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

15th May 2022

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

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

England have now won 31 of the 36 matches played.

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The Winning England Team (Photo: England Golf)

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

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

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

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Day 2 Singles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 2 PM Singles Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

Day 2 Foursomes

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 2 AM Foursomes Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

ME.

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14th May 2022

Day 1 Singles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 1 PM Singles Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

Day 1 Foursomes

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 1 AM Foursomes Results (Graphic: FF Golf)

ME.

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12th May 2022

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

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

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

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

Format

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

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

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

Teams

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

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

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

* Ben replaced Olly Huggins in the original team selection.

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

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

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

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

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

Venue

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

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Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche

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

This match is being played solely on the Red Course.

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

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

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

Further Information

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

Match History

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

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

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

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

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

2018 International Match

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

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

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

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

Past Results

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

Match

Year

Venue

England

France

Winner

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

 1963-1981 No matches were played 

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

 1940-1946 No matches were played 

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

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

ME.

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

Brabazon Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

22nd May 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Christiaan Maas (Photo: GolfBible)

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

Round 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the – 2022 Brabazon Trophy Results

ME.

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21st May 2022

Round 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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20th May 2022

Round 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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19th May 2022

Round 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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11th May 2022

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

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

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

Format

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

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

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

Field

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

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

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

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

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

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Qualifying Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prizes

The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown below.

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

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

Two other prizes are connected to the Brabazon Trophy competition.

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

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

Saunton Golf Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Brabazon Trophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent Results

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

Ganton – 2021 Brabazon Trophy Results

Sherwood Forest – 2020 Brabazon Trophy Results

Alwoodley – 2019 Brabazon Trophy Results

Frilford Heath – 2018 Brabazon Trophy Results

Woodhall Spa – 2017 Brabazon Trophy Results

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

The Lytham Trophy – 2022 Preview & Results

1st May 2022

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

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

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

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

Round 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the full – 2022 Lytham Trophy Results

Round 3

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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30th April 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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29th April 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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26th April 2022 

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

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

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

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

Format and Tee Times

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

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

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

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

Players

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lytham Trophies

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

Course

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

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

Weather Forecast

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

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

The 2019 Lytham Trophy

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

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Josh McMahon (Photo: Golf Bible)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

History, Past Winners and Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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

Men’s European Nations Championship – 2022 Preview & Results

2nd April 2022

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

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

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

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Team Results (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

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

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Jaime Montojo (Photo: RFE Golf)

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

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

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

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Leading Individual Results (Graphic: RCG Sotogrande / Golfbox)

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

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

ME.

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1st April 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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31st March 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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30th March 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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28th March 2022

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

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

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

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Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Past ENC Winners

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

Team Competition

2021  Cancelled
2020  Cancelled

2019  England     2019 ENC Team Results

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

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

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

2018  England     2018 ENC Team Results

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

2017  Wales    2017 ENC Team Results

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

2016  Ireland    2016 ENC Team Results

Ireland European Nations Cup 2016

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

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

Past Sherry Cup Team Winners (started 1998)

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

Individual Competition

2021  Cancelled
2020  Cancelled

2019  Tom Sloman (England)     2019 ENC Individual Results

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

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Tom Sloman (Photos: @Golfing4Life_)

2018  Todd Clements (England)    2018 ENC Individual Results

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

2017  Jack Davidson (Wales)    2017 ENC Individual Results

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

2016  Jack Hume (Ireland)    2016 ENC Individual Results

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

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

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Rory McIlroy (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

Past Sherry Cup Individual Winners

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

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Sergio Gracia (Photo: RCG Sotogrande)

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

ME.

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

December 2021 Men’s Amateur Rankings

11th January 2022

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

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

The latest update covering the December 2021 Quarter period has now been added.

England’s Sam Bairstow has won my Player of the Quarter Award.

Bairstow enjoyed an outstanding year and capped it off with a 4th place finish at the South Beach International Amateur in Florida, the leading Quarter 4 amateur event in my opinion.

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Sam Bairstow (Photo: England Golf / Leaderboard Photography)

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

ME.

