat mid-amateur Stewart HAGESTAD (USA), 29, by 1 Hole.

No mid-amateur has won the U.S. Amateur since John Harris in 1993. Hagestad has probably now done enough to secure a spot in the 2021 U.S.A. Walker Cup team, which will be his third consecutive appearance.

Philip BARBAREE (USA), 22 and Michael THORBJORNSEN (USA), 18, both lost thus losing the opportunity to join Tiger Woods as the only winner to date of both the U.S. Junior Amateur and U.S. Amateur Championships. Barbaree won the Junior in 2015 and Thorbjornsen in 2018.

Aman GUPTA (USA), 21, is the highest stroke play seed remaining. He only earned a spot in the Championship when Ricky CASTILLO (USA) withdrew last friday.

Matt SHARPSTENE (USA), 21, won the opening hole of his match against Barbaree and was never caught.

Charles ‘Ollie’ OSBORNE (USA), 20, beat Cameron SISK (USA), 20, who had come through the stroke play play-off to earn the 62nd seed, by 2&1. Osborne led 4Up after 10 holes, lost the next four holes before recovering to take his place in the semi-finals.

For the first time since 2004 all of the quarter finalists were from America.

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13th August 2020 – Match Play Round of 32 and Round of 16

The winds picked up to gusts of over 30mph in the afternoon making conditions tough.

Of particular note in the Round of 16 was Tyler STRAFACI‘s (USA), 22, 1Hole win over Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG). With the match tied Oliva Pinto’s approach to the final green finished in a green side bunker and inexplicably when he reached the bunker his caddie jumped in and started rubbing the sand with his hand to test the depth. A loss of hole penalty was assessed and as a result Strafaci progressed.

Here are the afternoon Round of 16 results: –

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Match Play Rd of 16 Results (Photo: USGA)

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Sandy SCOTT (SCO) lost his morning Round of 32 match to Davis CHATFIELD (USA) by 2&1 thus ending GB&I interest in this year’s Championship.

Scott again got off to a bad start before recovering. However, Chatfield maintained his composure and two late mistakes from the Scotsman enabled him to regain the upper hand,

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Chatfield v. Scott Match Play Rd of 32 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) bogeyed the 18th and double bogeyed the 19th to hand his Round of 32 match to Harrison OTT (USA). No medalist has won the U.S. Amateur since 2003.

Conqueror of John Gough Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) had a good win taking out McClure MEISSNER (USA) who had beaten Angus Flanagan in the previous round.

Here are the complete Round of 32 results: –

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Match Play Rd of 32 Results (Photo: USGA)

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12th August 2020 – Play-Off and Match Play Round of 64

Cameron SISK (USA), Evan KATZ (USA) and Aaron DU (CHN) came through the 18-for-3 play-off early on Wednesday morning. Sisk and Katz birdied Bandon Dunes’ 375 yard 10th whilst Du birdied the 435 yard 11th to finish affairs off relatively quickly.

From a GB&I perspective only Sandy SCOTT seeded 42 (SCO) was able to negotiate his Round of 64 match coming back from 3Down after 6 holes to beat Brayden GARRISON (USA) 23 by 3&2.

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Garrison v. Scott Match Play Rd of 64 Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

Scott should now be looking confidently towards the latter stages of this Championship. He won both of his singles in last year’s Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool, has a nice comeback win under his belt here at Bandon and he is the highest WAGR ranked player left in the field (6th).

Unfortunately Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) both came out on the wrong side of tight matches.

The Southern Amateur champion McClure MEISSNER (USA) 8 beat Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) 57 by 2&1. The American won the 16th and 17th holes with birdies to secure the win.

John GOUGH (ENG) 25 lost on the 19th hole to Segundo OLIVA PINTO (ARG) 40. Oliva Pinto birdied the 17th to regain parity before another birdie on the 19th hole saw him through to the Round of 32.

Medalist Wilson FURR (USA) continued his good form by beating Aaron DU (CHN) by 6&4. However, there were notable losses for highly fancied Davis THOMPSON (USA) and John AUGENSTEIN (USA) in Round 1.

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11th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

22 year old University of Alabama student Wilson FURR (USA) 132 -11 secured medalist honours after posting a course record 62 (-9) on the Bandon Trails course on Day 2. His 62 was the joint second lowest score in U.S. Amateur history.

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Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

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Wilson Furr’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

James PIOT (USA) -9 and Ben SHIPP (USA) -7 finished second and third respectively after completing their qualifying with a 65 and 67 on Bandon Dunes.

