The European Amateur Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

25th June 2022

Filippo CELLI (ITA) won the 2022 European Amateur Championship at El Saler Golf Club after rounds of 64, 74, 73 and 69.

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Filippo Celli (Photo: European Golf Association)

Round 4

A final round 69 gave Filippo Celli a 280 (-8) total and a one shot victory. Celli started nervously with a bogey 5 on his opening hole but recovered his poise quickly with four birdies following on his front nine. An even par back nine saw him safely home albeit a bogey 5 on the par 4 16th made things interesting down the stretch.

He is the fourth Italian winner of this prestigious trophy following in the footsteps of Massimo Scarpa (1992), Stafano Mazzoli (2015) and Luca Cianchetti (2016).

The victory also provides Celli with an exemption into the 150th Open Championship being played at St. Andrews in a few weeks time.

Rasmus NEERGAARD-PETERSEN (DEN) produced one of three 67’s on the final day to take 2nd place on 281 (-7). Whilst he too bogeyed the first he followed it was six unblemished birdies in what was a strong finish for the Dane.

Scotland’s Calum SCOTT (-6) finished 3rd after a final round 68, which also included six birdies, lifted him up three places. Scott has enjoyed a good Freashman season at Texas Tech University and continues to trend upwards. This is the best result of his career to date.

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Calum Scott, Filippo Celli and Rasmus Neergaard-Petersen (Photo: Adolfo Luna)

Neergaard-Petersen, Scott and Javier BARCOS GARBAYO (ESP), who finished 4th on 283 (-5), all earned exemptions into Final Qualifying for the Open Championship as a result of their top 4 finishes.

The other GB&I players to finish in the top 50 were Harley SMITH (ENG) -1 tied 9th, Rob MORAN (IRL) Ev tied 18th, Callum BRUCE (SCO) +1 T23, James ASHFIELD (WAL) +2 tied 23rd and Josh HILL (ENG), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) & Frank KENNEDY (ENG) +5 tied 44th.

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 Leading Results (Graphic: EGA / Golfbox)

Click here to view the full – EGA / Golfbox Leaderboard

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24th June 2022

Round 3

Filippo CELLI (ITA) recaptured the lead from compatriot Pietro BOVARI (ITA) on Day 3 after they recorded rounds of 73 and 75 respectively. Celli will start the final day on -5 with Bovari tied for 2nd, one shot further back, alongside Javier BARCOS (ESP), Sam SLATER (AUS), whose 66 was the low round of the day, Michael MJAASETH (DEN) and Yannick MALIK (GER).

South African Casey JARVIS, who has largely disappointed on Golf RSA’s European tour, crept into contention with a 68. He is now tied 6th in a group of four players which includes Calum SCOTT (SCO), GB&I’s leading player, on 214 (-2).

The other leading GB&I players are James ASHFIELD (WAL) -1 tied 10th, Harley SMITH (ENG) Ev tied 14th, Rob MORAN (IRL) +1 tied 18th and Frank KENNEDY (ENG), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and Rory FRANNSEN (SCO), all +2 tied 27th.

There are now just 17 players on even par or better. The average score in Round 3 was 74.41, the lowest we have seen to date.

Welshman James ASHFIELD is tied 1st for the ‘most pars or better’ with 48 whilst Ben QUINNEY (ENG) leads the field in ‘most birdies or better’ with 15. In terms of the standings that matter Quinney is tied 55th on 222 (+6).

67 players made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at +6.

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Leading Round 3 Scores (Graphic: EGA / Golfbox)

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23rd June 2022

Round 2

Pietro BOVARI (ITA) shot a bogey free 66 in Round 2, the best round of the day by two shots, to move into the lead of the European Amateur.

Overnight leader and compatriot Filippo CELLI (ITA) slipped into 2nd place after recording a 2-over 74.

Jack INGHAM (NED) followed his opening 70 with a 69 to move up 16 places to 3rd place. For the second day running he helped his cause with an eagle on the back nine.

Calum SCOTT (SCO) is now the leading GB&I player. After rounds of 71 and 70 he sits on -3 in tied 5th place.

The other leading home players are Frank KENNEDY (ENG), Robert MORAN (IRL) and Connor GRAHAM (SCO). On 143 (-1) for the first 36 holes they are all tied 15th.

There are now 34 players on even par or better, down from the 45 seen after Round 1 had been completed. The average score in Round 2 was 75.35 (par 72), half a shot higher than the 74.84 posted by the field on Wednesday.

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Graphic: EGA / Golfbox)

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22nd June 2022

Round 1

Italy’s Filippo CELLI shot a spectacular 64 (-8), which included an eagle, seven birdies and surprisingly a  bogey 5 on the 18th, to take a 3-shot lead in the European Amateur at El Saler.

Rasmus NEERGAARD-PETERSEN‘s (DEN) bogey free 67 (-5) on a perfect day for golf in Valencia sees him in sole possession of 2nd place.

Nine players, including Scotland’s Rory FRANSSEN, are tied for third place on -4 after recording 68’s.

15 year old Connor GRAHAM (SCO) -3 is tied 12th with Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Callum BRUCE (SCO), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Calum SCOTT (SCO) and Mason ESSAM (ENG) -1, tied 22nd, also under par.

Hamish BROWN (DEN), also on -3, joined his compatriot Neergaard- Petersen as the only other player to go bogey free through the opening 18 holes.

45 players finished Round 1 on even par or better. The average score across all of the 144 players was 74.84 (+2.84).

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Leading Round 1 Scores (Graphic: EGA / Golfbox)

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21st June 2022

The 35th European Amateur Championship will be played at El Saler Golf Club, which is located on the southern outskirts of Valancia in Spain, between 22nd-25th June 2022.

This prestigious Championship is run by the European Golf Association (EGA), assisted each year by the host nation; this year, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation.

2022 will be the third occasion that Spain has hosted the European Amateur with El Prat GC in Barcelona hosting the previous two visits.

I will be updating this article with daily reports on play during the week.

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Parador El Saler Golf Club (Photo: http://www.leadingcourses.com)

Competition Format

The European Amateur is a 72-hole stroke play competition with 18-holes played daily over four days.

A cut takes place after 54 holes with the 60 lowest scores and ties qualifying for the final round.

A 3 hole aggregate score play off will decide the winner in the event of a tie. If this doesn’t separate the players then a sudden death play-off will commence over the same holes.

A card count-back is used for all other ties.

Entries

144 players contest the Championship which is traditionally played in June each year.

All of the players in the field must have handicaps of 0.0 or better with the entry ballot applied based on the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Exemptions were available to the defending champion, a single nomination from each EGA member nation, four nominated players from the host nation, Spain, competitors in the Bonallack Trophy, St. Andrew’s Trophy and Jacques Léglise Trophy matches, the 2022 South American Amateur champion and the 2022 European Mid-Amateur champion.

There are 25 GB&I entries, namely Cameron ADAM (SCO), James ASHFIELD (WAL), Callan BARROW (ENG), Jack BROOKS (ENG), Callum BRUCE (SCO), Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG), Archie DAVIES (WAL), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Mason ESSAM (ENG), Archie FINNIE (SCO), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), TJ FORD (IRL), Rory FRANNSEN (SCO), Connor GRAHAM (SCO), Josh HILL (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Lewis IRVINE (SCO), Frank KENNEDY (ENG), Matt MCCLEAN (IRL), Robert MORAN (IRL), Ben QUINNEY (ENG), Matt ROBERTS (WAL), Calum SCOTT (SCO), Harley SMITH (ENG) and Matthew WILSON (SCO).

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) and John GOUGH (ENG) were in the field but have both withdrawn presumably following their exertions at the Amateur Championship last week.

Noteworthy overseas entries include Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE), Bastien AMAT (FRA), Christian BANKE (USA), Matthis BESARD (BEL), Frederik BIRKELUND (DEN), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Hamish BROWN (DEN), Jack BUCHANAN (AUS), Christiaan BURKE (RSA), Martin COUVRA (FRA), Harrison CROWE (AUS), Kyle DE BEER (RSA), Matteo FERNANDEZ DE OLIVEIRA (ARG), Marco FLORIOLI (ITA), Jorge HAO (ESP), James HYDES (NZL), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Jerry JI (NED), Ryggs JOHNSTON (USA), Frederik KJETTRUP (DEN), Christo LAMPRECHT (RSA), Connor MCKINNEY (AUS), Jaime MONTOJO (ESP), David NYFJALL (SWE), Yurav PREMLALL (RSA), David PUIG (ESP – and a member of the LIV Golf Series), Baard SKOGEN (NOR) and Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED).

Parador Campo de Golf de El Saler, Spain

The 2022 Championship is being staged at El Saler Golf Club in Spain.

The Club was founded in 1968 with the course designed by the prominent Spanish architect Javier Arana.

Located in the Natural Park of La Albufera on the Mediterranean coast it stretches through a protected landscape of dunes and pine forests.

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Parador El Saler Golf Club Course Plan (Photo: El Saler G.C.)

El Saler is 6,950 yards / 6,355 metres long and plays to a par of 72. It has a course rating of 74.2 and a slope of 136.

Highly rated the course has staged the Spanish Open in 1994, 1989, 2001, and 2013, the Seve Trophy in 2003 and it was a European Tour Qualifying School venue between 2013-2017.

Weather Forecast

Weather conditions are expected to be unchanged and near perfect throughout the week.

Weds 22nd June – Sunny. Wind 6 mph SW. Min. 19°C / Max. 32°C.
Thurs 23rd June – Sunny. Wind 6 mph SW. Min. 20°C / Max. 31°C.
Fri 24th June – Sunny. Wind 6 mph SW. Min. 19°C / Max. 32°C.
Sat 25th June – Sunny. Wind 6 mph SE. Min. 20°C / Max. 30°C.

Prizes

Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to the top 3 finishers.

The silver Championship Trophy, shown below, is held by the winning player’s national golf authority.

The champion also earns an exemption into the Open Championship, this year being played at St. Andrews in Scotland.

Further Information

Click here to view the – EGA European Amateur Championship Website

2021 European Amateur Championship

Christopher BRING (DEN) won the 2021 European Amateur Championship by 2-shots with a 264 (-20) total.

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Christopher Bring (Photo: European Golf Association)

Ludvig ÅBERG (SWE) finished 2nd on 266 (-18) and David PUIG (ESP) 269 (-15) 3rd. Both players are returning this year and are expected to do well again.

Due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions there were no players from Great Britain in the field at Golf Du Médoc Resort in France but Marc BOUCHER, Max KENNEDY, Robert MORAN and Michael YOUNG from Ireland all made it to the start line. However, all four missed the 54 hole cut.

Click here to view the full – 2021 European Amateur Championship Results

History

The competition was first contested in 1986 at Eindhoven G.C. Initially it was held biennially before moving to an annual fixture from 1990.

Former winners who have gone on to enjoy very successful professional careers include Stephen GALLACHER (1994), Sergio GARCIA (1995), Gregory HAVRET (1999), Carl PETTERSSON (2000), Rory MCILROY (2006), Victor DUBUISSON (2009) and Nicolai HØJGÅRD (2018).

In addition to Gallacher and McIlroy other GB&I past winners include Jim PAYNE (1991), Paddy GRIBBEN (1998), Stephen BROWNE (2001), Brian MCELHINNEY (2003), Matthew RICHARDSON (2004), Rhys PUGH (2012) and Ashley CHESTERS (2013 and 2014) and Alfie PLANT (2017).

Ashley Chesters is the only two-time winner and the only player to have retained the trophy.

Click here to view the – European Amateur Championship Past Winners and Venues

Rory McIlroy – 2006 Champion (Photo: European Golf Association)

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

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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).

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

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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.

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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

ME.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

ME.

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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.

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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.

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

ME.

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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.

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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.

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

ME.

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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.

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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.

Scottish Men’s Open Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

29th May 2022

23 year old Charlie THORNTON (ENG) won the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay G.C. with a total of 278 (-2).

Thornton is the tenth Englishman to win the title and third in consecutive stagings following in the footsteps of Jake Bolton in 2019 and Callan Barrow in 2021.

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Charlie Thornton (Photo: Thornton Family)

Round 4

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) overturned a 3-shot deficit with a superb bogey-free final round of 66 to secure the biggest win of his amateur career. He finished on 278 (-2).

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Charlie Thornton’s Round 4 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

John GOUGH (ENG), who finished on 279 (-1), did little wrong in defending his lead this afternoon but an even par round of 70 ultimately came up one shot short against the fast finishing Yorkshireman Thornton.

