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: –

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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.

The Amateur Championship – 2021 Preview & Results

Saturday 19th June 2021

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) won the 2021 Amateur Championship at Nairn Golf Club.

The 23 year old from Rye G.C. beat Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) on the 38th Hole of an engrossing Final.

Shepherd, a graduate of Stirling University and a resident of St. Andrews, can now look forward to competing in the 149th Open Championship at Royal St. George’s G.C. next month, the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also the 2022 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, near Boston.

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

Play started at 8.30am and Scowsill came shooting out of the blocks building a 4Up lead after nine holes helped by four birdies in five holes from the 5th.

After further birdies at the 10th and 15th the Woodbridge G.C. man from Suffolk found himself 8Up on the 18th tee.

Shepherd then won the 18th with a par to go into lunch 7Down but perhaps having now won his first hole of the match felt that all was not yet lost.

Shepherd who started the Final as the favourite, based on rankings of SPWAR #2,850 / WAGR #846 v. Scowsill’s SPWAR #4,180 / WAGR #1,181, was certainly not going to rollover without a fight.

However, there was no sign of a Shepherd comeback or a Scowsill faltering in the opening holes of the afternoon round with the first four holes all halved.

It was on the next hole where Shepherd got his comeback underway. A birdie on the 383 yard par 4 5th reduced Scowsill’s lead to 6Up with 13 holes to play.

Two consecutive birdies on 8 and 9 reduced the lead to 4up with 9 holes to play and all of a sudden it was ‘game on’.

Despite losing the par 3 11th to a bogey Shepherd was handed the hole straight back on the next when Scowsill bogeyed.

After pars were shared on the 13th and 14th holes Scowsill finally looked as if he must have done enough – 4Up with four holes to play. Under the pressure of knowing any mistakes would probably be terminal such an advantage would surely prove too big a mountain for Shepherd to climb.

The unbelievable then happened. A combination of good play from Shepherd and badly timed mistakes from Scowsill saw the match amazingly end All Square in regulation.

At this point there was only going to be one winner and indeed that proved to be the case. A shell-shocked Scowsill three putted the 2nd extra hole to hand Shepherd the victory after he had already pared the hole.

After the match Shepherd said “Honestly, at lunch I thought this was over. I was just trying to avoid an embarrassing score line. I can’t believe this really. Monty played so well this morning. My caddie did a great job getting in my ear. So did my girlfriend (Chloe Goadby, who won the Scottish Women’s Amateur a few weeks ago) and my Dad. They were telling me not to give up. But I still couldn’t really see it happening. To win is amazing enough, but to come back like this is completely surreal.”

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

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

ME.

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Friday 18th June 2021

Afternoon – Semi-Finals

Monty SCOWSILL (ENG) and Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) were the two Semi-Final winners this afternoon.

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Match Play Semi-Finals Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Scowsill, who graduated from the University of Exeter in 2019, got off to a great start in his match against James ASHFIELD (WAL) moving into a 2Up lead after a birdie on the 3rd. However some poor play on the 8th and 9th saw the Englishman lose his advantage. The back nine turned into a scrappy affair as the magnitude of the occasion possibly started to influence proceedings. However, Scowsill helped by birdies on the 10th and 15th moved back in front and despite a stumble on the 16th saw out a 2 Holes victory as Ashfield was forced to press down the last.

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

Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) added Jack DYER (ENG) to his growing list of impressive wins this week which already included highly regarded England Internationals Arron Edwards-Hill and Sam Bairstow.

Shepherd took the early lead but when he went 1Down after Dyer birdied the 10th I am sure most people’s expectations were that the recent GB&I Walker Cup player would then move forward serenely to the Final. However, Shepherd proved not to be in an accommodating mood and at his competitive best birdied both the 15th and 18th, where he played two high quality shots into the home green to secure a memorable 1Hole win.

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

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Morning – Quarter Finals

Here are the Quarter Final results: –

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Match Play Quarter Final Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Looking at each of the four games in more detail: –

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

Monty SCOWSILL (ENG), the lowest ranked player left in the field at SPWAR #4,180 / WAGR #1,181, was given some early encouragement by a poor start from John PATERSON (SCO), ranked SPWAR #857 / WAGR #567, and saw out the match nicely.

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James Ashfield v. Calum Scott – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

James ASHFIELD (WAL), SPWAR #2,322 / WAGR #1,431, was clearly not in the mood to make friends this morning disposing of the home favourite 17 year old Calum SCOTT (SCO), SPWAR #319 / WAGR #655, by 2&1. If the hole-by-hole scoring is to be believed Ashfield’s double bogey on the 12th are the first shots he has dropped in his last two games. That level of consistency is going to work around a tough course like Nairn where a par will often win you a hole.

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

St. Andrews-based Laird SHEPHERD (ENG), currently ranked SPWAR #2,850 / WAGR #846, showed great determination in overcoming Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), SPWAR #90 / WAGR #141, having been 3Down after six holes and 1Down after 14.

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Jack DYER (ENG), ranked SPWAR #42 / WAGR #168, was the last player Olly HUGGINS (ENG), SPWAR #96 / WAGR #137, needed to give a head start to. Having been ‘handed’ a 4UP lead after four holes it would have been a major surprise if the confident and in form Dyer had done anything other than see out this match easily.

ME.

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Thursday 17th June 2021

Afternoon – Round 3

Here are the Round 3 results: –

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

Looking at the hole-by-hole scores for each Last 16 match: –

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

Ben QUINNEY (ENG) was left to rue a couple of bogeys on 13 and 14 as Monty SCOWSILL‘s consistency on the back nine eventually wore him down.

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John Paterson v. Josef Hacker – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

This was an all US college match up with both players returning Juniors in September. 21 year old John PATERSON (SCO), who is at Colorado University, produced plenty of birdies in overcoming Jersey-based Josef HACKER (ENG), who is studying at Jacksonville University.

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Jack Bigham v. James Ashfield – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

James ASHFIELD (WAL) enjoyed his second 4&3 victory of the day, this time over Jack BIGHAM (ENG) who appears to have played reasonably well himself. I am sure Ashfield would have beaten most of the remaining players this afternoon with his impressive 5-under for 15 holes performance.

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Calum Scott v. Harley Smith – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Nairn’s very own Calum SCOTT (SCO) was again taken to the 19th hole today but was once more up to the task. 15 year old Harley SMITH (ENG) perhaps lacked the experience to close out the match having taken the lead on the 17th.

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

Stirling graduate Laird SHEPHERD (ENG) who has had to overcome some serious back and knee injuries in recent years used all of his links golf experience to get passed Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG). With Shepherd having played only a few events in recent years I am sure Edwards-Hill would not have been expecting a near flawless performance to be coming his way this afternoon.

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Ryan Tattan v. Sam Bairstow – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) appeared to have his match won against Ryan TATTAN (ENG) when he birdied the 8th and 9th to go 3Up. He then lost three holes in a row before recovering with a pitch-in eagle on the 15th to regain the advantage. It looks like a great finish with both players battling all the way to the clubhouse.

