The Open Championship’s Silver Medal

2nd May 2018

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 69 Championships since has been won 50 times by 44 different players.

Here’s 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.

In July 2018 the 147th Open will be played at Carnoustie Golf Links. It will be the eighth time this famous course in Angus, Scotland will have staged the Championship.

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 (IRE) 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 69 Championships from 1949 to 2017 the Silver Medal has been won by 44 players on 50 occasions (all in bold in the table below).

The Medal has not been awarded on 19 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 (IRE), 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

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 © 2014-2018, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2017 Preview & Results

10th May 2017

Here is the Golfing World video covering the 2017 Peter McEvoy Trophy: –

ME.

13th April 2017

UPDATE

In form Charlie STRICKLAND from Ham Manor Golf Club, near Littlehampton on the south coast of England, won the 2017 McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath Golf Club.

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Charlie Strickland with Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

His rounds of 70 72 68 and 66 gave him a -8 total on the par 71 West Midlands course. Having won the Duncan Putter at Southerndown last weekend the McEvoy represented a second big win for Charlie in the space of just a few days.

Jannik DE BRUYNE from Germany was second on -5 and Angus FLANAGAN third on -4.

Click here to view the full – 2017 McEvoy Trophy Results

ME.

8th April 2017

The 2017 Peter McEvoy Trophy will be contested on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th April at Copt Heath Golf Club in Solihull, England.

Competition Format

The McEvoy Trophy is a 72 hole scratch stroke play medal competition played over two consecutive days by Under 18 Boys (on 1st January).

PM Trophy

The Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

The format, limited daylight and the greater risk of poor weather in April means the field is sensibly restricted to 72 players. A handicap ballot is applied to the entrants in what is always an oversubscribed event.

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

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

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

2017 Entrants & Draw

The cut-off handicap this year was +0.2 with 69 of the field having handicaps of scratch or better.

Click here to view the McEvoy Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 startsheet.

The 2017 field includes the following highly rated players: –

Jack AINSCOUGH (ENG) – runner up in the 2016 McEvoy Trophy (-5).

Nick BACHEM (GER) – winner of the 2016 Fairhaven Trophy.

John BRADY (IRE) – 2016 Irish Boys U16 champion.

Toby BRIGGS (ENG) – 3rd place in the 2016 McEvoy Trophy (-4).

Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) – winner of the 2016 Carris Trophy (English U18 Boys’ Open SP Championship).

Michael GILBERT (ENG) – winner of the 2016 Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

Mark POWER (IRE) – defending McEvoy Trophy champion (-7) and 2016 Irish Boys U18 champion.

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) – winner of the 2017 Duncan Putter.

In addition to Nick Bachem there are a further 9 entries from Germany. Henry Lai and Timo Thanks have also entered from The Netherlands.

Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) from Peterborough, having returned from a golfing high school scholarship in Florida, was the lowest handicap entry at -4.0.

Unfortunately this year the McEvoy clashes with the Scottish Boys SP Championship being held at Moniefieth so there are no entries from north of the border. Whilst few of this field would have made the handicap ballot the entry list is certainly weaker for the absence of Darren Howie, Eric McIntosh and Jamie Stewart.

Weather Forecast

Dry but cloudy conditions are forecast for the two days of competition.

Wednesday: Light cloud. Wind 14 mph E. Temp. H 12°c / L 6°c
Thursday: Light cloud. Wind 10pm SE. Temp. H 11°c / L 6°c

Copt Heath Golf Club

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

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

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Copt Heath Golf Club – 18th hole (Photo: GolfBible)

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

In the last few months the 8th hole, a short par 4, has been improved with fairway bunkers added and the green reduced in size. Otherwise the course is generally as it has been for many years.

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

Background

Legendary British Amateur golfer Peter McEvoy OBE has been a member of Copt Heath for 52 years. If you would like to learn more about his career then click this link for my profile – Peter McEvoy.