The par 3 15th where there was a 2-shot swing proved to be the decisive hole in the final round. Thornton birdied whilst Gough bogeyed.

The two Englishmen were the only players in the starting field of 144 to break par.

Ireland’s Hugh FOLEY (+4) finished 3rd after final day rounds of 71 and 68 with Scotland’s Ben MURRAY (+4) 4th on countback.

David LUNDGREN (SWE) came through the field in Round 4 to finish 5th on +5 with a best of the week 65 which included six birdies.

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David Lundgren’s Round 4 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Andrew DAVIDSON (+7) 7th, John PATERSON (+7) 8th and Rory FRANSSEN (+8) 10th all finished strongly to make it four Scots in the top 10 of their national Championship.

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Round 4 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the – 2022 Scottish Men’s Open Championship Live Scores

ME.

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Round 3

John GOUGH (ENG) produced a sparkling 67 (-3) to take control of the Scottish Men’s Open Championship at Cruden Bay G.C. Three consecutive birdies and a second eagle on the short par 4 8th provided the foundation for his round, the joint best of the week.

Having played in the penultimate group Gough will have finished his lunch no doubt a little surprised to find himself with a 3-shot lead on 209 (-1).

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John Gough’s Round 3 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

The three overnight leaders Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO), Tyler DUNCAN (AUS) and Casey JARVIS (RSA) all had disastrous Round 3’s appearing to drag each other down with unusually high scores and presumably some slow play.

Muckherjee got on the bogey train on the back nine as six bogeys saw him fall to a damaging 77.

Tyler Duncan recorded a six over 11 on the par 5 6th as he went on to post an 80.

The biggest surprise was Jarvis’s 79 and apparent capitulation around the turn. An eight on the 9th followed by a six on 10 and a seven on 12 saw the South African star lose an amazing nine shots in just three holes.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) finished with two birdies in his final four holes for a battling 72 to move into 2nd place on 212 (+2).

Ben MURRAY (SCO) got himself into a nice position before bogeys on his final two holes saw him slip to 71. His 214 (+4) total will see him start the final round in 4th place.

John PATERSON (SCO) 72 and Mason ESSAM (ENG) 73 will start Round 4 tied 4th with Casey Jarvis on 215 (+5).

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Round 3 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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28th May 2022

Round 2

Casey JARVIS (RSA) produced a second consecutive 68 which, as on Day 1, included birdies on the par 4 2nd, 8th and 12th holes.

As a serial winner in South Africa Jarvis can’t be expected to reverse into the field on the final day. Someone is probably going to have to come and take the title away from him over the final 36 holes which won’t be easy given the high winds that has generally made scoring difficult to date.

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Casey Jarvis’ Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Jarvis will take a 4-shot lead over Tyler DUNCAN (AUS), round 1 co-leader Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO) and Charlie THORNTON (ENG) into Sunday.

The unheralded Duncan seems to be taking a liking to Cruden Bay shooting a very tidy 68 which only included one bogey on the short 11th.

Muckherjee delivered three consecutive birdies on the 6th-8th holes to get into position before falling away on the back nine with a 4-over 38. A double bogey on the 17th being particularly painful in the context of a potential run at the Championship tomorrow.

Thornton’s 69 moved him into tied 2nd place. The experienced Yorkshireman often sees through good positions so it will be interesting to see where he finishes.

In form John GOUGH (ENG) joined Mason ESSAM (ENG) in tied 5th place on -2. Gough was one of a number of players who recorded an eagle 2 on the 250 yard par 4 8th hole.

Day 2 saw good bounce backs from Harry LORD (ENG) 77-68, Jasper STUBBS (AUS) 79-67 and Kyle DE BEER (RSA) 78-71 to all make the cut.

Stubbs’ 3-under 67 was the best round of the Championship so far. When he got to 6-under after ten holes a really low one seemed possible but ultimately it wasn’t to be.

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Jasper Stubbs’ Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

At the close of play 43 players made the leading 40 players plus ties cut which fell at 149 (+9).

Three pre-qualifiers made it through to the final day, namely Liam DUNCAN (SCO), Harry CARRUTHERS (SCO) and Freddie MACARTHUR (ENG).

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Round 2 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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27th May 2022

Round 1

Casey JARVIS (RSA), Ben MURRAY (SCO) and Oliver MUCKHERJEE (SCO) share the Round 1 lead in the Scottish Men’s Open Championship after shooting 2-under 68’s around Cruden Bay G.C.

After his relatively disappointing performance in last week’s Brabazon Trophy it is no surprise to see Jarvis make a good start in Scotland. After watching his South African teammate Christiaan Maas win at Saunton he will have been motivated to bounce back quickly.

The three leaders were the only players to break par in the field of 144 competitors. The morning starters had the worse of the conditions with the weather calming down a little this afternoon.

Casey Jarvis teed off at 12 noon and got off to a dream start with two opening birdies.

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Casey Jarvis’ Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Ben Murray teed off in the group behind Jarvis at 12.10pm and matched the South African’s four birdies in his round.

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Ben Murray’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Young Oliver Muckherjee was in the penultimate group which teed off at 3.10pm. His round came alive on the back nine with four birdies in five holes.

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Oliver Muckherjee’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Gregor TAIT (SCO), who having been in the opening three ball at 7.00am was very much the exception to the rule with his score, and Scott CRICHTON (SCO) (11.20am) are tied second after recording 70’s (Ev).

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Round 1 Top 20 Scoreboard (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

ME.

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24th May 2022

The 55th Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship starts on Friday 27th May at Cruden Bay Golf Club in Aberdeenshire.

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Cruden Bay Golf Club (Photo: Cruden Bay G.C.)

Format

This open amateur competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play.

18 holes will be played on both Friday 27th and Saturday 28th May.

A 36 hole cut will then take place with only the leading 40 competitors and ties qualifying for the final two rounds which will be played on Sunday 29th May.

In the event of a tie for the Championship there will be a sudden death play off. All other ties will be resolved via card count back.

Field

144 competitors will start the 2022 Championship.

The field will be made up of automatic entries based on WAGR and handicaps, of which there are 106 listed at the time of writing, and players that come through a Pre-Qualifying event (see below).

Being scheduled slightly later in May more International and U.S. college players are available which means a strong field will be at Cruden Bay.

There is a strong South African touring party which unfortunately for the rest of the field has been added to since last week’s Brabazon Trophy in Devon. Golf RSA’s benefactor Johann Rupert has a lot to answer for ! I again expect the winner to come from one of these players – Christiaan BURKE #19, Kyle DE BEER #24, Jordan DUMINY #84, Casey JARVIS #7, Christiaan MAAS #3, Aldrich POTGIETER #94, Yurav PREMLALL #21 and Sam SIMPSON #64. They all arrive with confidence on the back of successful full seasons back home and some of them will now be even better prepared after a week at Saunton.

There are a number of players from Australasia competing. Jack BUCHANAN (AUS) #172, Harrison CROWE (AUS) #70, James HYDES (NZL) #139, Andre LAUTEE (AUS) #231 and former Scottish Boys and Mens International Connor MCKINNEY (AUS) #103 are the best of them. Crowe is the most interesting – he arrives having won the Master of the Amateurs, New South Wales Amateur and Golf Challenge NSW Open, a professional event, already in 2022. McKinney is the reigning Australian Men’s Amateur champion and obviously links ready given his past visits to these shores.

From a GB&I perspective the leading entries are defending champion Callan BARROW (ENG) #293, Jack BROOKS (ENG) #163, Paul CONROY (IRL) #394 who has returned from U.S. college golf to play, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #80, Hugh FOLEY (IRL) #146, Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #114, reigning English Amateur, Spanish Amateur and Lytham Trophy champion John GOUGH (ENG) #35, Connor GRAHAM (SCO) #203, in form Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) #124 and Gregor TAIT (SCO) #385 who like Conroy is back home from the States.

James ASHFIELD (WAL) #297, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #26, Jack BIGHAM (ENG) #293, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) #208, Luke HARRIES (WAL) #304, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #130, Frank KENNEDY (ENG) #281 (playing in the Farmfoods Scottish Challenge), Rob MORAN (IRL) #116, Liam NOLAN (IRL) #199 and Harley SMITH (ENG) #187 are the leading available GB&I players who are skipping this event presumably due to it’s remote location and / or pacing themselves for the busy summer ahead. It is 630 miles and an 11 hour drive from Saunton, where many players were last week, to Cruden Bay.

*The numbers quoted above are each player’s current Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). The SPWAR is in my opinion a more accurate ranking than the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) which I largely ignore for player assessment.

Pre-Qualifying

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Fraserburgh Golf Club (Photo: Fraserburgh G.C.)

Given the growing number of entries being seen Scottish Golf decided to stage an 18 hole Pre-Qualifying event this year rather than simply ballot out a large number of players via WAGR and handicap.

This took place at Fraserburgh Golf Club, which is located 27 miles further up the north east coast than Cruden Bay, on Tuesday 24th May. Fraserburgh is the 7th oldest golf club in the world and the competition will be played on their championship standard Corbiehill Links.

38 players from a field of 68 progressed to the main event with others added to the Championship’s Reserve List. Cormac SHARPE (SCO) won the event with a round of 67 (-3).

Click here to view the – Scottish Men’s Open Championship Pre-Qualifying Results

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Cruden Bay Golf Club is located on the east coast of Scotland 23 miles north of Aberdeen.

The original course, commissioned by the Great North of Scotland Railway Company, was designed by Old Tom Morris and opened for play in 1899. In 1926 the course was redesigned to the current layout by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler.

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Cruden Bay Scorecard (Photo: Cruden Bay G.C.)

As you can see above the Championship course plays to 6,609 yards and a par of 70. It has a par of 36 going out and a par of 34 coming home with the back nine unusually featuring three par 3’s.

Cruden Bay Course Flyover (Video: Cruden Bay G.C.)

Prizes

The Winner receives the distinctive Championship Trophy and a silver gilt medal.

Silver and bronze medals are also awarded to the runner-up and third place finisher(s).

Weather Forecast (last updated Thurs 26th May, 8.00am)

The current weather forecast suggests a mostly dry week but the winds look like they will be strong throughout the event so low scoring doesn’t seem very likely.

Fri 27th May – Light Showers / Wind 21 mph NW / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 12°C,
Sat 28th May – Cloudy /  Wind 25 mph NNW / Temp. Min. 9°C /Max. 10°C
Sun 29th May – Light Rain / Wind 30 mph NNW / Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 9°C

2021 Results

Callan BARROW (ENG) shot rounds of 63, 67, 64 and 67 for a 261 (-15) total to win the 2021 Championship at Southerness Golf Club.

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Callan Barrow (Photo: Scottish Golf)

James WILSON (ENG) finished 2nd on -12, Stuart EASTON (SCO), who had taken a 1-shot lead into the final day, came in 3rd on -7 and Lewis IRVINE (SCO) and Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) tied 4th on -6.

44 players made the 36 hole cut on Saturday evening which fell at 140 (+2)

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Final Results (Graphic: Scottish Golf / OCS Sport)

Click here to view the full – 2021 Scottish Men’s Open Championship Results

Past Winners

The Scottish Men’s Open Amateur was first contested in 1967 and has an impressive list of past winners. Here are some of them: –

2011 – Andy Sullivan (ENG)
2009 – Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)
2004 – Richie Ramsay (SCO)
2003 – Gary Wolstenholme (ENG)
1997 – Barclay Howard (SCO)
1996 – Alastair Forsyth (SCO)
1995 – Stephen Gallacher (SCO)
1992 – Dean Robertson (SCO)
1991 – Andrew Coltart (SCO)
1985 – Colin Montgomerie (SCO)
1981 – Philip Walton (IRE)
1980 – Gordon Brand Jr (ENG)
1975 and 1984 – Charlie Green (SCO)
1971, 1974 and 1979 – Ian Hutcheon (SCO)
1970 – Dale Hayes (RSA)
1968 – Ronnie Shade (SCO)
1967 – Bernard Gallacher (SCO)

A full list of the past winners can be viewed here – Scottish Open Amateur Winners

ME.

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

Brabazon Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

22nd May 2022

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) won the 2022 Brabazon Trophy shooting rounds of 65, 70, 67 and 68 for a 270 (-14) total.

18 year old Maas (pronounced “mars”), playing in the United Kingdom for the first time, arrived at Saunton as one of the clear favourites based on his performances over the last few years back home in South Africa.

