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.
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.
It was another lovely day in North Devon. The sun shone and little more than a gentle breeze blew across the links of Saunton.
Whilst the hearts of the spectators hoped for an English winner those who had been watching Maas on the previous days knew in their heads that was probably not going to be the case.
A confident Christiaan MAAS (RSA) ended any doubts quickly, birdieing four of his opening six holes to extend his lead from one shot to six and thus take complete control of the Championship. At no point thereafter did he look likely to lose it either.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the South African as he started to push a few drives as the round progressed and hit a number of long approaches which left him scrambling. His up and down from the hay 60 yards over the 12th, where the green was running away from him, was world class and his recovery from the rough over the dog leg on 16 also noteworthy. In summary any fires were quickly extinguished with minimum fuss or histrionics.
Christiaan Maas Tees Off On The 1st Hole (Video: GolfBible)
Christiaan Maas Holes Out On The 18th Hole (Video: GolfBible)
Arron EDWARDS-HILL (ENG) heading out at 12.40pm with the leader would have been hoping to apply some early pressure but four bogeys on the front nine in effect did the opposite. It was to his credit that he steadied the ship and improved considerably on the back nine. A missed short putt on the par 3 15th was the only shot he really left out there. Nevertheless a 2nd place finish at the Brabazon represents an amateur career high for the Chelmsford man.
To the disappointment of the hosts, England Golf, Sam BAIRSTOW also hit reverse at the wrong time. Sam didn’t seem to have his A-game over the weekend and whilst he battled hard and put up a stout defence of the title his putter was cold and he just couldn’t get anything to happen.
Matt MCCLEAN, a 28 year old optician from Northern Ireland, enjoyed a very good Championship, his weekend rounds of 67 and 68 matching those of Maas. The Malone player is in great form and currently seems to be featuring at the top end of every competition he enters. He currently looks a certainty for the GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team that will play the Continent of Europe in July.
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.
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.
George Henriques Salver Results (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)
Click here to view the – 2022 Brabazon Trophy Results
21st May 2022
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.
Round 3 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)
20th May 2022
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.
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.
Round 2 Leaderboard (Graphic: England Golf / Golf Genius)
19th May 2022
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.
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.
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.
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).
Saunton Golf Club (Photo: Saunton G.C.)
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.
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.
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)
The Winner receives the magnificent gold Brabazon Trophy shown below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 notable recent winners include well known pros Ignacio GARRIDO (1992), Peter HANSON (1998) and Charl SCHWARTZEL (2002).
Copyright © 2014-2022, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.