The Open Championship – 2021 Final & Regional Qualifying

18th July 2021

Matthias SCHMID (GER) won the low amateur silver medal at the 149th Open Championship played at Royal St. George’s G.C. in Kent, England.

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Matthias Schmid and Colin Morikawa (Photo: The R&A / The Open Championship) 

Schmid and Yuxin LIN (CHN) both made the cut but the German finished on +2 whilst Lin could only manage a +6 total.

All of the other amateurs missed the cut as can be seen in the amateur scoreboard summary below.

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Click here to view the – The Open Championship Final Scores

ME.

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29th June 2021

THE OPEN CHMAPIONSHIP

156 players will contest The 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s G.C. on 15-18 July 2021.

The following eight amateurs will be competing at this year’s Open: –

Exemptions
The Amateur Champions for 2020 and 2021 – Joe LONG (ENG) and Laird SHEPHERD (ENG)
The European Amateur Champions for 2020 and 2021 – Matthias SCHMID (GER) and Christoffer BRING (DEN)
The Mark McCormack Medal (WAGR) winners for 2019 and 2020 – Cole HAMMER (USA)
The Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion 2019 – Yuxin LIN (CHN)
The Latin America Amateur Champion 2020 – Abel GALLEGOS (ARG)

The U.S. Amateur Champions for 2019 and 2020, Andy OGLETREE (USA) and Tyler STRAFACI (USA), have both turned Pro thus foregoing their exemptions. 2020 McCormack Medal winner Takumi KANAYI (JAP) also turned Pro in September 2020 thus missing out on a visit to Kent.

Final Qualifying
Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) was the only amateur to come through the Qualifying process.

Sam was exempted into Final Qualifying as one of the leading 10 WAGR ranked players as at Week 2021/21, not otherwise exempt. He then finished tied 2nd at St. Anne’s Old Links after rounds of 63 and 69 (-13) to secure one of the three places on offer at each venue.

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Sam Bairstow (centre) (Photo: Richard Martin-Roberts/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Low Amateur Silver Medal
My focus now moves onto the race amongst the above amateur players in the Championship itself for the low amateur Silver Medal.

For more information on this prize you may like to take a look at this article – ‘The Open Championship’s Silver Medal’.

For more information on The Open click here – The Open Championship Official Website

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QUALIFYING

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic The R&A introduced a revised Qualifying format.

Most amateur golfers entered the competition at Regional Qualifying, although some were exempted in to Final Qualifying and a lucky handful the Championship itself.

This article follows all of the AMATEUR GOLFERS through The Open Championship 2021 Qualifying events. Information on the Final Qualifying events is at the top of the page with reports on the earlier Regional Qualifying competitions below that.

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FINAL QUALIFYING

The same four venues used for Regional Qualifying were used for Final Qualifying which took place on Tuesday 29th June with 36 holes of stroke play golf played by each competitor.

282 players, made up of Regional qualifiers and other exempt players, contested the four competitions. There were 79 amateurs competing; 62 came through Regional Qualifying with the other 17 being exempted into this stage.

All of the Regional qualifiers had the advantage of staying at the same course they played last weekend.

12 players, 3 from each event, were guaranteed places in The Open Championship through Final Qualifying. 

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Here are the four FINAL QUALIFYING events with all of the AMATEUR ENTRIES and their exemptions and results noted.

NOTTS G.C. (HOLLINWELL) – 7,250 yards, par 72

Tuesday 29th JuneRESULTS

72 players / 16 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Qualifiers
None

Non-Qualifiers
T4. Ben Rhodes (Headingley) [RQ Sat] 66, 71 -7
T10. Tom Gueant (France) [2019 Boys Amateur] 68, 73 -3
T20. Jack Sallis (Hollinwell) [RQ Sat] 71, 72 -1
T27. Kale Heath (Kings Lynn) [RQ Sun P/Off] 73, 72 +1
T39. Philip White (Burnham & Berrow) [RQ Sun P/Off] 72, 75 +3
T39. Olly Huggins (Frilford Heath) [WAGR] 73, 74 +3
T39. Josh Hill (Trump International Dubai) [RQ Sun] 74, 73 +3
T43. Jordan Boulton (Hollinwell) [RQ Sun] 74, 74 +4
T45. Thomas Pyman (The Oaks) [RQ Sat] 70, 79 +5
T45. Aadam Syed (Foxhills) [RQ Sun] 77, 72 +5
T45. Eliot Baker (Tiverton) [RQ Sun] 75, 74 +5
T49. Darren Coop (Hallowes) [RQ Sun] 75, 75 +6
T53. Greg Peters (Ingestre Park) [RQ Sat] 77, 74 +7
62. Alex Winn (Bristol & Clinton) [RQ Sun] 82, 78 +16
T65. Haider Hussain (The Kendleshire) [WAGR] RTD
T65. Charlie Thornton (Fulford) [RQ Sun] RTD

PRINCE’S G.C. (SHORE & DUNES) – 7,282 yards, par 72

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Prince’s Golf Club

Tuesday 29th JuneRESULTS
72 players / 16 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Qualifiers
None

Non-Qualifiers
T20. Oliver Lewis-Perkins (Mid-Kent) [RQ Sat P/off] 73, 75 +4
T20. Ben Quinney (Kings Hill) [RQ Sun] 75, 73 +4
T20. Joshua Bristow [WAGR] 75, 73 +4
T27. Jacob Kelso (Kings Hill) [RQ Sun] 76, 74 +6
T31. George Burns (Crail Golfing Society) [2019 Scottish Amateur] 76, 75 +7
T39. Brandon Meads (Brentwood) [RQ Sun] 78, 75 +9
T39. Shergo Al Kurdi (Jordan) [WAGR] 77, 76 +9
T44. Jack Dyer [2021 Walker Cup] 76, 78 +10
T44. Zach Chegwidden (Orsett) [RQ Sun] 75, 79 +10
47. Jamie Guppy (Littlestone) [RQ Sat] 77, 78 +11
T49. Benjamin Humphrey (Chelmsford) [RQ Sat P/Off] 76, 82 +14
T58. Nic Elliott (Tandridge) [RQ Sun] 80, 81 +17 
60. Jan Brugelmann (Germany) [RQ Sat] 83, 81 +20
T62. Daniel Roberts (The London) [RQ Sat] WD
T62. Alex Kephart (USA) [RQ Sun] RTD
T62. Nick Flynn (West Byfleet) [RQ Sat] RTD

ST. ANNES OLD LINKS – 6,907 yards, par 72

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St Annes Old Links Golf Club

Tuesday 29th JuneRESULTS
70 players / 19 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T2. Sam Bairstow (Hallowes) [WAGR] 63, 69 -13  

Non-Qualifiers
5. Stephen Roger (Peebles) [RQ Sat] 69, 66 -9
T6. Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) [2019 & 2021 Walker Cup] 65, 71 -8
T10. Rhys Nevin (Sandiway) [RQ Sun] 70, 67 -7
T10. Callan Barrow (Royal Lytham & St. Annes) [WAGR] 67, 70 -7 
T27. Joe Harvey (The Kendleshire) [2019 Amateur Runner-Up] 72, 70 -2
T31. Will Marshall (Heworth) [RQ Sun P/Off] 71, 72 -1
T35. Robbie Spence (Furness) [RQ Sun] 66, 78 Ev
T35. Thomas Ratcliffe (Southport & Ainsdale) [RQ Sun] 71, 73 Ev
T40. William McGhie (Lancaster) [RQ Sat] 74, 71 +1
T40. Mark Millhouse (Turton) [RQ Sat] 72, 73 +1
T43. Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle) [RQ Sat] 74, 72 +2
T47. Aiden Hoosen (Manchester) 71 -1 [RQ Sun P/Off] 73, 75 +4
T47. Daniel Thomas (Ilkley) [RQ Sat] 76, 72 T47
T56. Jack McPhail (Southport & Ainsdale) [RQ Sat] 75, 76 +7
T58. Jack Ainscough (The Wynyard) [RQ Sun] 76, 76 +8
60. Andrew Haswell (Ormskirk) [RQ Sun] 77, 76 +9
T61. Fraser McLeod (Hazel Grove) 71 -1 [RQ Sun P/Off] 75, 79 +10
T64. Jake Cope (The Players Club) [2020 English Amateur] NR NR
DNS Ross Clewley (Prestbury) [RQ Sat]
DNS Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) [RQ Sat]

