The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2017 Preview, Reports & Results

11th June 2017

Royal Liverpool’s Matthew JORDAN continued his amazing run of form by today winning the St. Andrews Links Trophy.

Matthew Jordan (Photo: Kenny Smith)

He must now be assured of a place in the 2017 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team.

Final day rounds of 69 and 70 took Matthew to a finishing total of -11. He bogeyed the last two holes in round 4 as he played in conservatively.

JR GALBRAITH (IRE) shot 70 and 71 (-10) to secure second place with Ben FERGUSON (AUS) finishing 3rd on -9.

From a GB&I perspective there were also encouraging results for Laird SHEPHERD (-8) 4th, David BOOTE (-8) 6th, Liam JOHNSTON (-6) 7th , Gian-Marco PETROZZI (-5) 8th and Jack DAVIDSON (-5) 9th.

Click here to view the – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Results

ME.

___________________________________________________________

10th June 2017

JR GALBRAITH (IRE) retained his 1 shot advantage over the field with a 71 (-1) over the Old Course.

Six players are 1 shot back on -6. These include Matthew JORDAN (ENG) 68 and Jamie STEWART (SCO) 71.

Recent Brabazon Trophy winner Kyle MCCLATCHIE (RSA) 69 moved up into tied 8th place on -5, alongside the impressive Alejandro TOSTI (ARG).

English pair Bradley MOORE (66) and Laird SHEPHERD (67) shot the best two rounds of the day to get their tournaments back on track. They’ll both start the final day on -2.

Colm CAMPBELL (IRE), Robin DAWSON (IRE) both -4 , Craig HOWIE (SCO) -3, David BOOTE (WAL), Liam JOHNSTON (SCO), Alfie PLANT (ENG) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) all -2, Robert MACINTYRE (SCO), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) both -1 and Jack DAVIDSON (WAL) Ev also made the cut and will be hoping to boost their Walker Cup claims tomorrow.

Unfortunately Connor SYME (SCO) had to withdrawal early in his second round due to a severe migraine.

The Top 40 and Ties cut fell at Even par with a total of 45 players progressing.

With 32 players on -2 or better, i.e. within 5 shots of the lead, an exciting final day’s play appears guaranteed.

ME.

___________________________________________________________

9th June 2017

Day 1 of the the St. Andrews Links Trophy on the Jubilee Course was dominated by the weather. A rainy and windy morning giving way to improved conditions in the afternoon enabling the later starters to shoot some impressive numbers.

Having started with two bogeys Ireland’s JR GALBRAITH reeled off 8 birdies in his remaining 16 holes to shoot a best of the day 66. His -6 total being good enough for a 1-shot lead over David MICHELUZZI (AUS) and Claudio CONSUL (GER).

On a good day for GB&I Walker Cup hopefuls, Craig HOWIE, Robin DAWSON (both 69 -3), Matthew JORDAN, Jack SINGH BRAR (all 70 -2), Jake BURNAGE, Jack DAVIDSON, Liam JOHNSTON, Robert MACINTYRE and Connor SYME, (all 71 -1) also finished round 1 in the Top 25.

ME.

7th June 2017

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 9th June in the 29th St. Andrews Links Trophy.

This Championship has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article. The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997.

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 normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses at St. Andrews in early June.

After various National Golf Union nominations the field is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year Round 1 will be played on the Jubilee Course and Round 2 on the Old Course.

Following a top 40 and ties cut the leading players will play 36 holes on the Old Course on Sunday.

The Jubilee Course plays 6,742 yards to a par of 72. The front nine is 3,238 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 266 yards longer also with a par of 36.

Jubilee Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

Old Course Scorecard (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.

Ties for other places are 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

The start sheet can be viewed here – 2017 St Andrews Links Trophy Rounds 1 and 2 draws

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed the Links Trophy 6th in its 2016 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field. The 2017 field is impressive so there is no reason to think it will be any lower in this year’s list.

18 of the 21 members of the GB&I Walker Cup squad are in action this weekend. Many of them drawn together in the opening rounds to help the selectors follow them all closely. David BOOTE (WAL), Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Craig HOWIE (SCO), Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) and Connor SYME (SCO) will all be looking to continue their good play whilst the others will be hoping to kick start their selection claims.

Of the missing trio Scott GREGORY (ENG) is preparing for the US Open and Stuart GREHAN (IRE) is competing in the Arnold Palmer Cup in Atlanta.

Other GB&I players who have been doing well this year, like Jake BURNAGE (ENG), Josh HILLEARD (ENG), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG), Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG) and Jamie STEWART (SCO), are all playing.

The attraction of St. Andrews ensures a strong overseas entry. Players of particular interest to me this year are Harrison ENDYCOTT (AUS), Min Woo LEE (AUS – 2016 US Junior Amateur champion), Kyle MCCLATCHIE (RSA), David MICHELUZZI (AUS), Travis SMYTH (AUS), Alejandro TOSTI (ARG – Florida University) and Albert VENTER (RSA).

Weather Forecast (as at Wed 7th June)

Fri     9th June – Showers. Wind 13mph SW. Temp. Max. 16°C / Min 10°C.
Sat   10th June – Showers. Wind 13mph SE. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 13°C.
Sun 11th June – Showers. Wind 18mph SW. Temp. Max. 17°C / Min 11°C.