He didn’t disappoint. He was simply outstanding. A strong and powerful ball striker with a delicate touch on and around the greens is always hard to beat but when you combine that with an ice cool temperament it is nigh on impossible.

He made some mistakes and played some miraculous shots to keep his score going but you wouldn’t of known which were which looking at has on course demeanour. He appeared mature beyond his years.

Maas is the third South African winner of the Brabazon Trophy following in the footsteps of Charles Schwartzel (2002, Royal Cinque Ports) and Kyle McClatchie (2017, Woodall Spa).

Maas will commence a US college golf scholarship with Texas University in August and I am looking forward to seeing him rip it up over there.

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Christiaan Maas (Photo: GolfBible)

Shortly after the final results were posted the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) was updated. Maas moved up to #3 in the world, with Sam Bairstow now #26, John Gough #35, Arron Edwards-Hill #78 and Matt McClean #126.

Round 4

It was another lovely day in North Devon. The sun shone and little more than a gentle breeze blew across the links of Saunton.

Whilst the hearts of the spectators hoped for an English winner those who had been watching Maas on the previous days knew in their heads that was probably not going to be the case.

A confident Christiaan MAAS (RSA) ended any doubts quickly, birdieing four of his opening six holes to extend his lead from one shot to six and thus take complete control of the Championship. At no point thereafter did he look likely to lose it either.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the South African as he started to push a few drives as the round progressed and hit a number of long approaches which left him scrambling. His up and down from the hay 60 yards over the 12th, where the green was running away from him, was world class and his recovery from the rough over the dog leg on 16 also noteworthy. In summary any fires were quickly extinguished with minimum fuss or histrionics.

Christiaan Maas Tees Off On The 1st Hole (Video: GolfBible)

Christiaan Maas Holes Out On The 18th Hole (Video: GolfBible)

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) heading out at 12.40pm with the leader would have been hoping to apply some early pressure but four bogeys on the front nine in effect did the opposite. It was to his credit that he steadied the ship and improved considerably on the back nine. A missed short putt on the par 3 15th was the only shot he really left out there. Nevertheless a 2nd place finish at the Brabazon represents an amateur career high for the Chelmsford man.

To the disappointment of the hosts, England Golf, Sam BAIRSTOW also hit reverse at the wrong time. Sam didn’t seem to have his A-game over the weekend and whilst he battled hard and put up a stout defence of the title his putter was cold and he just couldn’t get anything to happen.

Matt MCCLEAN, a 28 year old optician from Northern Ireland, enjoyed a very good Championship, his weekend rounds of 67 and 68 matching those of Maas. The Malone player is in great form and currently seems to be featuring at the top end of every competition he enters. He currently looks a certainty for the GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team that will play the Continent of Europe in July.

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Christiaan Maas’, Arron Edwards-Hill’s, Matt McClean’s and Sam Bairstow’s Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

I don’t know what the Swiss boys had for breakfast on Sunday but it certainly worked. Maximilien STURDZA and Nicola GERHARDSEN recorded rounds of 65, the joint best of the week, and 69 respectively to move up into the top 5. Following on from his T10 finish at the recent Lytham Trophy Gerhardsen looks like a player worth following this summer.

The unheralded Australian Jasper STUBBS (-2) also came under the radar with a final round of 67 to finish 7th.

In total there were only eight under par rounds on Day 4, the firmer course conditions and some tricky pins explaining this.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Eliot BAKER (ENG) shot a final round 71 to secure the George Henriques Salver, the prize awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

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George Henriques Salver Results (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Click here to view the – 2022 Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

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21st May 2022

Round 3

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) shot a third round 67 to maintain his 1-shot lead at the Brabazon Trophy. Ominously for the rest of the field today’s round was far more comfortable for the South African with all 18 greens hit in regulation and five birdies to his name. Save for an opening hole three putt bogey there were none of the occasional mistakes seen on the opening two days.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL‘s day started well, holing his approach for an eagle on the 473 yard 1st hole. He would go on to make a further four birdies but two bogeys on the back nine ultimately kept him out of the 54 hole lead which he had looked like holding for most of the afternoon.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) couldn’t repeat the heroics of Friday but still posted a 2-under 69. The highlight was perhaps his superb 40 yard chip in for birdie from left of the 12th green. A bogey on the final hole, where he drove into a bunker and left a 15 foot par putt in the jaws, may come back to haunt the defending champion tomorrow evening. A 3-shot head start, even on Saunton’s difficult East Course, looks like a lot to be giving the in form Maas.

Like yesterday there were 13 under par rounds in total, albeit from just 60 starters today.

The best third round score came from Kyle DE BEER (RSA), whose 66 included four birdies and 1 eagle. A late bogey on the downhill par 3 17th indicates he had the chance to go even lower too. Now in 5th place on -4 I am sure he will be one of the players hoping to set a clubhouse target to give the leaders something to think about coming down the stretch tomorrow.

James ASHFIELD (WAL) 15th, Matt MCCLEAN (IRL) 4th and John GOUGH (ENG) 6th all recorded 67’s to continue their rises up the leaderboard. Ashfield was an early starter at 8.00am and really had it going. He played the 10 holes between the 6th and 15th in 7-under par. McClean was one of a number of players to eagle the 477 yard par 5 whilst Gough posted six birdies to again demonstrate how well he is playing this year.

Tomi BOWEN (WAL) -1 leads Hugh ADAMS (ENG) +3 and Eliot BAKER (ENG) +4 in the George Henriques Salver competition. This prize is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

ME.

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20th May 2022

Round 2

Friday was a day of two halves on the North Devon coast when it came to the weather. Overnight rain subsided by 8.30am to give way to excellent scoring conditions before the winds picked up strongly in the afternoon, and with a number of squally showers added to the mix, made life much harder for the later starters.

Christiaan MAAS (RSA) moved into the lead on Day 2 with a round of 70. Again there were mistakes but these were recovered. For those that weren’t already aware his 15 birdies in 36 holes shows the huge potential the well built South African has.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) set off in the worst of the conditions at 1.40pm and his three early bogeys were therefore not a surprise. His ability to settle down and battle back coming home to return a par score bodes well for the weekend.

English No. 1 Sam BAIRSTOW was good enough to take full advantage of his favourable draw, equalling the best round of the week with a 6-under 65. An eagle and seven birdies showed the left-handers class.

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Christiaan Maas’, Arron Edwards-Hill’s and Sam Bairstow’s Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Other players to produce good rounds today included Olly HUGGINS (ENG), who moved up into 4th after a 68, Robert MORAN (IRL) 69 T5, Nicola GERHARDSEN (SUI) 69 T5, Tyko TUOHIMAA (FIN) 66 T8, Tomi BOWEN (WAL) 66 T8, Angus CARRICK (SCO) 70 T12, John GOUGH 68 T14, Jake HIBBERT 70 T20, Leonardo BONO (SUI) 69 T20 and Jack BROOKS (SUI) 69 T20.

There were a total of 13 under par scores in Round 2 compared with yesterday’s 21.

The 60th and ties cut fell at 148 (+6) with exactly 60 players making it through to the weekend. An organisers dream !

Jack BIGHAM (ENG) +7 T61, Harley SMITH (ENG) +7 T6, James HYDES (NZL) +8 T71, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) +8 T71, Callan BARROW (ENG) +10 T93, Marc BOUCHER (IRL) +11 T98 and BEN QUINNEY (ENG) +12 T104 were among the more notable casualties.

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Round 2 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

ME.

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19th May 2022

Round 1

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) and Christiaan MAAS (RSA) share the lead after opening with 6-under par 65’s.

Edwards-Hill teed-off at 9.00am whilst Maas started his Championship at 1.20pm which shows that good scoring was possible throughout the day.

Edwards-Hill’s round featured an eagle and five birdies with an early bogey on the 3rd the only blemish. Maas reached 6-under after 10 holes of his round but as you can see below had to work hard to keep his score intact over his final seven holes. Irrespective of how they were compiled both rounds were excellent given the stern test posed by Saunton’s East Course.

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Arron Edwards-Hill’s and Christiaan Maas’ Round 1 Scorecards (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Two lesser known Englishmen, Rory BROWNE and Louis SANDERS, are tied 3rd on -4 having very much enjoyed their day on the links. Browne was a bit more up and down but accumulated seven birdies whilst Sanders was steadier, matching Edwards-Hill’s achievement of a single bogey.

21 players broke par in Round 1 which, even allowing for the near perfect conditions, is more than many commentators thought likely before play started.

There are clearly a number of players riding a wave of confidence and have so far brought their good form with them to North Devon.

Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Matthew LEVER (ENG) -2 and Craig MELDING (WAL) -2 have all enjoyed wins in the last seven days. Eliot BAKER (ENG) -1, from nearby Tiverton, also won the Devon County Championship on Saunton’s West Course last weekend whilst Charlie THORNTON (ENG) -1 won the West of England Stroke Play at the end of April on the East.

Ireland’s Matt MCCLEAN -1, Rob MORAN Ev and Marc BOUCHER Ev finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th at last weekend’s Irish Amateur Open Championship played at The Island and are certainly links-ready and battle hardened.

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Round 1 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

A number of leading players have work to do tomorrow to firstly make the cut and with a strong wind behind them hopefully get back in the Championship.

Jack COPE (ENG) +4, Harley SMITH (ENG) +4, Jack BROOKS (ENG) +4, John GOUGH (ENG) +4, Casey JARVIS (RSA) +4, Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) +4, Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA) +4, James HYDES (NZL) +8, Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) +8 and Callan BARROW (ENG) +10 will all be disappointed with their opening rounds.

ME.

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11th May 2022

The 76th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played on the East Course at Saunton Golf Club between Thursday 19th and Sunday 22nd May 2022.

Three Qualifying Tournaments were played on 10th May 2022 to help England Golf complete the field (see below).

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Saunton Golf Club (Photo: Saunton G.C.)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played over four days.

A 36 hole cut will take place with only the leading 60 competitors and ties progressing to the two remaining rounds.

In the event of a tie for the Championship there will be a sudden death play off. All other places will be determined by a card countback, starting with the final round and working backwards from there.

Field

144 competitors from 16 different countries will contest the 2022 Brabazon Trophy Championship.

The majority of this number were exempt with starting places offered to a number of national golf federations and to those players who have performed well in other recent Championships.

There were originally 83 exempt players listed on the England Golf Website albeit some of these withdrew ahead of the Championship. They included defending champion Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Jack BROOKS (ENG), Jonathan BROOMHEAD (RSA), Jack COPE (ENG), Kyle de BEER (RSA), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Hugh FOLEY (IRL), Rory FRANSSEN (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), James HYDES (NZL), Casey JARVIS (RSA), Christiaan MAAS (RSA), Robert MORAN (IRL), Yurav PREMLALL (RSA) and Kiet van der WEELE (NED).

The five South African’s listed above (sadly Christiaan Burke was a late withdrawal due to visa issues), particularly Jarvis and Maas, are all world class and must start collectively as the favourites for the title.

Three regional qualifying tournaments were staged on 10th May 2022 to determine the remainder of the field with 61 spots made available.

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Qualifying Events

Three 18 hole stroke play events, each with a maximum field of 120 players, were staged.

20 players automatically qualified from the Midland and Northern events whilst the Southern earned 21 spots given its larger field. A few more players have subsequently made the starting line up after being called up from the Reserve list.

Ties for the last qualifying place at each venue were determined by card countback.