WEST LANCASHIRE G.C. – 7,016 yards, par 72

Tuesday 29th JuneRESULTS
68 players / 28 amateurs / 3 qualifying places

Qualifiers
None

Non-Qualifiers
T6. Archie Davies [2019 Welsh Amateur] 72, 69 -3
T11. Hugh Foley [2020 Irish Amateur] 70, 72 -2
T11. Tom Hughes (Formby) [RQ Sun] 73, 69 -2
T19. John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) [RQ Sat] 74, 71 +1
T.19 Joe Retford (Cumberwell Park) [RQ Sat P/Off] 71, 74 +1
T24. Tom Sherreard (Kings Hill) [RQ Sat P/Off] 73, 73 +2 
T.24 Jack Brooks (The Mere) [RQ Sat] 72, 74 +2
T24. Tom Irwin (Alwoodley) [RQ Sun] 73, 73 +2
T28. Arron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) [WAGR] 76, 71 +3
T28. Richard Cheetham (Pedham Place) [RQ Sat] 74, 73 +3
T28. Barclay Brown [2020 Walker Cup] 71, 76 +3
T28. Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) [RQ Sat] 73, 74 +3
T33. Monty Scowsill (Woodbridge) [2020 Amateur Runner-Up] 74, 74 +4
T33. Liam Gobin (Sandiway) [RQ Sun] 74, 74 +4
T38. Josh Greer (Australia) [RQ Sun] 74, 75 +5
T38. Aidan O’Hagan (Old Course Ranfurly) [RQ Sat P/Off] 75, 74 +5
T38. Chris Chilton (High Legh Park) [RQ Sat P/Off] 73, 76 +5 
44. George Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) [RQ Sun] 72, 79 +7
T45. Robert Galligan (Elm Park) [RQ Sun] 78, 74 +8
T45. Mark Kimpton (Vicars Cross) [RQ Sun] 71, 81 +8 
T45. Christian Johnson (Leasowe) [RQ Sun] 78, 74 +8
T45. Jack Wiggans (Chorley) [RQ Sat P/Off Res. 2] 76, 76 +8
55. Cole Betteridge (Sherwood Forest) [RQ Sun] 79, 75 +10
56. Joe Walsh (West Lancashire) [RQ Sat] 73, 82 +11
57. Josh Street (Heyrose) [RQ Sun] 73, 83 +12
T58. Ryan Tattan (Chelmsford) [RQ Sat] 79, 78 +13
62. Oliver Beech (Worthing) [RQ Sun] 78, 81 +15
63. Declan Buksh (Marsden Park) [RQ Sun] 85, 77 +18

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Click here and chose your venue to view the full – Final Qualifying Results

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REGIONAL QUALIFYING

Regional Qualifying for the 2021 Open Championship took place on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June at four courses in England.

The qualifying venues were Notts G.C. (Hollinwell), Prince’s G.C., St. Annes Old Links G.C. and West Lancashire G.C. with 18 holes being played at each competition.

Any amateur with a handicap index no higher than 0.4 or a WAGR listing of 1st-2,000th during 2021 who paid the £150 entry fee could enter.

1,062 players entered Regional Qualifying with 405 of these being amateurs. 63 amateurs progressed to Final Qualifying.

A total of 207 places in Final Qualifying were made available through Regional Qualifying.

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Here are the eight REGIONAL QUALIFYING events with all of the AMATEUR ENTRIES and their results noted.

NOTTS G.C. (HOLLINWELL) – 7,250 yards, par 72

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Hollinwell (Notts.) Golf Club

Saturday 26th JuneRESULTS
139 players / 48 amateurs / 25 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T5. Greg Peters (Ingestre Park) 69 -3
T10. Ben Rhodes (Headingley) 70 -2
T17. Thomas Pyman (The Oaks) 72 Ev
T17. Jack Sallis (Hollinwell) 72 Ev

Reserves
T24. Marcus Brigham (Malton and Norton) 73 +1 Res. 6 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 15-FOR-2] 
T24. Sam Humpston (Hollinwell) 73 +1 Res. 11 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 15-FOR-2]

Non-Qualifiers
T24. James Claridge (Enville) 73 +1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 15-FOR-2]
T24. Jacob Austin (Sunningdale) 73 +1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 15-FOR-2]
T24. Kieron Sutton (Broadway) 73 +1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 15-FOR-2]
T39. Ian Davidson (City of Newcastle) 74 +2
T39. Harley Yates (Burhill) 74 +2
T39. Max Adams (Got Magog) 74 +2
T48. Dan Ross (Ashridge) 75 +3
T48. Richard Wilson (Ponteland) 75 +3
T48. David Jackson (Hadley Wood) 75 +3
T48. Danny Thompson (Whittington Heath) 75 +3
T48. Jack Pope (Exeter G&CC) 75 +3
T66. Alfie Forisky (Maidenhead) 76 +4
T66. Cameron Steedman (Hollinwell) 76 +4
T66. Luke Allen (Olton) 76 +4
T66. Ollie Brimfield (Mendip Spring) 76 +4
T66. Aled Edwards (The Kendleshire) 76 +4
T76. Luis Witherall (Northants County) 77 +5
T86. George Ackerman (Knebworth) 78 +6
T86. Chris Drabble (Horsley Lodge) 78 +6
T86. Ellis Balding (North Shore) 78 +6
T86. Joss Gosling (Harpenden) 78 +6
T86. Stuart Hale (Burnham & Berrow) 78 +6
T96. Demi Di Matteo (Italy) 79 +7
T96. George Scott (Harpenden) 79 +7
T96. Joshua Freeman (Worlebury) 79 +7
T101. Ryan Alcock (Bawtry Park) 80 +8
T101. Ben Bernamont (The Warwickshire) 80 +8
T107. Nick Davies (Filton) 81 +9
T107. Michael Day (Henbury) 81 +9
T107. Graham Badger (Royal Mid-Surrey) 81 +9
T107. Robert Henderson (Hexham) 81 +9
T107. Richard Duff (Hollinwell) 81 +9
T107. Jack Foster (Ashridge) 81 +9
T119. Steven Knighton (Breadsall Priory) 82 +10
T119. James Marshman (Wrag Barn) 82 +10
T126. Jack Hall (Kilworth Springs) 83 +11
T128. Luke Ryan (Ely City) 85 +13
T128. George Taylor (Olton) 85 +13
T131. Ross Popescu (Enville) 86 +14
T131. Matthew Stephenson (Ramside Hall) 86 +14
T136. Artur Koyama (Luffenham Heath) 88 +16
138. Federico Bellezza (Italy) 91 +19

Sunday 27th JuneRESULTS
137 players / 45 amateurs / 24 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T3. Eliot Baker (Tiverton) 69 -3
T6. Darren Coop (Hallowes) 70 -2
T10. Jordan Boulton (Hollinwell) 71 -1 
T10. Charlie Thornton (Fulford) 71 -1
T10. Aadam Syed (Foxhills) 71 -1
T10. Josh Hill (Trump International Dubai) 71 -1
T10. Alex Winn (Bristol & Clinton) 71 -1
T19. Kale Heath (Kings Lynn) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 7-FOR-6]
T19. Philip White (Burnham & Berrow) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 7-FOR-6]

