The Amateur Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

Saturday 18th June 2022

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

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

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

img_1971

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

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

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

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

img_1966

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

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

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

Please click here to view the – Golfbox Match Play Results

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Friday 17th June 2022

Semi-Finals

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

img_1957

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

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

img_1958

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Quarter Finals

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

img_1949

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

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

img_1950

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

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

img_1952

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

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

img_1955

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

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Thursday 16th June 2022

Round 4

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

img_1937

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

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

img_1938

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

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

img_1941

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

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

img_1939

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

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

img_1940

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

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

img_1942

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

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

img_1945

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

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

img_1946

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

__________________________________________

Round 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1936

img_1935

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Wednesday 15th June 2022

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

Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1924img_1925

img_1929

img_1927

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

__________________________________________

Preliminary Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

img_1928

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Tuesday 14th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 2

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

img_1915

Jonathan Broomhead’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

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

img_1907

Barclay Brown’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

img_1909

Mark Power’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

img_1912 Luke Harries’ Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1913img_1914

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

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

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Monday 13th June 2022

Stroke Play Qualifying – Round 1

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

img_1886-1

Ludvig Åberg’s Round 1 Scorecard

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

img_1894

Jamie Roberts’ Round 1 Scorecard

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

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

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

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

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

img_1891-1

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

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

Field Update

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

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Friday 10th June 2022

Pre-Qualifier

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_1848-1

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

ME.

__________________________________________

Wednesday 8th June 2022

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

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

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

Championship Format

Stroke Play Qualifying

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

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

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

Match Play Stage

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

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

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

Pre-Qualifying

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

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

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

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

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

img_1830

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

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

Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leading Players

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

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

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

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

Host Courses

Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.

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

img_1833

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

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

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

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

img_6343

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

St. Annes Old Links G.C.

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

img_1831

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

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

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

img_1832

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

Weather Forecast (as at Friday 10th June)

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

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

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

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

Prizes / Exemptions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

d) a DP World Tour event to be determined.

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

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

More Information

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

2021 Amateur Championship

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

img_5395

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

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

img_5393

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

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

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

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

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

img_5329

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Short History of The Amateur

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

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

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

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

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

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

img_5346

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

Past Winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

5th June 2022

Reigning Australian Amateur champion Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) won the 2022 St. Andrews Links Trophy, firing a 7-under 65 in the final round to secure a two shot victory over compatriot Adam BRADY.

McKinney produced 23 birdies and just seven bogeys in his 72 holes around the Jubilee and Old Courses.

“The Aus Am was pretty special but to win at the home of golf you can’t ask for much more. Yes, it’s pretty cool” McKinney told the organisers after he was presented with the trophy.

The 19 year old, who now lives in Perth, Western Australia, is the first Australian winner since Stuart Bouvier in 1990.

McKinney, who was born in Scotland and represented them in both the 2019 Boys and Men’s Home Internationals and also played for GB&I in the 2019 Jacques Léglise Trophy match, transferred his golfing allegiance to his adopted country earlier this year.

img_1809

Connor McKinney (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

Round 4

Eight birdies in the opening 14 holes of his final round took Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) back to the top of the leaderboard where he had spent most of the tournament. From here he closed out the round in a very composed manner.

The low scoring Australian started with a 64 on the Jubilee on Friday and finished with a 65 on the Old today. His total of 272 (-16) reflected his excellent play throughout and it is to his credit he was able to recover the three shot lead Brady had over him heading into Round 4.

img_1807

Connor McKinney’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Second placed Adam BRADY (AUS) looked as if he may be able to apply some late pressure but a bogey on 13 and a double bogey on the 16th, which to be fair he partially rectified with a birdie on the Road Hole 17th, took the wind out of his sails.

Robert MORAN (IRL) and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) finished third and fourth on countback, both completing their scoring with 69’s. Moran looked like he was on course to set a challenging clubhouse target but after a day of birdies a bogey on 15 and a double on 17 saw him eventually having to settle for a 275 (-13) score. Edwards-Hill, who was the only player in the field to shoot in the 60’s in every round, recorded just four bogeys during the tournament but just couldn’t get enough birdie putts to drop.

