Top amateurs follow their dreams

TOP players from across the country will head to Lancashire next week, following their golfing dreams to the English men’s amateur championship.

The six-day championship starts on Tuesday when the 288 competitors begin two rounds of stroke play qualifying at Formby and Hesketh.

After Wednesday’s second round the leading 64 players and ties will go head to head in the match play stages of the championship, which will be played at Formby. The 36-hole final will be on Sunday, August 5.

It’s an opportunity to see some of the country’s finest golfing talent, with notable players including Gloucestershire’s Mitch Waite (Filton), who  leads the England Golf order of merit.

He’s been runner-up in the European amateur and the Lytham Trophy, a semi-finalist in the British amateur, the winner of the Hampshire Salver – and helped England to a European silver medal.

Another member of the European team was Yorkshire’s Nick Poppleton (Wath) who will seek a rare double, having already won the English men’s open strokeplay – the Brabazon Trophy.

Other names to watch include Yorkshire’s David Hague (Malton and Norton), who was also in the silver medal-winning European team. Meanwhile his county colleague Bailey Gill (Lindrick) and Dorset’s Tom Plumb (Sherborne) are both in the top five on the order of merit.

There’s plenty of young talent too, with Joe Sullivan (Chartham Park) and Dubai-based Josh Hill among those moving straight on from this week’s Carris Trophy, where they are making a low-scoring impact.

The courses will be both a treat and a challenge for the players. Formby is one of the world’s top championship links courses and has hosted the Amateur Championship on more than one occasion, the Curtis Cup and the Arnold Palmer Cup. Hesketh is also highly regarded and has hosted Open qualifying, the Junior Open and co-hosted the Amateur Championship.



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