Tee times in Rounds 1 and 2 start at 7.00am and end at 3.10pm so as with any links course the draw could play a big part in the outcome.

Prizes

The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500.

The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.

Reducing cash 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 event.

2016 Event

In something of a surprise Ireland’s Conor O’Rourke won the 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy with a magnificent performance that saw him lead from start to finish.  

Conor O'Rourke St Andrews Links Trophy 2016

 Conor O’Rourke (Photo: Kenny Smith / @TheHomeofGolf)

Conor shared the lead after a round 1 65 on the New Course and followed it up with rounds of 69, 71 and 70 on the Old to pick up by far the biggest title of his amateur career with a 275 (-12) total.

Prior to play commencing O’Rourke was ranked 1,245th in the SPWAR. He was a higher 549th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Home players Sandy SCOTT (-11), who is the 2017 field, and Ewen Ferguson (-10) pushed the Naas man hard eventually picking up 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.

Click here to view the full results – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Results 

Appendix – Past Winners & Notable Past Performances

As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2016  Conor O’Rourke (IRE) 275
2015  Federico Zucchetti (ITA) 214 (54 holes only)
2014  Grant Forrest (SCO) 278 (after play-off)
2013  Neil Raymond (ENG) 282
2012  Daan Huizing (NED) 264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011  Tom Lewis (ENG) 279
2010  Matthew Southgate (ENG) 275
2009  Alan Dunbar (N.I.) 285
2008  Keir McNicoll (SCO) 283
2007  Llewellyn Matthews (WAL) 273
2006  Oliver Fisher (ENG) 280
2005  Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 275
2004  Jamie McLeary (SCO) 284
2003  Richard Finch (ENG) 276
2002  Simon MacKenzie (SCO) 289
2001  Steven O’Hara (SCO) 281
2000  Matthew King (ENG) 140 (36 holes only)
1999  David Patrick (SCO) 152 (36 holes only)
1998  Craig Watson (SCO) 276
1997  Justin Rose (ENG) 284
1996  Barclay Howard (SCO) 282
1995  Graham Rankin (SCO) 276
1994  Barclay Howard (SCO) 294
1993  Garry Hay (SCO) 280
1992  Craig Watson (SCO) 281
1991  Ricky Willison (ENG) 289
1990  Stuart Bovier (AUS) 280
1989  Russell Claydon (ENG) 284

Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

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 last year Federico Zucchetti from Italy.

Huizing, who had won the 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 © 2015-2017, Mark Eley. All Rights Reserved.

SaveSave

SaveSave

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2016 Preview & Results

5th June 2016

Ireland’s Conor O’Rourke won the 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy with a magnificent performance. He showed admirable composure, mental strength and no shortage of golf game to lead from the front throughout the event.

Conor O'Rourke St Andrews Links Trophy 2016

Conor O’Rourke (Photo: @TheHomeofGolf / Kenny Smith)

Conor shared the lead after a round 1 65 on the New Course and followed it up with rounds of 69, 71 and 70 on the Old to pick up by far the biggest title of his amateur career with a 275 (-12) total.

Prior to play commencing O’Rourke was ranked 1,245th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR). He was a higher 549th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). His starting odds were amongst the highest at 250-1 to win the Links Trophy. His surprise win lifted him to 193rd in the SPWAR and he is now the 7th highest ranked Irishman in that list.

Home players Sandy Scott (-11) and Ewen Ferguson (-10) also played very well to pick up 2nd and 3rd spots in what was a stellar field. The SPWAR moved Scott up to 56th from 177th and Ferguson up to 69th from 170th.

Click here to view the full results – Links Trophy Results

1st June 2016

144 golfers from 21 different countries will tee off on Friday 3rd June in the 28th St. Andrews Links Trophy, a 3-day Championship which has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.

The Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) placed it 6th in it’s 2015 Amateur Tournament Ranking based on the strength of it’s field.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article. The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997. Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998), the current Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup captain, and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.

Interestingly given the cosmopolitan nature of the field the 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 last year Federico Zucchetto from Italy.

Huizing, who had won the 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.

Competition Format
The Links Trophy is a 72 hole stroke play competition normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses on the first weekend in June. The Jubilee is occasionally used if The Open is being played at St. Andrews later in the summer as was the case last year.

Entry, which cost £60 and closed at the end of April, was open to golfers whose handicap did not exceed scratch (0.4). After various National Golf Union nominations the ‘ballot’ is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is normally the case.

This year round 1 will be played on the New Course and round 2 on the Old Course. Following a top 40 and ties cut the leading players will play 36 holes on the Old on Sunday.

The New Course plays 6,625 yards to a par of 71. The front nine is 3,270 yards long with a par of 36 whilst the tougher back nine is 85 yards longer but with a par of 35.

The Old Course is 6,721 yards off the white tees and has a par of 72. Both nines have a par of 36 and have similar yardages – the front is 3,336 yards long whilst the back is a little longer at 3,385 yards.