Day 1 leaders McClure MEISSNER (USA) and Aman GUPTA (USA) were both over par in Round 2 but with their firm foundations in place still finished in the top 10.

Just three of the eleven GB&I players made it through to the match play stage of the Championship. John GOUGH (ENG) -2 finished tied 23rd, Sandy SCOTT (SCO) Ev tied 36th and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) +1 tied 48th. Sandy did well playing himself into the top 64 with a 70 (-2) around the Dunes course.

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John Gough’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

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Sandy Scott’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

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Angus Flanagan’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Photo: USGA)

The match play cut came at 145 (+2) with 18 players finishing on this score in tied 62nd place. An 18-for-3 spots play-off will therefore now be held tomorrow morning to finalise the match play field.

Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) both sadly bogeyed 3 of their last five holes to miss out on qualification and even a shot at the play-off.

Austin ECKROAT (USA) +3, Cole HAMMER (USA) +3, defending champion Andy OGLETREE (USA) +3, Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) +4, John PAK (USA) +5 and Pierceson COODY (USA) +8 were amongst the leading home players to miss the cut.

Round 2 Average Scores: Dunes 72.931 (+0.931) and Trails 73.689 (+2.689). As with Round 1 the wind speeds picked up but not as significantly as on Day 1. As a result the score differential between the morning and afternoon starters was less material.

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GB&I Stroke Play 36 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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10th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

McClure MEISSNER (USA) -8 and Aman GUPTA (USA) -7 recorded the lowest rounds on Day 1 of the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship. Meissner was playing on the Dunes course whilst Gupta started his Championship on the Trails.

The wind picked up significantly in the afternoon and scores were around 3.5 shots higher on both courses from the second wave players.

Round 1 Average Scores: Dunes 75.583 (+3.583) and Trails 75.598 (+4.598).

At the end of Round 1 John GOUGH (ENG) -2 Dunes, Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) -1 Dunes and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) Ev Trails are all positioned in the all-important top 64.

These three and certainly the other 8 GB&I players still have work to do on Day 2 if they are to make the Match Play stage.

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GB&I Stroke Play 18 Hole Qualifying Scores (Photo: USGA)

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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5th August 2020

Introduction

This year’s Championship is being played on Bandon’s Dunes and Trails courses.

Administered by the United States Golf Association (USGA) the U.S. Amateur is the most important and prestigious competition in the amateur golf calendar.

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2020 Field

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic all Sectional Qualifying events were cancelled. In 2019 there were 96 36 hole events staged by the USGA with the qualifiers making up a large proportion of the final field.

The 2020 field is entirely made up of exempt players and has been reduced to 264 players – 312 normally compete. The entry fee for the U.S. Amateur Championship is $175.

Exemption categories, largely based on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), were established by the USGA with the aim of creating a field that most closely resembles those of a typical Championship.

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field – see Appendix below for more details. However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players have not been able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

On 30th July 14 GB&I players were confirmed by the USGA as being in the field. Barclay Brown, Tom McKibbin and John Murphy subsequently withdrew on travel grounds leaving us with 11 starters. They are: –

Dan BRADBURY (ENG)
Archie DAVIES (WAL)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG)
John GOUGH (ENG)
Jamie LI (ENG)
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO)
Rhys NEVIN (ENG)
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG)
Joe PAGDIN (ENG)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)

There were 11 GB&I players at Pinehurst last year, 7 in 2018 at Pebble Beach, 9 in 2017 at Riviera and 11 in 2016 at Oakland Hills.

Sadly it will not be possible for any of the above GB&I entrants to play in the Brabazon Trophy (18-21 August) or the Amateur Championship (25-30 August) this year due to the current quarantining rules.

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The par-4 fifth hole at Bandon Dunes (Photo: USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Most of the leading USA players will be competing at Bandon Dunes and I expect the following to feature strongly: –

John AUGENSTEIN (USA) – 2019 runner-up
Pierceson COODY (USA)
Quade CUMMINS (USA)
Austin ECKROAT (USA)
Cole HAMMER (USA)
Meissner MCCLURE (USA)
Maxwell MOLOVAN (USA)
Andy OGLETREE (USA) – 2019 champion
John PAK (USA)
Tyler STRAFACI (USA)
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA)
Davis THOMPSON (USA)

Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Information PDF

Click here to view the – USGA’s 2020 U.S. Amateur Exemptions List

Click here to view the – 2020 U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Draw Sheets

With Oregon being 8 hours behind the UK play will start in our late afternoon and proceed through the night.