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Callan Barrow v. Olly Huggins – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Olly HUGGINS (ENG), who holed an 8 foot birdie putt on the 18th hole on Tuesday evening to qualify for the Match Play Stage and had already endured two close games, will be relieved to have conserved some energy by pulling away from Scottish Open Amateur champion Callan BARROW (ENG) down the back nine.

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Robert Moran v. Jack Dyer – Hole-By-Hole Results (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

Jack DYER (ENG) continues to look like the class act in the field and wasn’t overly troubled by Irishman Rob MORAN. Moran backed up his recent win in the ISPS Handa Ulster Men’s Stroke Play Championship with a good run at Nairn but Dyer was just too good for him today.

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Morning – Round 2

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

Josef HACKER (ENG), Jack BIGHAM (ENG) and Callan BARROW (ENG) enjoyed the biggest wins in Round 2 this morning.

Harley SMITH (ENG) beating Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) by 2&1 was perhaps the biggest surprise of the series.

ME.

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Wednesday 16th June 2021

After a course record 62 yesterday and medalist honours there was an inevitability about Matthew CLARK‘s (SCO) 5&4 defeat to Mason ESSAM (ENG) in Round 1 of the Match Play Stage of The Amateur Championship. The fact Essam played beautifully and putted the lights out was probably irrelevant. That ladies and gentleman is golf.

Jack BIGHAM (ENG) and Connor WILSON (SCO) arguably produced the best two wins of the day. Bigham beat Archie DAVIES (WAL) who had finished the US college season strongly for East Tennessee State whilst Wilson took the even bigger scalp of Mark POWER (IRL), hot off the back of his Walker Cup heroics for GB&I.

Calum SCOTT (SCO) demonstrated that he is likely to be a force to be reckoned for a little while longer by beating the former Boys’ Amateur champion and 2019 Walker Cup player Conor GOUGH (ENG) 3&2. Conor is not the player he was a few years ago but nevertheless this was another impressive step forward for the Nairn man.

Ominously for the remaining players the highly rated English group of Haider HUSSAIN (ENG), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG), Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Callan BARROW (ENG), Olly HUGGINS (ENG) and Jack DYER (ENG) are all safely through to the last 32.

Here are the full Round 1 results: –

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

ME.

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Tuesday 15th June 2021

Experienced Scottish International Matthew CLARK, a 39 year old TSB bank manager, has played many great rounds in his illustrious amateur career. Today’s bogey free course record 62 (-9) at Nairn to secure medalist honours in the Amateur Championship may very well be the best of the lot.

A delighted Clark, who has never qualified before, said “I hit a lot of good golf shots, played conservatively and avoided the bunkers, which you need to do around this golf course. It’s a nice place to get a course record, but I think you’d give the 62 up to hold the trophy on Saturday. That’s what we’ve all come here for and they’ll be gunning for the guy who did something good today, so let’s see how it goes.”

img_5329 Matthew Clark’s Stroke Play Qualifying Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

Aron Snær JÚLÍUSSON (ICL) 65 and Jack DYER (ENG), Gregor TAIT (SCO), Luke HARRIES (WAL), Joe SULLIVAN (ENG) and Rory BROWNE (ENG) all 67 clearly enjoyed the calmer conditions in Round 2.

Round 1 leader Calum SCOTT (SCO) did what he needed to posting a 72 to finish on -3 and 5th.

57 year old Derek PATON (SCO) was by some distance the oldest qualifier finishing on 147 (+5) to secure the 57th seed.

With a Round 2 card countback being used for the first time to ensure a clean 64 player match play draw could be made there was always the potential for some late drama and so it proved. Four of the last six players on the course, John CLEARY (IRL), Olly HUGGINS (ENG), Ryan TATTAN (ENG) and Tom STAGG (ENG), all finished strongly – Cleary and Tattan both eagled the 18th – to jump the right side of the 148 (+6) qualifying line. Huggins produced the best comeback in the field following up is opening 80 with a 68 to scrape through.

Nine players on +6 missed out due to the countback rule; the most unfortunate being Jack BROOKS (ENG), Jacob DAVIES (WAL), Jamie MANN (SCO) and Stuart EASTON (SCO) who all lost their places as the final two groups came in.

The average score in Round 2 was 72.65, four shots better than in Round 1. With the westerly wind less of a factor it was no surprise to see all of those four shots being saved on the front nine.

Here is a list of all the Stroke Play qualifiers with their final scores: –

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Final Stroke Play Qualifying Leaderboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

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

ME.

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Monday 14th June 2021

17 year old home favourite Calum SCOTT (SCO) played the opening shot of the 126th Amateur Championship. Little did he know at 7.00am that 14 hours later he would be leading the Stroke Play Qualifying having only played another 66 shots on his way to a bogey free round of 67 (-4).

img_5316Calum Scott’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)  

By the close of play just four competitors from the other 143 had managed to record an under par round. Jack DYER (ENG) finished the day on -3 with 15 year old Florida-based Frank KENNEDY (ENG), Liam O’NEILL (IRL) and Max KENNEDY (IRL) two shots further back after 70’s.

The prevailing westerly wind blew hard today which meant the opening seven holes became a battle with the players having to limit the damage whilst hoping for better things when they turned for home with the wind in their sails.

Josh GREER epitomised these struggles but also demonstrated his strong mental approach. He started and finished with triple bogey 7’s in a front nine of 43. Lesser players would have perhaps given up but not the Australian; he played the back nine in 31 with five birdies and left Nairn with a respectable 74 in 25th place.

The average score in Round 1 was 76.66, 5.66 over par. On the front nine it was 39.93, 4.93 shots over par. Coming home it was 36.73, even with the more favourable conditions still 0.73 over par.

The leading 25 players after 18 holes are shown below: –

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Round 1 Stroke Play Qualifying Leaderboard (Photo: The R&A / Golfbox Scoring)

ME.

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Sunday 13th June 2021

The 126th Amateur Championship will be played at The Nairn G.C. near Inverness in Scotland on 14th – 19th June 2021.

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.

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 and the likelihood of international travel restrictions remaining in place The R&A took the decision, as they did last year, to play the Championship solely at Nairn with a reduced field.

Format

The normal field of 288 players has been reduced to 144 players this year. It was 120 last year at Royal Birkdale G.C. when the Championship was played in late August and there was less light available.

Two stroke play qualifying rounds will be completed on Monday 14th June and Wednesday 15th June.

Nairn member Calum SCOTT (SCO), will hit the first shot of the Championship at 7.00am. With an 11 minute gap between tee times the final group will go out at 3.52pm on each of the opening days.

Click here to view the – 2021 Amateur Championship SP Qualifying Tee Times

The 64 players with the lowest 36 hole scores will advance to the match play stage.