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

PM Amateur Champion

Peter McEvoy – 1977 Amateur Champion at Ganton GC

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

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

Past Winners

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

Mark Power McEvoy Trophy 2016Mark Power with Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

Full Results – The Peter McEvoy Trophy 2016

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

The Peter McEvoy Trophy has an enviable list of former winners, reflecting both the quality of the annual entry but also the fair challenge presented by the course.

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

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

PM Lee Westwood

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

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

img_7418Justin Rose with the McEvoy Trophy (Photo: Copt Heath GC)

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

1999  David Porter (Stoneham)
2000  Zane Scotland (Woodcote Park)
2001  Ben Harvey (Dudsbury)
2002  Matthew Richardson (Pinner Hill)
2003  Tommy Hunter (Ilford)
2004  John Parry (Harrogate)
2005  Tom Sherreard (The Ridge)
2006  Luke Goddard (Hendon)

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Luke Goddard (Photo: Tom Ward)

2007  Matt Haines (Rochester & Cobham Park)
2008  Stiggy Hodgson (Sunningdale)

Stiggy Hodgson (Photo: Tom Ward)

2009  Max Smith (Newbury Racecourse)

Max Smith (Photo: Tom Ward)

2010  Rhys Pugh (Vale of Glamorgan)

Rhys Pugh (Photo: Tom Ward)

2011  Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa)

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Nathan Kimsey (Photo: Tom Ward)

2012  Gavin Moynihan (The Island)

Gavin Moynihan (Photo: GolfBible)

2013  Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park)

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Bradley Moore (Photo: GolfBible)

2014  Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest)

PM McEvoy Trophy

Haydn McCullen (Photo: GolfBible)

2015  Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood)

Marco Penge PM 2015

Marco Penge (Photo: GolfBible)

2016  Mark Power (Kilkenny)
2017 Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor)

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

Peter McEvoy Trophy Records

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

Wayne Henry PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notable Former Competitors

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

2016 World Amateur Team Championship – Preview

18th and 20th September 2016 

The draws for rounds 1 and 2 of the 2016 Men’s WATC have been released today – Eisenhower Trophy Pairings

I posed the question on Sunday evening as to whether a home nation team could win the event ? Having now looked through all of the teams I genuinely believe they can.

The WATC’s stroke play format is of course uncompromising. With two scores from three counting on each of the four days there is little room for manoeuvre when the competition is so strong.

On balance AUSTRALIA must start as my favourites. Their team of Cameron DAVIS, Harrison ENDYCOTT and Curtis LUCK is probably the best on paper.

I think SCOTLAND (Grant FORREST, Robert MACINYTRE and Connor SYME) are not far behind them and expect them to finish in the Top 5, as a minimum.

The other two teams that stand out for me are ITALY and FRANCE – in that order. Italy have Luca CIANCHETTI, Stefano MAZZOLI and Guido MIGLIOZZI, all experienced players and winners. France include Ugo COUSSARD, Jeremy GANDON and Antoine ROZNER and should therefore also score well. 

ENGLAND (Jamie BOWER, Scott GREGORY and Alfie PLANT) and IRELAND (Stuart GREHAN, Jack HUME, Paul MCBRIDE) should also do well but I am not sure they are quite of the calibre of the four teams mentioned above.

My view on England may be being tarnished by the omission of Sam HORSFIELD though. Whilst I understand this decision it is a disappointment to me that the World’s, and therefore GB&I’s, No.1 amateur is not competing in this prestigious event.

WALES, consisting of David BOOTE, Joshua DAVIES and Owen EDWARDS, could be a surprise package. Boote’s score should be assured but Davies and Edwards are a bit more hit and miss. If they both have good weeks, which they are more than capable of, then I can see a good result for them.

What makes 2016 such a good opportunity for the home nations in my eyes is the fact that the USA team is far from inspiring. The USA have won 15 of the previous 29 WATC and have only finished outside the top 3 on four occasions. Fortunately for the rest of the world there is no Bryson DECHAMBEAU and Beau HOSSLER to worry about this time. I don’t think their team of Brad DALKE, Maverick MCNEALY and Scottie SCHEFFLER will win in 2016 and frankly I think they will do very well to place.