Frenchman Paul BEAUVY followed the example of Moran and Edwards-Hill by shooting rounds of 67 and 69 on the final day to claim a top 5 finish.

Conor GRAHAM (SCO) -9 was the only other British player to finish in the top 10, albeit to their credit Charlie CROCKETT (ENG), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), both  -6, and Matt GAUNTLETT (ENG) -5 were not too far behind.

img_1806

Final Results (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the – 2022 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Round 3

The event was nicely opened up in the morning round on the Old Course when the overnight leaders George BURNS (SCO) and Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) posted scores of 77 (+5) and 71 (-1) respectively.

Adam BRADY (AUS) walked through the open door with a 67 (-5) which included six birdies to take the 54 hole lead.

Robert MORAN (IRL) and Joshua BERRY (ENG) recorded the lowest scores in Round 3 with 66’s.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL‘s(ENG) 68 saw him join Moran on -10 two shots behind Brady.

Other players to impress in Round 3 were Paul BEAUVY (FRA) 67, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) 69, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) 69, Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) 67, Christiaan MAAS (RSA) 68, Angus CARRICK (SCO) 67, Lewis IRVINE (SCO) 69 and Elias HAAVISTO (FIN) 69.

img_1805

Leading Round 3 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

______________________________________

4th June 2022

Round 2

George BURNS (SCO) delivered a 67, which included two eagles and three birdies, on Day 2 to move into a tie with Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) for the 36 hole lead on 136 -8.

McKinney looked like he may pull away after two birdies on the 11th and 12th took him to -10 but bogeys on his final two holes saw him having to sign for an even par 72 and drop back towards the chasing pack.

img_1790

George Burn’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

On a good day for home players the best two rounds came from Rory FRANSSEN and John PATERSON who posted 66’s to move into the top 15.

Frannsen is tied third with Adam BRADY (AUS) on -7 heading onto the final day with Liam NOLAN (IRL), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Jake HIBBERT (ENG) and Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) one shot further back.

51 players made the top 40 and ties cut which eventually fell at 144 (Ev) having flirted with 143 (-1) for most of the afternoon.

With 36 holes to play on the Old Course tomorrow and only eight shots separating the remaining field any one of the players who have qualified could clearly still win the tournament.

img_1791

Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

______________________________________

3rd June 2022

Round 1

Scottish-born Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) shot a superb 64 (-8) on the Jubilee Course to take the lead in the St. Andrews Links Trophy. His round which started at 1.00pm included nine birdies, including five in succession on his front nine.

img_1778

Connor McKinney’s Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

Will HOPKINS (ENG), back in the UK after his senior year with Kansas State University, is two shots back after a 66 which included an eagle on the 6th and six birdies.

Malcor UGO (FRA), Charlie CROCKETT (ENG), Jack BUCHANAN (AUS), Liam NOLAN (IRL) and Dillon WEST (ENG) are all tied 3rd on -5.

Any early highlight on Day 1 came when England’s Jack BROOKS, who teed off at 7.10am in the second group out, recorded a hole-in-one on the 5th hole.

At the end of Round 1 51 players are on even par or better which suggests the top 40 36 hole cut will fall at -1 tomorrow.

img_1779

Leading Round 1 Scores (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust / OCS Sport)

ME.

______________________________________

31st May 2022

144 golfers will tee off on Friday 3rd June in the 33rd St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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

St Andrews Clubhouse

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

Competition Format

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

The field is primarily determined by reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) as at 27th April 2022 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Rounds 1 and 2 will be played on the Jubilee Course. In previous years the New Course and Old Course have been used in these opening rounds but as The Open Championship is being played on the Old in six weeks time I assume this course is being protected as much as possible.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,847 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,257 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 333 yards longer but to the same par.

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

The Old Course has been set up at 7,201 yards for the event and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,555 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,646 yards.