A Round 2 card countback will be used for the first time to ensure a clean 64 players advance. Ties for 64th place will not advance as they have done previously and as a result there will be no preliminary round and a standard match play draw will be made. The card count back approach was due to be used in 2020 but the decision was rescinded when the Stroke Play Qualifying competition had to be reduced to 18 holes due to bad weather.

The Match Play stage will then be played between Wednesday 16th and Saturday 19th June.

Matches will be played over 18 holes except for Sunday’s Final which will be contested over 36 holes. Extra sudden death holes will be used in all games if necessary.

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The Nairn G.C. 2nd Hole and Clubhouse (Photo: The Nairn G.C.) 

Players

The 144 competitiors were firstly drawn from a number of exempt categories covering various historic Championship performances and representative team selections.

Thereafter places were allocated to those players ranked 1st – 2,000th in the WAGR as at Week 19 2021, i.e. the Wednesday 19th May release, and then via WHS Handicap index at the date of entry.

I take no pleasure in saying this but the COVID-19 international travel restrictions and the early playing of the Walker Cup mean this is undoubtedly the weakest field that has ever assembled for an Amateur Championship.

92% of the field are from the home nations; England have 70 players in the field (49%), Scotland 36, Ireland 16 and Wales 9.

There are just 12 overseas players from a total of six countries with Iceland providing six of these. 34 countries were represented in 2019 highlighting the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduction in field size.

At the start of play just three of the field were in the WAGR top 100 and just 14 in the top 250. 26 of the players competing do not even have a WAGR ranking. With Sandy SCOTT (SCO) #7 withdrawing on the eve of the competition the highest ranked player in the field is now Jack COPE #29.

Jack DYER (ENG) and Mark POWER (IRL), who reached the semi-finals in 2020, are the only two from the sixteen players selected for the 2021 GB&I Walker Cup Team and earlier Squad that will be teeing off.

The defending champion Joe LONG (ENG) will be using his exemption to appear in the 2021 U.S. Open Championship at Torrey Pines G.C. which starts on 17th June. Last year’s runner up Joe HARVEY (ENG) does return.

Based on the SPWAR, in my opinion the most accurate ranking of amateur golfers, the favourites this year should be Jack DYER (ENG) #54, Mark POWER (IRL) #60, Callan BARROW (ENG) #82, who reached the quarter finals at Birkdale and recently won the Scottish Open Amateur at Southerness, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #90, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #97, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #98, Archie DAVIES (WAL) #99, Jack COPE (ENG) #101, who won the St Andrews Links Trophy last weekend, Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) #105 and Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #113.

Fraser FOTHERINGHAM and Calum SCOTT (SCO) are both members of The Nairn G.C. Only time will tell if home advantage proves to be a benefit for the two of them or a distraction as higher expectations locally can often weigh heavily on the shoulders.

Sadly Calum’s brother Sandy, who played in the 2019 Walker Cup match and was selected for the recent one at Seminole before having to withdraw, was due to play but ultimately missed out again due to his longstanding wrist injury which has now prevented him from playing competitively since last October.

One of the last player to make the field was Louis SANDERS (ENG) who got the nod at 12.30pm on Sunday afternoon. Louis plays out of Copt Heath G.C. in Warwickshire, the home club of amateur legend Peter McEvoy and less importantly my good self.

Another Warwickshire player who is competing is Kenilworth’s Warren Bladon; the 1996 winner is the only former champion in the field.

As we all know Championships are not won on paper or via rankings. The 126th Amateur Championship looks a particularly open one to me and, even more so than normal, virtually any of the players could win it if they have a good week, hole a few putts and benefit from some kind bounces at the right time.

Host Course

The Nairn G.C. is located in The Highlands, around 160 miles north of Scotland’s capital Edinburgh.

The most notable features are the gorse and the Moray Firth which is visible from every hole and in play, for a particularly wild shot, on the opening seven. As these holes play into the prevailing westerly wind such a shot occurs more often than one may think possible at first sight.

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The Nairn G.C. Course Map (Photo: The Nairn G.C. / Strokesport Ltd)

Nairn was established by an Edinburgh born lawyer Robert Findlay in 1887 with Old Tom Morris, James Braid, Ben Sayers, Braid again and finally architect C.K. Cotton in the 1970’s all having a hand in the development of the course over the years.

The course was lengthened ahead of the 1999 Walker Cup match which GB&I memorably won 15-9.

The Championship course measures 6,832 yards and has a par of 71.

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The Nairn G.C. Scorecard (Photo: The Nairn G.C.)

Weather Forecast (as at Sunday 13th June)

The weather forecast for the week ahead is positively tropical for this part of the world with the only exception being the strong winds which are forecast for Monday, particularly around lunchtime: –

Mon 13th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 20-40 mph W. Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 16°C.
Tues 14th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph S. Temp. Min. 12°C / Max. 16°C.
Wed 15th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 16 mph SW. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 18°C.
Thu 16th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph W. Temp. Min. 7°C / Max. 16°C.
Fri 17th – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph W. Temp. Min. 8°C / Max. 15°C.
Sat 18th – Light Cloud. Wind 14 mph S. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 15°C.

Click here to view the – Latest BBC Weather Forecast For Nairn

Tee times between 7.00am and 3.52pm mean changes in the weather can have a material impact on the stroke play qualifying scoring.

Prizes / Exemptions

A momento is presented by The R&A to the leading player in the stroke play qualifying competition, with any ties decided on the lowest second round score (or final nine, 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 will be exempt into the 149th Open Championship being staged at Royal St. George’s G.C. in Kent, England in July 2021. As The Open was cancelled last year there will be two Amateur champions in the field, Joe LONG joining this year’s winner.

Traditionally, the champion is also invited to compete in the following year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National G.C. and also exempted into the 2022 U.S. Open Championship which will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, near Boston.

2020 Amateur Championship

23 year old Joe LONG (ENG) won the 2020 Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale G.C. to become the 51st Englishman to lift the famous silver trophy.

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Joe Long (Photo: Richard Heathcote / The R&A / R&A via Getty Images)

Joe beat his namesake and Gloucestershire teammate Joe HARVEY (ENG) 4&3 in the 36 hole Final.

It was the first all-England final since Graeme Storm defeated Aran Wainwright 7&6 at Royal County Down in 1999. The last English champion was Harry Ellis who won at Royal St George’s in 2017.

Long shot a 74 (-3) in the stroke play qualifying, which was reduced to 18 holes due to bad weather, to finish tied 30th. In reaching the Final he had to overcome three of England’s leading players Olly HUGGINS, Barclay BROWN and Jake BOLTON.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship Match Play Scores

A then 16 year old Ruben LINDSAY (SCO), who was the reigning Scottish Boys’ Amateur champion, shot a 67 (-4) to win the 18 hole Stroke Play Qualifying competition.

2020 was the first time that The R&A had been unable to complete the 36 hole Stroke Play Qualifying since introducing it in 1983. Round 1 was abandoned late in the afternoon on Day 1 after heavy rain and strong winds made the course unplayable.