Reserves
T26. Matthew Downes (Ingestre Park) 73 +1 Res. 8

Non-Qualifiers
T26. Ben Quick (Beaconsfield) 73 +1
T38. Connor O’Brien (Mid-Herts) 74 +2
T38. William Walker (Sherwood Forest) 74 +2
T44. Jared Tyacke (West Herts) 75 +3
T44. Ryan Craig (Dunstable Downs) 75 +3
T54. Adam Barnard (Elsham) 76 +4
T54. Joshua Kearns (Stratford-on-Avon) 76 +4
T54. Andy Blackwell (Northants County) 76 +4
T54. Michael Henson (Rockliffe Hall) 76 +4
T65. Fred Tindale (Woodhall Spa) 77 +5
T65. Nev Davies (The Berkshire) 77 +5
T74. Andy Orr (The Shire London) 78 +6
T74. Peter Trego (The Nottinghamshire) 78 +6
T74. George Mason (Wath) 78 +6
T74. Michael Cox (Broome Manor) 78 +6
T74. Ben Newsome (The Shire) 78 +6
T88. Zane Pexman (Australia) 79 +7
T88. Warren Bates (Heacham Manor) 79 +7
T92. Charles Petrie (Luffenham Heath) 80 +8
T92. Garry Cuthbert (Alwoodley) 80 +8
T100. Alex Easter (East Berkshire) 81 +9
T100 Daniel Gathercole (Marriott Worsley Park) 81 +9
T106. Joshua Millington (The Players Club) 82 +10
109. Ryan Staykov (Bulgaria) 83 +11
T110. Connor Jones (The Belfry) 84 +12
T110. Lee White (Frilford Heath) 84 +12
T110. Jack Randall (Chiltern Forest) 84 +12
T110. Matthew Gibson (Royal Blackheath) 84 +12
T115. Matthew McEachran (Royal Wimbledon) 85 +13
T119. Karan Tiwari (Wyke Green) 86 +14
T123. George Wall (Bridgnorth) 87 +15
129. Anthony Cloke (Australia) 92 +20
T131. Ceri Fearnley (Shirehampton) RTD
T131. George Griffiths (Lingdale) WD
T131. James Curran (Gog Magog) WD

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PRINCE’S G.C. (SHORE & DUNES) – 7,282 yards, par 72

Saturday 26th JuneRESULTS
140 players / 35 amateurs / 25 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T4. Daniel Roberts (The London) 69 -3
T12. Nick Flynn (West Byfleet) 71 -1
T12. Jan Brugelmann (Germany) 71 -1
T12. Jamie Guppy (Littlestone) 71 -1
T19. Benjamin Humphrey (Chelmsford) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 8-FOR-7]
T19. Oliver Lewis-Perkins (Mid-Kent) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 8-FOR-7]

Reserves
T27. Jamie Roberts (London) 73 +1 Res. 4

Non-Qualifiers
T32. Ross Dee (Orsett) 74 +2
T32. Gareth Sheriden (Camberley Heath) 74 +2
T32. Jack Haines (Gerrards Cross) 74 +2
T32. Harley Smith (The Rayleigh Club) 74 +2
T32. Harvey Byers (Walton Heath) 74 +2
T44. Steve Weidner (Ballards Gove) 75 +3
T44. Richard Caldwell (Sunningdale) 75 +3
T44. Yago Rio Aja (Spain) 75 +3
T54. Charlie Croker (Thornsdon Park) 76 +4
T54. Harry Wood (Orsett) 76 +4
T54. Mark Healy (Royal St. George’s) 76 +4
T54. Philip Ashenden (Woodbridge) 76 +4
T64. Sam Statham (Knole Park) 77 +5
T64. Freddie Horler (Berkshire) 77 +5
T64. Jack Holland (Littlestone) 77 +5
T81. George Crow (Rochester & Cobham Park) 78 +6
T81. Thomas Ryan (Knebworth) 78 +6
T81. Dylan Smith (Portlethan) 79 +7
T91. Joseph McDonagh-Brown (Wrotham Heath) 79 +7
T100. Neil Relph (Prince’s) 80 +8
T100. Josh Balson-Scales (Wentworth Club) 80 +8
T100. Harry Bush (Walton Heath) 80 +8
T109. Nathan Longley (Worthing) 81 +9
T116. Matthew Brunt (Bird Hills) 82 +10
T119. Nathan Parrish (Chelmsford) 83 +11
T123. Simon Prestcote (Hanbury Manor) 84 +12
128. Joshua Bisdée (Huntercombe) 87 +15
T133. Tom Goodley (Royal West Norfolk) WD

Sunday 27th JuneRESULTS
134 players / 43 amateurs / 25 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T7. Ben Quinney (Kings Hill) 71 -1
T7. Zach Chegwidden (Orsett) 71 -1
T7. Nic Elliott (Tandridge) 71 -1
T14. Brandon Meads (Brentwood) 72 Ev
T14. Jacob Kelso (Kings Hill) 72 Ev
T20. Alex Kephart (USA) 73 +1

Reserves
T24. Ignatius McGuiness (Harleyford) 74 +2 Res. 2 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 9-FOR-2]
T24. Harry Anstock (Woburn) 74 +2 Res. 7 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 9-FOR-2]

Non-Qualifiers
T33. Charlie Roper (The Berkshire) 75 +3
T33. Seve Rixon (Royal Wimbledon) 75 +3
T37. Andy Smith (Bearsted) 76 +4
T37. Luke Spooner (Sundridge Park) 76 +4
T37. Matt Gauntlett (West Herts) 76 +4
T51. Harry Spellman (North Foreland) 77 +5
T51. Kipp Popert (Wildernesse) 77 +5
T51. Joshua Patmore (Knole Park) 77 +5
T51. Alex Cooper (Hindhead) 77 +5
T51. Andrew Whitford (Lilley Brook) 77 +5
T62. Niall Cameron (Royal St George’s) 78 +6
T62. Oliver Daws (Royal Cinque Ports) 78 +6
T62. Teddy Hall (Got Magog) 78 +6
T62. Michael Pask (Royal Wimbledon) 78 +6
T62. Sam Russell (Royal Eastbourne) 78 +6
T72. Tomasz Boniek (Italy) 79 +7
T72. James Ellis (Centurian Club) 79 +7
T83. David North (Royal Wimbledon) 80 +8
T83. Josh Austin-Tierney (Got Magog) 80 +8
T83. Edward Keep (Clandon Regis) 80 +8
T83. Shaun Macklin (Rochester & Cobham Park) 80 +8
T83. Neil Atherton (Stoneham) 80 +8
T101. Lee Meakin (Royal St George’s Permit Holders) 82 +10
T101. Callum Gardiner (Ashford) 82 +10
108. Tony W. Adams (Prince’s) 83 +11
T109. Ben Smith (West Hill) 84 +12
T113. Scott Tindle (Canada) 85 +13
T113. Leslie Howkins (The Richmond) 85 +13
T113. Jack Kenny (Beaverbrook) 85 +13
T119. Eamonn O’Connor (Royal Wimbledon) 87 +15
124. Luke Leverett (Sunningdale Heath) 89 +17
125. Charles Hitchcock (Royal Porthcawl) 90 +18
T127. Julian Hayward (Rockliffe Hall) 93 +21
T128. Shane McCaughan (Royal Cinque Ports Artisan) NR
T128. Michael Price (Australia) DQ

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ST. ANNES OLD LINKS – 6,907 yards, par 72

Saturday 26th JuneRESULTS
128 players / 61 amateurs / 26 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T2. Stephen Roger (Peebles) 67 -5
T5. Alex Dixon (City of Newcastle) 68 -4
T7. Daniel Thomas (Ilkley) 69 -3
T11. Jack McPhail (Southport & Ainsdale) 70 -2
T11. Ross Clewley (Prestbury) 70 -2
T19. Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 71 -1 
T19. William McGhie (Lancaster) 71 -1
T19. Mark Millhouse (Turton) 71 -1