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

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

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

Click here to view the – St. Andrews Links Trophy Tournament Website

The Field

Players from 23 countries will be competing at St. Andrews in 2022.

35 players who are ranked in the top 250 of the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking have entered the tournament.

They are Christiaan MAAS (RSA) #4, Casey JARVIS (RSA) #7, Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) #15, John GOUGH (ENG) #21, Kyle DE BEER (RSA) #23, Christiaan BURKE (RSA) #25, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #32, Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) #52, Sam SIMPSON (RSA) #69, Harrison CROWE (AUS) #73, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #80, Jordan DUMINY (RSA) #88, Aldrich POTGIETER (RSA) #96, Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #99, Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) #101, Hugh FOLEY (IRL) #104, Robert MORAN (IRL) #119, Frederik BIRKELUND (DEN) #128, Matthew MCCLEAN (IRL) #129, James HYDES (NZL) #130, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #135, Jack BUCHANAN (AUS) #145, Charlie THORNTON (ENG) #148, Jack BROOKS (ENG) #151, Josh GREER (AUS) #154, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) #181, Harley SMITH (ENG) #189, Liam NOLAN (IRL) #205, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) #206, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) #214, Elias HAAVISTO (FIN) #218, Vicente MARZILIO (ARG) #219, Callum BRUCE (SCO) #241, Paul BEAUVY (FRA) #244 and Ugo MALCOR (FRA) #245.

From within this group Christiaan Maas won the Brabazon Trophy at Saunton and Charlie Thornton the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay in recent weeks.

Weather Forecast (as at Tuesday 31st May)

The current weather forecast looks good with a dry competition currently expected.

Friday 3rd June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph E. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 12°C.
Saturday 4th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SE. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 13°C.
Sunday 5th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SE. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 13°C.

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

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy, a commemorative medal and vouchers to the value of £500.

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

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

In addition to the main prizes The Ian Forbes Memorial Cup (and £100) is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the Championship.

2021 St. Andrews Links Trophy

Jack COPE won the 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy after coming through a sudden death play-off on the Old Course’s 1st and 18th holes against Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS.

jack cope winner_06.05.21

Jack Cope With The St Andrews Links Trophy (Photo: Cope Family)

50 players ultimately made the top 40 and ties 36-hole cut.

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

Past Winners

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

France v. England Men’s International Match – 2022 Preview & Results

15th May 2022

England saved the best till last at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche. A strong final afternoon Singles performance helped them secure a hard earned 13.5-10.5 victory over a competitive French side in their 2022 Men’s International Match.

Whilst France won both Foursomes (with five wins and one half out of eight games) England got the better of the more important Singles sessions and that proved to be the deciding factor in the outcome.

England have now won 31 of the 36 matches played.

img_1523

The Winning England Team (Photo: England Golf)

Click here to view the full results from the – France v. England International Match

French pair Julien Sale and Oihan Guillamoundeguy were the star performers in the match delivering the two only unbeaten records.

John Gough, Arron Edwards-Hill, Jack Bigham and Sam Bairstow crucially won both of their Singles for the English.

Screenshot 2022-05-16 at 09.00.30

Day 2 Singles

John Gough took control of his match with two birdies on the 5th and 7th holes. Despite a late fightback from Adam Bresnu an eagle on the par 5 17th enabled Gough to secure an agenda setting 2&1 win for the English.

In game 2 Sam Bairstow was at his imperious best against Tom Vaillant. Bairstow’s six birdies in the 15 holes played helped him to a 4&3 victory.

Ben Quinney‘s play in the afternoon lacked the consistency necessary to beat Julien Sale who made few mistakes on his way to a 5&3 win. Sale was unbeaten throughout, enhancing his reputation as one of Europe’s best players in the process.

Jack Bigham, who posted a total of four birdies and played well down the stretch when his opponent was threatening a comeback, secured his second Singles win of the contest with a 2 Hole victory over Tom Gueant.