As a result 68 players progressed to the Match Play Stage with the cut coming at scores of 76 (+5) or better.

Click here to view the – 2020 Amateur Championship Stroke Play Qualifying Results

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 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 Joe Long’s win in 2020 the previous 10 winners of The Amateur Championship were: –

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.
2010  Jin Jeong (KOR) – Muirfield

A great achievement and honour for all of the players listed above. However, it’s also another reminder of how incredibly tough golf is and that wins in the biggest events are no guarantee of success in the professional game.

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

ME.

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

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2021 Preview & Results

6th June 2021

Play-Off

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.

Speaking to the tournament organisers Jack said “I was committed to every shot I hit out there over those four holes. I probably played the best I played all week tee to green. I guess that was a nice time to really peak. I love the home of golf. I particularly like the Old Course, mainly because I normally score alright round there which helps. Just walking over that bridge, taking photos, thinking about all the players who have won here and played here. This is very special to me.”

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

Cope and Williams parred the 1st to eliminate the Scotsman Burns.

The English pair then halved the 18th in birdie and the 1st in par before Cope prevailed with a birdie on the 18th, the fourth extra hole they played. Cope’s drive to 25 feet on the home hole this time proving to be decisive.

Round 4

Reigning English Amateur champion Jack COPE shot a bogey free final round of 67 to take the early clubhouse lead on Sunday evening. Cope had entered the final day tied 13th on -2 and five shots behind the overnight leader Charlie THORNTON.

As the later players came in Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS both birdied their 18th hole for 70’s to join Cope on 280 (-8).

John GOUGH recorded a 66 in the final round, the best score of the three rounds played on the Old Course this weekend.

Here are the final results which include the play-off: –

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Round 4 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

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

Round 3

Charlie THORNTON (-8) leads Scott WORMLEIGHTON (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW, Callan BARROW, Robin WILLIAMS and George BURNS (-6) with 18 holes to play on the Old Course.

Wormleighton produced the best Round 3 score, matching Callan Barrow’s 67 on the Old yesterday.

Scottish pair Liam WALDRON (-4) and Ruben LINDSAY (-2) moved up the leaderboard with morning rounds of 69 and 68 respectively.

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Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

ME.

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5th June 2021

Charlie THORNTON recorded a 71 in Round 2 on the Old Course to maintain his 1-shot lead on 137 (-7).

Richard KNIGHTLY matched the leader’s score to also stay in second place. He is now joined on 136 (-6) by Dubai-based Englishman Josh HILL who went out in 32 to post a 68.

There were six other 68’s in Round 2 of the St Andrews Links Trophy but the best rounds of the day were 67’s (-5) from Darren HOWIE and Callan Barrow. Howie’s highlight being a front nine 30 which included a hole-in-one on the 8th.

img_5219 Darren Howie’s Round 2 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Scotland’s Rory FRANSSEN and George BURNS are joined in tied 3rd by 2021 GB&I Walker Cup player Jack DYER on 139 (-5).

With 36 holes to play on Sunday there is clearly an opportunity for a player well down the leaderboard currently to come from well back to take the title.

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

Here is a summary of the leading players and those that made the cut: –

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Round 2 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

ME.

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4th June 2021

Teeing off at 7.40am Yorkshire’s Charlie THORNTON produced seven birdies in his 66 (-6) on the Jubilee Course to secure the opening round lead at the 2021 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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Charlie Thornton’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

George GRIFFITHS, Richard KNIGHTLY and Matthew HIBBS all fired 67’s to finish the day tied for 2nd place, one shot back of our leader.

Griffiths enjoyed a particularly memorable round with a hole-in-one on the 17th.

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George Griffith’s Round 1 Scorecard (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

Pre-Championship favourites Jack DYER (-4), Dan BRADBURY (-1), Arron EDWARD-HILL (-1) and Olly HUGGINS (Ev) are all well placed to mount an attack over the weekend.

Here is the top 25 leaderboard after Round 1: –

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Round 1 Leading Scores (Graphic: St. Andrews Links / OCS Software)

ME.

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2nd June 2021

144 golfers will tee off on Friday 4th June in the 32nd St. Andrews Links Trophy.

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

I will add the live score link to this article once it becomes available and provide daily reports on play over the weekend.

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 29th April 2021 and finished off with various National Golf Union and St. Andrews Links Trust nominations.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course – sometimes the New Course is used – with Round 2 on the Old Course.

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 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.

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.

The Field

Click here to view the – 2021 St Andrews Links Trophy Rd 1 and Rd 2 Tee Times

Due to the early playing of the Walker Cup and COVID-19 travel restrictions the field is much weaker than has previously been seen.

Whereas we normally see over 20 countries represented only a handful of overseas players have been able to make the journey in 2021.

The impact of the R&A’s decision to agree to play the Walker Cup in early May is going to be seen very clearly in men’s amateur events this summer.

There are just 15 of the leading 30 GB&I players in today’s Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) competing. This excludes the seven international class amateurs who have turned pro since the Walker Cup team was announced on 30th March. Extending the same analysis to the top of the current tree there are only 10 of the top 20 and just 3 of the top 10 playing in St. Andrews this week.

The highest ranked players in the SPWAR are Jack DYER (ENG) #75, Haider HUSSAIN (ENG) #114, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) #119, Dan BRADBURY (ENG) #125, Olly HUGGINS (ENG) #131, Callan BARROW (ENG) #144, winner of last week’s Scottish Open Men’s Championship, and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #148.

The highest ranked Irish, Scottish and Welsh players are Marc BOUCHER #351, Calum SCOTT #404 and Matt ROBERTS #1,427.

Perhaps the most interesting entry is Paul HOWARD (ENG). Paul turned pro in March 2015 shortly after a successful tour of Australia where he won the New South Wales Amateur. He went on to win on the PGA EuroPro Tour in June 2015 and then the European Challenge Tour in August 2017. He has clearly now regained his amateur status and I assume must have received one of the nominations from either England Golf or the St. Andrews Links Trust as he currently has no ranking. Best wishes to Paul on his return to elite amateur competition.

Whilst it doesn’t overly affect the field quality it should be noted that most of the Irish players are staying at home to play in the Ulster Men’s Stroke Play Championship which starts on Monday 7th June at Royal County Down GC and that the Arnold Palmer Cup match starts on 11th June at Rich Harvest Farms in Illinois.

Weather Forecast (as at Wednesday 2nd June)

The current weather forecast looks great with a dry championship currently expected.

Friday 4th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 12 mph SW. Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 15°C.
Saturday 5th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 11 mph SW. Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 18°C.
Sunday 6th June – Sunny Intervals. Wind 13 mph W. Temp. Min. 10°C / Max. 17°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 is awarded for the best aggregate score on the first two days of the Championship.

2020 St. Andrews Links Trophy

The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy

Jake BURNAGE (ENG) from Saunton G.C. won the 2019 St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Burnage recorded a 268 (-20) total and completed a memorable comeback, having started the final day 6 shots back of the 36-hole leader Matty LAMB (ENG), who ultimately had to settle for 2nd place on -19. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRL) finished 3rd on -17.