St. Andrews Scorecards

Scorecards for the Old and New Courses (Photo: St. Andrews Links Trust)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score. In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18. Ties for other places are 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 2016 Field
The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2016 St. Andrews Links Trophy Draw.

The field is impressive with many highly ranked players competing. Teams come in force from both Australia and South Africa and with the US College season all but done most of the top GB&I players will also be on show.

With around 15 leading US golfers about to turn pro this week a good result in St. Andrews will really propel some players up the amateur rankings.

With such a strong field almost any of the entrants could lift the title this year. However, the players of particular note (with their nationality and SPWAR* shown in brackets) are: –

Jack Hume (IRE / 13) – the highest ranked played in the field who has enjoyed a superb season to date highlighted by wins in both the South African Amateur and European Nations. He finished T6 last year.

Grant Forrest (SCO / 22) – in form winner of the Battle Trophy at Crail with strong recent performances in the Lytham Trophy (T5) and last week’s Scottish Open Amateur (T2). Winner of the Links Trophy in 2014.

Harrison Endycott (AUS / 29) – a superb home season with recent wins in the Lake Macquarie Amateur, Avondale Amateur, Riversdale Cup and South Australia Amateur Classic. It will be interesting to see how he fairs in Britain this summer.

Connor Syme (SCO / 31) – winner of the Australian Amateur with solid form since returning back to Europe. T7 at the Irish Amateur and 5th at last week’s Scottish Open Amateur. Now pushing Forrest hard for the Scottish No. 1 spot. He finished T3 last year.

Jamie Bower (ENG / 35) – ran up the SPWAR after a superb early season run of results in South Africa but hasn’t quite found the same form since returning home. T18 in the Lytham Trophy being the highlight of his recent play.

Travis Smyth (AUS / 48) – runner-up in this year Australian Amateur with solid 2016 form. Can take confidence from his T17 finish last week at Gullane in the Scottish Open Amateur.

Cameron John (AUS / 49) – any 17 year old with two overseas men’s wins to their name already has to be respected. Winner of the Argentina Amateur and more impressively the Scottish Open Amateur in 2016.

Albert Venter (RSA / 50) – winner of the inaugural African Amateur earlier this year with five other Top 5’s to his name this season.  I’ve picked out Albert but could have easily chosen any of his compatriots Jovan Rebula (46), Aubrey Beckley (54), Tristen Strydom (59), James du Preez (62), Jason Smith (97) or Andre Nel (109).  Having completed their busy home season the South African’s arrive with good competitive experience like the Australians. It will be interesting to see if any of them can really break through away from home and justify their seasonally high SPWARs.

Craig Ross (SCO / 52) – winner of the 2016 South African Amateur and Edward Trophy back home in Scotland.

Kyle McClatchie (RSA / 63) – I picked out Kyle as the other South African to watch because of his T8 and T9 finishes in the French International Amateur and Scottish Open Amateur respectively in recent weeks.

Robert MacIntyre (SCO / 69) – Winner of the Scottish Champion of Champions event having left McNeese State University in the US. Finished T11 in this event last year.

Marco Penge (ENG / 76) – must start as one of the favourites after his T4 at the Irish Amateur and 2nd in the French International Amateur. Marco did not defend his Scottish Open Amateur title last week choosing instead to caddie for his girlfriend, Sophie Lamb, at the St. Rule Trophy. With the St. Rule being played on the New and Old Courses at St. Andrews he should certainly be well prepared.

Alfie Plant (ENG / 79) – something of a late bloomer in modern terms but now right at the top table after his superb 2016 Lytham Trophy win. Led England in their victory over France at Formby and followed it up with a T11 at the France International Amateur so clearly maintaining his form. Won’t be lacking for support either.

Ugo Coussaud (FRA / 85) – experienced and proven winner with a T2 at Lytham and a T11 in France by way of recent form.

Craig Howie (SCO / 90) – improving Scotsman who is clearly in good form with a 2nd place at the Welsh Open Amateur and a 4th at the Scottish Open Amateur in recent weeks.

Colm Campbell (IRE / 96) – the 2016 Irish Amateur Open champion can be expected to give a good account of himself.

* The SPWAR quoted above were accurate as at 31st May 2016.

Other players that I would not be surprised to see feature given their recent performances are Bradley Moore (ENG / 103), Stuart Grehan (IRE / 105), Federico Zucchetti (ITA / 127 – reigning champion), Grégoire Schoeb (FRA / 178), Jon-Ross Galbraith (IRE / 188 – who finished T3 last year), Sandy Scott (SCO / 188) and Barry Hume (SCO / 268).

Guido Migliozzi (ITA) was a late withdrawal whilst Mathias Eggenberger (SUI), Mario Galiano (ESP) and Ivan Cantero (ESP) are all playing on the European Challenge Tour in Switzerland.

Betting Odds
SkyBET have today posted the following St. Andrews Links Trophy Outright odds.

As they are removed from their website when play starts I have taken photos of them so we can look back once the results are known.