Here is a summary of the Qualifier results and a list of all the players who progressed: –

MIDLAND – Stanton-on-the-Wolds G.C., Nottingham Results
6,537 yards (White) – Par 73 – Slope Rating 138
105 players / 20 Qualifiers

Medalist – Ieuan PHILLIPS (WAL)
Qualifiers – Theo Baker (WAL), Freddie MacArthur (ENG), Adam Dorricott (ENG), Jenson Forrester (ENG), George Griffiths (ENG), Joshua Ashton (ENG), Jake Plumb (ENG), Jacob Smith (ENG), George Cordall (ENG), Alfie Robinson (ENG), Luke Yardley (ENG), James Claridge (ENG), Joe Jones (WAL), Alex Ford (ENG), Dean Reddington (ENG), Warren Bates (ENG), Nick Davies (ENG), Kyle Harmon (ENG) and Charlie Gilgenkrantz (ENG).
Reserves – Jacob Parsons (ENG)

NORTHERN – Pannal G.C., Harrogate – Results
6,404 yards (White) – Par 72 – Slope Rating 138
100 players / 20 Qualifiers

Medalist – Jack WHALEY (ENG)
Qualifiers – Luca Houlgate (ENG), Jamie Stewart (SCO), Tom Osborne (ENG), Tom North (ENG), Jake Sowden (ENG), Kieran Hogarth (ENG), Cormac Sharpe (SCO), Will Coxon (ENG), Ryan Owen (ENG), Jack McPhail (ENG), Jake Hibbert (ENG), Jack McDonald (SCO), Stuart Thurlow (SCO), Matthew Lever (ENG), Reece Goodyear (ENG), Michael Kilgallon (ENG), Dominic Barron Holden (ENG), Aamar Saleem (SCO) and Jack Williams (WAL)
Reserves – Aissa El Khadri (NED) and James Nash (ENG)

SOUTHERN – Beaconsfield G.C., Buckinghamshire Results
6,584 yards (Black) – Par 72 – Slope Rating 136
119 players / 21 Qualifiers

Medalist – Alexander MAXWELL (AUS)
Qualifiers – Alfie Forisky (ENG), Harry Uzzell (ENG), Eliot Baker (ENG), Louis Sanders (ENG), Carl Banner (ENG), Taylor Paul (ENG), Ollie Brimfield (ENG), Jack Neill (ENG), Sam Russell (ENG), Johns Hayes (ENG), Huxley Howell (ENG), James McLaughlin (ENG), Joss Gosling (ENG), Reis Suart (ENG), Carter Rowe (ENG), Jake Antoun (ENG), George Saunders (ENG), Callum Tibbs (ENG), James Whyte (ENG) and Leyton Hardwick (ENG).
Reserves – Ben Loveard (ENG), Owain Taylor (WAL) and Rory Browne (ENG)

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown below.

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The Champion’s Prize and The Brabazon Trophy (Photo: Golf Bible)

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

The George Henriques Salver is awarded to the leading GB&I player in the Championship under the age of 20.

The Philip Scruton Jug is awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 18-19 June).

Saunton Golf Club

Saunton G.C. is located amongst the sand dunes of Braunton Burrows in North Devon eight miles west of Barnstaple town centre.

The Club was founded in May 1897 with a 9-hole course. It was then extended to 12 holes in 1906 before a full 18 was opened in 1908. W. Herbert Fowler was employed after World War I to re-design what is now known as the East Course. C.K. Cotton completed a restoration in the early 1950s following World War II.

A West Course, designed by Frank Pennink, was opened in 1974.

Both courses are well renowned and the Club has understandably been invited to host numerous prestigious amateur events over the years by The R&A and England Golf.

This will be the fifth occasion that Saunton has staged the Brabazon Trophy. In 1967 Ronnie SHADE (SCO) won, in 1976 Peter HEDGES (ENG), in 1988 Bobby EGGO (ENG) and in 1997 David PARK (WAL).

The East is the best course in the county of Devon and normally lies inside the top 25 in most rankings for all of England.

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Saunton G.C. Aerial Photo (Photo: Saunton G.C.)

The East Course (Blue Tees) includes eight par 4’s at 400+ yards and with only three par 3’s plays to a challenging par of 71 over 6,869 yards.

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Saunton G.C. – East Course Scorecard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)

Weather Forecast – last updated at 12.00noon on Tuesday 17th May 2022

The long range weather forecast is looking largely dry at the moment with some sunny spells expected. Fresh breezes, which will increase throughout the day, are also expected to be a feature throughout the week.

Thur 19th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 11 mph W / Temp. Min. 9°C, Max. 18°C.
Fri 20th May – Light Rain / Wind 17 mph SW / Temp. Min. 11°C, Max. 17°C.
Sat 21st May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 13 mph W / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 16°C.
Sun 22nd May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 14 mph W / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 17°C.

2021 Brabazon Trophy

Left hander Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) from the Hallowes G.C. in Sheffield won the 2021 Brabazon Trophy at Ganton G.C. with a 273 (-11) total. His four under par rounds of 66, 69, 69 and 69 included 18 birdies and just seven bogeys over the 72 holes.

Zach CHEGWIDDEN (ENG) finished strongly with a best of the week 64 in the final round which included seven birdies. Having won the Berkshire Trophy back in June the Essex man secured The Philip Scruton Jug, awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy, with ease.

At the close of play only 10 players were able to finish the Championship with under par scores.

Frank KENNEDY (ENG) and Josh HILL (ENG), who both finished on 285 (+1), shared The George Henriques Salver awarded to the leading GB&I player(s) in the Championship under the age of 20.

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Leading Brabazon Trophy Results (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

64 players ultimately made the top 60 and ties 36 hole cut which fell at +6.

Recent Results

Click below to view the results over the last five years: –

Ganton – 2021 Brabazon Trophy Results

Sherwood Forest – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

Alwoodley – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

The English Amateur International Trophy competition was first played in 1947.

In 1957 the official title was changed to the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

The current trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara in 1948 and the event has come to be widely known as the Brabazon Trophy.

Click here to view the full list of – Brabazon Trophy Past Winners

The first player to successfully defend the title was Ronnie WHITE who won at Birkdale in 1950 and nearby Formby in 1951.

Shortly afterwards Philip SCRUTTON won the Brabazon three times in four years (1952, ‘54 & ‘55).

Sir Michael BONALLACK has four wins to his name. The first came at Royal Cinque Ports in 1964 and the last at Hillside in 1971. At Moortown in 1969, with play-offs having been discarded at this time, he shared the title with Rodney FOSTER.

Other well known British winners of the Brabazon include Gordon BRAND Jnr, Sandy LYLE (2), Peter MCEVOY, Ronan RAFFERTY and Ronnie SHADE(3).

Other notable recent winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992), Peter HANSON (1998) and Charl SCHWARTZEL (2002).

ME.

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

The Lytham Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

1st May 2022

John GOUGH (ENG) won the 2022 Lytham Trophy with a 280 (Ev) total, albeit he was made to work very hard for arguably the biggest win of his career.

Gough has won the Palmetto Amateur (USA), English Amateur, Spanish International Amateur and now the Lytham Trophy during the last 12 months. He rose to 37th in the updated Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking accurately reflecting his status as one of the world’s best amateur golfers.

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John Gough (Photo: Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C.)

The 57th Lytham Trophy will be played on 5th-7th May 2023.

Round 4

Gough showed great heart in twice having to recover from setbacks in the final round to secure the victory. His double bogey 5 on the 5th hole saw him tumble out of the lead before a badly timed run of three bogeys on the 14th to 16th holes initially looked like it may be terminal.

Having dropped into a share of the lead with Connor Graham, safely in the clubhouse on +1, Gough was faced with parring his final two holes to force a play-off. At the time few would have bet on it with the wheels seemingly having come off his victory parade bus. To then birdie the 17th – he chipped in from off the green – and par the 18th with the Trophy on the line showed just how much the BB&O golfer has matured in recent years.

Reflecting on the 17th afterwards Gough said “I don’t think I’ll ever forget that shot.” Perhaps Royal Lytham should install a plaque to commemorate Gough’s chip-in, after all Bobby Jones was afforded one back down the 17th fairway for a par on his way to winning the 1926 Open Championship ?

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John Gough Scorecard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

Whilst the plaudits will go to the winner the 2nd place performance of 15 year old Scottish protege Connor GRAHAM was equally impressive. After a roller coaster opening nine in the morning his play was simply outstanding in the heat of battle. To play the final 27 holes at Royal Lytham with just two bogeys on his card, not to mention six birdies, is nothing short of remarkable for one so young.

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Connor Graham Scorecard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

Ben QUINNEY (ENG) finished 3rd on 283 (+3), Connor ROCHON (SCO) 4th on 285 (+5) and Robert MORAN (IRL) 5th also on +5.

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Final Results (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

Click here to view the full – 2022 Lytham Trophy Results

Round 3

Eoin MURPHY (IRL) and Nicola GERHARDSEN (SUI), who recorded 1-under 69’s, were the only players in the third round to break par. Both players made slow starts before birdieing the 9th and then coming home strongly with no bogeys; Murphy was 2-under for his back nine whilst Gerhardsen was 3-under.

Murphy shares the 54 hole lead with John GOUGH (ENG) who sadly bogeyed his final two holes to give the chasing pack some encouragement.

Ben QUINNEY (ENG) and Robert MORAN (IRL) are tied 3rd, just one shot back of the leaders. Both could have been much better off. Moran triple bogeyed the 8th and double bogeyed the 7th on his way to a front nine 40. Quinney double bogeyed the 11th and 17th before bogeying his final hole.

15 year old Scottish protege Conor GRAHAM (SCO) moved into the top 5 with a level par 70 which included four birdies. It would be some story if he comes through this afternoon to win the title.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

ME.

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30th April 2022

Robert MORAN (IRL) moved into the 36 hole lead on 136 (-4) at Lytham with a second consecutive 68. He is the only player in the competition to have recorded to under par rounds.

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Rob Moran Scorecard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

John GOUGH (ENG), who Moran memorably competed against at last year’s Men’s Home Internationals when they were the best two players on show, moved into sole 2nd place, on -3, with a 70 in Round 2.

Ben QUINNEY (ENG) and Paul BEAUVY (FRA) recorded the day’s low rounds with 3-under 67’s to move firmly into the top 10. Quinney’s highlight was an eagle on the 589 yard 8th which presumably brought a smile to his face having had an 8 on the same hole yesterday. Beauvy was 3-over after 4 holes but seven birdies during the rest of his round represented some bounce back.

It proved to be a tough day for the two opening day leaders, Matt McCLEAN (IRL) and Oliver MUKHERJEE (SCO). McClean shot a 77 and Mukherjee a 76 which saw them both tumble down the leaderboard to tied 14th on 143 (+3).

45 players made the top 40 and ties cut which fell at 147 (+4).

The weather started to turn a little today with early morning mist giving way to cloud before some late light rain came in to disturb the later finishers.

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Round 2 Leaderboard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

Sadly Royal Lytham were unable to provide live scoring in Round 2 which meant it was difficult to follow the ebbs and flows of the rounds as had been possible on the opening day.

ME.

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29th April 2022

Matt McCLEAN (IRL), who plays out of the Malone G.C. in Ulster, teed off in the third from last group at 3.20pm on Day 1 of the Lytham Trophy. His 4-under 66, which included five birdies and a solitary bogey on the challenging dog-leg 17th, proved good enough to take the early lead.

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Matt McClean’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

One shot further back after 67’s were young Oliver MUKHERJEE (SCO), Florian SCHWEIGHOFER (AUT) and John GOUGH (ENG).

Mukherjee was the second player to tee off in the competition and like McClean impressively kept the damage on his card to just a single bogey. His came on the 3rd hole with birdies on 7 and 8 before another pair on 17 and 18 left him well placed heading into the weekend.

The highlight of Austrian Schweighofer’s round was an eagle 2 on the 417 yard par 4 8th hole.

John Gough, who teed off in the final group at 3.40pm made a great start moving to 4-under after 8 holes. He had got to 5-under after 12 before two successive bogeys on 14 and 15 took the edge off what looked like it could be a special round.

Robert MORAN (IRL), who is tied with compatriot Eoin MURPHY on 2-under in 5th place, will clearly have been disappointed to triple-bogey the home hole to slip out of the Round 1 lead which he had held on 5-under standing on the 18th tee.

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Round 1 Leaderboard (Graphic: Royal Lytham G.C. / Golf Genius)

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26th April 2022 

The 2022 Lytham Trophy will be played between 29th April and 1st May at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England.

This event was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Traditionally the first major event in the Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf season its return is being eagerly anticipated.

It has historically been the 3rd best event in GB&I based on field strength sitting behind only the Amateur Championship and the St. Andrews Links Trophy. Coming so early in the season it is held back by missing out on all of the European players still studying at and competing for their U.S. colleges.

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

Format and Tee Times

144 scratch golfers from 15 different countries will tee off in what will be the 56th playing of this prestigious competition.

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

In the event of a tie for the lowest score there will be a 3-hole stroke play play-off on holes 1, 2 and 18. If a winner still hasn’t been determined then the play-off moves to sudden death over the same holes.

View the Draw for Rounds 1 and 2 here – 2022 Lytham Trophy Tee Times

Players

Whilst most of GB&I’s leading home-based amateurs will be competing my perception is that the field looks weaker than I have seen it in previous years.