It was a surprise to many that the Devonian links specialist was subsequently overlooked for the GB&I Walker Cup team that played USA at Royal Liverpool G.C. just two months later.

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Jake Burnage and Family (Photo: Burnage Family)

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Final 2019 Results (Photo: St Andrews Links Trust / Intelligent Golf)

Click here to view the complete – 2019 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 © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

Scottish Men’s Open Championship – 2021 Preview & Results

30th May 2021

Callan BARROW (ENG) shot rounds of 63, 67, 64 and 67 for a 261 (-15) total to win the Scottish Men’s Open Amateur Championship at Southerness G.C.

Barrow took control of the Championship with a 64 on Sunday morning; a round which included one eagle and seven birdies.

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Callan Barrow (Photo: Scottish Golf)

Barrow, a member of Royal Lytham & St Annes G.C., said in an interview with Scottish Golf “It’s been a good few years so to finally get a big win is amazing. The last three days have been incredible. My game’s been pretty solid. The putter has probably been the hottest thing in the bag which was needed round here.”

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.

Wilson’s 62 (-7) in Round 1 which included eight birdies proved to be the low round of the Championship.

Irvine, from Kirkhill G.C. had a final day to remember. Rounds of 64 (-5) and 66 (-3) saw him come from a long way back for a career best top 5 finish.

44 players made the 36 hole cut on Saturday evening which fell at 140 (+2). In form Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) was the most notable player to miss out.

There were two holes in one recorded. Patrick KEELING (IRL) on the 15th in Round 1 and Joe HARVEY (ENG) on the 17th in Round 3 took the happy memories away from Dumfrieshire.

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Final Results (Graphic: Scottish Golf)

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24th May 2021

The 54th Scottish Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship starts on Friday 28th May at Southerness Golf Club in Dumfries.

This is the first major British or Irish amateur championship in 2021.

Due to COVID-19 protocols no caddies or spectators will be allowed on site.

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Southerness Golf Club (Photo: Southerness Golf Club)

Format

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

18 holes will be played on both Friday 28th and Saturday 29th 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 30th 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 2021 Championship.

The Championship is returning to its traditional late May / early June time slot following a misguided move in 2018 and 2019 to late August which led to a noticeable drop off in field quality.

However, the impact of ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions and the early Walker Cup means that Scottish Golf are not going to see a material uplift in the standard of the field this year. The former means few foreign players have entered. The latter has pushed back the US College schedule and changed the priorities of many leading GB&I players. The NCAA National Championships are now being played in Arizona directly opposite this event. The fact the Walker Cup has already been played also means that many GB&I players have already turned pro or are planning to do so shortly so have no motivation to play.

Additionally, the Irish Challenge event on the European Challenge Tour is being played at Portmarnock Links between 27-30 May which has drawn a number of the leading Irish amateurs.

Jake DYER ENG (SPWAR #73) is the highest ranked player and only GB&I Walker Cupper competing at Southerness.

The standout names in this year’s field are all English – Sam BAIRSTOW (#165), Callan BARROW (#206), Jack BROOKS (#252), Jack COPE (#230), Arron EDWARDS-HILL (#111), Joe HARVEY (#232), Olly HUGGINS (#128) and Haider HUSSAIN (#140).

Jack Brooks, the world’s most active amateur golfer, is preparing for the Championship as only he knows how – by playing in the 72-hole Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog GC in Cambridgeshire on Wednesday and Thursday. He will finish up around 6.30pm before travelling the 312 miles up to Dumfrieshire. He tees off at 1.10pm on Friday afternoon.

The highest ranked Irish, Scottish and Welsh players competing are Hugh FOLEY (#717), Calum SCOTT (#397) and Luke HARRIES (#2,028).

Tee Times and Scores

Click here to view the – 2021 Scottish Men’s Open Championship Tee Times / Scores

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12th Hole, Southerness Golf Club (Photo: Southerness Golf Club)

Southerness Golf Club

Southerness is a flat links course set on the Solway Coast near Dumfries in the south west corner of Scotland.

It was designed by Philip Mackenzie Ross and laid out by Messrs. Sutton and Sons of Reading in 1946. The Club is therefore celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

The championship tees enable the par 69 course to be stretched to a demanding 6,728 yards.

A number of prestigious amateur Championships have been staged on the course over the years. It has previously hosted the Scottish Amateur Open Stroke Play in 2002 and 2013 with Barry Hume and Garrick Porteous coming out on top in those years.

The Club have posted a nice aerial video on their website ahead of the Championship which gives a good feel for the examination that awaits the players this week.

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

The weather forecast is reasonably good. Whilst there is likely to be little sun the players will be pleased to see the winds are forecast to be weak throughout the weekend.

Fri 28th May – Light Rain / Wind 8 mph S / Temp. Min. 9°C / Max. 13°C,
Sat 29th May – Light Cloud /  Wind 7 mph S / Temp. Min. 9°C /Max. 17°C
Sun 30th May – Sunny Intervals / Wind 9 mph SE / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 19°C

Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 7.00am right through until 3.20pm.

2020 Results

The 2020 Scottish Men’s Open Championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 Results

Jake BOLTON (ENG) won the 2019 Championship at The Duke’s Course in St. Andrews with a 272 (-12) total.

Jake shot rounds of 64, 68, 76 and 64 to secure the title by 1-shot. His final round included birdies on 16 and 18.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) finished 2nd on -11, Matthew CLARK (SCO) -8 3rd and Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) -7 4th.

img_1793.jpg Jake Bolton (Photo: Mark Bolton)

Click here to view the full – 2019 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 © 2014-2021, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The Brabazon Trophy – 2020 Preview, Reports & Results

21st August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA) won the 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest G.C.

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David Ravetto (Photo: Leaderboard Photography / FFGolf)

Ravetto secured the title on the second sudden death play-off hole (the 2nd) with a birdie after he and Christoffer BRING (DEN) and Mark POWER (IRL) couldn’t be separated after 72 holes. Power fell out of the play-off on the 1st extra hole after he could only par it – Bring and Ravetto both birdied.

It was clear from today’s weather forecast that the conclusion of the Brabazon Trophy was likely to be far from straight forward and so it proved. Anything can happen when the wind is gusting up to 50mph.

Mark POWER, who had started the day tied for 12th, produced one of the best rounds seen for some time by a GB&I amateur to ask the question of the leaders playing behind him. His 66 (-5) included two eagles and three birdies. To put his score into context just 6 of the 68 players broke par today with the other five all recording 70’s (-1).

Power’s 274 (-11) total initially looked like it would be a little short of the necessary mark but as time passed by it became clear that his work may not be done for the day.

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Mark Power’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

David RAVETTO, playing in the penultimate three ball, looked to have stood up to the conditions and Power’s clubhouse pressure when he birdied the 16th to move to -11. However, a bogey on 17 saw him fall back into a tie with the Irishman on -10 with both players left to nervously wait to see how leader Christoffer BRING would finish.