St Andrews Links 2016 SkyBET 1

St Andrews Links 2016 SkyBET 2

Weather Forecast (as at Wed 1st June, 7.00pm)
Fri 3rd June – Light Cloud. Wind 6 mph N. Max. 14°C / Min 11°C.
Sat 4th June – Sunny. Wind 14 mph NE. Max. 13°C / Min 9°C.
Sun 5th June – Sunny. Wind 9 mph E. Temp. Max. 13°C / Min 8°C.

Prizes
The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and a cheque for £500. The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals. Reducing cash 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 event.

Appendix – Past Winners
As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2015 Federico Zucchetti (ITA) 214 (54 holes only)
2014 Grant Forrest (SCO) 278 (after play-off)
2013 Neil Raymond (ENG) 282
2012 Daan Huizing (NED) 264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011 Tom Lewis (ENG) 279
2010 Matthew Southgate (ENG) 275
2009 Alan Dunbar (N.I.) 285
2008 Keir McNicoll (SCO) 283
2007 Llewellyn Matthews (WAL) 273
2006 Oliver Fisher (ENG) 280
2005 Lloyd Saltman (SCO) 275
2004 Jamie McLeary (SCO) 284
2003 Richard Finch (ENG) 276
2002 Simon MacKenzie (SCO) 289
2001 Steven O’Hara (SCO) 281
2000 Matthew King (ENG) 140 (36 holes only)
1999 David Patrick (SCO) 152 (36 holes only)
1998 Craig Watson (SCO) 276
1997 Justin Rose (ENG) 284
1996 Barclay Howard (SCO) 282
1995 Graham Rankin (SCO) 276
1994 Barclay Howard (SCO) 294
1993 Garry Hay (SCO) 280
1992 Craig Watson (SCO) 281
1991 Ricky Willison (ENG) 289
1990 Stuart Bovier (AUS) 280
1989 Russell Claydon (ENG) 284

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Women Members – The R&A and Augusta National GC

This is a rolling piece where I am trying to keep track of the women members of both The R&A and Augusta National Golf Club.

To date there are eight articles / updates below: –

6th April 2019

The inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur revealed that the Club had recently taken on its sixth female member.

Heidi UEBERROTH (52) was seen sporting a green jacket on the grounds during the competition. Mrs. Ueberroth is a Director of the Pebble Beach Company and Electronic Arts. She is formerly an executive at the National Basketball Association. She is an accomplished golfer too.

img_0496

Heidi Ueberroth

ME.

8th April 2018

I thought I should branch out and start keeping a track of the women members at Augusta National Golf Club (ANGC), the home of The Masters, too.

Like The R&A and other exclusive Clubs Augusta National does not as a rule make formal announcements concerning new members. Both Clubs did of course do so when admitting their first female members.

On 20th August 2012 Condoleezza RICE (b.14/11/54) and Darla MOORE (b. 01/08/54) were announced as the first two women to be admitted to the ANGC membership.

Chairman Billy Payne said at the time “These accomplished women share our passion for the game and both are well known and respected by our membership”.

Rice was very well known from her days in international politics, serving in high office under President George W. Bush. She was the 20th United States National Security Adviser (2001-05) and 66th Secretary of State (2005-09).

img_8976

Condoleezza Rice

Darla Moore was a less well known South Carolina financier and philanthropist. A billionaire partner in private investment firm Rainwater Inc she was the first women to grace the front cover of Fortune magazine. Her husband, who passed away in September 2015, introduced her to the game and she was a long time friend of former ANGC Chairman William “Hootie” Johnson (1998-2006).

img_8975

Darla Moore

Johnson was Chairman when the ANGC’s male only membership policies were first brought under the microscope in 2002 by Martha Burk, the head of the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO). The debate lasted for a few months but Johnson held firm. He said ” Our membership is single gender just as many organisations and clubs across America. These would include junior leagues, sororities, fraternities, boy scouts, girl scouts and countless others. And we all have a moral and legal right to organise our clubs the way we wish”.

Following the uproar two members resigned and pressure on corporate sponsors led to the 2003 and 2004 Masters tournaments being broadcast without commercials.

The pressure for women members next came to prominence in 2011 when Chairman Billy Payne was asked to explain the Club’s decision not to offer Ginni Rometty, the recently appointed CEO of IBM, membership – every previous holder of this role having been been invited to join ANGC. IBM is a long term generous sponsor of The Masters and this arrangement was said to be part of the deal, as it is with other corporate partners Exxon Mobil and AT&T.

In 2011 the International Olympic Committee discussed ANGC’s male only membership as part of their considerations as to whether golf should be re-admitted to the 2016 Rio Games. The Olympic criteria included the words “sport practiced without discrimination”.

In 2012 two gender discrimination lawsuits brought by the NCWO against companies associated with ANGC led to $79m settlement payments and bans for the companies from entertaining at or in conjunction with facilities that discriminate on the basis or race or gender.