ME.

_______________________________________________

18th September 2016

The 30th Men’s World Amateur Team Championship (WATC) will be played this week, between Wednesday 21st and Saturday 24th September 2016.

The WATC is a biennial international amateur golf competition run by the International Golf Federation (IGF). This year a record equalling 72 teams have entered.

The competition moves in turns between Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Europe-Africa. In 2018 the WATC will be hosted by the Golf Union of Ireland and held at Carton House, near Dublin.

The first WATC took place in 1958 and was played over the Old Course at St. Andrews. Bobby Jones captained the U.S.A.,famously receiving the Freedom of the Town during the trip, although his team ended up losing a play-off to Australia for the first ever title.

The 2016 WATC
This year’s WATC is being hosted by the Mexican Golf Federation.

The Mayakoba El Camaleón and the Iberostar Playa Paraiso golf courses are to be used in Riviera Maya, near the holiday resort of Cancun. Both courses opened in 2005.

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Mayakoba El Camaleón Golf Course, Mexico (Photo: PGA Tour)

The El Camaleón course was designed by Greg Norman and will play 6,988 yards to a par of 71. Playa Paraiso, designed by P.B. Dye, is shorter at 6,771 yards but has a par of 72. Clearly the emphasis will be on making a score on the latter.

Competition Format
Teams of three players play 72 holes of stroke play over four days. The two lowest rounds recorded on each day count towards the team’s total score. The winning team receive the Eisenhower Trophy.

The U.S.A. are the defending champions. In 2014 their team of Bryson DECHAMBEAU, Beau HOSSLER and Denny MCCARTHY scored 534 (-38) in Karuizawa, Japan to beat Canada by 2-shots.

2014 Eisenhower Trophy

The 2016 USA Team (Photo: IGF)

Whilst individual results are reported and the player with the lowest score is recognised at the closing ceremony there is no prize awarded for the honour. In 2014 Spain’s Jon RAHM ‘won’ the Individual with a record breaking 263 (-23) total.

The historic WATC results are provided in an Appendix at the end of this article.

GB&I Competitors
Each of the home nations will be represented in 2016 with the following players having been selected: –

ENGLAND
Jamie BOWER (23), Scott GREGORY (21) and Alfie PLANT (24)

IRELAND
Stuart GREHAN (23), Jack HUME (22) and Paul MCBRIDE (20)

SCOTLAND
Grant FORREST (23), Robert MACINTYRE (20) and Connor SYME (21)

WALES
David BOOTE, Joshua DAVIES and Owen EDWARDS

Good luck to all of the home nation teams competing in Mexico this week.


The Eisenhower Trophy (Photo: USGA)

Appendix – Historic Results

Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) have won the Eisenhower Trophy four times but only Scotland have won it in their own right since each of the home nations started to compete separately.

The competion holds a special place in the story of English amateur Peter MCEVOY. He participated in the winning GB&I team in 1988, he also ‘won’ the Individual (284) that year and he went on to captain the GB&I team that won it again in 1998.  A hat trick of Eisenhower Trophy achievements that may prove difficult for anyone else to match.

Here is the full list of historic results: –

screen-shot-2016-09-18-at-19-53-18

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2016 Preview & Results

1st May 2016

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

14th April 2016

UPDATE

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

Mark Power McEvoy Trophy 2016

Mark Power with Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

RESULTS

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2016 Results

DRAW SHEETS

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

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

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

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10th April 2016

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

Marco Penge PM 2015

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

Background

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

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

PM Amateur Champion

Peter McEvoy – 1977 Amateur Champion at Ganton GC

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

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

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

Competition Format

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

PM Trophy

The Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copt Heath Golf Club

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

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

CHGC Clubhouse

Copt Heath Golf Club (Photo: GolfBible)

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

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

2016 Entrants & Draw

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

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

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

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

Past Winners

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

PM Trophy Board 1Peter McEvoy Trophy Winners Board 2015

The McEvoy Trophy Winner Boards (Photos: GolfBible)

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

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

PM Lee Westwood

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

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

PM Justin Rose

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

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

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

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

McEvoy Trophy Records

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

Wayne Henry PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notable Former Competitors

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

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

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Peter McEvoy Trophy – 2015 Preview & Results

UPDATE – Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood) won the 2015 McEvoy Trophy on 16th April with a record equalling 272 -12 total score.