This is probably due to the growing popularity of U.S. college golf and a clash of dates this year with the Italian International Stroke Play Championship. Additionally a COVID-19 travelling and funding hangover, which is perhaps seeing overseas players undertaking shorter trips, may mean we see a focus on the St Andrews Links and The Amateur in June or worse still the new seven event Elite Amateur Golf Series in USA.

This scenario is a little disappointing given that the 127th Amateur Championship is also being staged at Royal Lytham, alongside St. Anne’s Old Links, on 13th-18th June 2022 so one would have thought the Lytham Trophy may have been better supported.

There are just 11 players competing this week who are currently ranked in the top 200 of the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. Here are the ten highest ranked players: –

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) – SPWAR 34th
The 2021 Brabazon Trophy winner will arrive on the Fylde coast as GB&I’s No. 1 amateur.

John GOUGH (ENG) – SPWAR 60th
John has enjoyed a great last 12 months winning the English Amateur and earlier in 2022 backing it up with the Spanish International Amateur.

Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) – SPWAR 95th
Rory moved into the world top 100 after a hugely successful tour of South Africa in the winter and a good run at the Spanish Amateur.

Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) – SPWAR 112th
The consistent Essex man has to win a big one soon – why not this week ?

Kiet VAN DER WEELE (NED) – SPWAR 133rd
A recent home win at the Voorjaarswedstrijd tournament has Keita on an upward curve.

Jack BROOKS (ENG) – SPWAR 142nd 
The world’s most active amateur golfer has thankfully found time in his busy schedule to play at Lytham. In great form and 3rd in 2019, just one shot behind the winner, it’s hard to see how the big man won’t finish well up the leaderboard.

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) – SPWAR 148th
Olly has also shown good form in Spain and Portugal earlier in 2022 and will now be looking to push on in the big events coming up back in the UK.

Hugh FOLEY (IRL) – SPWAR 158th 
Fast improving and links ready Foley, Ireland’s No. 1, will be confident after another impressive performance at the West of Ireland last week.

Luis MASAVEU (ESP) – SPWAR 164th 
One of Spain’s best prospects Luis has already reached the semi-finals of the Spanish Amateur and placed 2nd at Sotogrande in the European Nations Individual this year. Let’s see what he makes of there Lytham test.

Robert MORAN (IRL) – SPWAR 180th 
The star player at last year’s Home Internationals has been a bit quieter this year but can hopefully recapture his best form this week.

Lytham Trophies

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

Course

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

Players will tee off between 7.30am and 3.40pm on the Friday and Saturday so changes in the weather and wind speeds throughout the first two days can play a big part in scoring.

Weather Forecast

The weather forecast (as at Tuesday 26th April) looks good; sunny and dry throughout with only moderate breezes expected during the competition.

Friday 29th April – Sunny Intervals / Wind 8 mph N / Temp. Min. 6°C, Max. 14°C.
Saturday 30th April – Sunny Intervals / Wind 10 mph NW / Temp. Min. 7°C, Max. 13°C.
Sunday 1st May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 8 mph NW / Temp. Min. 7°C, Max. 15°C.

The 2019 Lytham Trophy

Josh MCMAHON (ENG) won the 55th Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham & St Annes G.C

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Josh McMahon (Photo: Golf Bible)

McMahon, then 22 and now a professional, produced a solid final round of 71 to secure the biggest title of his amateur career. He memorably finished with a clutch 40 foot putt on the final green to set a 288 (+8) total which proved to be good enough.

Josh McMahon’s 72nd Hole Birdie That Secured The 2019 Lytham Trophy Title

Gerold FOLK (AUT) +9 finished his tournament with a best of the day 69 which also included a closing birdie to secure 2nd place. As the winds picked up there briefly appeared a chance that his score may hold up despite 30 players teeing off after him.

Jack BROOKS (ENG), who incidentally bogeyed the tough 17th, finished 3rd behind Folk on +9 countback.

The most disappointed player on the final afternoon was probably Harry GODDARD (ENG) who enjoyed a superb opening nine but fell away down the home straight having been amongst the leaders all week and worked himself back in to contention. A final bogey on 18 saw him slip out of a share of the lead to also finish one back.

The top 40 and ties 36 hole cut fell at +9 in 2019 with 49 players progressing to the final day.

Royal Lytham have recently changed their scoring system from Intelligent Golf to Golf Genius so the complete 2019 Results are no longer publically available.

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

Of the older winners the most notable are: –
Michael BONALLACK – 1965 (s), 1972
Rodney FOSTER – 1967, 1968
Geoffrey MARKS – 1970 (s)
Charles GREEN – 1970 (s), 1974
Michael KING – 1973
George MACGREGOR – 1975
Peter MCEVOY – 1978
Ian HUTCHEON – 1980
Roger CHAPMAN – 1981
John HAWKSWORTH – 1984
Paul BROADHURST – 1988
Gary EVANS – 1990, 1991
Stephen GALLAGHER – 1995
Graham RANKIN – 1997
Stuart WILSON – 2003
(s) = shared

In 2004 21 year old James HEATH won with a record score of 266 (-18), recording rounds of 67, 68, 66, and 65. Garth McGimpsey, the then Walker Cup captain, described Heath’s performance as ‘the best amateur golf I’ve ever seen’.

No one else has ever come close to this low scoring mark before or after. The next best scores being Matthew JORDAN‘s 272 in 2018 and Daan HUIZING’s 273 in 2013.

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

The following list of the last 10 winners shows just how international the amateur game has become. However, after a spell of overseas winners the last four have all come from England: –
Paul CUTLER – 2010 (Ireland)
Jack SENIOR – 2011 (England)
Daan HUIZING – 2012 (The Netherlands)
Albert ECKHARDT – 2013 (Finland)
Thriston LAWRENCE – 2014 (South African
Marcus KINHULT – 2015 (Sweden)
Alfie PLANT – 2016 (England)
Jack SINGH BRAR – 2017 (England)
Matthew JORDAN – 2018 (England)
Josh MCMAHON – 2019 (England)

Here’s is the Winner’s Board which is situated on the main staircase in the Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. clubhouse.

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Lytham Trophy Past Winners’ Board in 2019 (Photo: Golf Bible) 

For more information please take a look at the Club website’s dedicated page – Lytham Trophy 

ME.

Copyright © 2014-22, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

March 2022 Men’s Amateur Rankings

5th April 2022

Throughout the year I analyse the two main amateur golf rankings, the SPWAR and the WAGR, to help us assess the performances of Great Britain and Ireland’s (GB&I) leading players as well as the status of events they compete in.

This information is maintained on the Rankings page of the GolfBible website and is updated quarterly.

The latest update covering the March 2022 Quarter period has now been added.

Scotland’s Rory Franssen has won my Player of the Quarter Award.

Franssen enjoyed a very consistent early season tour of South Africa producing a number of excellent finishes and has played well on his return to Europe. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big win come his way later in the summer.

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Rory Franssen (Photo: Golf RSA)

Pease click this link to be redirected to my Rankings page – GolfBible Rankings

ME.

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

Men’s European Nations Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

2nd April 2022

SPAIN (+13) completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Men’s European Nations Championship at RCG Sotogrande. The Team competition was based on the best three scores from each country’s four players.

ENGLAND (+35) finished 2nd 22-shots behind the home team, overtaking DENMARK who had a disastrous +18 final round to fall well down the standings.

WALES will be pleased with their tied 8th finish out of a field of 18 countries. 2021 Men’s Home International champions IRELAND (+50) 10th and SCOTLAND (+65) 13th will be disappointed with their efforts.

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Team Results (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

Spain’s Jaime MONTOJO (Ev) won the Individual competition beating teammate Luis MASAVEU (Ev) in a play-off. This was hard on Masaveu as he had finished the final round most impressively out of the leading players with a bogey free 4-under final nine holes.

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Jaime Montojo (Photo: RFE Golf)

However, this year it was the turn of Denmark’s Hamish BROWN (+2) to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory at Sotogrande – almost an annual occurrence. With a five shot lead and six holes to play he bogeyed five of his remaining holes to finish on +2 and in 3rd place.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), who finished top of the ‘Most Pars or Better’ table (with 59, including 14 birdies), was GB&I’s leading player in the competition. He recorded a final round of 71 (-1) to finish in 5th on +6.

James ASHFIELD (WAL) +10 was 7th, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) +14 tied 10th, Rob MORAN (IRL)+15 13th, Liam NOLAN (IRL) +18 tied 16th and Matt ROBERTS (WAL) and Lewis IRVINE (SCO) +18 both tied 16th.

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Leading Individual Results (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

Click here to view the – 2022 ENC Men’s Team Results

Click here to view the – 2022 ENC Men’s Individual Results

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1st April 2022

SPAIN (+4) will take a near unassailable 20-shot lead over DENMARK (+24) into the final round of the Men’s European Nations Championship at the challenging RCG Sotogrande.

ENGLAND (+26) remain 3rd and will now be aiming to overtake the Danes tomorrow to secure the silver medal place.

WALES produced a +7 score, the third best of the round, on Day 3 to move up to 9th on +40. IRELAND (+41) fell two places to 10th whilst SCOTLAND (+52) stayed in a disappointing 14th.

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Round 3 Team Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

Spain’s Jaime MONTOJO (-3) continues to lead the Individual competition but his lead over teammate Luis MASAVEU and Denmark’s Hamish BROWN (-1) is now down to just 2-shots.

Olly HUGGINS (ENG), who was 3-over after the first three holes of the competition, continued his fightback in round 3. A 72 saw him finish the day on +6 and in tied 4th place.

The other leading GB&I players in the Individual standings are Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), who is 6th on +7, James ASHFIELD (WAL) and Rob MORAN (IRL)+11 tied 11th, and Matt ROBERTS (WAL) and Lewis IRVINE (SCO) who are both tied 19th on +11.

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Leading Round 3 Individual Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

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31st March 2022

SPAIN (-2) moved into sole possession of the lead in the Men’s European Nations Championship after an impressive -7 Day 2 contribution to their ‘best 3-from-4’ total score. They now enjoy a 10-shot lead over DENMARK (+12).

Sadly the home nations were unable to make much progress in Round 2. ENGLAND (+15) are now 3rd, admittedly up a place, IRELAND (+29) are tied 8th, WALES (+33) 12th and SCOTLAND (+39) 14th.

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Round 2 Team Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

Spain’s Jaime MONTOJO delivered a second 69 to move onto -6 in the Individual competition. He is five shots ahead of his compatriot Luis MASAVEU and Hamish BROWN (DEN).

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) is 4th on +3 but barring two disasters could have been really challenging. After a 7 (+3) on the 15th yesterday he some how managed a 9 (+5) on the short 9th today.

Olly HUGGINS (ENG) +6 is tied 8th, Rob MORAN (IRL) +7 tied 11th, John GOUGH (ENG) +9 tied 18th and Matt ROBERTS (WAL), Lewis IRVINE (SCO) and James ASHFIELD (WAL) +10 all tied 23rd.

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Leading Round 2 Individual Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

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30th March 2022

FRANCESPAIN and DENMARK share the lead in the Men’s European Nations Championship after the opening round at RGC Sotogrande with a 221 (+5) ‘best 3-from-4’ total.

With 54-holes still to play ENGLAND (+7) are 4th, IRELAND (+11) 5th, WALES (+18) tied 12th and SCOTLAND (+24) 16th.

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Round 1 Team Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

Spain’s Jaime MONTOJO shot a best of the day 69 (-3) to take the early lead in the Individual competition.

Robert MORAN (IRL) and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) are the best placed GB&I players in tied 4th having posted 73’s (+1). Jack BIGHAM (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and James ASHFIELD (WAL) are two-shots further back in tied 10th after recording 75s (+3).

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Leading Round 1 Individual Scores (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

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28th March 2022

The Men’s European Nations Championship (ENC) starts on Wednesday 30th March at Real Club de Golf Sotogrande in Southern Spain.

RCG Sotogrande is the permanent home of the ENC and this will be the 14th playing of the event. It was cancelled due to COVID-19 in both 2020 and 2021.

It is a 72 hole stroke play Team and Individual competition.

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Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Field
This year 17 four-man teams and 1 three-man team, Austria, will play for the Team prize (71 players). An additional eight players invited by both RCG Sotogrande and the Spanish Golf Federation will contest the Individual competition (79).