Not unexpectedly Virginia “Ginni” ROMETTY (b. 29/07/57) became the third women member of ANGC in 2014. She is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of IBM. Understandably given her role Rometty is currently only an occasional golfer.

img_8977

Ginni Rometty

Diana M. MURPHY, the recently retired 64th USGA President, was seen sporting a green jacket ahead of the 2018 Masters and is therefore believed to be the fourth women member of ANGC. Many former USGA President’s have been invited to join ANGC after completing their terms of office including her husband Reg Murphy who served as President between 1994-96. New ANGC Chairman Fred Ridley is himself a former USGA President. Mrs. Murphy has a background in finance having being the Managing Director of private equity firm Rocksolid Holdings LLC.

img_8978

Diana Murphy

Finally Ana Patricia BOTÍN (57) was also reported to have joined Augusta National in early 2018. Botin is the Executive Chairman of Santander Bank, having taken over from her father Emilio. Her sister Carmen was married to Seve Ballesteros and coming from a golfing family she is a sound golfer.

img_0495

Ana Botín

ME.

______________________________________________

7th March 2018

Lally SEGARD (nee Vagliano), one of The R&A’s original female honorary members in February 2015, passed away aged 96 on 3rd March 2018.

Lally was one of France’s best amateur players winning numerous national and international titles. Amongst her honours she won the Girls British Open Amateur Championship (1937) and the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in (1950).

IMG_8829

Lally Segard (Photo: Golf De Saint-Cloud)

After her playing career had ended she successfully turned her attention to administration holding senior roles at the French Golf Federation, European Golf Association and the World Amateur Golf Council.

The number of women’s honorary members therefore has now fallen back to 8.

ME.

______________________________________________

20th February 2017

The R&A today announced that Bridget JACKSON MBE, Hon D.Sc. (Birmingham) and José María Olazábal had accepted invitations to become Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

Mrs. Jackson takes the number of current women honorary members to nine. The overall total is now eighteen.

Born in Birmingham, England in 1936, Jackson won the Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship in 1954 and two years later triumphed in the English Ladies Closed Championship and German Ladies Championship. She also won the Canadian Ladies Championship in 1967.

Bridget played in the Curtis Cup for Great Britain and Ireland on three occasions. Initially included as a reserve in the GB&I team for the 1958 Curtis Cup against the United States, the withdrawal of Philomena Garvey led to Jackson playing in the match for the first time, which was tied 4½ – 4½, at Brae Burn. Jackson would also play for GB&I in the Curtis Cup in 1964 and 1968, and the Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe on four occasions. In 1973 and 1975, she was the non-playing captain of winning GB&I teams in the Vagliano Trophy.

She was selected as an England international nine times. In 1964, Jackson was selected as playing captain by England to play in the first ever Espirito Santo Trophy at the World Amateur Team Championships, winning a bronze medal. She also won the Home Internationals with England on six occasions.

Bridget Jackson (Photo: The R&A)

Following a successful playing career, Jackson became a talented golf administrator and was chair of the English Ladies Golf Association from 1971-72 and President from 1993-95. She became President of the Ladies’ Golf Union in 1998 and subsequently an Honorary Vice-President. She has also been President of Handsworth Golf Club and Royal St David’s Golf Club. She was made a MBE in 2003 for her services to women’s golf.

She said, “I am delighted to accept this invitation to become an Honorary Member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. I have been fortunate to be involved in golf throughout my life and have always enjoyed being able to give something back to the game. I look forward to representing the club and playing my part in continuing its great tradition of supporting golf.”

Keith Macintosh, Captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, said, “I am very pleased to welcome Bridget Jackson and José María Olazábal as Honorary Members of the Club. Bridget has graced the game for many years as a fine amateur golfer and exceptional administrator, while José María is one of golf’s outstanding champions and has achieved notable success throughout his career as a player and as Ryder Cup captain. Both of them thoroughly deserve this recognition.”

A number of new Ordinary Members have also recently been omitted but details are currently scarce.

ME.

_______________________________________________

25th January 2016 

Ewan Murray of The Guardian today reported on the fact that The R&A’s female members have no changing room inside the famous St Andrews clubhouse which opened in 1854.

Women members use recently refurbished facilities in Forgan House, an R&A-owned building 100 yards away on The Links street. The R&A have explained that this is simply down to a lack of space and they have no immediate plans to rectify the situation.

Personally I find it hard to believe that any new women members will have complained about the situation given the short distance between the two buildings. It also appears that The R&A have done everything they can to make their new facilities as comfortable as possible.

Here is a link to the full story in The Guardian – ‘St Andrews Women Members Still Have No Changing Room In Main Clubhouse’

ME.

_______________________________________________

4th May 2016

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (The R&A) today announced, at the start of its Spring Meeting, that Sir Bob Charles ONZ, KNZM, CBE has become an Honorary Member.

Now 80 years old the New Zealander is best known for winning The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. in 1963.

He is the Club’s 16th male Honorary Member. There are now 8 female Honorary Members. All of them are listed in my articles below.

ME.

_______________________________________________

7th December 2015

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (The R&A) has today announced two new women Honorary Members.  As one would expect both ladies have made substantial contributions to golf as both players and administrators.