Reserves
T31. Hamish Mills (Cardross) 73 +1 Res. 10

Non-Qualifiers
T31. Dominic Barron Holden (Kendal) 73 +1
T31. Freddie MacArthur (Ullesthorpe Court) 73 +1
T31. Darren Carlisle (Fairhaven) 73 +1
T31. Ashley Williams (Deane) 73 +1
T39. Gregor Graham (Blairgowrie) 74 +2
T39. Chris Lewis (Fulford) 74 +2
T39. Jay Scott (Tiverton) 74 +2
T39. Harrison Thomas-Cooper (St Annes Old Links) 74 +2
T39. Luke Quint (Ulverston) 74 +2
T39. Arthur Tapner (Ashridge) 74 +2
T51. Jeff Pitt (Close House) 75 +3
T51. Lewis Irvine (Kirkhill) 75 +3
T51. Greg Brown (Cathkin Braes) 75 +3
T51. George Mills (Pyecombe) 75 +3
T51. Samuel Burton (Prestbury) 75 +3
T51. John Heppell (Brancepath Castle) 75 +3
T51. Jamie Van Wyk (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 75 +3
T63. Ryan Owen (Styal) 76 +4
T63. Toby Garrett (Crosland Heath) 76 +4
T63. Chris Brookfield (Blackpool North Shore) 76 +4
T63. Michael Kilgallon (Northcliffe) 76 +4
T63. Jack Wallbank (Ashton and Lea) 76 +4
T63. Paul Frith (Genearn) 76 +4
T75. Adam Charlton (Ramside) 77 +5
T75. Dean Morris (Swansea Bay) 77 +5
T75. Joseph Murray (Blundells Hill) 77 +5
T75. John Ellison (Accrington) 77 +5
T75. Chris Abbott (Lutterworth) 77 +5
T75. Paul Godding (Rugby) 77 +5
T75. Anthony Stirling (Formby) 77 +5
T86. Riaz Rattansi (Queenwood) 78 +6
T86. Lillian LeBoucher (France) 78 +6
T86. Christopher Tod (Duxbury Park) 78 +6
T86. Colin Greenall (St Annes Old Links) 78 +6
T95. Joshua McAspurn (Crosland Heath) 79 +7
T95. Jordan Clements (Northcliffe) 79 +7
T95. Neil Williams (St Annes Old Links) 79 +7
T95. Rob Brightman (The Millbrook) 79 +7
T102. William Nimmo (Chester-le-Street) 80 +8
T102. Sam Stewart (St Annes Old Links) 80 +8
T102. Nicholas Peoples (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 80 +8
T110. Al McCulloch (Knebworth) 82 +10
T110. Alex Croston (Fleetwood) 82 +10
T110. Ben Scanes (Romford) 82 +10
T110. Owen Thomas (Brancepeth Castle) 82 +10
T110. Ben Hinchey (Machynys Peninsula) 82 +10
T116. Archie Palmer (Davenport) 85 +13
T119. Dominic Jesper (Pannal) 87 +15
T119. Will Coxon (Carus Green) 87 +15
T119. Robert O’Donnell (Meldrum House) 87 +15
123. James Morrison (Bothwell Castle) 90 +18
T124. Benito O’Loughlin (Denham) 92 +20

Sunday 27th JuneRESULTS
130 players / 48 amateurs / 25 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T6. Rhys Nevin (Sandiway) 68 -4
T6. Robbie Spence (Furness) 68 -4
T10. Jack Ainscough (The Wynyard) 69 -3
T15. Andrew Haswell (Ormskirk) 70 -2
T15. Thomas Ratcliffe (Southport & Ainsdale) 70 -2
T19. Aiden Hoosen (Manchester) 71 -1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 19-FOR-7]
T19. Fraser McLeod (Hazel Grove) 71 -1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 19-FOR-7]
T19. Will Marshall (Heworth) 71 -1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 19-FOR-7]

Reserves

Non-Qualifiers
T19. Scott Brown (Oakdale) 71 -1 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 19-FOR-7]
T38. Warren Bladon (Kenilworth) 72 Ev
T38. Joshua Turnock (Prestbury) 72 Ev
T38. Alex Walker (Rochdale) 72 Ev
T43. George Ash (Hallowes) 73 +1
T43. George Leversuch (South Herts) 73 +1
T50. Seb Crabtree (Woodsome Hall) 74 +2
T50. Harry Uzzell (Wentworth) 74 +2
T50. Matthew Gresty (Childwall) 74 +2
T50. Mark Lamb (Ganstead Park) 74 +2
T50. Ed Dimambro (Gog Magog) 74 +2
T61. Ian Henderson (Blyth) 75 +3
T61. Chris Carney (Morecombe) 75 +3
T61. Ross Allott (Waitemata) 75 +3
T61. Jackson Garnett (Five Lakes) 75 +3
T71. Sean Huntington (Castle Eden) 76 +4
T71. David Marris (Links Newmarket) 76 +4
T71. Thomas Matthews (Aldersey Green) 76 +4
T71. Jonathan Beesley (The Mere) 76 +4
T86. Darren Howie (Peebles) 77 +5
T86. Freddie Lawrence (Garon Park) 77 +5
T86. George Finlay (Carnoustie) 77 +5
T95. Leigh Clayton (Fleetwood) 78 +6
T95. Ben Churchill (Fleetwood) 78 +6
T95. Matthew Buckley (Bolton Old Links) 78 +6
T95. Curtis Thompson (Blackpool North Shore) 78 +6
T95. Jack Kurzberg (Wentworth) 78 +6
T95. William Bowe (Workington) 78 +6
T105. Mark Diamond (Furness) 79 +7
T105. Harrison Leaver (Worcester) 79 +7
T110. William Walne (Longridge) 80 +8
T110. Thomas Winn (Morecombe) 80 +8
T113. Gavin Wilson (Ladybank) 83 +11
T113. AJ Ball (Beauchief) 83 +11
T113. Miles Wade (Longridge) 83 +11
118. Matthew Astall (Rowan) 85 +13
119. Louis Martin (Saffron Walden) 86 +14
120. Thomas Johnson (Astbury) 89 +17
121. Farris Hassan (Bothwell Castle) 90 +18
T122. Ian Matheson (Bonnybridge) NR

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WEST LANCASHIRE G.C. – 7,016 yards, par 72

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West Lancashire Golf Club

Saturday 26th JuneRESULTS
126 players / 65 amateurs / 29 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T3. Richard Cheetham (Pedham Place) 68 -4
T5. Richard Knightly (The Royal Dublin) 69 -3
T5. Ryan Tattan (Chelmsford) 69 -3
T15. John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 71 -1
T15. Joe Walsh (West Lancashire) 71 -1
T15. Jack Brooks (The Mere) 71 -1
T22. Aidan O’Hagan (Old Course Ranfurly) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]
T22. Chris Chilton (High Legh Park) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]
T22. Joe Retford (Cumberwell Park) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]
T22. Tom Sherreard (Kings Hill) 72 Ev [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]

Reserves
T22. Jack Wiggans (Chorley) 72 Ev Res. 2 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]
T22. Ashley Siddle (Stockport) 72 Ev Res. 3 [AFTER PLAY-OFF 10-FOR-8]
T32. Frank Kennedy (Trump National Jupiter) 73 +1 Res. 6
T32. Habebul Islam (Ipswich) 73 +1 Res. 7
T32. Chris Harrison (Leigh) 73 +1 Res. 11

Non-Qualifiers
T32. Aaron Siddell (Sonning) 73 +1
T32. Seán Keeling (Roganstown) 73 +1
T32. Oliver Brown (Royal Porthcawl) 73 +1
T39. James Erskine-Low (Woolton) 74 +2
T44. Riccardo Fantinelli (Italy) 75 +3
T44. Robert Holden (Letchworth) 75 +3
T44. Charlie Kelly (Athlone) 75 +3
T50. Daniel Haycocks (Oswestry) 76 +4
T50. Jack Sutttie (Denton) 76 +4
T50. James Jaycock (West Lancashire) 76 +4
T50. James Wilson (Balmore) 76 +4
T50. Callum Bruce (Elsham) 76 +4
T50. Danny Loveday (St Neots) 76 +4
T50. Nick Blackhurst (West Lancashire) 76 +4
T50. Pádraig O’Dochartaigh (Gweedore) 76 +4
T61. Jake Hibbert (Delamere Forest) 77 +5
T61. Gary Skipp (Robin Hood) 77 +5
T61. Patrick Keeling (Roganstown) 77 +5
T61.  Luke Rogers (Kidderminster) 77 +5
T61. Ben Sheriff (Elsham) 77 +5
T71. Ollie White (Pannal) 78 +6
T71. Nandit Sondagar (Stoke Park) 78 +6
T71. Mark Westmoreland (Seaton Carew) 78 +6
T71. Michael McCormack (Hesketh) 78 +6
T71. Robert Cull (Bromborough) 78 +6
T71. Remy Miller (Prestbury) 78 +6
T82. Kane McCumesky (Davenport) 79 +7
T82. Jonny Golding (Hinckley) 79 +7
T91. Kris Diamond (Seaton Carew) 80 +8
T91. Tom Howells (The Worcestershire) 80 +8
T91. Lewis Reid (Glasgow) 80 +8
T97. Tristan Tusa (Royal West Norfolk) 81 +9
T97. Gregg Peel (Wilpshire) 81 +9
T101. Kristian Towers (Crewe) 82 +10
T101. Tim Saunders (Holywell) 82 +10
T101. Neil Walker (Northop) 82 +10
T101. Kevin Whittaker (Formby Hall) 82 +10
T107. Matthew Thornton (Lowes Park) 83 +11
T107. Alfie Simpson (Ham Manor) 83 +11
T109. Josh Wilkinson (Grange Park) 84 +12
T109. Harry Fearn (Leek) 84 +12
T109. Dominic O’Brien (Warrington) 84 +12
T112. Adam Carr (Sale) 85 +13
T116. Darren Humphries (Ludlow) 87 +15
T116. James Gerencser (South Shields) 87 +15
T118. Simon Naylor (Hampton Court Palace) 88 +16
T119. Reece Cranfield (Wigan) NR
T119. Jack Cornes (High Legh Park) NR
T119. Melwin Heyne Sundqvist (Sweden) WD
T119. Hari Pachu (Machynys Peninsula) WD