The following players have been selected to represent the four competing home nations in 2022: –

England – Sam BAIRSTOW, Jack BIGHAM, John GOUGH, Olly HUGGINS

Ireland – Hugh FOLEY, Robert MORAN, Liam NOLAN, Peter O’KEEFFE

Scotland – Jack BROUN, George BURNS, Rory FRANSSEN, Lewis IRVINE

Wales – James ASHFIELD, Aled GREVILLE, Tom MATTHEWS, Matt ROBERTS

A Women’s ENC also takes place alongside the Men’s competition. Teams of three from Ireland, Scotland and Wales are competing this year.

Tee Times / Scores
Click here to view the – 2022 ENC Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2022 ENC Men’s Team Scores

Click here to view the – 2022 ENC Men’s Individual Scores

Format and Prizes
72 holes of stroke play, with 18 holes played daily, will be contested by all of the players. There is no cut.

In the Team event the best three 18-hole scores from the four players count towards the overall total.

In the case of a tie for 1st place a team member will be nominated and a sudden death play-off will be contested on the 9th hole. Other ties will be determined by a count back of the team score for the last 18, 27, 36, etc. holes.

The Individual prize is awarded to the lowest scoring player. Ties will be broken in line with the Team approach outlined above.

Winning Team members each receive a replica of the Nations Trophy. The Individual champion receives a trophy and a bright yellow jacket.

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

In 1970 The Sherry Cup, the precursor of the European Nations Cup, was established. Former Individual winners of this include Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia. (see below for the full list of past Individual winners).

In 1973 a Women’s event started to be played alongside the Men’s.

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

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

Between 1996 and 2001, in tandem with nearby San Roque GC, the course hosted the European Tour’s Qualifying School.

In 2006 The Sherry Cup was rebranded as the European Nations Cup and in 2017 become known as the European Nations Championship played for the Sotogrande Cup.

In 2011, ahead of it’s 50th anniversary, the Club decided to embark upon a major course renovation appointing Roger Rulewich and David Fleury. With the work on greens, bunkering and drainage taking place in 2015 and early 2016 the ENC moved temporarily to the nearby La Reserva Club de Golf for two years. Since 2017 the competition has been played on the renovated course.

The Black Tee Championship Course at Sotogrande plays 6,492m with a par of 72. The front nine measures 3,163m and the back 3,329m.

Weather Forecast
The forecast looks good albeit as always the winds will be a factor, particularly in the afternoon. This can cause problems given the numerous water hazards on the course.

Wednesday 30th – Sunny Intervals Min. 13°C / Max. 18°C; NW 15mph
Thursday 31st – Sunny Min. 13°C / Max. 17°C; W 13mph
Friday 1st – Sunny Min. 11°C / Max. 18°C; NW 10mph
Saturday 2nd – Sunny Min. 11°C / Max. 18°C; NE 15mph

Past ENC Winners

The home nations have an excellent record, particularly in recent years, in this event.

Team Competition

2021  Cancelled
2020  Cancelled

2019  England     2019 ENC Team Results

Defending champions England (+14) retained the European Nations Championship in Spain. Their 878 total was 8 shots better than The Netherlands (+22).

Ireland (+23) were third and Wales (+29), who recorded the lowest final day score (213), were an encouraging 4th. Scotland (+37) had a poor final day and fell away into 8th.

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Gareth Jenkins (Manager), Tom Plumb, Tom Sloman, Bailey Gill and Ben Jones
(Photos: @EnglandGolf)

2018  England     2018 ENC Team Results

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England – l-r Gareth Jenkins (Manager), David Hague, Gian-Marco Petrozzi, Todd Clements, Graham Walker (Coach) and Matthew Jordan (Photo: Graham Walker)

2017  Wales    2017 ENC Team Results

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

2016  Ireland    2016 ENC Team Results

Ireland European Nations Cup 2016

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

2015  England
2014  Scotland
2013  England
2012  France
2011  England
2010  England
2009  England
2008  Scotland
2007  Denmark

Past Sherry Cup Team Winners (started 1998)

2006  Spain
2005  Spain
2004  England
2003  England
2002  Wales
2001  England
2000  England
1999  Germany
1998  Spain

Individual Competition

2021  Cancelled
2020  Cancelled

2019  Tom Sloman (England)     2019 ENC Individual Results

Tom won the Individual competition with a 294 (+6) total. His final round 77 looked like it would cost him the title but an eagle on 14 and three closing pars ended up being sufficient as is nearest challengers faltered on the demanding Sotogrande course.

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Tom Sloman (Photos: @Golfing4Life_)

2018  Todd Clements (England)    2018 ENC Individual Results

Todd secured the Individual title with rounds of 69 73 71 and 70 for a 283 total (-5).

2017  Jack Davidson (Wales)    2017 ENC Individual Results

Jack won the Individual European Nations Cup title by 4-shots last year. Rounds of 70, 70, 70 and 73 (-5), which included 20 birdies and 2 eagles, gave him his second major title in less than a month. He had won the Spanish International Amateur a few weeks before.

2016  Jack Hume (Ireland)    2016 ENC Individual Results

In winning the Individual Jack Hume played one of the best rounds of amateur golf in the world in 2016 at La Reserva. His 64 in Round 2 was an astonishing 8 shots better than any other player in the field.

2015  Mario Galliano (Spain)
2014  Guido Migliori (Italy)
2013  Adrien Saddier (France)
2012  Robin Kind (The Netherlands)
2011  Julien Brun (France)
2010  Nino Bertasio (Italy)
2009  Sam Hutsby (England)
2008  Shane Lowry (Ireland)
2007  Rory McIlroy (Ireland)

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Rory McIlroy (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

Past Sherry Cup Individual Winners

2006  Nigel Edwards (Wales)
2005  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2004  Francesco Molinari (Italy)
2003  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2002  Lee Harpin (Wales)
2001  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
2000  Gary Wolstenholme (England)
1999  Marcel Siem (Germany)
1998  Sergio Garcia (Spain)
1997  Sergio Garcia (Spain)

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Sergio Gracia (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

1996  Alvaro Salto (Spain)
1995  José María Zamora (Spain)
1994  Francisco Cea (Spain)
1993  Francisco Valera (Spain)
1992  Frederic Cupillar (France)
1991  Padraig Harrington (Ireland)
1990  Alvaro Prat (Spain)
1989  Diego Borrego (Spain)
1988  Yago Beamonte (Spain)
1987  Yago Beamonte (Spain)
1986  Borja Queipo de Llano (Spain)
1985  José L. Padila (Spain)
1984  John Marks (England)
1983  José L. de Bernardo (Spain)
1982  Borja Queipo de Llano (Spain)
1981  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1980  Jesús López (Spain)
1979  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1978  José L. de Bernardo (Spain)
1977  F. Jiménez (Spain)
1976  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1975  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1974  Veit Pagel (Germany)
1973  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1972  E. de la Riva and J. Gancedo (Spain)
1971  Alberto Croze (Italy)
1970  Henric Adam (England)

ME.

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

R&A Men’s Home Internationals – 2021 Preview & Results

Friday 17th September 2021 – Day 3 Matches

Ireland won the 2021 R&A Home Internationals after a thrilling contest at Hankley Common GC which went down to the final putt of the competition.

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Ireland With The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Luke Walker / Getty Images / The R&A)

After a disappointing morning Foursomes against England on the final day the Irish fought back bravely to secure an all important half in the match which in turn locked out Scotland. 

Scotland had earlier beaten Wales 11-4 to apply pressure on Ireland and England who both entered the final afternoon with a good chance of winning the competition.

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Final Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland who secured 27.5 winning points, compared with Ireland’s 27, finished second, England a very disappointing 3rd and Wales 4th. 

England had already won the Seniors, Girls and Boys and Women’s Home Internationals this season but were found wanting in the Men’s event. No one would have predicted before play started that they would be comfortably beaten in both Singles series against Scotland (8-2) and Ireland (6.5-3.5) and it was these two performances that cost them.

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Match Overview (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Click here to view the full results – 2021 R&A Home internationals

Robert MORAN (IRL), Andrew NI (SCO), John GOUGH (ENG) and Luke HARRIES / Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) were the leading players for the four nations based on the SPWAR analysis of team events: –

Screenshot 2021-09-17 at 19.19.18

Screenshot 2021-09-17 at 19.20.10

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Scotland v. Wales

Scotland beat Wales 11-4 to fulfil their side of the last day bargain. 

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All of the Foursomes and Singles games in this match started from the 5th tee after early morning fog in Southern England caused a 30 minute delay in play.

Scotland enjoyed another strong session winning four and halving one of their Foursomes games against Wales.

Captain Matthew CLARK continued his unbeaten run securing a half with partner Angus CARRICK on the final hole (4th) when their opponents conceded early.   

With Ireland struggling against England in their Foursomes encounter (see below) the Scots went into the Singles as favourites for the title.

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Scotland won the Singles 6.6-3.5 to complete a comfortable overall victory over Wales.

George BURNS, Angus CARRICK and Andrew NI all enjoyed 4&3 wins at the tail of the line up after the Scots had made a slow start to the afternoon games.

Ben CHAMBERLAIN, Matt ROBERTS and Tomi BOWEN, who beat Scotland’s talisman Matt CLARK, all signed off from Hankley Common with Singles wins. 

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Scotland v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Ireland v. England

Ireland and England halved their match 7.5-7.5 on the final afternoon.

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England won the Foursomes 4-1 against Ireland to give themselves some hope of recovering from their poor showing against Scotland yesterday. 

The best performance on the final morning came from unbeaten Foursomes pairing Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN who produced six birdies and no bogeys to beat Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN by 6&5.

With Robert MORAN halving his Foursomes with partner Alex MAGUIRE John GOUGH entered the Singles as the only player with a 100% winning record in this year’s competition. He and Olly HUGGINS have also won all three of their Foursomes games.

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The Robert MORAN and John GOUGH match proved to be of the highest quality and in some respects it was nice to see a half meaning both players finished the competition with unbeaten records – the only two do so.

The real heroes for the Irish were Hugh FOLEY and Liam NOLAN who secured 1Up victories over Sam BAIRSTOW and Callan BARROW under the most intense pressure. Barrow had a 10ft birdie putt on the 18th green to half his game and secure the match win for England (and the event win for Scotland). When he missed Ireland had the half and enough points to secure the title. 

Matt MCCLEAN and Caolan RAFFERTY secured big early wins over Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD respectively to provide the Irish with momentum and the confidence that they could overturn the 3-point Foursomes deficit they carried into this final series.

On a disappointing afternoon for the home side Jack BIGHAM confirmed his promise by completing a third Singles win, this time over Alan FAHY

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Ireland v. England Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

ME.

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Thursday 16th September 2021 – Day 2 Matches

Ireland made it two wins from two games to take control of the 2021 R&A Home Internationals.

However, with Scotland beating England today and Ireland still to face the hosts all three of these teams still have a chance of winning The Raymond Trophy.

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If England beat Ireland and Scotland beat Wales tomorrow the title will be decided by total winning match points. Here’s the current position in this regard: –

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Day 2 Table / Match Points (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Scotland

Scotland surprised England by comprehensively out playing them in the afternoon Singles to easily win their Day 2 match.

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England won the morning Foursomes 3-2 but the scoreline hardly told the full story.

Jack DYER and Arron EDWARDS-HILL, who had been 3Up after 7 holes, ended up having to win both the 17th and 18th holes to secure a point against Rory FRANSSEN and James WILSON.

In a game where neither side ever led by more than 1Up Sam BAIRSTOW and Haider HUSSAIN birdied the par 3 16th to get their noses in front just in time against Andrew NI and George BURNS.

Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH were again England’s strongest pairing producing five birdies in their match to easily beat Ruben LINDSAY and Darren HOWIE by 5&3.

However, the best performance of the morning came from Scotland’s Lewis IRVINE and Stuart EASTON who fought back from 4Down after 8 holes to run out 3&1 winners against Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Laird SHEPHERD who lost five holes in a row from the 9th to completely lose the initiative.

In the final match Matthew CLARK and Angus CARRICK handed Jack BIGHAM and Josh HILL their second foursomes defeat. The English pair produced two lates birdies to put a little respectability on the final result but having been 5Up after 12 the Scots coasted in to victory.

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Scotland won the afternoon Singles 8-2 to turn the match in their favour.

James WILSON, Rory FRANSSEN, Connor WILSON, Lewis IRVINEMatt CLARK and Andrew NI took their Singles with a barrage of birdies that their English opponents simply couldn’t live with.