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David Ravetto’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Bring was on -13 after 12 holes when Power completed his round. With a three shot lead and six holes to play the Championship was the Dane’s to win. However, an untidy double bogey on the par 3 15th and a bogey on 17 saw him come back to the two chasers.

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Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

English pair Barclay BROWN and Jack DYER -8 finished tied for 4th with compatriots Enrique DIMAYUGA and Sam BAIRSTOW one shot further back in tied 6th.

Barclay Brown won The George Henriques Salver, awarded to the leading GB&I player under the age of 20.

Northern Ireland’s Tom MCKIBBIN -6 finished 8th after a consistent tournament, Joe LONG -5 9th delivered another strong result and Jack COPE -4 backed up his recent English Amateur victory with a tied 10th place alongside Josh BRISTOW from Kent.

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Leading Results (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

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20th August 2020

Christoffer BRING (DEN) shot a joint best of the day 65 (-6) to move into a share of the lead on Day 3 of the Brabazon Trophy. Two late bogeys, including one on his final hole, shows how good his round could have been. Nevertheless to record just five bogeys in the Championship to date is impressive stuff – just Sam Bairstow has less to his name (4).

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Christoffer Bring’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

England’s Enrique DIMAYUGA (-11) continues to enjoy himself at Sherwood Forest. The promising youngster from Walton Heath posted a 66, helped by an eagle and a birdie on the 16th and 17th holes, to join Bring out front.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) posted a 67 to move into 3rd place on -10 whilst first round leader David RAVETTO (FRA) matched his opening round 66 to move back into contention alongside Jack DYER (ENG) in tied 4th on -9.

Barclay BROWN‘s (ENG) 66 included two eagles, one on the par 5 5th followed by a hole-in-one on the 7th. Having pared every hole coming home after his 1 the Stanford University student from Sheffield stands well placed in tied 6th (-7) to make a run at the title tomorrow.

English Amateur champion Jack COPE (ENG) took advantage of making the cut on the +1 mark in Round 3. His blemish free 65 (-6) lifted him up to tied 12th on -5.

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Jack Cope’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Harry BUTLER (ENG) joined Cope in tied 12th after producing the other 65 of round 3. His eagle 2 on the 9th the standout in what appears to have been an exciting round of golf.

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Harry Butler’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Here are the leading scores after 54 holes: –

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Leading Rd 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

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19th August 2020

Rain arrived in Nottinghamshire in the late morning and stayed until the end of play. Players with an early morning Round 2 tee time clearly had a major advantage over the later starters today.

Jack DYER (ENG) produced the best round of the week this morning to take the 36-hole lead on 134 (-8). His 64 (-7), which included eight birdies, equalled the course record at Sherwood Forest G.C.

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Jack Dyer’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

Other morning starters Mark POWER (-7) and Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) (-6) are on hot on Jack’s heels. Enrique DIMAYUGA (ENG) did very well to join Sam on -6 given his afternoon tee time where he played in the worst of the weather.

Andrew NI (SCO) matched David Revatto’s 66 (-5) from yesterday to march up the leaderboard on Day 2.

Experienced performers Tom PLUMB (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Tom MCKIBBIN (IRL) -4 and Jake BOLTON (ENG) -4 are all nicely placed to mount an attack on the leaders in the coming days.

Here are the leading scores after 36 holes: –

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Leading Rd 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

68 players made the 60th and ties 36 hole cut which drifted out to 143 (+1) as the wet conditions took their toll later on.

Playing together English Amateur champion, Jack COPE (ENG), and the defending Brabazon champion, Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), both fought back after disappointing opening rounds with 69’s (-2) this morning to made it in on the +1 mark.

Conor GOUGH (ENG) +2, Matty LAMB (ENG) +3, Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) +3 and  Olly HUGGINS (ENG) +3 were amongst the players to miss the cut.

ME.

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18th August 2020

David RAVETTO (FRA), Matt McCLEAN (IRL) and Josh BRISTOW (ENG) all shot opening rounds of 66 (-5) to share the Round 1 lead at Sherwood Forest G.C.

Here are the details of the three leading rounds:-

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Ravetto, McClean and Bristow Scorecards (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

At the end of Round 1 there were 68 players on 71 (Ev) or better.

Here are the leading scores after Round 1: –

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Leading Rd 1 Scores (Photo: England Golf / Golf Genius Scoring)

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13th August 2020

The 74th English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Sherwood Forest Golf Club between Tuesday 18th and Friday 21st August.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

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 on Friday, there will be a sudden death play off.

Click here to view the full – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Terms of Competition

Field

A 144 competitors will start the 2020 Championship.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic no regional qualifying tournaments have been staged this year. The field has therefore been determined by exemptions and a handicap ballot.

With the exception of those players who have been competing in the U.S. Amateur all of Great Britain and Ireland’s leading amateurs will be on show. A number of players from the Continent of Europe have also made the effort to travel over to Nottinghamshire.

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked as the 20th best amateur event by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a jump from 41st in 2018 but a fall from 17thin 2017.

Tee Times

Click here to view the – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Rounds 1 and 2 Drawsheet – use Menu filter

Play will start at 7.00am on the opening two days with the final tee time being 3.30pm.

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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

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

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 normally awarded to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy. However, this year it won’t be presented as the latter event has been cancelled.

Sherwood Forest Golf Club

Sherwood Forest G.C. is located on heathland to the east of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.

The Club can trace its roots back to 1895 and moved to its current location in 1911. The course was designed by Harry Colt and revised by James Braid in the 1920s. Further changes to the greens and tees were made in the 1980s by Cotton, Pennink, Steel and Hawtree.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Course Map (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

The course can be stretched to 6,800 yards with the front nine situated on more open land and the longer back nine tree lined.

Sherwood Forest G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Sherwood Forest G.C.)

Whilst the back nine is a little shorter it delivers a good finish with six strong finishing holes. The inward nine has the lower par of 35 and generally plays into the prevailing westerly wind.

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking a little mixed at the moment (as at 17th August) with fresh breezes expected to pick up throughout each day.

Tues 18th Aug – Light Showers / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 14°C.
Wed 19th Aug – Thundery Showers / Wind 15 mph SE / Temp. Min. 21°C, Max. 16°C.
Thur 20th Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 15 mph S / Temp. Min. 23°C / Min 15°C.
Fri 21st Aug – Sunny Intervals / Wind 20 mph SW / Temp. Min. 21°C / Max. 13°C.

2019 Brabazon Trophy

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), just 16 at the time, won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship by 5-shots with a 271 (-13) finishing total.

Ben was the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time at Alwoodley G.C.

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The Schmidt Family (Photo: Yorkshire Golf / Jonathan Plaxton)

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Ben Schmidt’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Harry HALL (ENG) -8 finished second, Euan WALKER (SCO) -7 third and Ben FIRTH (ENG) -4 fourth

Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Click these links to view other recent results: –

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 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 European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

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

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

16th August 2020 – Match Play Final

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

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

2020 U.S. Amateur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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15th August 2020 – Match Play Semi-Finals

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

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

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

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ME.