Arron Edwards-Hill wasn’t at his best but did what was required to beat an out of sorts Nathan Legendre. 1 Down with two holes to play Edwards-Hill finished strongly with a birdie and a par to steal a 1 Hole win.

Zach Chegwidden beat Paul Beauvy by 4&3 stringing together a number of pars which again proved to be a recipe for success around the demanding Red Course with its firm greens.

Oihan Guillamoundeguy, who was unbeaten throughout the match and appears to be a young player worthy of note, again got the better of Jack Brooks in the Singles, this time by 3&2.

With four birdies and just one bogey to his name Joe Harvey played very well in the final game to secure a comfortable 4&3 win against Martin Couvre.

img_1517

Day 2 PM Singles Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

Day 2 Foursomes

France won the Day 2 Foursomes series by 2.5-1.5 to take a one point lead into the final Singles.

Nathan Lengendre & Tom Gueant beat John Gough & Ben Quinney by 2 Holes in the opening encounter. This was a tight game throughout with no more than one hole separating the teams right up until the 17th. An English three putt bogey on the par 5 17th gave the French pair the lead for the first time which they extended when Gough & Quinney picked up on the last when pushing for a half.

The consistent par machine of Tom Vaillant & Martin Couvre beat Jack Bigham & Sam Bairstow who fell away on the back nine with three bogeys in four holes.

The third match was a rollercoaster affair with the French pair of Julien Sale & Oihan Guillamoundeguy parring just 8 of the 18 holes played to ensure it remained tight throughout. Zach Chegwidden & Arron Edwards-Hill took the lead for the first time on the 17th when the French bogeyed. However, the Essex boys disappointingly handed the advantage straight back with a bogey on the home hole.

The final game was an odd affair. Like yesterday Jack Brooks & Joe Harvey again started badly, albeit this time even worse going 3 Down after three holes. Despite being handed the perfect start Paul Beauvy & Adam Bresnu completely capitulated bogeying (or worse) eight of the next ten holes played to hand an easy win to the English.

img_1515

Day 2 AM Foursomes Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

ME.

__________________________________________

14th May 2022

Day 1 Singles

England got back on track this afternoon winning the Day 1 Singles series 5-3 and losing just two of the eight matches played.

The final Day 1 score is now 6-6 with all to play for tomorrow.

John Gough took control of his match against Nathan Legendre early on after his opponent started with 5 bogeys over the opening six holes and ran out a fairly comfortable 3&2 winner as neither player hit their peak.

Sam Bairstow won the final hole of his game to secure a valuable 1 Hole victory over Tom Gueant. This was a high quality encounter with plenty of birdies made albeit mistakes by both players down the final two holes made for an out of keeping but exciting finish.

The bonus point for England came from the 2021 Boys’ Amateur champion Jack Bigham. 4 Down with 6 holes to play he fought back, helped by four bogeys from the young Frenchman, to secure another 1 Hole win for the visitors.

Adam Bresnu and Ben Quinney and Tom Vaillant and Zach Chegwidden both halved their games. Bresnu won the 17th to regain parity with Quinney whilst, to the cheers of the watching gallery, Vaillant holed from off the 18th green for a winning birdie to secure his half with Chegwidden.

Arron Edwards-Hill beat Martin Couvra by 2&1 which proved to be useful as the English tail enders following him behind succumbed to their french opponents.

Jack Brooks, who led 2Up after 10 holes, was hit by a barrage of birdies on the back nine by 17 year old Oihan Guillamoundeguy ultimately falling by 2&1.

Julien Sale, France’s highest ranked player, appears to have had the measure of Joe Harvey from the start of their game. 4Up after seven holes he delivered a 4&2 win for the home team despite Harvey finding some form on the back nine.

img_1524

Day 1 PM Singles Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

Day 1 Foursomes

France lead England 3-1 after the opening Foursomes series at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche.

Nathan Lengendre & Tom Gueant played steady golf before seeing off a late birdie blitz from Jack Bigham & Sam Bairstow in the opening game.  A 2&1 win for the home team.