Stuart EASTON and George BURNS also won their games but to a greater degree than their teammates benefitted from Callan BARROW and Zach CHEGWIDDEN playing poorly.

On a disappointing day for England the only really bright spot for the home team was 17 year old R&A Boys’ Amateur champion Jack BRIGHAM winning his second Singles game of the event.

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England v. Scotland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Wales v. Ireland

Ireland comprehensively beat Wales 11-4 in the second match of Day 2.

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The Foursomes games in this match ended up being relatively comfortable for the respective winning pairs, Ireland ultimately taking a 3-2 advantage over Wales into the afternoon Singles.

Marc BOUCHER and Liam NOLAN, who replaced Caolan RAFFERTY in the line up, starred for the Irish. Six birdies in the 13 holes played understandably proved too much for Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE who went down by 6&5.

Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY, who had received a drubbing against Scotland yesterday bounced back well to record a solid 4&3 win against Tomi BOWEN and Tom MATTHEWS.

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Just like Scotland in the earlier game Ireland easily beat Wales in the Singles, albeit looking through the hole-by-hole scores the 8-2 margin of victory perhaps flattered them a little.

The biggest winners for the Irish were Robert MORAN, who after a slow start went into overdrive on the back nine, Matt MCCLEAN, who birdied the opening three holes of his match against Aled GREVILLE to take control, and pleasingly Caolan RAFFERTY, who bounced back well after a difficult opening day in Surrey.

For the Welsh Luke HARRIES won his game with a birdie on the last and Ben CHAMBERLAIN hung on well after going 4Up after four holes.

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Wales v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

ME.

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Wednesday 15th September 2021 – Day 1 Matches

England and Ireland moved into the box seats after recording wins on the opening day of the 2021 R&A Home internationals.

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Day 1 Table (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

England v. Wales

England beat Wales in today’s opening match.

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England got off to a good start winning the morning Foursomes 4-1.

The BB&O pairing of Olly HUGGINS and John GOUGH produced the best win of the series beating Craig MELDING and Kieron HARMAN by 5&3.

Matt ROBERTS and Aled GREVILLE proved too strong for England’s junior pairing of JACK BIGHAM and Josh HILL to ensure Wales took a point into the Singles.

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England won the Singles series 6.5-3.5 with wins from Sam BAIRSTOW, Olly HUGGINS, John GOUGH, Jack BIGHAM, Zach CHEGWIDDEN and Amateur champion Laird SHEPHERD.

Luke HARRIES, Tom MATTHEWS, who was rested in the morning, and Kieron HARMAN were victorious for the Welsh.

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England v. Wales Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

Scotland v. Ireland

Ireland got the better of Scotland in a competitive opening match at Hankley Common.

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Ireland edged the morning Foursomes 3-2.

Robert MORAN and Alex MAGUIRE gelled perfectly to win the opening game against Angus CARRICK and Connor WILSON by 8&6. Six birdies in their opening eight holes set them up for a memorable win.

Almost as impressively Matt CLARK and Darren HOWIE posted a 6&5 win against an out of sorts Hugh FOLEY and Alan FAHY.

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Ireland won the Singles series 5.5-4.5 to complete the win over Scotland.

Liam NOLAN, who sat out the Foursomes, and Hugh FOLEY, who bounced back well after his loss this morning, were the big winners for the Irish. Nolan beat Connor WILSON 5&4 whilst Foley got the better of Darren HOWIE by the even bigger margin of 7&5.

Scottish playing captain Matt CLARK, starting as he finished the 2019 competition – unbeaten, took down TJ FORD by 6&5 whilst a flawless Andrew NI surprised 2019 Walker Cupper Caolan RAFFERTY by 7&6.

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Scotland v. Ireland Results (Graphics: The R&A / Golfbox)

ME.

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9th September 2021

The R&A Men’s Home Internationals will be played at Hankley Common Golf Club on the North Downs in Surrey, England between 15th and 17th September 2021.

This year’s staging will be the 80th playing of this prestigious event.

England will start as favourites but will carry the burden of expectation whilst having to overcome highly motivated opponents.

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7th Hole, Hankley Common Golf Club (Photo: David Lee / @Davidlee123)

The Competition

Historically the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh Golf Unions have taken it in turns to host the event but from this playing The R&A will be taking over responsibility for it.

The competition was first played in 1932.

The 2020 competition was due to be played at Royal Dornoch G.C. in Scotland but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last cancellation came in 1979 when the competition was scheduled to be played at Royal County Down G.C. in Northern Ireland. Before that there had been an uninterrupted run stretching back to 1947 when six years (1939-46) were lost due to World War II.

To assist with the selection of this year’s Walker Cup team The R&A initially attempted to bring forward the 2021 Men’s Home Internationals to 14-16 April and to play them at Royal Dornoch but the pandemic again led to a postponement.

The 2021 event had originally been scheduled to be played at Hankley Common G.C. on 8-10 September but is now taking place a week later.

Format

11-man teams from ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND and WALES play against each other once over three days.

Each series consists of five morning foursomes and ten afternoon singles match play games.

The overall winner is the country with the highest number of match points. 1 point is awarded for a win, 0.5 for a half and 0 for a loss.

Ties are resolved by considering the number of individual game points secured in the three matches played.

Since 1952 the winning team has received The Raymond Trophy.

In the 79 competitions played today England have won 38, Scotland 21, Ireland 12 and Wales 1. The remaining 7 were tied before it was decided that ties would be resolved by using game points.

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

2021 Players

The four national golf unions have selected the following players to represent their countries this year.

I have also included the Team (total) and Individual Scratch Players World Amateur Rankings (SPWAR) and World Amateur Golf Rankings below (as at 9th September): –

ENGLAND – Team SPWAR 1,728 / WAGR 3,569
Sam BAIRSTOW (34 / 30) – Hallowes
Callan BARROW (114 / 188) – Royal Lytham & St. Annes
Jack BIGHAM (159 / 1,586) – Harpenden
Zach CHEGWIDDEN (125 / 642) – Orsett
Jack DYER (44 / 110) – Boyce Hill
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (101 / 274) – Chelmsford
John GOUGH (65 / 136) – Stoke Park
Josh HILL (177 / 217) – Trump International Dubai
Olly HUGGINS (100 / 163) – Frilford Heath
Haider HUSSAIN (125 / 173) – The Kendleshire
Laird SHEPHERD (684 / 50) – Rye

All 11 English players are making their debut in the tournament.

Jack Dyer is the only 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player in the field.

Jack BROOKS (The Mere) and Joe HARVEY (The Kendleshire) were also named as 1st and 2nd Reserves respectively.

IRELAND – Team SPWAR 4,706 / WAGR 5,490
Marc BOUCHER (281 / 321) – Carton House
Alan FAHY (427 / 353) – Dun Laoghaire
Hugh FOLEY (290 / 542) – Royal Dublin
T.J. FORD (515 / 592) – County Sligo
Alex MAGUIRE (372 / 428) – Layton & Bettystown
Matt MCCLEAN (487 / 513) – Malone
Jack MCDONNELL (720 / 1,066) – Forrest Little
Robert MORAN (278 / 231) – Castle
Liam NOLAN (308 / 1,008) – Galway
PETER O’KEEFFE (520 / 293) – Douglas
Caolan RAFFERTY (508 / 143) – Dundalk

Matt McClean and Caolan Rafferty both played in 2019 at Lahinch Golf Club.

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SCOTLAND – Team SPWAR 6,305 / WAGR 7,049
George BURNS (688 / 533) – Williamwood
Angus CARRICK (962 / 1,605) – Cragielaw
Matthew CLARK (713 / 1,015) – Renfrewshire
Stuart EASTON (459 / 423) – Irvine
Rory FRANSSEN (193 / 238) – Auchterarder
Darren HOWIE (821 / 717) – Peebles
Lewis IRVINE (388 / 396) – Kirkhill
Ruben LINDSAY (655 / 775) – Turnberry
Andrew NI (395 / 461) – Murrayfield
Connor WILSON (210 / 335) – Castle Park
James WILSON (821 / 551) – Balmore

Scotland are the most experienced team with George Burns, Matthew Clark, Stuart Easton, Darren Howie, Lewis Irvine and James Wilson all having played in 2019. Indeed Clark will be playing in his ninth consecutive Home Internationals.

WALES – Team SPWAR 27,931 / WAGR 15,551 + 2 ‘No Ranking’ players
James ASHFIELD (283 / 449) – Delamere Forest
Tomi BOWEN (2,566 / NR) – Welshpool
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (2,783 / 943) – Padeswood & Buckley
Jacob DAVIES (5,181 / 1,076) – Rhuddlan
Aled GREVILLE (2,510 / 1,391) – Ashburnham
Kieron HARMAN (2,466 / 4,180) – St Athan
Luke HARRIES (1,010 / 1,201) – Tenby
Tim HARRY (3,808 / 4,624) – The Vale
Tom MATTHEWS (2,902 / 1,111) – Aldersey Green
Craig MELDING (2,783 / NR) – Neath
Matt ROBERTS (1,639 / 576) – Royal Porthcawl

Ben Chamberlain, Jacob Davies, Kieron Harman and Matt Roberts all return for the Welsh in Surrey.

Highlighting the speed at which players turn professional nowadays just 12 of the 44 players who competed at Lahinch in 2019, admittedly two years ago, are on show this year. This compares with 23 returnees last time and 14 at Conwy in 2018.

Venue – Hankley Common Golf Club

Hankley Common G.C. in Tilford, near Farnham in Surrey was first opened as a nine hole course in May 1897. A further nine holes were added by James Braid in 1923/24 but it was only after Harry Colt undertook some remodelling and replaced three holes in 1935 that it started to be recognised as one of England’s best inland courses.

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Hankley Common G.C. (Photo: Jake Austin / @jbaustin2703)

It sits on a huge piece of heathland which allows the holes to meander across the property often in isolation. The area has been designated as a ‘site of special scientific interest’ due to its range of trees and abundant wildlife.

Off the back tees the course measures 6,909 yards and plays to a par of 71, there being only one par 5 on the back nine.

The uphill par three 7th is the ‘signature hole’ but in truth their are many memorable holes on the property.

There are a number of roads, paths and tracks on the course all of which have been deemed integral with no free relief available.

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Where My Ball Finished Off The 13th Tee When I Played There In September 2015 ! (Photo: GolfBible)  

Hankley Common has hosted a number of major events through the years most recently the English Men’s Amateur Championship (Closed) in 2019 which was won by Conor Gough.

2021 Weather Forecast (as at 14th September)

The latest forecast is encouraging with dry weather and low winds forecast for the three competition days: –

Wed. 15th Sept. – Light Cloud / Wind 7mph NW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Thurs. 16th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 6mph SW / Temp. Min 11º, Max 21º
Fri. 17th Sept. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 8mph S / Temp. Min 12º, Max 20º

2019 Men’s Home Internationals

The 2020 Men’s Home Internationals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

England won the 2019 Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch G.C. in Ireland, winning all three of their games, and retaining The Raymond Trophy after their 2018 win at Conwy G.C.

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The England Team (Photo: Nigel Edwards)

Matty LAMB was the star man for England winning five of his matches. The whole team contributed with Ben SCHMIDT and Ben JONES, who both won four games, next in line for praise.

Experienced Matt CLARK contributed the most for Scotland winning four games, including two Singles, and halving another.

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Colm CAMPBELL was the star man for Ireland with Caolan RAFFERTY and Conor PURCELL also contributing strongly with four wins. Connor JONES played the best for Wales winning two Singles.

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Click here to view the – Men’s 2019 Home Internationals Results
– click the match score to see the individual games and the game score to view the hole by hole scores.

Historic Results

Click here to view the – Men’s Home Internationals Historic Results

ME.

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

Jones Cup Invitational – 2021 Preview & Results

7th February 2021

Sweden’s Ludvig ABERG won the 2021 Jones Cup Invitational at Ocean Forest G.C. in Georgia.

The Texas Tech University teammate of Scotland’s Sandy Scott finished on a 214 (-2) total, good enough for a 1-shot victory. His 2-under 70 in the second round, played in very difficult conditions, was probably the determining factor. Ironically he only secured his place in the field last week when there was a withdrawal. 

Aberg’s win secured him an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic event next November.

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Ludvig Aberg (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

With the 16th, 17th and 18th holes ranking as the 2nd, 5th and 6th hardest on the course over the three days it was inevitable that there would be some late twists in this tournament and so it proved to be.