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14th August 2020 – Match Play Quarter Finals

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Match Play Quarter Finals Results (Photo: USGA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

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

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

Here are the afternoon Round of 16 results: –

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Match Play Rd of 16 Results (Photo: USGA)

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the complete Round of 32 results: –

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Match Play Rd of 32 Results (Photo: USGA)

ME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ME.

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11th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 2

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

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Wilson Furr (Photo: Steve Gibbons / USGA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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10th August 2020 – Stroke Play Qualifying Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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5th August 2020

Introduction

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

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

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2020 Field

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competition Format

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

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

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

Host Courses

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

Bandon Dunes Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Dunes Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

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

Bandon Trails Course Video (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

Bandon Trails Course Scorecard (Photo: bandondunesgolf.com)

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

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

UK Television Coverage

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

Prizes

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

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

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

and assuming they remain amateur,

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

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

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

and unofficially

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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2019 U.S. Amateur Championship

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

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Andy Ogletree (Photo: @USGA)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Brandon Wu (Photo: @USGA)

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

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

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

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

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

U.S. Amateur Championship History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Future U.S. Amateur Venues

09-15 August 2021 – Oakmont Country Club,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

The Brabazon Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results

2nd June 2019

Rotherham’s Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) won the 2019 English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship finishing the competition with another hugely impressive under par round.

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The Schmidt Family (Photo: Yorkshire Golf / Jonathan Plaxton)

When Schmidt took the lead on Friday night very few people would have expected the 16 year old to see out such a prestigious event with apparent ease.

In the end two 69’s over the weekend took him to a 271 (-13) finishing total and a 5 shot victory. He is believed to be the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy which was being played for the 73rd time.

To drop only 6 shots over the 72 holes at Alwoodley G.C. clearly shows the potential of the Yorkshireman who seemed to thrive on being the hometown favourite.

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Ben Schmidt’s Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Schmidt and Harry HALL (ENG) were tied on -11 after 11 holes of the final round but it was the teenager who showed nerves of steel over the closing holes. He picked up birdies on the 12th and 17th and calmly pulled away from the experienced Cornishman in what was always going to be an 18 hole shoot out. Three late bogeys from the now chasing Hall helped make the tough Alwoodley finish relatively straight forward for the champion elect.

Talking to England Golf afterwards Schmidt said “It’s amazing. I played great. It’s good to get my name on the trophy and to be the youngest ever one to do it makes it even more special.”

Hall finished 2nd on -8 one shot ahead of a fast finishing Euan WALKER (SCO) whose 66 was the joint best score of the day and lifted him into 3rd place. Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) matched the Scotsman’s -5 round earlier in the afternoon.

Ben FIRTH, also from Yorkshire, finished 4th on 280 (-4) for the best finish of his career.

In what proved to be a largely disappointing tournament for International players Kyle DE BEER (RSA) benefited from a 7-under weekend to finish tied 5th alongside David LANGLEY (ENG).

Here’s a screenshot of the leading players with a link to the full results beneath.

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Click here to view the full – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Round 4 saw an average score of 72.30 (+1.30). The average front nine score today was 35.83 (-0.17 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.47 (+1.47).

ME.

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1st June 2019

Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) moved on to -11 after a third round 69 (-2) at Alwoodley. He showed no sign of nerves with a 3-under par front nine but may live to regret a final hole bogey which took the edge of a steady back nine and saw his 54 hole lead reduced to just 1 shot.

Harry HALL (ENG), who produced a new course record 63 (-8), moved back up the leaderboard and into 2nd place on -10.

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Harry Hall’s Round 3 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) continues to impress in Yorkshire. Three under par rounds of 69, 68 and 70 will see him enter the final day in 3rd place on -6.

Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 70 and David LANGLEY (ENG) 71 are on -5 and are tied 4th.

Luca FILIPPI (RSA) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) both enjoyed good days too. Their 66’s (-5) lifted them up to 7th and tied 14th respectively.

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Leading Round 3 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Round 3 saw the average score lowered to 71.74 helped by a reduction to 63 competing players. 64 players made the cut but Alex Dixon +4 WD before play started. The average front nine score today was 35.57 (-0.43 to par) whilst the back nine score was 36.14 (+1.17).

ME.

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31st May 2019

16 year old Ben SCHMIDT (ENG) backed up his good opening round with a 64 (-7) in Round 2. He tied the Alwoodley course record with an unblemished card and 7 birdies. He now leads the Brabazon Trophy by 3-shots on 133 (-9).

Talking to England Golf afterwards Ben said “I got off to a good start, birdieing the first three holes. Front nine was really solid, quite a few birdies. I hit a lot of good iron shots in today. I hit a couple really stiff for tap in birdies. A couple of long irons which were key for me. It’s my lowest ever round, 7-under. I’m just looking for the same again for the next few days. It’s probably not going to be 7-under again but I can’t go out with the mindset of like I’m leading. I’ve just got go out, refresh and start again. I’ve played well and putted well, key putts and long birdie putts.”

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Ben Schmidt’s Round 2 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) recorded a 70 in Round 2 and will go into the weekend in 2nd place on -6.

Day 2 saw much lower scoring. There were 21 rounds in the 60’s compared with just 6 yesterday.

David LANGLEY (ENG) 67, Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) 68, Jamie STEWART (SCO) 65, Charlie THORNTON (ENG) 67, Ben FIRTH (ENG) 66, Ben HALLAM (ENG) 68, Ben JONES (ENG) 68, Ben CATON (SCO) 69, Euan WALKER (SCO) and Josh MCMAHON (ENG) all moved nicely into contention.

Of particular note Jamie Stewart’s 65 included a 29 (-7) on the front nine whilst Ben Firth’s 69, a 30 (-5) on the back nine.

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Leading Round 2 Scores (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

The Round 2 scores followed a similar pattern to Round 1 but with easier playing conditions and more experience the scoring was better. The average front nine score today was 35.91 (-0.09 to par / Rd 1 36.70) whilst the back nine score was 37.04 (+2.04 / Rd 1 38.29). The average Round 2 score by the field was 72.95 (+1.95 / Rd 1 74.99).

64 players made the top 60 and ties cut which fell at 146 (+4). Amongst those to miss out were Jayden SCHAPER (RSA) +5, John MURPHY (IRE) +5, Oliver FARRELL (ENG) +6, Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG) +7, Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) +7, David HAGUE (ENG) +8 and Kieran CANTLEY (ENG) +9.

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30th May 2019

Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) leads the Brabazon Trophy at the end of Day 1. Charlie has shown good form in 2019 and will be delighted with an opening bogey-free 66 (-5) around the tough Alwoodley course.