Marco Penge PM 2015

Marco Penge receives the McEvoy Trophy from Peter McEvoy (Photo: GolfBible)

The 2015 Peter McEvoy Trophy Highlights (© Golfing World)

————————————————————————————-

14th April 2015

The Peter McEvoy Trophy is a 72-hole stroke play competition for boys played annually at Copt Heath Golf Club in Solihull, England.

CHGC ClubhouseCopt Heath Golf Club

Background

Peter McEvoy OBE has been a member of Copt Heath for nearly 50 years and is a famous British amateur golfer.  My profile of his career can be read by clicking this link – Peter McEvoy.

PM Amateur Champion

Peter McEvoy – 1977 Amateur Champion at Ganton GC

Following Peter’s Amateur Championship victories in 1977 and 1978 Copt Heath invited him to suggest a way in which the Club could commemorate his achievements. He suggested a 72 hole competition for Under 18 junior boy golfers, to be held annually at Copt Heath.

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

The Peter McEvoy Trophy (Photo: GolfBible)

As Peter McEvoy’s playing achievements and influence grew, culminating with him becoming a Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) selector and Walker Cup captain, so has the prestige of the competition. The McEvoy is now the curtain raiser to the boy’s golf season and is unquestionably one of the “must enter” major competitions in the junior golf calendar. The best junior players from across GB&I, and occasionally elsewhere in Europe, are now guaranteed to be seen at Copt Heath every year.

Competition Format

Entries are welcomed from all boys aged under 18 at 00.00 hours on 1st January of the year the competition is being played.  The Entry Fee was set at £40.00 in 2015.

The McEvoy Trophy is contested over 72 holes of scratch stroke play golf played over two consecutive days.

The competition is recognised as a World Amateur Golf Ranking event.  In recent years it has been given a strength indicator of ‘E’.  The winner receives around 10 Points Average to their total where other finishers in the Top 25 receiving a declining number of points too.

The format, limited daylight and frequently poor weather in April means the field is sensibly restricted to 72 players. A ballot based on handicap is applied to the entrants in what is always an oversubscribed event.  The cut-off handicap continues to reduce annually, being +1.7 in 2001 but 0.0 in 2015. This of course illustrates the improvement in the players now coming through in GB&I, many of whom have handicaps of between -2 and -4.

The competition has always been played at Copt Heath Golf Club.  Copt Heath, despite its name, is essentially a parkland course.  The current course was designed and built in 1913 by Harry Colt, the famous course architect, and is predominantly flat but well protected with around 95 bunkers.  A number of bunkers have been upgraded in recent years under the advice of Dutch architect, Frank Pont.

CHGC 13th hole

Copt Heath Golf Club – par 3 13th hole

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

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

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

The 35th Peter McEvoy Trophy, 15-16th April 2015 

Over 120 entries were received for the 2015 McEvoy Trophy.  As stated above the 72 successful competitors all have handicaps of 0.0 or better.

The draw for Day 1 and the first 36-holes of the competition can be viewed by clicking this link – 15th April 2015 Start Sheet.

The McEvoy Trophy is a very well run competition.  A welcome addition being Live Scoring – updated after each nine on Day 1 and more frequently for the leaders on Day 2 – which has successfully been introduced in recent years.