John Gough & Ben Quinney dovetailed well, impressively delivering a birdie-eagle finish, to take care of Paul Beauvy & Adam Bresnu by 3&1. Whilst always competitive the French pair effectively let the game get away from them around the turn with a double bogey followed by two bogeys on holes 9-11.

With two birdies in the opening four holes Tom Vaillant & Martin Couvre quickly went 3Up on Zach Chegwidden & Arron Edwards-Hill. Despite the English pair regaining parity by the 8th hole mistakes on 9 and 10 left them chasing on the back nine. Despite making three birdies in their pursuit the French were resolute and held on for a 1 Hole victory.

Like their compatriots in game 3 Jack Brooks & Joe Harvey initially found themselves behind – 2 Down after 2 Holes, albeit due to two bogeys – before reeling their opponents back in by the 8th hole. Both pairings made three birdies on the back 9 but the English made two bogeys compared with Julien Sale & Oihan Guillamoundeguy‘s one. With the 18th halved in par 4 the French pair could enjoy their lunches with a 1 Hole victory to their names.

img_1506

Day 1 AM Foursomes Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

ME.

__________________________________________

12th May 2022

England travel to France this weekend for the 36th Men’s International Match between the two countries.

The last match, which was due to take place in May 2020 at Ganton Golf Club, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 match is being played at Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche which is located 15 miles west of Paris.

img_1485

The 1st Tees and Clubhouse, Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche

Format

8 man teams from each country will play 4 foursomes and 8 single matches on both Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May.

With a total of 24 points to play for the winning team needs to secure 12.5 points to win the match outright. As England won the 2018 match they will also retain the trophy in the event of a 12-12 tie. Having said that I should point out that there has never been a tie in the history of the contest.

The biennial match is normally played on an alternate home and away basis.

Teams

Here are the two eight man teams with each player’s current Scratch Player World Amateur Ranking and World Amateur Golf Ranking in brackets after their name: –

England
Sam Bairstow (31 / 19)
Jack Bigham (298 / 243 )
Jack Brooks (160 / 466)
Zach Chegwidden (197 / 410)
Arron Edwards-Hill (117 / 290)
John Gough (38 / 50)
Joe Harvey (530 / 672)
Ben Quinney * (397 / 321)

Total SPWAR = 1,768 / Total WAGR = 2,471

* Ben replaced Olly Huggins in the original team selection.

img_1508

Jack Brooks, Joe Harvey, Zach Chegwidden, Arron Edwards-Hill (back l-r), Sam Bairstow, John Gough, Jack Bigham and Ben Quinney (from l-r) (Photo: England Golf)

France
Paul Beauvy (237 / 794)
Adam Bresnu (250 / 1,230)
Martin Couvra (191 / 447)
Tom Gueant (368 / 247)
Oihan Guillamoundeguy (166 / 480)
Nathan Legrandre (450 / 869)
Julien Sale (55 / 114 )
Tom Vaillant (64 / 187)

Total SPWAR = 1,781 / Total WAGR = 4,368

The French men’s squad have been at a training camp at Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche since Monday so should be well prepared in terms of course knowledge and foursomes pairings.

Nevertheless England will start the match as favourites as is normally the case given past results and their greater strength in depth as a golf nation.

Venue

Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche is an exclusive golf club which sits in rolling countryside in La Tuilerie and enjoys an 18th century manor house for a clubhouse.

img_1489

Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche

It has two courses, the Red and the Blue or if your prefer ‘le Rouge et le Bleu’, both of which were laid out in the late 1950s by the English architect Fred Hawtree.

This match is being played solely on the Red Course.

A composite par 72 layout, which utilises the 1st hole of the Blue before moving exclusively over to the Red, has often been used for major events. The two nines have also been switched on many occasions so the picturesque downhill par 3 9th hole could be played as an exciting finishing hole.