Sunday 27th JuneRESULTS
128 players / 60 amateurs / 28 qualifying places

Qualifiers
T6. Josh Street (Heyrose) 71 -1
T6. Christian Johnson (Leasowe) 71 -1
T6. Liam Gobin (Sandiway) 71 -1
T10. Declan Buksh (Marsden Park) 72 Ev
T10. Robert Galligan (Elm Park) 72 Ev
T17. Tom Hughes (Formby) 73 +1
T17. Cole Betteridge (Sherwood Forest) 73 +1
T17. Mark Kimpton (Vicars Cross) 73 +1
T17. Tom Irwin (Alwoodley) 73 +1
T17. Oliver Beech (Worthing) 73 +1
T17. Josh Greer (Australia) 73 +1
T17. George Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) 73 +1

Reserves
T29. Danial Parsons (Sudbury) 74 +2 Res. 9

Non-Qualifiers
T34. Max King (The Manchester) 75 +3
T34. Andrew Ni (Murrayfield) 75 +3
T34. Tim Fish (Royal Lytham & St Annes) 75 +3
T42. George Johnson (Beaconsfield) 76 +4
T42. Ronnie Casey (Malden) 76 +4
T42. Dan Johnson (Prestbury) 76 +4
T42. Matthew Raybould (Hornsea) 76 +4
T51. James Blyth (Worplesdon) 77 +5
T60. James Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) 78 +6
T60. Jack Lampkin (Bracken Ghyll) 78 +6
T60. Stephen Hargreaves (West Derby) 78 +6
T60. Daniel Maguire (Houghwood) 78 +6
T60. Lewis McNicholas (Crewe) 78 +6
T60. Anthony Watts (Darrington) 78 +6
T60. Daniel Morris (Fairhaven) 78 +6
T60. Thomas Graves (West Lancashire) 78 +6
T60. Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool) 78 +6
T60. Ally MacDonald (Heswell) 78 +6
T74. Robert Reid (Crewe) 79 +7
T74. Jake Wiltshire (Ormskirk) 79 +7
T74. James Reed (Exeter) 79 +7
T74. John Kendall (Crewe) 79 +7
T74. Simon Fairburn (Torwoodlee) 79 +7
T74. Henry Gibbs (Formby Hall) 79 +7
T74. Harry Lord (Rossendale) 79 +7
T86. Stephen Guy (Bootle) 80 +8
T86. Harry Begg (Southport & Ainsdale) 80 +8
T86. Sam Prince (Stockport) 80 +8
T86. John Penny (Torwoodlee) 80 +8
T95. David Jeanrenaud (Houghwood) 81 +9
T95. Lewis Johansen (Caldy) 81 +9
T95. Matthew Hibbs (Broome Manor) 81 +9
T95. Jamie Preston (Crewe) 81 +9
T95. Simon Bright (Brockett Hall) 81 +9
T101. Andrew Houghton (Huyton & Prescot) 82 +10
T101. Sebastian Sandin (Dunblane New) 82 +10
T101. Jackson Berry (Torwoodlee) 82 +10
T106. Matthew Stewart (Beamish Park) 83 +11
T106. Jake Chute (Tandridge) 83 +11
T106. Chris Duffy (Park) 83 +11
T110. Tim Newton (South Herts) 84 +12
T110. Oliver Reid (Crewe) 84 +12
T110. Ian Robinson (Kirkby Lonsdale) 84 +12
T115. James Jones (Royal Birkdale) 86 +14
T115. Liam Debattista (The Lambourne) 86 +14
T118. Jack Brown (Brampton Heath GC) 87 +15

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Click here and chose your venue to view the full – Regional Qualifying Results

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ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Open Championship’s Silver Medal

July 2021 Update

The Silver Medal is awarded to the leading amateur at The Open Championship, provided they make the cut and complete all 72 holes.

It was first awarded in 1949 and in the 72 Championships since has been won 52 times by 46 different players. Prior to World War II amateurs were often amongst the leading competitors so a separate prize was not considered necessary.

The Silver Medal used to bear the inscription ‘Golf Champion Trophy’, with the edition of the words ‘First Amateur’ but my understanding is it now simply states “Open Golf Championship [Year]’ on one side and the winner’s name on the reverse.

Here is some background on the Silver Medal and a full list of the select group of past winners.

History

The Open Championship was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland.

It is the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf and the only one played outside the United States.

The 150th Open will be played on the Old Course at St. Andrews on 14-17 July 2022.

Amateurs In the Field

Nowadays the field is made up of 156 players. These are mainly professionals but there are always a handful of amateurs too.

Exemptions to both categories are given by The R&A based on previous wins / performances and world rankings. There are currently 27 exemption categories that provide c.110 players.

There are five amateur exemptions which are awarded to: –
– The Amateur Champion (current year).
– The European Amateur Champion (current year).
– The Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion (previous year).
– The Mark H. McCormack Medal Winner – Men’s WAGR (previous year).
– The United States Amateur Champion (previous year).

The remaining c.46 players have to play in The Open Qualifying Series (11 International events) or Regional (13 GB&I events) and Final Qualifying (4 GB events) to earn their places. Additional amateur players often come through these latter events.

Best Amateur Performances

Bobby Jones (USA) was the last amateur to win The Open Championship in 1930, his famous Grand Slam year. Jones had previously won the event in 1926 and 1927.

Prior to that The Open had been won by just two other amateurs – Englishmen John Ball (1890) and Harold Hilton (1892 and 1897).

Frank Stranahan (USA) finished runner-up in 1947 and 1953, behind Fred Daly and Ben Hogan respectively.

Reid Jack (SCO) finished tied 5th in 1959 before more recently Justin Rose (ENG) tied 4th in 1998 and Chris Wood (ENG) tied 5th in 2008.

Finally, who can forget Paul Dunne’s (IRL) performance at St. Andrews in 2015. Dunne was tied for the 54 hole lead after rounds of 69, 69 and 66 before sadly a final round 78 saw him slip down the field for an undeserved tied 30th finish.

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Alfie Plant – Winner of the 2017 Silver Medal (Photo: @GolfMonthly)

The Silver Medal Winners

In the 72 Championships from 1949 to 2021 the Silver Medal has been won by 46 players on 52 occasions (all in bold in the table below).

The Medal has not been awarded on 20 occasions during this period when no amateur was able to make the cut.

Frank Stranahan (USA) won it four times in its first five years. He was also the low amateur in 1947 before it came into existence.

Joe Carr (IRL), Michael Bonallack (ENG) and Peter McEvoy (ENG) are the only other multiple winners, having each won it twice.

Since 1972 a Bronze Medal has also been awarded to any other amateurs who complete all four rounds.