Competition Format

On Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th August all of the competitors will play 36-holes of stroke play, one round on the Dunes Course and the other on the Trails Course.

The Top 64 qualifiers will then progress to the match play stage of the competition. Ties for the last qualifying place will be resolved by a sudden death play-off.

18 hole match play rounds will then be played on the Dunes Course between Wednesday 12th and Saturday 15th, culminating in a 36-hole Championship Final on Sunday 16th August. Extra holes will be played to resolve any halved games.

Host Courses

Bandon Dunes Course
7,218 yards (maximum), Par 72
Opened in 1999.
Designed by David McLay Kidd.

Bandon Dunes Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Dunes Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Trails Course
6,883 yards (maximum), Par 71
Opened in 2005.
Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

Bandon Trails Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Trails Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

The Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is the realisation of a dream by golf-mad owner Mike Keiser, a greetings card millionaire. It now incorporates six courses, including a spectacular 13 hole par 3 set up, all built on sand dunes 100 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

The Resort has previously hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and 2011 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at 9th August) is positive for Championship week. Bandon Dunes in Oregon is on the north west pacific coast so temperatures will be cool and winds will be a factor.

Stroke Play Qualifying
Mon 10th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 9°C.
Tues 11th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 17 mph N / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 8°C.

Match Play Stage
Weds 12th August – Sunny / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 20°C, Max. 9°C.
Thurs 13th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 19 mph N  / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 10°C.
Fri 14th August – Sunny / Wind 21 mph N  / Temp. Min. 22°C, Max. 10°C.
Sat 15th August – Sunny / Wind 15 mph N  / Temp. Min. 23°C, Max. 13°C.
Sun 16th August – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph NW / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 12°C.

UK Television Coverage

In recent years the Sky Sports Golf channel has taken the U.S. television feed, via the Red Button, over the final match play weekend.

Prizes

The 2020 U.S. Amateur champion will receive the following: –

a) A Gold Medal and custody of the Havemeyer Trophy for the following year;

b) An exemption to play in the 2021 U.S. Open to be staged at [Winged Foot Golf Club or Torrey Pines];

and assuming they remain amateur,

c) An exemption to play in the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club;

d) An invitation to play in the 2021 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club;

e) An exemption to play in the 2021 – 2030 U.S. Amateur Championships;

and unofficially

f) Various invitations to play in PGA Tour and European Tour events.

A Silver Medal is awarded to the runner-up and Bronze Medals to the two losing semi-finalists.

A Bronze Medal is also awarded to the stroke play medalist(s).

The original silver Havemeyer Trophy was presented to the U.S.G.A. on March 1895 in honour of the Association’s first President Theodore A. Havemeyer. This was lost in a fire at Bobby Jones’ home club, East Lake, in 1925.

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Bobby Jones Receives the Original U.S. Amateur Trophy in 1924

A new gold trophy was produced in 1926. This was retired in 1992 with a copy of the trophy being produced and passed from champion to champion ever since.

Sadly the original gold trophy was stolen from the U.S.G.A. Museum in 2012 and has never been seen since.

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2019 U.S. Amateur Championship

Andy OGLETREE (USA) won the Final of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship beating John AUGENSTEIN (USA) 2&1 in the 36 hole match.

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Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)

Augenstein got off to a great start on Course No. 4, which was used for the first 18 holes. Three consecutive birdies helped him build a 4Up lead after just 5 holes.

Ogletree came back at the Vanderbilt player gradually on the back nine and a birdie on the final hole saw him go into lunch just 2Down.

The Mississipian was relentless as play moved on to Course No. 2 in the afternoon. He finally got the match back to All Square on the 31st and immediately moved to 1Up with a birdie on the par 5 14th. After two shared holes with pars a four putt from off the green on the par 3 17th by Augenstein handed the trophy to Ogletree.

Ogletree made just three bogeys in the 37 holes he played in the Final.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) was for the second year running GB&I’s leading performer in the Championship. He eventually lost in the Round of 16 to Cohen TROLIO (USA) 5&4. Trolio recorded five birdies on his front nine to take a 4Up lead and eventually saw out the game with another birdie on the 14th.

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Match Play Results

Brandon WU (USA) won the Stroke Play Qualifying competition with rounds of 65 -5 (No. 4) and 72 +2 (No. 2).

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Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

Tom SLOMAN (ENG) was one of six players one shot back of Wu on -2. Thomas FORSTER (ENG) and Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) -1 also qualified in the top 20.

11 GB&I players competed in 2019 with just five progressing to the Match Play Stage. Ben JONES (ENG), who finished tied 62nd, missed out after a 27-for-3 sudden death play-off on Course No. 4.