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

South Beach International Amateur – 2021 Preview & Results

22nd December 2021 – Round 4

Finigan TILLY (USA) completed a wire-to-wire victory at the 11th South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) in Florida. Tilly, who was something of a surprise contender, showed no signs of nerves completing the opening six holes of his final round in 4-under. A double bogey on the 9th and a further bogey on the 11th were set backs but a birdie on the 12th settled the Californian and he parred in to secure the title by 2-shots. His 268 (-15) total was one shot off Cole Hammer’s 2020 record.

Tilly started the week ranked #318 in the SPWAR.

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Finigan Tilly (Photo: SBIA)

Clay AMLUNG (USA) finished 2nd, birdies on the 12th and 16th at Miami Beach G.C. lifting him on to the rostrum on -13.

A birdie on the 10th, and eagle on the 12th and a birdie on the 16th took Jose BALLESTER (ESP) to -14 and within touching distance of the leader. However, two closing bogeys saw the Spaniard drop back into 3rd place. 

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SBIA 2021 Final Top 20 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

English left hander Sam BAIRSTOW finished 4th on -9 after a joint best final round of 67. Bairstow has had an excellent 2021 and this high finish is further evidence of his increasingly world class status. 

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SBIA 2021 GB&I Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Callan BARROW (ENG) -5 will be disappointed with his final round, a triple bogey 7 on the 5th knocking the wind out of his sails, but should be pleased with an overall tied 17th result. John GOUGH (ENG) and Jake HIBBERT (ENG) finished with a 70 and 68 respectively to also break into the top 20. 

Of the other GB&I players who made the cut Callum BRUCE (SCO) -2 finished tied 36th, Josef HACKER (ENG) +2 tied 59th and Frank KENNEDY (ENG) +4 tied 69th.

The average score in Round 4 was 72.28 slightly lower than Round 3’s high point.

Click here to view the full – SBIA 2021 Results

ME.

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21st December 2021 – Round 3 

Finigan TILLY (USA) saw his lead reduced to 1-shot at Miami Beach G.C. on the toughest day of the tournament so far. An acceptable 70 took his total to -13 on a day where the winds were much stronger and a short suspension in play was necessary due to a risk of lightening as a storm blew across Florida.

Clay AMLUNG (USA) moved into sole 2nd place on -12 after a 69.  

A further shot back are Jose BALLESTER (ESP), Michael BRENNAN (USA), Oihan GUILLAMOUNDEGUY (FRA) and Palmer JACKSON (USA) who share 3rd on -10.

Jackson, who benefited from a hole-in-one on the 3rd hole, was one of four players to shoot 68 (-3), the low round of the day.

The average score in Round 3 was 72.68 reflecting the more challenging conditions.

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SBIA 2021 Round 3 Top 20 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Callan BARROW (ENG) is now the leading GB&I player. He will start the final round tied 7th on -7 after a 70 in Round 3.

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) -5 slipped back into a tie for 18th place with a 1-over round of 72. 

Callum BRUCE (SCO) and John GOUGH (ENG) are tied 27th on -4, Frank KENNEDY (ENG) -3 tied 34th, Jake HIBBERT (ENG) -2 tied 42nd and Josef HACKER (ENG) Ev tied 56th.

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SBIA 2021 GB&I Round 3 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

ME.

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20th December 2021 – Round 2 

23 year old Finigan TILLY (USA), a Graduate Student at University of California, Berkeley, backed up his opening round with a 65 (-6) at Miami Beach, a score which included eight birdies.

Tilly now enjoys a 2-shot lead over Clay AMLUNG (USA) -10 with Michael BRENNAN (USA), Oihan GUILLAMOUNDEGUY (FRA), Jack PARKER (USA) and Jack TURNER (USA) 1-shot further back on -9.

Both Guillamoundeguy and Turner are just 17 years old.

Wake Forest’s Brennan shot a best of the day 64 (-7) at Miami Beach whilst Kevin HUFF (USA) recorded a 62 (-8) to take the Day 2 low scoring honours at Normandy Shores. Huff bounced back superbly from an opening 74 (+3) at Miami Beach to move into the Top 20.

The average Round 2 score at Miami Beach (par 71) was 71.73 with Normandy Shores (par 70) coming in at 69.45. On a near perfect day for golf these scores were slightly lower than we saw in Round 1.