Here is the complete list of Silver Medal winners: –

Year Venue  Winner
1949 Royal St George’s  Frank Stranahan
1950 Troon  Frank Stranahan (2)
1951 Royal Portrush  Frank Stranahan (3)
1952 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Jackie Jones
1953 Carnoustie  Frank Stranahan (4)
1954 Royal Birkdale  Peter Toogood
1955 St Andrews  Joe Conrad
1956 Royal Liverpool  Joe Carr
1957 St Andrews  Dickson Smith
1958 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Joe Carr (2)
1959 Muirfield  Reid Jack
1960 St Andrews  Guy Wolstenholme
1961 Royal Birkdale  Ronnie White
1962 Troon  Charlie Green
1963 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Not awarded
1964 St Andrews  Not awarded
1965 Royal Birkdale  Michael Burgess
1966 Muirfield  Ronnie Shade
1967 Royal Liverpool  Not awarded
1968 Carnoustie  Michael Bonallack
1969 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Peter Tupling
1970 St Andrews  Steve Melnyk
1971 Royal Birkdale  Michael Bonallack (2)
1972 Muirfield  Not awarded
1973 Troon  Danny Edwards
1974 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Not awarded
1975 Carnoustie  Not awarded
1976 Royal Birkdale  Not awarded
1977 Turnberry  Not awarded
1978 St Andrews  Peter McEvoy
1979 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Peter McEvoy (2)
1980 Muirfield  Jay Sigel
1981 Royal St George’s  Hal Sutton
1982 Royal Troon  Malcolm Lewis
1983 Royal Birkdale  Not awarded
1984 St Andrews  Not awarded
1985 Royal St George’s  José María Olazábal
1986 Turnberry  Not awarded
1987 Muirfield  Paul Mayo
1988 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Paul Broadhurst
1989 Royal Troon  Russell Claydon
1990 St Andrews  Not awarded
1991 Royal Birkdale  Jim Payne
1992 Muirfield  Daren Lee
1993 Royal St George’s  Iain Pyman
1994 Turnberry  Warren Bennett
1995 St Andrews  Steve Webster
1996 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Tiger Woods
1997 Royal Troon  Barclay Howard
1998 Royal Birkdale  Justin Rose
1999 Carnoustie  Not awarded
2000 St Andrews  Not awarded
2001 Royal Lytham & St Annes  David Dixon
2002 Muirfield  Not awarded
2003 Royal St George’s  Not awarded
2004 Royal Troon  Stuart Wilson
2005 St Andrews  Lloyd Saltman
2006 Royal Liverpool  Marius Thorp
2007 Carnoustie  Rory McIlroy
2008 Royal Birkdale  Chris Wood
2009 Turnberry  Matteo Manassero
2010 St Andrews  Jin Jeong
2011 Royal St George’s  Tom Lewis
2012 Royal Lytham & St Annes  Not awarded
2013 Muirfield  Matthew Fitzpatrick
2014 Royal Liverpool  Not awarded
2015 St Andrews  Jordan Niebrugge
2016 Royal Troon  Not awarded
2017 Royal Birkdale  Alfie Plant
2018 Carnoustie  Sam Locke
2019 Royal Portrush  Not awarded
2020 Royal St. George’s  Cancelled – COVID19
2021 Royal St. George’s Matthias Schmid

Winners of the Boys’ Amateur Championship earn an exemption into Final Qualifying for The Open. Matthew Fitzpatrick came through Final Qualifying in 2013, the year he won the Boys’, to also pick up the Silver Medal.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are the only Silver Medal winners to go on and become ‘The Champion Golfer of the Year’ too.

Hal Sutton (1983 P.G.A. Championship), José María Olazábal (1994 and 1999 Masters) and Justin Rose (2013 U.S. Open) are other Silver Medal winners to have subsequently secured a major Championship.

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Lieutenant F. G. Tait

10th January 2016

Lieutenant F.G. (Frederick Guthrie) Tait was a leading golfer at the end of the 19th Century. A hugely charismatic man he starred alongside Johnny Ball, Harold Hilton, Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor. At a time when amateurs and pros played together a lot their combined popularity helped to grow the game in Great Britain and Ireland.

So why haven’t most people heard of him ? Well sadly he only played competitive golf for 9 years before he was tragically killed aged 30 serving his country in the Second Boer War. Despite this his happy demeanour, good sportsmanship and attacking, winning play made him a national hero and left a golfing legacy that endures to this day.

Freddie Tait & Amateur Champ Trophy

Freddie Tait with The Amateur Championship Trophy in 1898

So let’s take a look at the life of this important historical figure: –

1. Freddie Tait was born just under 150 years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland on 11th January 1870.

2. His father, Peter, was an Edinburgh University professor and fanatical golfer. As such the family spent most of their summer holidays in nearby St. Andrews. He started playing golf aged 5 and along with his three brothers learned to play the game on the Old Course. The family would often play up to five rounds a day starting at 6.00am. Professor Tait, known as ‘The Governor’ by Freddie, undertook many of the earliest experiments on the physics of golf using his son to produce the ball striking data he required.

3. After completing his education at the Edinburgh Academy he joined the Royal Military College at Sandhurst – where it is said he introduced golf – and became an infantry soldier, eventually serving with the 2nd Battalion of The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). He clearly had some flexibility with his employment and when he was not guarding Queen Victoria during her Balmoral stays he appears to have been able to play golf at will, be it friendlies, competitive matches or tournaments.

Freddie Tait Black Watch

4. He became a member of the Royal & Ancient G.C. of St. Andrews in early 1890 just after he had turned 20. Thereafter he repeatedly set new Old Course scoring records. A 77 in 1890, a 72 in 1894 and then in 1897 a remarkable 69.  From an early age he kept detailed records of all his matches, detailing his scores and play as well as the course conditions and his opponent’s play.

5. He was a 6 foot tall powerful man and one of the longest hitters of his era. He became famous nationwide when on 11th January 1893 he produced a record breaking drive of 341 yards on the 13th hole of the Old Course. His gutta-percha ball flew 250 yards and ran a further 91 yards on the frozen fairway.  This more than exceeded his Father’s “scientifically proven” maximum drive distance.

6. In total he won 28 tournaments between 1893 and 1899, many of them on the Old Course in Royal & Ancient Golf Club competitions. He also won three St. George’s Challenge Cups at Royal St. George’s. In his final 1899 season he won the Prestwick Silver Medal, the St. George’s, the three major Medals at the Royal & Ancient, the Calcutta Cup and was runner-up in the Amateur. In July 1899 he shot a new course record 63 at the old Archerfield Links. This was clearly a man at the top of his game come the turn of the century.

7. His greatest golfing achievements were his two Amateur Championship victories. Having reached the semi-finals in 1893, 1894 and 1895 his first victory came in 1896 when he beat Harold Hilton 8&7 in the final at Royal St. George’s. This was the first year the final was played over 36 holes and Tait went into the Championship as favourite having won the stroke play St. George’s Challenge Cup played immediately before it. Nevertheless his first win was hard fought; the draw seeing him have to beat John Laidlay, John Ball and Horace Hutchinson, all previous multiple Amateur champions, before facing Hilton.

Freddie Tait & Harold Hilton

Freddie Tait tees off against Harold Hilton in The Amateur Championship of 1896

In 1898 Tait beat S. Mure Ferguson 7&5 at Hoylake.  In the fourth round Tait found himself up against local favourite Harold Hilton. The ‘match of the week’ turned into an anti-climax with Tait easily winning 6&5. In the next round he played another Hoylake member, Jack Graham, whose family he happened to be staying with. Tait was fortunate to win by 1 hole, Graham missing two late putts, one of which Hilton kindly described as “about the shortest I have ever seen missed in a Championship”. He was equally lucky in the semi-final where his mixed play saw him taken to the 20th hole.  Despite a comfortable win in the final he endeared himself to the locals with his humble victory speech: “Thank you for the way in which you have received my fluky win. I ought to have been beaten twice yesterday, but I got off. I played better today but I really don’t deserve the Championship”.

Freddie Tait & Mure Ferguson

Freddie Tait with Mure Ferguson at Hoylake in1898

Tait’s record in the Amateur is the second best of those who have played 30 or more matches, beaten only by American Frank Stranahan. Between 1892 and 1899 he played in 8 Amateurs competing in 36 matches. He won 30 and lost 6 giving him a win percentage of 83.3% (Stranahan’s being 86%).