Marlene STEWART STREIT (CAN), aged 81, won 11 Canadian Ladies Open Amateurs, 9 Canadian Ladies Close Amateurs, 4 Canadian Ladies’ Seniors and 3 U.S. Senior Women’s Championships. She also won the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship in 1953, the U.S Women’s Amateur in 1956 and the Australian Women’s Amateur in 1963.  In 2004 she became Canada’s first member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Marlene Stewart Streit (Photo: Golf1.is)

Judy BELL (USA), aged 79, played in two Curtis Cup teams, 1960 and 1962, and also captained the team in 1986 and 1988. In 1996 she became the first woman to be named President of the USGA and in 2001 was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

img_7209

Judy Bell (Photo: USGA)

In the same announcement it was stated that, ‘A further eight women have also become (Ordinary) Members of the Club’.  The Club’s protocol is not to reveal the names of Ordinary Members.  However, Golf Digest have reported that they include Diana MURPHY, the recently nominated new President of the USGA (the second women President after Judy Bell), Jay MOTTLE, the executive director of the Metropolitan Golf Association, and Christie AUSTIN, a former USGA Executive Committee member.  Steve Scott in Scotland’s The Courier reported that Hazel IRVINE, a St. Andrews University graduate (and golfer) better known of course as a BBC sports presenter, and Diane BAILEY, the former amateur golfer and Curtis Cup captain and current President of the Ladies Golf Union, were also amongst the latest intake.

Since the original announcements in February both Honorary Member Louise SUGGS (7th August 2015) and Ordinary Member Patsy HANKINS (22nd October 2015) have sadly both died.

Therefore by my calculation the R&A now has 22 women members.

On 11th May 2015 Lady Angela BONALLACK became the first women member to represent the R&A in a match – she played in the annual friendly against the Links Trust. She also went on to win one of the R&A Spring Medals on 14th May 2015.

Claire DOWLING gave the 2015 new members address at the Annual Dinner held in September at the St. Andrews Fairmont Hotel. She now also sits on The Rules and Equipment Committee.

ME.

_____________________________________________

18th February 2015

On 10th February 2015 The R&A announced that Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Princess Royal (UK), Dame Laura DAVIES (UK), Renée POWELL (USA), Belle ROBERTSON MBE (UK), Lally SEGARD (FRA), Annika SÖRENSTAM (SWE) and Louise SUGGS (USA) had accepted invitations to become Honorary Members of the Club.

There was some irony in the inclusion of HRH The Princess Royal given her previous comments on the sport: “Golf seems to me to be an arduous way to go for a walk.  I prefer to take the dogs out”.

As an aside I can see Karrie WEBB (AUS) being added to this list relatively quickly after she retires from competitive play as her achievements and nationality clearly make her a worthy candidate too.

These seven ladies join the 15 male Honorary Members that the St. Andrews-based R&A already has. These include HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Duke of Kent, President George WH Bush, Peter Thompson CBE, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Roberto De Vicenzo, Tony Jacklin CBE, John Jacobs OBE, Peter Alliss and Sir Michael Bonallack.

This announcement followed The R&A’s historic vote in favour of admitting women as members in September 2014, overturning an all-male tradition that had been in existence for 260 years. The Club had been under pressure to reform itself from politicians and women campaign groups for a number of years prior to this.

On the same day a member communication from The R&A was leaked revealing that a further seven women had accepted invitations to become Ordinary Members. These were Lady Angela BONALLACK (UK), Claire DOWLING (IRE), Diane DUNLOP-HÉBERT (CAN), Patsy HANKINS (NZ), Martha LANG (US), Carol SEMPLE THOMPSON (USA) and Marion THANNHÄUSER (GER).

R&A Women Members

R&A Communication

In this communication Peter Dawson of The R&A stated that all of “These new (Ordinary) Members have made considerable contributions to the game of golf as players and / or administrators”. It also intimated that the Ordinary Members had been finalised before the Honorary ones thus suggesting that the second list contains the names of the first women members not the first as was understandably widely reported in the media.

At a press briefing last week The R&A’s Peter Dawson stated that no women had turned down invitations to join the existing 2,400 male members.

Traditionally the Club has bestowed Honorary membership on the Principal of St. Andrews University.  However, the current incumbent, Professor Louise Richardson was not included in the announcement.

Congratulations to the five R&A women members from Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I), HRH The Princess Royal, Dame Laura DAVIES, Lady Angela BONALLACK, Belle ROBERTSON and Claire DOWLING.

ME.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2015 Preview & Results

UPDATE – Italy’s Frederico Zucchetti (-2) won the 2015 Links Trophy with compatriot Filippo Campigli (-1) second.  The competition was reduced to 54-holes after strong winds saw Saturday’s Rd. 2 cancelled on the Jubilee Course.

Federico Zucchetti

Federico Zucchetti – 2015 Champion (Photo: @TheHomeOfGolf / Kenny Smith) 

—————————————————————————————–

4th June 2015

144 golfers from 22 different countries will tee off tomorrow in the 27th St. Andrews Links Trophy, a Championship which has quickly established itself as one of the ‘Majors’ in men’s amateur golf.  Played over three days the competition will finish this Sunday, 7th June.

A list of all the past winners can be found in an Appendix at the end of this article.  The most famous is Justin Rose who won the Links Trophy in 1997.  Only Craig Watson (1992 and 1998) and Barclay Howard (1994 and 1996) have won the title twice.  Interestingly given the cosmopolitan nature of the field the trophy has only been won by players from outside Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I) twice – Australia’s Stuart Bovier in 1990 and Daan Huizing from The Netherlands in 2012.  Huizing, who had won the Lytham Trophy by 11 shots just a few weeks earlier, set a scoring record of -23 (65 New, 64, 68 and 67 all Old) and won by an astonishing 14 shots.