85 players made the cut which fell at 140 (-1), the lowest level in the tournament’s history.  

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SBIA 2021 Round 2 Top 20 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) and Callan BARROW (ENG) both enjoyed good rounds at Miami Beach to move on to -6 overall. They will now start Round 3 well placed in tied 12th.

John GOUGH (ENG) and Frank KENNEDY (ENG) are tied 29th on -4 after a 68 at Normandy Shores and 71 at Miami Beach respectively.

Callum BRUCE (SCO) and Josef HACKER (ENG), tied 40th, both delivered at Miami Beach to comfortably make the cut on -3.

Jake HIBBERT (ENG) was the final GB&I player to make the cut coming in on the 140 (-1) mark.

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SBIA 2021 GB&I Round 2 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

ME.

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19th December 2021 – Round 1 

Oihan GUILLAMOUNDEGUY (FRA), Jean-Philippe PARR (CAN) and Finigan TILLY (USA) share the Round 1 lead after recording impressive 64 (-6) scores at the easier Normandy Shores course. Guillamoundeguy and Tilly recorded seven birdies in their rounds while Parr added an eagle to his five.

Tyler GOECKE‘s (USA) 67 (-4) was the best score on day 1 at Miami Beach.

The average Round 1 score at Miami Beach (par 71) was 72.03 with Normandy Shores (par 70) coming in at 70.21.  

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SBIA 2021 Round 1 Top 20 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

In addition to Finigan Tilly, Frank KENNEDY (ENG) -4 NS tied 7th, Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) -3 NS tied 17th, Callan BARROW (ENG) NS, John GOUGH (ENG) MB & Luke HARRIES (WAL) NS all -2 tied 29th and Callum BRUCE (SCO) NS & Jake HIBBERT (ENG) MB -1 tied 52 have all made encouraging under par starts.

Gough and Hibbert can be particularly pleased having started their tournaments at Miami Beach.

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SBIA 2021 GB&I Round 1 Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

ME.

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19th December 2021

The 11th South Beach International Amateur (SBIA) will be played between 19th-22nd December 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida (GMT -5 hours).

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First played in 2011 the SBIA has quickly become one of the world’s leading amateur golf competitions. The SPWAR continues to rate it as as having the 5th best field on the amateur calendar.  

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic rearing its ugly head again in recent weeks the field appears to be strong with a number of leading GB&I and other international players competing alongside some top USA talent. 

Format

The SBIA is a 72 hole stroke play competition played over four days.

18 holes are played at both Miami Beach G.C. and the nearby Normandy Shores G.C. by the full field of 210 players over the first two days.

After a top 72 and ties cut the final 36 holes are played exclusively at Miami Beach over the remaining two days.

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Miami Beach Golf Club

Players

210 players have paid the $410 entry fee and will contest the 2021 SBIA.

17 golfers from Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) are in this year’s starting field, a number of whom are studying at U.S. colleges. The highest number to date was 19 in 2018.

I’ve listed all of this year’s GB&I entries below (in alphabetical order) along with their current SPWAR (as at 19th December): –

Sam BAIRSTOW (ENG) #51
Callan BARROW (ENG) #144
Marc BOUCHER (IRL) #302
Callum BRUCE (SCO) #133
Paul CONROY (IRL) #413
John GOUGH (ENG) #77
Josef HACKER (ENG) #739
Luke HARRIES (WAL) #480
Jake HIBBERT (ENG) #2,302
Jon HOPKINS (ENG) #775
Frank KENNEDY (ENG) #516
Andrew NI (SCO) #276
Joe PAGDIN (ENG) #147
Jamie ROBERTS (SCO) #1,167
Niall SHIELS DONEGAN (SCO) #715
Harley SMITH (ENG) #158
Joe SULLIVAN (ENG) #564

Other players in the SPWAR Top 150 competing include (in rank order): –

Karl VILIPS (AUS) #31
Matthew SHARPSTENE (USA) #32
Palmer JACKSON (USA) #40
Garrett BARBER (USA) #43
Michael BRENNAN (USA) #46
Ben CARR (USA) #56
John BUTLER (USA) #68
Ryan GERARD (USA) #76
Cade BREITENSTINE (USA) #78
Marco FLORIOLI (ITA) #82
Mark GOETZ (USA) #83
Tom VAILLANT (FRA) #88
Aman GUPTA
 (USA) #95
Julien SALE
 (FRA) #101
Ben JAMES (USA) #103
Josh GILKISON (USA) #146
A. Segundo OLIVA (ARG) #147
Noah NORTON (USA) #147

Courses

Both courses were designed by Arthur Hills and play to around 6,800 yards.