8. In what Bernard Darwin later described as “the greatest, most prostratingly exciting” match he ever saw Freddie Tait lost the final of the 1899 Amateur Championship, his last of course, to Johnny Ball. Played at Prestwick G.C. Tait again beat Hilton, this time by 1 hole in the quarter finals, on the way to the final. It was the final everyone wanted – Scotland versus England with the two most popular and respected figures in amateur golf going head to head. Tait led by 3 holes after the morning 18, albeit he had been 5 Up after 14.  Ball was level by the 6th in the afternoon and went 1 Up with just two holes to play.  On the 17th, the ‘Alps Hole’, Tait failed to carry the sandhills and ended up in the large cross bunker short of the green.  Due to heavy rain the bunker was full of water (see below). However, Tait managed to get the floating gutta-percha ball out of the water and half the hole; Ball having been just short of the green in two himself.  Tait then won the 18th to take the final to extra holes. Sadly for Tait Ball holed out for birdie on the 1st from seven feet whilst he missed from a similar distance.

Freedie Tait 17th Prestwick 1899

Freddie Tait ponders his approach to Prestwick’s 17th with Ball on the steps (Photo: Getty Images).

9. He competed in eight Open Championships between 1891 and 1899. He missed the 1893 Open at Prestwick. He was the leading amateur six times with his best finish being third, which he achieved in both 1896 and 1897.

10. In 1898 he made a legendary bet that he could play from Royal St. George’s G.C. in Sandwich, Kent to the neighbouring Royal Cinque Ports G.C. 3.2 miles (5,652 yards) away in less than 40 teed strokes with the same ball. The two courses do not abut so some rough scrubland between the two also had to be overcome. It was agreed that when his ball struck the Cinque Ports clubhouse the cross-country shot count would end. With a gallery, some ball spotters and his dog ‘Nails’ helping him Tait achieved the feat in just 32 shots. Unfortunately his final shot went through a clubhouse window and as a result much of his winnings were paid over in compensation to the Club. Unusually he chose not to record the challenge in his diary but it was recorded for posterity in the R&A’s Golfer’s Handbook for many years.

11. Tait was well known for celebrating his golfing victories by playing his bagpipes loudly and marching up and down clubhouses and town centres across the country.  It was his friendliness and mischievous nature that the people of Scotland came to love.

12. His last competitive golf match took place at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s G.C. on 2nd October 1899. It was a 36-hole re-match against Johnny Ball, a member of Lytham. With 5 holes to play Ball was 3-Up but Tait fought back and finally won on the 18th. Just three weeks later his life would be turned on it’s head and he would off to war.

13. In October 1899 the Second Boer war broke out and on the 22nd, as a Lieutenant in the Black Watch, Tait travelled to Cape Town in South Africa to fight.  He was shot in the thigh of his left leg at the Battle of Magersfontein on 11th December. After recovering he returned to the front line in January to lead his platoon in the Battle of Koodoosburg Drift near Kimberley.  On 7th February 1900 he was shot dead leading a charge.

14. He and his fallen colleagues were ‘buried in a soldiers grave’ on the banks of the Riet River. In 1963 he was re-interred in the West End Cemetery in Kimberley by the War Graves Board. A plain marble cross simply records his name, and dates of birth and death. A memorial service was held for Tait at the Church of St. John The Evangelist on Princes Street, Edinburgh on 21st February 1900.  There is also a commemorative headstone in the church’s graveyard.

Freddie Tait Memorial Service

Freddie Tait Memorial Service Programme

Freddie Tait Edinburgh Headstone

Freddie Tait Commemorative Headstone in the Church of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh

15. There was a national outpouring of grief when the news of Tait’s death was received back home. Another amateur golfer of the day John L. Low was asked to put together a remembrance book. ‘F.G. Tait – A Record; Being his Life, Letters and Golfing Diary’ was published in 1900. With the full cooperation of Tait’s family and everyone who knew him it was the first golf biography ever written and without question one of the most comprehensive. All of the profits from the sale of the book were donated to the Black Watch Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund.

16. Given his status in the game and in particular at St. Andrews his fellow Royal & Ancient G.C. members commissioned John Henry Larimer, the famous Scottish artist, to paint his portrait in 1901. It still hangs in the R&A clubhouse to this day.  The 16th hole of the Jubilee Course at St. Andrews is also named ‘Freddie Tait’ after him.

Freddie Tait R&A Portrait

Freddie Tait with his terrier dog ‘Nails’ and a Boy Caddie (Photo: R&A)

17. The St. Andrews Memorial Hospital in Abbey Walk, opened in 1902 and closed in 2009, was largely funded by monies raised in memory of Freddie Tait.

Freddie Tait Hospital Plaque

The St. Andrews Memorial Hospital Freddie Tait Wing Plaque

18. Tait was a founding member in 1894 of Luffness New G.C. in East Lothian. For many years his family allowed Luffness to display most of Freddie’s medals and other memorabilia in their clubhouse. The family tried to sell 36 of his medals in May 2009 but with an estimate of £120-180,000 they failed to sell at Convery Auctions. The National Library of Scotland acquired six Tait letters for £10,000 in the same auction. The medals were returned to their Luffness cabinet and remain there. The Club has an annual Freddie Tait foursomes stableford competition to start their season. The winners are allowed to wear some of the medals during a prize giving lunch afterwards.

19. In 1936 Lieutenant Tait’s putter was presented to the Kimberley Golf Club by J.H. Taylor who was touring with a group of UK professionals. Tait’s will had asked for his putter to be given to the club closest to the site of his death. Since 1937 the club has held an annual Freddie Tait Putter competition. In 1990, on the 90th anniversary of his death, The FG Tait Golf Museum was opened and then on the centenary in 2000 a Freddie Tait Golf Week was instigated.

20. In 1928 The Freddie Tait Cup was donated to the South African Golf Association by a touring British Amateur team who found themselves with surplus funds. From 1929 it has been awarded to the leading amateur at the South African Open, subject to them making the cut. This event normally concludes around the date of Tait’s birthday. South African greats Bobby Locke, Denis Hutchison, Dale Hayes, Ernie Els and Trevor Immelmann have all won it in the past.

Freddie Tait Cameron Moralee 2016

Cameron Moralee with The Freddie Tait Cup in 2016 (Photo: Sunshine Tour)

Freddie Tait was a genuine national hero and a household name. Bernard Darwin, reflecting in 1933 said “I do not think I have ever seen any other golfer so adored by the crowd – no, not Harry Vardon or Bobby Jones in their primes.” He was clearly a superb golfer and a fans favourite. One can only wonder at what he may have achieved in the game if his life hadn’t been so cruelly ended by a shot through the heart when he was just 30 years old.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

John Ball Jr

24th December 2014

On the anniversary of his birthday I thought I would research the career of arguably Britain’s greatest ever amateur golfer.  Indeed many commentators place him only behind the legendary Bobby Jones on the world’s greatest list.

John (‘Johnny’) Ball was born in Hoylake on the Wirral, England on 24th December 1861.

John Ball 1

John Ball

John Ball’s father, John Senior, owned the Royal Hotel at Hoylake.  The hotel became the club house for the Liverpool GC (the Royal was conferred in 1871) when it was first established in 1869.  Living adjacent to the famous links (and old race course) John soon took up the game and quickly became proficient.

He grew to know Royal Liverpool like the back of his hand. He proved it in 1907 when he took a bet that he could go round the course in a dense fog in under 90 shots, without losing a ball and taking no longer than two and a quarter hours. Playing with a single painted black ball he scored 81 well within the allotted time.

He had a natural talent and the most envied swing of the time, despite what Bernard Darwin described as a “curious right-handed grip”.  Darwin, the famous Times Golf Correspondent, who saw all of the old greats play in person, thought very highly of Ball, saying “The beauty of any particular player’s style must, like his exact placing in the golfing firmament, be a matter of individual feeling, and I can only say that I have derived greater aesthetic and emotional pleasure from watching Mr. Ball than from any other spectacle in any game”.

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John Ball Competing In The 1912 Amateur Championship (Photo: Royal North Devon G.C.)