Aberg bounced back from a bogey on the 17th by holing a winning 7 foot birdie putt on the final hole. This shortly after defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) had bogeyed both the 16th and 17th and Cole HAMMER (USA) had bogeyed the short 17th. To his credit co-runner up Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) pared all three finishing holes but in the end needed more.

Hammer, Thompson and Fitzpatrick finished in a three-way tie for 2nd place on 215 (-1).

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Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

John MURPHY (IRL) finished strongly with a final round 70 to secure tied 6th place on 217 (+1).

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) finished tied 11th on 219 (+3). His final round 71 was his best of the week and given his lack of competitive action in the last 6 months and the difficulties of practicing in the UK recently his overall performance was very impressive. The same goes for Matty LAMB (ENG) whose tied 22nd was no mean achievement.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) 21st and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) tied 22nd were both left to rue bad rounds, Barclay’s 78 today and Angus’ 80 yesterday.

Here are the final results for all thirteen of the GB&I players: – 

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GB&I Results (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full results – Jones Cup Invitational Results

Given the Walker Cup sub-plot this week  it is interesting to see the impact of these results on the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking. The ranking was updated shortly after the finale with the notable moves being Fitzpatrick rising 37 places to 18th, Schmidt 14 places to 38th and John Murphy 95 places to 76th.

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SPWAR GB&I Top 30 On 7th February 2021 (Photo: SPWAR) 

ME.

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6th February 2021

It was a wet and windy day in Georgia and the scores ballooned around the challenging Ocean Forest course. Yesterday the average score was 74.3, today it was 77.4 as the field of 84 generally struggled to deal with the conditions.

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) and Spencer RALSTON (USA) share the 36 hole lead but both players reversed back into the field after rounds of 77 and 76 respectively. 

Ludvig ABERG (SWE) -2 is 3rd and will join the leaders in tomorrow’s final group. Aberg’s 70 was the joint best round of the day.

Ominously defending champion Davis THOMPSON (USA) moved into tied 4th after a very satisfactory 1-over 73.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) matched Thompson’s 73 and will start the final round on even par in tied 6th place. A top 10 finish here will go along way to securing his place in the GB&I Walker Cup team. 

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

There was just 4 rounds under par and one of par in Round 2. John MURPHY (IRL) shot the par 72 round to move up to tied 16th. 

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) and Matty LAMB (ENG) finished the day on +4 and tied 19th after shooting 74 and 76. Given their lack of competitive golf over the last six months both are doing well in such a high class field.

Mark POWER was on track for one of the best rounds of the day but a quadruple bogey 7 on the 17th ruined what had been another very good bad weather day for the Irishman. His 2-over par 74 didn’t tell the full story and left him back in tied 25th, alongside Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL).

By way of reminder there is no cut in the Jones Cup Invitational with all of the players returning for the final round tomorrow. Some may be looking forward to this more than others as the weather forecast is again mixed.

Here are the full Round 2 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

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GB&I Round 2 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)  

ME.

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5th February 2021

Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) leads the Jones Cup Invitational after recording an opening round 64 (-8).

Starting on the 10th tee at 8.50am the Yorkshireman quickly got into his stride with five birdies in his opening nine holes. A further three were added on the front nine as he completed a blemish free round. His final birdie on the par 3 9th secured a new tournament record round score. 

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Alex Fitzpatrick’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)

Spencer RALSTON (USA) -7 and Maxwell FORD (USA) -5, who had played alongside Fitzpatrick, finished the day in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Ralston and Ford were also bogey free in Round 1.

Defending champion and Ocean Forest G.C. specialist Davis THOMPSON (USA) shot 70 (-2) to finish the day in tied 7th place.

Barclay BROWN (ENG) and Angus FLANAGAN (ENG), who like Fitzpatrick are both studying in the U.S. College system, are tied 11th after 71’s (-1). Both played well but were unable to avoid all of the pitfalls on this tricky course; Brown posting three bogeys and Flanagan four.

Like Flanagan Matty LAMB (ENG) let a good round slip on the closing holes of the front nine having started on the 10th. Four bogeys in his final five holes will have frustrated the Hexham player who had previously suggested that he had lost none of his excellent 2020 form. Nevertheless an even par 72 for tied 19th place represents a solid start.  

Here are the full Round 1 scores for all thirteen of the GB&I players: –

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GB&I Round 1 Scores (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational / Golf Genius Scoring)   

ME.

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1st February 2021 

The 17th Jones Cup Invitational will be played between 5th-7th February 2021 at Ocean Forest G.C. on the northern tip of Sea Island in Georgia.

Historically a top 10 ranked amateur tournamant this year it will be taking on even greater importance. The COVID-19 impacted schedule and the early playing of the Walker Cup match in May means results here may have a significant bearing on the final selection of both teams. Even more so given the similarities between the Seminole and Ocean Forest courses.   

It is also worth noting that the winner of the Jones Cup Invitational earns an exemption into the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, subject to them remaining an amateur. This year’s RSM Classic will be played at Sea Island G.C. on 18th-21st November 2021. 

I will be updating this article as the tournament progresses with daily reports.

The Jones Cup Invitational was first played in January 2001 as a prelude to that year’s Walker Cup match which was being staged at Ocean Forest in August.

The Jones Cup Junior Invitational and Jones Cup Senior Invitational commenced in 2009 and 2012 respectively. These two competitions are played at Sea Island G.C.’s nearby Seaside Course.

A new Sea Island Women’s Amateur will be played for the first time between 27th-29th July 2021 also on the Seaside Course.

Format

The Jones Cup Invitational is a 54 hole individual stroke play competition played over three days.

Given the small field there is no cut. 

17th Hole, Ocean Forest Golf Club (Photo: Evan Schiller)

Players

The Jones Cup Invitational Committee invite 84 players to contest their tournament.

The majority of invites are granted based on each player’s previous performances and their world amateur rankings.

An 18 hole qualifying event was played on Sea Island’s Plantation Course on 18th January with three spots in the main event allocated to the leading players from a field of 78. 

13 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are competing this year. 10 of the 15 man GB&I Walker Cup squad are in attendance. They are (in alphabetical order with their SPWARs): –

Jonathan BALE (WAL) #4761 
Jake BOLTON (ENG) #34 WC SQUAD
Barclay BROWN (ENG) #67 WC SQUAD 
Callum FARR (ENG) #132 WC SQUAD
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) #51 WC SQUAD
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) #66 WC SQUAD
Rory FRANSSEN (SCO) #363
Conor GOUGH (ENG) #1148
Matty LAMB (ENG) #57 WC SQUAD
Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) #77 WC SQUAD
John MURPHY (IRL) #167 WC SQUAD
Mark POWER (IRL) #22 WC SQUAD
Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) #50 WC SQUAD

Ben JONES (ENG) had entered but withdrew last week.

For those GB&I players not studying in USA such as Jake Bolton, Callum Farr, Conor Gough, Matty Lamb, Tom McKibbin and Ben Schmidt this will be one of the last playing opportunities they have to impress before the Walker Cup team is selected.

In a very strong field there are 26 other players in the SPWAR Top 100 competing (in rank order): –

Quade CUMMINS (USA) #2 WC SQUAD
Davis THOMPSON (USA) #5 WC SQUAD – defending champion 
Cole HAMMER (USA) #6 WC SQUAD
Pierceson COODY (USA) #8 WC SQUAD
Preston SUMMERHAYS (USA) #9
McClure MEISSNER (USA) #12 WC SQUAD
William HOLCOMB (USA) #19
Luke POTTER (USA) #21
Travis VICK (USA) #25
Parker COODY (USA) #28
Ludvig ABERG (SWE) #29
Trey WINSTEAD (USA) #29
Graysen HUFF
 (USA) #33
Trent PHILLIPS (USA) #37
Kelly CHINN
 (USA) #40
Jonathan BRIGHTWELL
(USA) #42
Julian PERICO (PER)
#43
Garett REBAND
(USA)
#48 WC SQUAD
Wilson FURR (USA)
#69
Mateo FERNANDEX DE OLIVEIRA
(ARG) #74
Jackson SUBER
 (USA) #78
Stewart HAGESTAD
(USA) #83 WC SQUAD
Austin HITT
(USA) #86
Hunter WOLCOTT
(USA) #90
Ryan HALL
(USA) #94
Julien SALE
(USA) #100 

As shown above there are seven players selected for the 16-man US Walker Cup Squad playing this week in Georgia.

On 21st December 2020 the USGA confirmed that the three highest ranked players in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) as at 10th February 2021, i.e. immediately following the playing of the Jones Cup Invitational, would receive exemptions onto the 2021 USA Walker Cup team. As at 3rd February the three ‘places’ are currently held by Davis THOMPSON #2, Ricky CASTILLO #5 and Pierceson COODY #6. Castillo is not playing this week due to University commitments. Garrett REBAND #10, Quade CUMMINS #12, Stewart HAGESTAD #14 and McClure MEISSNER #18 are and will all be hoping to force their way into the automatic WAGR USA selection spots.

Course

Ocean Forest is a challenging course with an exposed seaside links feel. Holes run alongside both the Hampton River and the Atlantic Ocean with marshes and the sea abutting a number of the fairways and greens. The remaining holes are cut through a pine forest.

Natural sand dunes are evident albeit the defining feature is the small undulating greens. 

The course plays to 7,321 yards with a standard par of 72.

13th Hole, Ocean Forest G.C. (Photo: Evan Schiller) 

The Club was founded in 1995 by Bill Jones III. His family’s Sea Island Company having owned the land since the 1920’s.

Jones invited architect Rees Jones to design a championship course on the site with work commencing in September 1993. Some renovation work was subsequently done by Rees Jones in 2007.

President George H. Bush, Bill Jones III, former U.S. attorney general Griffin Bell, David Love III and Rees Jones played the opening round in Spring 1995.  

The course was awarded the 2001 Walker Cup shortly after opening. At just 6 years old it remains the youngest club to be afforded this honour. Peter McEvoy led GB&I to a convincing 15-9 victory.  

Weather Forecast (as at 3rd February)

Showers and moderate winds appear to be in order for the tournament which traditionally has cool weather.

Fri 5th Feb. – Showers / Wind 17 mph SW / Temp. Min. 8°C, Max. 18°C.
Sat 6th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph NE / Temp. Min. 10°C, Max. 12°C.
Sun 7th Feb. – Showers / Wind 12 mph N / Temp. Min. 9°C, Max. 14°C.

2020 Jones Cup Invitational

Local player Davis THOMPSON (USA) won the 2020 Jones Cup Invitational by 9-shots after a record breaking performance. 

His 203 (-13) total was capped by a final round of 65, almost certainly the best in the tournament’s history. 

Davis Thompson (Photo: Jones Cup Invitational)

From a GB&I perspective Mark POWER (IRL) +3 was our highest finisher in tied 13th.

Joe PAGDIN (ENG), Callum BRUCE (SCO), John PATERSON (SCO) all +5 came tied 21st, Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) +7 tied 31st and Archie DAVIES (WAL) +9 tied 37th.  

Click here to view the – Jones Cup Invitational 2020 Results

To finish off here is a list of the past winners with their finishing scores: –

2020 – Davis THOMPSON (USA) 203 (-13)
2019 – Akshay BHATIA (USA) 142 (-2) – event shortened to 36 holes due to bad weather
2018 – Garrett BARBER (USA) 212 (-4) – winner of the Jones Cup Junior Invitational in 2016
2017 – Braden THORNBERRY (USA) 212 (-4)
2016 – Beau HOSSLER (USA) 214 (-2)
2015 – Austen CONNELLY (USA) 216 (Ev) 
2014 – Corey CONNORS (CAN) 218 (+2)
2013 – Sean DALE (USA) 213 (-3)
2012 – Justin THOMAS (USA) 216 (Ev)
2011 – John PETERSON (USA) 217 (+1)
2010 – Patrick READ (USA) 222 (+6)
2009 – Kyle STANLEY (USA) 217 (+1)
2007 – Luke LIST (USA) 206 (-10) – played at Frederica G.C. due to renovation work at Ocean Forest
2005 – Nicholas THOMPSON (USA) 214 (-2)
2003 – Gregg JONES (USA) 211 (-5)
2001 – DJ TRAHAN (USA) 210 (-6)

Canada’s Corey Connors is the only non-American winner of the Jones Cup Invitational.

ME.

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