Internationals Ben Chamberlain (Padeswood & Buckley, -1.4), Calum Fyfe (Cawder, -3.6), Harry Hall (West Cornwall, -3.1), Tim Harry (Vale of Glamorgan, -2.6), Matty Lamb (Hexham, -2.5), Jamie Li (Bath, -2.4), Kevin Le Blanc (The Island, -1.7), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, -2.8), Murray Naismith (Dalmahoy, -1.9), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, -3.4) and Will Porter (Carnoustie, -0.4 who won the Scottish Boys Championship last Saturday) are all expected to challenge for the coveted title this year.

Past Winners

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

 PM Trophy Board 1PM Trophy Board 2

The Peter McEvoy Trophy Winner Boards at Copt Heath Golf Club (Photo: GolfBible)

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

A number of those listed below have gone on to play in Walker Cup teams and many more have enjoyed successful professional careers.

1981  RJ Sallis (Wollaton Park)
1982  JGS Robinson (Woodhall Spa)
1983  PA Baker (Lilleshall)
1984  W Henry (Redbourn)
1985  A Morley (Belton Park)
1986  CA Mitchell (Copt Heath)
1987  W Henry (Porters Park)
1988  P Sefton (Camberley Heath)
1989  DA Bathgate (Sandiway)
1990  PA Sherman (Ashford)
1991  LJ Westwood (Worksop)

PM Lee Westwood

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

1992  B Davis (East Herts)
1993  S Webster (Atherstone)
1994  J Harris (Nevill)
1995  C Duke (Porters Park)
1996  MJ Pilkington (Nefyn & District)
1997  PJ Rowe (West Cornwall)
1998  J Rose (North Hants)

PM Justin Rose

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

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

1999  DJ Porter (Stoneham)
2000  Z Scotland (Woodcote Park)
2001  B Harvey (Dudsbury)
2002  M Richardson (Pinner Hill)
2003  T Hunter (Ilford)
2004  JA Parry (Harrogate)
2005  T Sherreard (The Ridge)
2006  L Goddard (Hendon)
2007  M Haines (Rochester & Cobham Park)
2008  E Hodgson (Sunningdale)
2009  M Smith (Newbury Racecourse)
2010  R Pugh (Vale of Glamorgan)
2011  N Kimsey (Woodhall Spa)
2012  G Moynihan (The Island)
2013  B Moore (Kedleston Park)
2014  H McCullen (Delamere Forest)

PM McEvoy Trophy

Haydn McCullen with Peter McEvoy in 2014 (Photo: GolfBible)

McEvoy Trophy Records

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

Wayne Henry PM

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

Youngest Winner
Bradley Moore – 15 years, 7 months and 15 days (2013).

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

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

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

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

Notable Former Competitors

In addition to the winners listed above many other notable golfers have competed over the years.  these include: – Stuart Cage, Paul Casey, Ashley Chesters (A), Lee Corfield, Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald, Bradley Dredge, Scott Drummond, Paul Dunne (A), Simon Dyson, Greg Eason, Jamie Elson, Oliver Farr, Kenneth Ferrie, Oliver Fisher, Tommy Fleetwood, Mark Foster, Ewen Ferguson (A), Tyrrell Hatton, David Horsey, David Howell, Jack Hume (A), Simon Khan, Tom Lewis, David Lynn, Nick Marsh (A), Ross McGowan, Bradley Neil (A), Max Orrin, John Parry, Eddie Pepperell, Garrick Porteous, Robert Rock, Lee Slattery, Graeme Storm, Sam Walker, Anthony Wall, Oliver Wilson, Tom Whitehouse and Chris Wood.

ME.

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Peter McEvoy OBE

22nd March 2015

Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) has produced a number of distinguished amateur golfers in the post World War II period. Amongst a group that must include Sir Michael Bonallack, Joe Carr and Gary Wolstenholme comfortably sits Peter McEvoy OBE.

One of the most determined, competitive and relentless golfers to ever play the game Peter’s success was founded on long straight driving, well controlled approach shots (often played low) and impeccable putting. A technically sound golfer with an unflappable temperament will give most people a game – and McEvoy was certainly capable of that.