In 1878, aged 16, he came to national prominence when he finished fifth in the Open Championship held at Prestwick GC.  The Open, largely aimed at professional golfers, had been inaugurated by Prestwick GC in 1860.

In 1885 his home club, Royal Liverpool, held an informal Open Amateur ‘Grand Tournament’, which was played during their Spring Meeting.  This match play competition attracted 44 leading players “from recognised clubs” of the time, including Ball (23) who had gained entry through some Committee shenanigans (having received a £1 payment for his Open place in 1878 and whose amateur stays was therefore questionable at the time).  In the middle of the competition the stroke play Club Gold Medal was contested.  Ball won this with a course record 77.  The following morning he played Horace Hutchinson in a titanic semi-final match in the resumed Grand Tournament, losing on the 18th 2 Down.  Later that day Allan Macfie beat a spent Horace Hutchinson 7&6 in the final.  The event proved to be the success the Club had hoped for and as planned a proposal was put to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club (R&A) for a formal Amateur Championship to be established thereafter.  The suggestion was accepted and the first Amateur Championship was staged at St. Andrews in 1886, albeit the 1885 Hoylake Tournament was subsequently recognised in 1922.

John Ball went on to win 8 Amateur Championships in total – 1888, ’90, ’92, ’94, ’99, 1907, ’10, and ’12.  His wins came at Prestwick (2), Hoylake (3), Sandwich (1), St. Andrews (1) and Westward Ho ! (1).  His final Amateur victory in 1912 came when he was 50 years old.  The gap of 24 years between his first and last victories is clearly a record that will never be broken.  He was also runner-up twice, in 1887 and 1895.  Playing his last Amateur in 1921 at Hoylake, aged 60, he reached the last 16 from a starting field of 223.  His Amateur win record of W99-L22 (81.8%) is unparalleled.

When one considers Ball was playing in The Open in 1878 (8 years before the first Amateur) and that he also missed the 1900, ’01 and ’02 Championships due to military commitments (see below) one can only hazard a guess at how many Amateurs he may have won if events had unfolded in a more favourable manner.

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John Ball’s Medals at Royal Liverpool GC (Photo: GolfBible) 

Ball also won the Open Championship in September 1890 at Prestwick GC – only the second time he had played since his 1878 debut.  He was the first Englishman and the first amateur to win the Championship.  He was also the first to hold both the Amateur and Open Championships – a feat matched by Bobby Jones in 1930 on his way to the Grand Slam.  Fellow Royal Liverpool member Harold Hilton is the third and only other amateur to win The Open.  He was runner-up in the 1892 Open at Muirfield, when he let a lead slip to his friend Hilton.

The importance afforded to the Amateur over The Open in these early years is clear when one considers that Ball played in every Amateur between 1885 and 1921, save for his three war years, but was sporadic in his Open entries.

Unsurprisingly given his match play record he was a stubborn and determined competitor who would fight to the very end.  Darwin once noted that Ball had “a strong vein of hostility and if he wanted a player’s blood, he would fight his way through a tournament with the sole object of getting him”.

In 1908 he created a record by winning every one of the Royal Liverpool G.C.’s scratch medals.

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John Ball’s ‘Vanity Fair’ picture

After his 6th Amateur win in 1907 at St. Andrews he was made an honorary member of the R&A.

He served for the Cheshire Yeomanry in the Second Boer War (October 1899 – May 1902) in South Africa.  During this period he played next to no golf and missed three Amateur Championships.  Indeed one of his fiercest competitors, Scotland’s Freddie Tait, was killed in the same conflict.  His later competitive years would also have been impacted by World War I (1915-19) when he served in the Home Forces and most competitions were cancelled.

Ball was a quiet, retiring, introverted character who said very little to anyone.  It is next to impossible to find any written words or quotes from the great man.  He was very modest preferring to let his golf do the talking for him.  This approach created a certain mythology around him which remains to this day.  The quality of his game meant that he was the first player to consistently go for nearly every flag, whereas his peers simply played for the green.  This led to many memorable, heroic shots in his matches which spectators would talk about for days afterwards.  It also helped nullify his main weakness which was his putting.

He was a traditionalist who fought against the introduction of the lofted iron.  He described the niblick (a modern 8-iron), which he refused to carry, as “just another bloody spade” and felt it de-skilled the game he loved.  He believed players should simply adjust the lie of their existing mid-iron clubs with their grip when height was required on an approach shot.

He retired a ‘legend in his own lifetime’ to his farm in Holywell, Flintshire in nearby North Wales where he eventually died on 2nd December 1940, just shy of his 79th birthday.

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John Ball’s World Gall Hall of Fame Plaque

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.

John Ball is a true great of the game who undoubtedly helped spread the popularity of the sport in Great Britain and Ireland in the early 20th Century.  He is clearly someone whose legacy should not be allowed to fade away and who should be remembered by us all.

ME.

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

10 Things You Should Know About Bobby Locke (Video)

20th November 2014

As the years go by any reminiscences about South African golf increasingly start with the name of Gary Player.  However, before him came Bobby Locke.  Whilst not in the legendary bracket of Mr. Player Locke is certainly worthy of further note and in no way should be forgotten by us.

Bobby Locke

Bobby Locke

On the anniversary of his birthday here’s my Top 10 Bobby Locke Facts (in chronological order): –

1. Arthur D’arcy “Bobby” Locke was born in Germiston, South Africa on 20th November 1917.  He died, aged 69, on 9th March 1987 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

2. He achieved a scratch handicap by 16 and went on to win the South African Boys (1931), South African Amateur (1935 and ’37) and South African Open (1935, ’37 – both as an Amateur – ’38, ’39, ’40, ’46, ’50, ’51 and ’55).

 

Watch Bobby Locke Win The 1940 South African Open

3. After World War II, which interrupted his career, he toured South Africa with Sam Snead playing a series of exhibition matches.  After Locke had won 12 of the 16 they played Snead encouraged him to try the PGA Tour in the USA.  He started playing in the US in April 1947.  He won six tournaments that season, including four in five weeks.  In 1948 he won the Chicago Victory National by 16-shots (a record).  In two and half seasons he played in 59 events; winning 11 (19%) and finishing in the top three in 30 (34%).

4. In 1949 he was banned from the PGA Tour.  The official line was that he had failed to turn up at events he had previously committed to after his first Open win (see 5. below).  Unofficially it is often said that the other players opportunistically sought to remove him because he was simply too good for them.  The ban was lifted in 1951 but Locke rarely returned, his stock having by this time risen in Europe and the Rest of the World.

5. He won The Open Championship four times, in 1949 (Royal St. George’s – after a 36-hole play-off), 1950 (Troon), 1952 (Royal Lytham) and 1957 (St. Andrews).

6. His win in the 1957 Open proved a little controversial.  Having hit his approach to the last hole to a yard he famously failed to properly replace his marker having been asked to move it.  The newsreel footage was clear and the rules at the time indicated he should have been disqualified.  However, the R&A, having already presented Locke with the Claret Jug, allowed the result to stand, arguing that to not do so would be inequitable.  He had secured a birdie at the last and won by three strokes from Peter Thomson.

Watch Bobby Locke Win The 1957 Open At St. Andrews

7. Whilst very accurate he played with a relatively unattractive in-to-out swing and hit big draws for almost all of his full shots.  He was famous for being a smart dresser often playing in plus-fours.  He was impenetrable with a superb temperament but also notoriously slow.  He would only ever play at his own pace, irrespective of any penalties that he was threatened with.

Watch Bobby Locke’s Famous Golf Swing

8. He quickly realised: “No matter how well I might play the long shots, if I couldn’t putt, I would never win”.  He therefore became a magnificent putter, in many people’s opinion (including Gary Player’s) the best there has ever been.  He again had an unorthodox style, trapping the ball and imparting a hooking, top spin to it.  He later coined the often used golfing maxim: “You drive for show but putt for dough”.

9. His competitive career was shortened by a serious car accident in 1959.  Headaches and sight issues thereafter meant he never fully recovered his A-game.

10. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1977.  He was only the second non-USA or UK entrant after his fellow South African Gary Player (1974).

ME.

Copyright © 2014, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.