Here are the full GB&I Stroke Play Qualifying Results: –

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U.S. Amateur Championship Stroke Play Scoring (Photo: U.S.G.A)

Click here to view the – U.S. Amateur Stroke Play Qualifying Results

U.S. Amateur Championship History

The U.S. Amateur is the oldest golf championship in America and 2020 will see its 120th playing.

It was first played in 1895, the winner being Charles B. Macdonald.

It has always been decided by match play save for an 8 year period between 1965 and 1972 when the winner was determined solely by stroke play.

Former U.S. winners include Walter Travis (1900-01-03), Jerome Travers (1907-08-12-13), Bobby Jones (1924-25-27-28-30), Francis Ouimet (1914-31), W. Lawson Little (1934-35) Arnold Palmer (1954), Jack Nicklaus (1959-61), Deane Beman (1960-63), Lanny Wadkins (1970), Craig Stadler (1973), Mark O’Meara (1979), Hal Sutton (1980), Phil Mickelson (1990), Justin Leonard (1992), Tiger Woods (1994-95-96), Matt Kucher (1997), Ryan Moore (2004), Peter Uihlein (2010) and Bryson DeChambeau (2015).

British players have won the Championship on six occasions but just twice in the last 100 years – H.J. Whigham (1896-97), Findlay Douglas (1898), Harold Hilton (1911), Richie Ramsay (2006) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013).

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Photo: U.S.G.A.)

Italy’s Edoardo Molinari (2005) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (2018) are the only player from the Continent of Europe to have lifted the Havemeyer Trophy.

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

09-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,

15-21 August 2022 – Ridgewood Country Club, Paramus, New Jersey

14-20 August 2023 – Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colorado

12-18 August 2024 – Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minnesota

11-17 August 2025 – The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California

10-16 August 2026 – Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pennsylvania

09-15 August 2027 – Oak Hill Country Club, Pittsford, New York

11-17 August 2031 – Honors Course, Ooltewah, Tennessee

Appendix – GB&I Players Eligible For The 2020 U.S. Amateur

Based on the main exemption categories originally announced by the USGA 28 GB&I players earned a spot in the field.

However, due to international travel restrictions many of these players were not able to take up this opportunity. This in turn opened the door to six other GB&I players who were ranked lower in the WAGR but were based in USA.

Here’s a list of the relevant exemption categories, the GB&I players initially caught by them and confirmation of the 11 who will be competing.   

Round of 64 from the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) ENTERED
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) ENTERED
James SUGRUE (IRL)

From the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, winners in 2016-2019; runners-up in 2018-2019 and quarterfinalists in 2019
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) ENTERED

Playing members of the United States and Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Teams, four year exemption once appointed to the team (2017 & 2019)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG)
Conor GOUGH (ENG)
Thomas PLUMB (ENG)
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL)
Sandy SCOTT (SCO)
James SUGRUE (IRL)

Winners of The Amateur Championship (five year exemption) (2016-2019).
James SUGRUE (IRE)

From the current Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) the top 225-ranked players as of 24th June 2020
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #9
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17
James SUGRUE (IRL) #19
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #20
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #27
Ben JONES (ENG) #30
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #43
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #63
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #69
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #73 ENTERED
Mark POWER (IRL) #81
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #116
John MURPHY (IRL) #127
Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) #136
Matty LAMB (ENG) #145
Joe LONG (ENG) #147
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) #151
Thomas PLUMB (ENG) #153
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157
Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #158
Keith EGAN (IRL) #160
Harry GODDARD (ENG) #167
Max MARTIN (ENG) #173
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #178
Callum FARR (ENG) #188
Jamie LI (ENG) #205 ENTERED
Connor MCKINNEY (SCO) #224 ENTERED

From the current Men’s WAGR, the top 25-ranked players using the WAGR Age Filter as of 24th June 2020. Players must be age 25 on or before August 10, 2020. Player’s WAGR profile must include date of birth to be considered for this exemption category
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) #17 (2nd)
Peter O’KEEFFE (IRL) #157 (8th)
Colm CAMPBELL (IRL) #399 (24th)

[Matthew Clark (SCO) #319 – date of birth not added to WAGR biography so excluded]

Remaining spots in the championship field will be filled using the World Amateur Golf Ranking
Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #298 ENTERED
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #353
Archie DAVIES (WAL) #244 ENTERED
John GOUGH (ENG) #239 ENTERED
Rhys NEVIN (ENG) #346 ENTERED
Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) #326 ENTERED

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2020, 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.