PM Walker Cup 2

Peter McEvoy holds The Walker Cup in 2001

Peter McEvoy was born in London on 22nd March 1953.  He is 62 today.

He was brought up in Renfrewshire, Scotland and swung a club for the first time here with his father, a doctor, and a member of the local club, Gourock, near Greenock.

His family moved to the West Midlands when he was 10 and, aged 13, he joined Copt Heath GC near Solihull. He is an honorary member nowadays and despite living near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, is a regular player and currently a committee member of the club he has been associated with all of his playing life.

Peter quickly became proficient in the game and won the 1969 Warwickshire Boys Championship. He also won the British Universities Stroke Play in 1973 – he studied Law and qualified as a solicitor –  and was selected for England Youths in 1974.

Locally he also went on to win the Warwickshire Amateur Championship in 1974-76-77-80-84, the Warwickshire Matchplay Championship in 1973-75-81-83 and the Warwickshire Open Championship in 1973-74. Warwickshire were also County Champions in 1976 (held locally at Coventry GC) and 1977. Of course it was not in the Midlands that his legendary reputation was developed.

McEvoy gained national prominence when he won The Amateur Championship in both 1977 (Ganton) and 1978 (Royal Troon). Playing off a +2 handicap at the time he is the last player to successfully defend the title. Horace Hutchinson (1886-87), Harold Hilton (1900-01) Lawson Little (1934-35) and Sir Michael Bonallack (1968-69-70) are the only other players to achieve this feat. He reached the final again in 1987 at Prestwick – driven on by his non-selection for that year’s Walker Cup at Sunningdale when the team was announced in November 1986 and the matched played in late May – but lost to Welshman Paul Mayo.  In total he competed in 18 Amateur Championships playing 70 matches.  He won 54 and lost 16 of these giving him an impressive win rate of 77%.

PM Amateur Champion

The 1978 Amateur Champion at Royal Troon 

He was a member of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team on five occasions – in 1977-79-81-85-89.  With business commitments impacting on the amount of golf he was able to play he missed out on the 1983 match.  McEvoy understood this decision but not his, and for that matter Garth McGimpsey’s, omission in 1987, just after they had both represented GB&I in the 4-man 1986 Eisenhower Trophy team. He would be the first to admit in later years that he was delighted to see the team get thrashed 16.5 – 7.5. His first four Walker Cup matches were lost but the last one, at Peachtree, Atlanta, was won; the first time GB&I had won this historically one-sided contest on US soil. McEvoy contributed 2.5 points in that final game but his overall record was perhaps a little disappointing. He played 18 games in total, winning 5, losing 11 and halving 2. To date only Sir Michael Bonallack (25), Joe Carr (20) and Gary Wolstenholme (19) have played more Walker Cup games for GB&I.

He played in the St. Andrews Trophy for GB&I against the Continent of Europe in 1978-80-86-88. GB&I won on each occasion in what was then an event as one-sided as The Walker Cup.

Peter also played on five Eisenhower Trophy teams – in 1978-80-84-86-88. In 1988, aged 35, and a year after he hadn’t been selected for The Walker Cup he won the World Amateur Individual event and GB&I won the team event for the third time at Ullva, Sweden.

PM Eisenhower Trophy

The successful GB&I 1988 Eisenhower Trophy Team

His Amateur wins inevitably led to Major Championship invitations.  His strong play also enabled him to qualify for some Opens too.  After something of an apprenticeship in 1976 (Royal Birkdale) and 1977 (Turnberry, where he was paired with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player) he achieved low amateur status at The Open Championship in both 1978 (St. Andrews, 39th) and 1979 (Royal Lytham St. Annes, T17th with Lee Trevino).  He also qualified for the 1984 Open at St. Andrews, making the cut for the third time but having to withdrawal due to ill health at the start of round 3.