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Charlie Strickland’s Round 1 Scorecard (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

Harry HALL (ENG) is second on 68 (-3), two shots further back. Harry, who recently graduated from UNLV, travelled back from the NCAA Division I National Championship in Arkansas earlier this week and I am pleased to see he has quickly re-acclimatised to the UK.

James WILSON (SCO), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) and Jake BOLTON (ENG) are all tied 3rd on 69 (-2).

Ben Schmidt is unsurprisingly not the only Yorkshireman to be featuring at home. Bailey GILL 70 (-1), Sam BAIRSTOW 70 (-1), Charlie THORNTON 71 (Ev), winner at Alwoodley of the 2018 North of England Amateur Open, and Charlie DAUGHTREY 71 (Ev) are all in the top 15 too.

Irish pair Caolan RAFFERTY 70 (-1) and Conor PURCELL 71 (Ev) are both nicely placed despite disappointing finishes today. Both continue to be travelling nicely down the path to Walker Cup selection in my eyes.

The Round 1 scores clearly highlighted the fact that the front nine at Alwoodley is much easier than the back. As the table below shows the average front nine score was 36.70 (+0.70 to par), helped by the prevailing wind, whilst the back nine played to 38.29 (+3.29).  The closing holes proved to be very challenging and their rankings show why so many of today’s rounds were ruined in the latter stages. The average round by the field was 74.99. (+3.99).

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Round 1 Course Stats (Photo: England Golf / GolfBox)

As you can also see there were 9 eagles on Day 1, all on the front nine. Interestingly three of them came on par 4’s. I assume Cameron LOMBARD (ENG) and Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) both chipped in on the 305 yard 2nd but Alexander HERMANN (GER) must have holed a longer shot on the 370 yard 5th.

ME.

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27th May 2019

The 73rd English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy will be played at Alwoodley Golf Club between 30th May and 2nd June.

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Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

Format

The competition consists of 72 holes of stroke play golf with 18 holes being played each day.

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

In the event of a tie for the Championship on Sunday, there will be a sudden death play off.

Field

164 competitors will start the 2019 Championship, an increase of 8 on last year at Frilford Heath.

England has 94 entries with 10 other countries represented.

The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Draw

98 players were exempted into the field based on their previous accomplishments with a further 66 progressing from two qualifiers held on 14th May 2019.

Charlie DAUGHTREY (Rotherham G.C.) and Blair MORTON (Royal Troon G.C.) shot 68’s (-2) at Lindrick to lead the way in the North Qualifier. Ben HALLAM (Wychwood Park G.C.) was one of 10 players to shoot 73 (+3) but the only one to progress as he picked up the 33rd spot on count back.

James NEWTON (ENG) finished T56 at Lindrick after a 74 (+4) to miss out. I mention this as just a few days later he easily won the Irish Amateur Open Championship at County Sligo G.C.

Click here to view the full North Qualifier Results

Liam PHIPPS (Olton G.C.) and George LEVERSUCH (Wanstead G.C.) led the qualifiers at Hindhead G.C. in the South Qualifier after both posted 66 (-4). 73 (+3) was again the cut mark with Josh DAVIS (Sedlescombe G.C.), James EARL (Tandridge G.C.) and Matt KIPPEN (Enmore Park G.C.) taking the final qualifying spots. A further 8 players missed out after the count back was applied.

Phipps went on to win The Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog G.C. on 23rd May so is clearly confident and in form.

Click here to view the full South Qualifier Results

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9th Hole, Alwoodley Golf Club in October 2018 (Photo: Golf Bible)

19 of the 26 players included in the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup Squad will be competing at Alwoodley. These are Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Kieran CANTLEY (SCO), Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL), Bailey GILL (ENG), David HAGUE (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Jake HAPGOOD (WAL), Ben JONES (ENG), Euan MCINTOSH (SCO), John MURPHY (IRE), Tom PLUMB (ENG), Conor PURCELL (IRE), Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE), Tom SLOMAN (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), James SUGRUE (IRE), Tom THURLOWAY (ENG), Euan WALKER (SCO) and Robin WILLIAMS (ENG).

Other players who have shown good form in 2019 and are therefore worth keeping an eye on include Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG), Jake BOLTON (ENG), Joe BRYCE (SCO), Harvey BYERS (ENG), Stuart EASTON (SCO), Callum FARR (ENG), Oliver FARRELL (ENG), Harry GODDARD (ENG), Marc HAMMER (GER), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Matty LAMB (ENG), David LANGLEY (ENG), Joe LONG (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Wilco NIENABER (RSA), Daniel O’LOUGHLIN (ENG), Laurie OWEN (ENG), Jayden SCHAPER (RSA), Ben SCHMIDT (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) and Charlie THORNTON (ENG).

Last year’s Brabazon Trophy was ranked 41st by the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) based on the strength of its field. This represented a significant fall from 17thin 2017. Hopefully it will recover some of its prestige this year when the field analysis is completed.

Interestingly Alwoodley G.C. will also be broadcasting live coverage of the first round on their YouTube channel and sharing highlights across their other social media channels.

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown in the photo below.

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

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

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 later in the year to the player returning the best aggregate scores in The Brabazon Trophy and The Berkshire Trophy (which will be played on 22nd and 23rd June).

Alwoodley Golf Club

Alwoodley G.C. is located on heathland a few miles north of Leeds city centre in Yorkshire.

The first design by renowned architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, one of the founders of the Club, it was opened in 1907. Alwoodley is nowadays rightly considered one of the finest courses in Great Britain.

The recent addition of new championship tees has stretched the course to over 6,900 yards so whilst the players are in for a treat they are hopefully going to be challenged too given the par of 71.

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Alwoodley G.C. Scorecard (Photo: Alwoodley G.C.)

Whilst the back nine is a little shorter it delivers a good finish with six strong finishing holes. The inward nine has the lower par of 35 and generally plays into the prevailing westerly wind.

Weather Forecast

The weather is looking good; generally dry with a modest breeze over the four days.

Thu 30th May – Showers / Wind 17 mph W / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 19°C.
Fri 31st May – Light Cloud / Wind 14 mph SW / Temp. Min. 13°C, Max. 21°C.
Sat 1st June – Light Cloud / Wind 10 mph SW / Temp. Min. 15°C / Min 23°C.
Sun 2th May – Light Cloud / Wind 12 mph SW / Temp. Min. 11°C / Max. 19°C.

It is worth remembering that Rounds 1 and 2 will see players tee off the 1st from 7.00am right through until 3.40pm.

2018 Brabazon Trophy

Nick POPPLETON (ENG) won the 2018 Brabazon Trophy at Frilford Heath G.C.

Poppleton and Wilco NIENABER (RSA) both finished the 72 holes on the Red Course with 272 -16 totals.

The par 3 9thhole was used for the sudden death play-off. On the second playing of it Poppleton chipped in to take the famous title.

Click here to view the – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

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Nick Poppleton (Photo: Golf Bible)

Click these links to view the other recent results: –

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

London G.C. – 2016 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 European winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992) and Peter HANSON (1998).

ME.

Copyright © 2019, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.