Follow the Scots at the Brabazon Trophy
A host of Scots are bidding for success south of the border after another big event on the domestic calendar teed off this morning at Walton Heath.
The Brabazon Trophy, the English Men's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, has been won by many famous players, including Sir Michael Bonallack, Sandy Lyle and Peter McEvoy.
In 2002, the South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 US Masters champion, also took the honours. Three years later, Craigielaw’s Lloyd Saltman took the title after his win at The Oxfordshire.
The event has been played annually since 1947 and is organized by the English Golf Union. The format is 72 hole stroke play contested over four days. After 36 holes the leading 60 competitors and ties play a further 36 holes over the final two days.
Of a strong Scottish contingent, South African Amateur champion Brian Soutar feels he is coming into a spell of form.
The Leven Golfing Society player reached the knockout stages of The Amateur Championship at Royal Troon last week before falling at the first hurdle.
“I’m looking forward to it. I played quite well at Troon and was just beaten by a guy playing better on the day,” he said of his loss to Aussie Jordan Zunic.
“I feel my game is progressing this year and I’m looking for a good week. I’ve got local final qualifying next week for The Open, so it’s a big few days. The Brabazon always has a good field and this one is equally good.”
The Scots are sure to be inspired by Craig Howie (Peebles) and Bradley Neil (Blairgowrie) who claimed a double triumph in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters in Kent last weekend.
No player has won two successive Brabazon Trophies for over 20 years. But Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire) will attempt to change that when he defends the title.
The last player to win back-to-back Brabazons was Gary Evans who shared top spot with Frenchman Olivier Edmond at Burnham & Berrow in 1990 and with Mark Pullan a year later at Hunstanton.
Home hope Craig Hinton, who knocked in-form Dutchman Dan Huizing out of The Amateur Championship and won the Welsh Open Stroke Play, and Spanish Amateur champion Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex) can also be counted among the favourites.
As well as the home nations, players from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Australia are represented.
Play began at 7am over Walton Heath’s Old Course this morning as a 153-strong field chase success.
Live scoring and news updates are available on the Championships Section of the England Golf website.