PM Silver Medal

Silver Medal Presentation at The Open 

McEvoy also played in three Masters. In 1978, paired with Tom Watson to start with, he became just the second GB&I amateur to make the cut at The Masters (after Joe Carr in 1967). He finished 53rd after rounds of 73, 75, 77 and 77, last of those that made the cut.  He perhaps surprisingly remains the last GB&I amateur to make the cut at The Masters. With the Augusta course becoming longer and tougher in recent years this GB&I record may well remain intact for a few more years to come. In his other two appearances he missed the cut; in 1979 paired with Jack Nicklaus he shot 79, 79 missing out by 13-shots and in 1980 paired with Sam Snead he scored 79,76 missing out by 9-shots.

Despite not winning the English Amateur – he lost in the 1980 final to Peter Deeble – his name unsurprisingly adorns many of the other major amateur trophies. He won the: –

Duncan Putter – 1978 (winning by 13-strokes)-80-85-87
Scrutton Jug – 1978-80
Lytham Trophy – 1979
Selborne Salver 1979-80
Brabazon Trophy (English Open SP) – 1980 (tied with Ronan Rafferty),
Lagonda Trophy – 1980
West of England Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship – 1977-80-83-85
English County Champions’ Tournament – 1984 (tied with N Briggs)
Berkshire Trophy – 1985
Berkhamsted Trophy – 1986
Logan Trophy (English Open Mid-Amateur) – 1988
Hampshire Hog – 1989

Of course prior to the 1990s amateur golf was in a completely different place to where it is now. Golfers received no individual financial support from either their National Unions or the R&A.  Having to personally fund ones living and golfing expenses whilst maintaining a competitive game was clearly no mean achievement.

A Profile of Peter McEvoy (© Golfing World)

Peter McEvoy is England’s second most capped amateur golfer, competing in 153 matches between 1976 and 1992. Gary Wolstenholme achieved an astonishing 218 caps whilst Sir Michael Bonallack made 131 appearances for their shared country. He played in the Home Internationals of 1976-77-78-(79 not held)-80-81-83-84-85-86-87-88-89-91. England won in 1977-78-80-84-85-88-89. He went on to captain the team between 1994 and 1997, winning on each occasion. He holds the record for the highest win ratio (67.3%) of any British amateur golfer, playing 153 matches and winning 103 of them – he halved 16 and lost just 34 of the remaining ones. He amazingly lost just once in his first 30 singles matches.

He met his first wife Dee at the 1978 Masters in Augusta and they married in the following December.  They divorced in 1993 having had two boys, Cameron and Richard.  His waning powers, the fact many of his original peers had moved on and the inevitable stress of the break-up led to Peter stepping back from top-level amateur competition in 1992.  He met Helen, a recent divorcee herself with a daughter, Mary, shortly afterwards and eventually re-married in 1995.

Following his Amateur Championship victories his club, Copt Heath, invited Peter to suggest a way in which they could commemorate his achievements. He suggested a 72 hole competition – to be played over two days –  for Under 18 junior boy golfers, to be held annually at Copt Heath. Starting in 1981, The Peter McEvoy Trophy, has become the traditional curtain raiser to the boy’s golf season and is now viewed as one of the “must enter” junior major competitions. Past winners include Peter Baker (1983), Lee Westwood (1991), Brian Davis (1992), Steve Webster (1993) and Justin Rose (1998). The 35th Peter McEvoy Trophy takes place on 15th – 16th April 2015 with all of this year’s contestants having a scratch or better handicap.

PM McEvoy Trophy

Haydn McCullen, 2014 Champion, receives The Peter McEvoy Trophy

Peter subsequently enjoyed huge success as a Team Captain, leading GB&I to famous Walker Cup wins at Nairn (1999) and Sea Island, Georgia (2001). Both victories came by a score of 15-9 and were the first time GB&I had recorded consecutive wins in the event. He famously engaged Saatchi & Saatchi to produce a video ahead of the 1999 match to motivate his team and in 2001 handed out each player’s sweater in the team room, re-enforcing each member’s playing record in front of them all. He also captained GB&I to victory in the 1998 Eisenhower Trophy in Santiago, Chile. He is the only person to win the individual event as a player, the team event as a player, and the team event as a captain. He also captained again in 2000, and GB&I finished in second place. In 2002, when the home nations started to compete individually he captained the first England team.