They are typical Florida layouts with numerous lakes coming into play throughout the 18 holes. As a result scores can be high if the wind blows – which it frequently does here.

Normandy Shores plays to a par of 70 and Miami Beach a par of 71 during the tournament.

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Normandy Shores Golf Club

Weather Forecast (as at 19th December)

The weather generally looks good for the duration of the 2021 event albeit the wind seems to be swirling around on a daily basis this week.

Sun 19th Dec. – Sunny Intervals / Wind 12 mph N / Temp. Min. 18°C, Max. 28°C.
Mon  20th Dec – Sunny / Wind 9 mph E / Temp. Min. 19°C, Max. 27°C.
Tue 21st Dec – Sunny with PM Showers / Wind 16 mph SW / Temp. Min. 17°C, Min 27°C.
Wed 22nd Dec – Sunny Intervals / Wind 14 mph NW / Temp. Min. 11°C, Max. 24°C.

SBIA Website Links

Click here to view the – SBIA 2021 Leaderboard

Click here to view the – SBIA 2021 Pairings

Click here to view the – SBIA Website

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

2020 South Beach International Amateur

Cole HAMMER (USA) won the 2020 South Beach International Amateur by 5-shots with a record breaking 267 (-16) total. 

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Cole Hammer (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Pierre VIALLANEIX (FRA) -11 finished second with Kelly CHINN (USA) and Zach TAYLOR (USA) -9 tieing for third place.

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SBIA 2020 Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Archie DAVIES (WAL) -4 was the highest placed GB&I player in tied 15th in what proved to be a largely disappointing event for our entrants. 

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SBIA GB&I 2020 Final Results (Photo: southbeachinternationalamateur.com)

Click here to view the complete 2020 Final Results – SBIA 2020 Leaderboard

Historic Results

Here is a list of past winners and the 36 hole cut marks for each year: –

2020 – Cole HAMMER (USA) -16 / Cut Ev
2019 – Ben SHIPP (USA) -2 / Cut +8
2018 – Pierceson COODY (USA) -11 / Cut +3
2017 – Jacob BERGERON (USA) -3 / Cut Ev
2016 – Danny WALKER (USA) -4 / Cut +1
2015 – Jorge GARCIA (VEN) -5 / Cut +6
2014 – Gabriel LENCH (USA) -4 / Cut +3
2013 – Greg EASON (ENG) -5 / Cut +6
2012 – Juan Pablo HERNANDEZ (MEX) -10 / Cut +3
2011 – Kelly KRAFT (USA) -4 / Cut +11

ME.

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

 

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

Friday 17th September 2021 – Day 3 Matches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Screenshot 2021-09-17 at 19.19.18

Screenshot 2021-09-17 at 19.20.10

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Scotland v. Wales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ireland v. England

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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Thursday 16th September 2021 – Day 2 Matches

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

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

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

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

England v. Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wales v. Ireland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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Wednesday 15th September 2021 – Day 1 Matches

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

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

England v. Wales

England beat Wales in today’s opening match.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scotland v. Ireland

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

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Ireland edged the morning Foursomes 3-2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

ME.

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9th September 2021

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

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

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

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

The Competition

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

The competition was first played in 1932.

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

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

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

Format

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

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

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

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

Since 1952 the winning team has received The Raymond Trophy.

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

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The Raymond Trophy (Photo: Ayrshire Golf Blog)

2021 Players

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Venue – Hankley Common Golf Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2021 Weather Forecast (as at 14th September)

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

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

2019 Men’s Home Internationals

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

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

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The England Team (Photo: Nigel Edwards)

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

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

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

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

Historic Results

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

ME.

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

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)

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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)

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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)

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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.