Competition Format
The Links Trophy is a 72 hole stroke play competition normally played over a combination of the Old and New Courses on the first weekend in June.  Due to ongoing preparations for The Open the Jubilee is unusually being used for two rounds in 2015.

Entry, which cost £60 this year and closed at the end of April, was open to golfers whose handicap did not exceed scratch (0.4).  After various National Golf Union nominations the ‘ballot’ is determined by World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) rather than handicap as is more often the case.  This year, when the entries were finalised and ignoring nominations, the lowest qualifying player stood at 563rd in the WAGR list.

Days 1 and 2 will see a total of 36 holes contested on the Jubilee, a 6,742 yard par 72 course (white tees) that many believe to be the toughest across the whole Links. St Andrews Jubilee

Jubilee Course – St Andrews

Following a top 40 and ties cut the remaining players will contest a final day 36 holes on the Old, which plays 6,721 yards, again to a par of 72 (white tees).

With The Open being held at St. Andrews in 6 weeks time most of the stands and signage will be in place which will no doubt add to the event’s atmosphere this year.

IMG_3833

  The Old Course on 6th June 2015 (c. Mark Thistleton)

The winner will be the player who returns the lowest 72 hole score.  In the event of a tie a sudden death play-off will be held over holes 1 and 18.  Ties for other places are 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. St Andrews Scorecards

Scorecards for the Jubilee and Old Courses

The 2015 Field
The start sheet for Rounds 1 and 2 can be viewed here – 2015 St. Andrews Links Trophy Draw.

The field is impressive with many world renowned amateur players competing.  Teams come in force from the Commonwealth and with the US College season all but done virtually all of the top GB&I players will be on show.  You don’t normally travel from Australia or South Africa to an event in Scotland unless you have a bit of game !  Players of particular note this year, at least in terms of their high Scratch Players World Amateur ranking * (SPWAR – shown in brackets alongside nationality), are: –

Ryan Ruffels (AUS / 19) – Australian Boys champion in 2014 and 2015.
Cormac Sharvin (IRE / 21) – Recently placed at Lytham as well as the Irish and Scottish Amateurs.
Gary Hurley (IRE / 22) – finalist at the Spanish Amateur and 2015 Palmer Cup team member.
Romain Langasque (FRA / 26) – recent winner of the Southern Cross Invitational and Mouchy Cup.
Mario Galliano (ESP / 29) – early season winner of the Beleares Cup and European Nations event.
Lucas Herbert (AUS / 30) – finished 4th, setting a new CR, at last week’s Scottish Amateur.
Ashley Chesters (ENG / 32) – 2013 and 2014 European Amateur champion. 2nd in Welsh Amateur.
Nick Marsh (ENG / 35) – Top 10s in the West of England, Welsh and Scottish Amateurs in 2015.
Cameron Davis (AUS / 36) – 2015 Australian Amateur champion.
Grant Forrest (SCO / 44) – defending champion with solid 2015 US College form.
Ewen Ferguson (SCO / 47) – two wins in Scotland in 2015 and recent Top 5 at Irish & Scottish Ams.
Gavin Moynihan (IRE / 48) – 2013 Walker Cup player with welcome win at the Irish Amateur in May.
Ben Eccles (AUS / 57) – Top 10s in most of the big 2015 Australian amateur events.
Teaghan Gauche (RSA / 65) – Northern Open champion with a good home season behind him.
Jack Hume (IRE / 69) – greatearly season form overseas, albeit form has dipped a little back home.
Craig Ross (SCO / 73) – winner on the 2014 EuroPro Tour and is a consistent performer.
Jason Smith (RSA / 78) – South African SP champion in 2014 with sound 2015 form.
Mattias Eggenberger (SUI / 79) – Good experience in GB&I whilst a student at Stirling University.
Taylor MacDonald (AUS / 81) – 2014 Federal Amateur Open champion and 4th at Riversdale Cup.
Daniel Young (SCO / 82) – 2015 South African Amateur finalist and winner of the Battle Trophy. St Andrews Old couse

Old Course – St Andrews

Other players whose recent form also places them in the favourites bracket are: –

Dermot McElroy (IRE / 90) – West of Ireland champion, with top 10s at Lytham and in the Irish.
James Allan (ENG / 110) – winner of the Hampshire Salver, West of England and Lagonda.
Jimmy Mullen (ENG / 114) – good 2015 form culminating in a win at the Welsh Amateur.
Antonio Murdaca (AUS / 125) – 2015 Asia Pacific Amateur and South Australia Amateur champion.
Marco Penge (ENG / 126) – winner of the junior McEvoy Trophy and Scottish Amateur in 2015.
Ashton Turner (ENG / 144) – Darwin Salver winner. Top 10s – Duncan Putter, Lytham and Scottish.

* The SPWAR quoted were accurate as at 3rd June 2015.