PM Walker Cup 1

Peter McEvoy lifts The Walker cup in 2001

In 2002, McEvoy was named Chairman of the R&A Selection Committee, responsible for the selection of the GB&I teams competing in various international events. Since 2008 he has been responsible for the GB&I Boys Team and manager of the Jacques Léglise Trophy team. He appears to enjoy this role, in many respects viewing junior golf as the only true amateur game remaining.

Whilst a message few young players want to here he rightly continues to caution against juniors committing all of their energies to golf too soon, saying in an interview in Golf International magazine – for which he wrote a column for many years – in 2010: “the majority of the young golfers who (turn Pro) have no chance of making any money. They get to their mid-20s only to discover they are just not good enough at golf, they have no education and they get lost to the game. It’s a vicious circle: they become disenchanted with it all, so their golf suffers, and they suffer as individuals as well”. His view, based on years of experience, is that few really appreciate the huge gulf that exists between the elite amateur game and the professional ranks. He added more recently: “There’s not much room in the pro game for youngsters coming through. You’ve got to be exceptional”. The fact anyone can turn Pro rather than being selected or passing some qualification level appears to frustrate him as does the draconian rules applying to amateur status which only encourages players to make the move too early.

Peter McEvoy has also been involved with golf course design and re-modelling for over 25 years, with his own company, Sporting Concepts (originally a management agency), and in collaboration with others (such as Craig Cooke, Ricky Willison and Bruce Weller). Amongst a number of projects, many in Ireland, he originally designed Fota Island, which has hosted the Irish Open, and notably built a short hickory course, Kingarrock GC, near St. Andrews, where appropriate clubs and balls are provided to players.

He has personally been honoured by the The Association of Golf Writers on two occasions. In 1978 he won The Golf Writers’ Trophy, “awarded each year to the individual, born or resident in Europe, or the European team, who have made the most outstanding contribution to golf in the preceding 12 months”. In 2001 the same award was given to the victorious 2001 Walker Cup team which he captained. More recently in 2009 he received the prestigious Association of Golf Writers’ Award for his outstanding services to the game.

The English Golf Union (now England Golf) named Peter McEvoy the winner of their 1999 Gerald Micklem Award.  This honour is given to those who have “made an outstanding contribution to further the interests of amateur golf in England”.

Peter McEvoy was also named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2003 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, for “services to golf”.

In 2006 Peter McEvoy published his excellent and somewhat self deprecating autobiography ‘For Love or Money’ (HarperSport). The book was written with the assistance of Sunday Telegraph journalist Mark Reason and is well worth a read.  It was rumoured that the R&A questioned his amateur status following its publication but in the end nothing appears to have come of this.

PM For Love Or Money

‘For Love Or Money’ – Peter McEvoy

In February 2008, McEvoy helped devise and launch PowerPlay Golf alongside David Piggins, a shortened version of golf in a bid to create golf’s version of Twenty20 cricket. The format was simple: nine holes with two flags on each green, one hard (Black) and one easy (White) with a modified stableford scoring system. Each player had to take on three Black hole locations in their first 8-holes with an extra one available on the final hole. Despite appearing to tick all of the boxes in terms of fun and speed of play – matters which have taken on greater importance in recent years as golf participation in the UK has fallen – the format failed to take off and is now rarely heard of or seen.

Peter McEvoy clearly loves the game of golf and the amateur game in GB&I has been fortunate to have him as a leading figure. Golf has been at the centre of his life for 50 years and his contribution as an elite player, captain (perhaps the best golf captain, pro or amateur, ever), administrator, coach, course designer and journalist / writer is probably without parallel. Let’s hope he continues to support the GB&I amateur game for many more years to come where his knowledge and experience are clearly irreplaceable.

ME.

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.