The Club has hosted the Canada Cup in 1963, the French Open Championship twice and the prestigious Tophée Lancôme for 34 years on the European Tour.

img_1487

Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche is also co-hosting the 2022 World Amateur Team Championships between 24th August and 3rd September alongside Ryder Cup venue Le Golf National so the week should prove useful to the England players and selectors.

It is these Championships that perhaps explain why England are not hosting this year and have again travelled to France.

Weather Forecast

Near perfect golfing weather is expected in Northern France in the coming days; warm sunshine with light breezes.

Sat  14th May – Sunny / Wind 8 mph E / Temp. Min. 13°C / Max. 25°C.
Sun 15th May – Sunny / Wind 8 mph SE / Temp. Min. 16°C / Max. 30°C.

Further Information

Click here to view the Federation of French Golf’s webpage – France v. England International Match

Match History

This International Match was first played in 1934, originally starting with 6 players per side before moving to 8 in 1949.

It lapsed after the 1962 match at Ganton Golf Club but was resurrected in 1982 at Chantilly with a new format which has been retained to this day.

Frilford Heath Golf Club, hosts of the 1984 match, donated a silver salver which the winning team retains.

img_1483

England v. France Match Salver (Photo: Alexis Orloff / FFGolf)

To date England have won 30 of the matches with France winning just 5, the last one being in 2010 at Chantilly.

2018 International Match

England beat France 13-7 in the last Men’s International Match played in 2018 at Vidauban Golf Club near St. Tropez.

img_9169

The 2018 England Team (Photo: Federation of French Golf / @ffgolf)

With heavy rain forecast on Day 2 the decision was taken to cancel the Foursomes series and to concentrate on completing the eight Singles. England’s five shot margin of victory meant that the decision not to play the four morning games didn’t affect the overall match result.

img_9165

img_9168

img_9160-1

France v. England Day 1 and Day 2 2018 Results (Photo: Federation of French Golf)

Past Results

The overall match record is Played 35, England 30 Wins and France 5 Wins.

Match

Year

Venue

England

France

Winner

36 2021 St-Nom-la-Bretèche 13.5 10.5 England
2020 Cancelled
35 2018 Vidauban 13 7 England
34 2016 Formby 14 10 England
33 2014 Fontainebleau 13 11 England
32 2012 Roch. & Cobham 15 9 England
31 2010 Chantilly 11 13 France
30 2008 Frilford Heath 14 10 England
29 2006 Golf du Medoc 16.5 7.5 England
28 2004 Royal St. George’s 11.5 12.5 France
27 2002 Chantilly 17.5 6.5 England
26 2000 Chart Hills 17.5 6.5 England
25 1998 Les Bordes 11.5 12.5 France
24 1996 Sunningdale 9 15 France
23 1994 Nimes 17 7 England
22 1992 Royal Lytham 18 6 England
21 1990 Morfontaine 16.5 7.5 England
20 1988 Berkshire 16 8 England
19 1986 Hossegor 14.5 9.5 England
18 1984 Frilford Heath 16 8 England
17 1982 Chantilly 13 11 England

 1963-1981 No matches were played 

16 1962 Ganton 7.5 4.5 England
15 1960 Chantilly 7.5 4.5 England
14 1959 West Hill 8.5 3.5 England
13 1956 Chantilly 10 2 England
12 1954 Berkshire 11 1 England
11 1952 Deal 8 4 England
10 1950 Morfontaine 8.5 3.5 England
9 1949 Deal 5 4 England
8 1948 St. Cloud 5.5 3.5 England
7 1947 Wentworth 8 1 England

 1940-1946 No matches were played 

6 1939 Morfontaine 5 4 France
5 1938 Sunningdale 8.5 0.5 England
4 1937 Chantilly 7 0 England
3 1936 Deal 5.5 3.5 England
2 1935 St. Germain-en-Laye 5.5 3.5 England
1 1934 Wentworth 5.5 3.5 England

N.B. Matches 1–8 had 6 players and matches 9-35 had 8 players

ME.

Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.