You may also find it interesting to look through some betting odds for the St. Andrews Links Trophy – here’s the SkyBET assessment of the field.

Weather Forecast (@Thurs 4th June, 8.00am)
Fri 5th May – Overcast. Wind 16 mph. Max. 17°C / Min 8°C.
Sat 6th May – Partly Cloudy. Wind 28 mph. Max. 14°C / Min 7°C.
Sun 7th May – Partly Cloudy. Wind 21 mph. Temp. Max. 15°C / Min 6°C.

Prizes
The winner receives The St Andrews Links Trophy and this year a cheque for £500.  The runner-up and third place finisher also receive commemorative medals.  Reducing cash 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 event – this year played solely on the Jubilee.

Appendix – Past Winners
As one would expect for a competition held at the home of golf the list of past winner’s is impressive:-

2014  Grant Forrest (SCO)             278 (after play-off)
2013  Neil Raymond (ENG)           282
2012  Daan Huizing (NED)            264 (lowest 72 hole score)
2011  Tom Lewis (ENG)               279
2010  Matthew Southgate (ENG)  275
2009  Alan Dunbar (N.I.)               285
2008  Keir McNicoll (SCO)            283
2007  Llewellyn Matthews (WAL)  273
2006 Oliver Fisher (ENG)              280
2005  Lloyd Saltman (SCO)           275
2004  Jamie McLeary (SCO)         284
2003  Richard Finch (ENG)           276
2002  Simon MacKenzie (SCO)    289
2001  Steven O’Hara (SCO)          281
2000  Matthew King (ENG)           140 (36 holes only)
1999  David Patrick (SCO)           152 (36 holes only)
1998  Craig Watson (SCO)           276
1997  Justin Rose (ENG)            284
1996  Barclay Howard (SCO)       282
1995  Graham Rankin (SCO)        276
1994  Barclay Howard (SCO)       294
1993  Garry Hay (SCO)                280
1992  Craig Watson (SCO)           281
1991  Ricky Willison (ENG)          289
1990  Stuart Bovier (AUS)            280
1989  Russell Claydon (ENG)      284

Copyright © 2015, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

Charles B. Macdonald – A Short Profile

14th November 2014

Charles Blair Macdonald, a player, administrator and architect, was one of the leading figures in the establishment of golf in the United States.

As he was born on this day in 1855 I thought I would find out a bit more about him.  Here are the 10 key facts I discovered in a golfing life well led.

Charles B Macdonald

Charles B. Macdonald (1895)

1. Charles B. Macdonald was born on 14th November 1855  in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.  His father was Scottish and his mother Canadian.  He soon moved to Chicago where he grew up.

2. In 1872 at age 16, he was sent to St. Andrews University in Scotland where he started to play golf.  He took lessons from Old Tom Morris and played matches on the Old Course.

3. He returned to Chicago in 1874 and became a successful stockbroker.  Consumed with work he rarely played golf until his late 30’s.  He moved to Wall Street in New York in 1890 as his career progressed.

4. He built the first 18-hole course in the United States.  The first golf club, St. Andrews Golf Club, outside New York was established in 1888 by a small group of Scottish immigrants.  Macdonald brought the game to Chicago, establishing the Chicago Golf Club in 1892 and building a modest 9-hole course with the support of several business associates.  In 1893 he expanded it to 18-holes thus creating the first full length course in the US.  In 1895 the Club decided to move and Macdonald built a new 18-hole course at Wheaton, where they remain to this day.  The old course is now the site of a 9-hole club, Downers Grove.

5. He was a driving force in the founding of the United States Golf Association (USGA).  In Autumn 1894 he helped arrange a meeting of the leading clubs of the day to establish a national body – delegates from the Chicago GC, St. Andrew’s GC, The Country Club, Newport CC, and Shinnecock Hills GC attended.  The result was the formation of the USGA, whose primary purpose would be to administer a national championship.  Macdonald was named Vice President of the organisation.

6. He won the first U.S. Amateur championship, held in 1895 at the Newport Country Club.  He beat Charles Sands 12 & 11 in the final.  This remains the record winning margin.

7. He is often described as the “father of American golf course architecture”, as he went on to build many notable early courses.  His experience in Scotland enabled him to introduce a more sophisticated design approach with clear strategic thinking evident in his work.  In 1908/09 he part-funded, designed and built the National Golf Links Of America in Southampton, New York.  The course hosted the inaugural Walker cup in 1922 and more recently the 2013 match.  He continued to tweak the National for the rest of his life and it remains to this day one of the premier courses in the world of golf.  He subsequently started to collaborate with Seth Raynor and the two of them designed many other notable courses.

The National Links of America (Photo: Larry Lambrecht)

8. In 1928, Macdonald published ‘Scotland’s Gift: Golf’ a cornerstone book in any high quality golf library.  In it he discusses the spread of golf in the United States from its humble beginnings in the late 1880s to 1927, when there were more than 4,000 courses in the country.  He also talks about some of his golf courses and his design philosophy.

9. He died aged 83 on 21st April 1939.  The 75th anniversary of his passing was earlier this year.

10. In 2007 Macdonald was inducted as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, in the Lifetime Achievement category.

ME.