Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

No joy for Lancashire in Belfry showdown

LANCASHIRE gave it their best shot but Essex made a successful defence of the PGA in England and Wales Inter-County Championship at The Belfry to become the first team to win the tournament twice.

In doing so, they relied on the same line up of Jason Levermore, Brett Taylor and James Scade to claim the trophy and £4,000 first prize.

And the stage for their victory, the PGA National course at the four time Ryder Cup venue, was also the same.

The manner of their triumph, however, was at odds with the way the tournament reached its conclusion 12 months ago.

There was no need for a tension-laden play-off this time as the seven-shot advantage Essex established in the first of the two rounds proved decisive.

The tournament was theirs to lose and although Nottinghamshire and Surrey both posted better scores in the second round than the winners-elect, retrieving the deficit proved beyond them.

With the best two scores from each trio counting, Nottinghamshire, inspired by another sub-par round from Lee Clarke posted a two-under-par total to finish on one-over for the tournament. That was matched by Surrey who were level par at the start of the day.

The Essex response of three-over-par was in sharp contrast with the high-octane golf they produced in the first round.

Once again Levermore was their main man. His round of level par took his score for the tournament to five-under and, in tandem with Clarke, its best performing individual.

Meanwhile, Taylor executed the shot of the tournament – a hole-in-one at the par three 11th.

Despatched by a seven-iron, the ball bounced once before landing in the hole for the 16th  ace of Taylor’s career.

SCORES: Essex -4; Nottinghamshire, Surrey +1; Devon +4; Lancashire +14

 

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Bernard Gallacher to become PGA captain

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Bernard Gallacher OBE (right) receiving The PGA Recognition Award from the then PGA captain Nicky Lumb free to use courtesy of Tom Dulat, Getty Images

FORMER Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has said he is “honoured and humbled” to have been invited to become captain of The Professional Golfers’ Association.

The 69-year-old, who played in eight Ryder Cup matches, captained the European team in 1991, 93 and 95, and won 22 professional tournaments, will succeed Peter Hanna as PGA captain in April 2021.

He was also the head PGA Professional at Wentworth for a quarter of a century and membership of the Association has been a constant and important thread throughout his career.

“Despite my success in tournaments and involvement with the Ryder Cup as a player and captain, first and foremost I have always regarded myself as a club pro,” said Gallagher who turned professional in 1967.

“I am a proud PGA Member and I am honoured and humbled to have been asked to captain the Association.”

In doing so Gallacher will join the select band comprising JH Taylor, Ted Ray, George Duncan, Henry Cotton, Bernard Hunt, Dai Rees, and Eric Brown, who have captained both The PGA and a Great Britain and Ireland or European Ryder Cup team.

The roster of PGA captains also includes Fred Daly and Max Faulkner, Open Championship winners in 1947 and 1951 respectively, the ‘Voice of Golf’, Peter Alliss, and Tommy Horton, a close friend of Gallacher.

All, like Gallacher, were PGA Professionals of a bygone age who combined their roles as traditional club pros with competing at an elite level.

In Gallacher’s case he found time during his tenure as head PGA pro at Wentworth to win 10 European Tour events, 11 other professional tournaments, and a solitary success on the European Senior Tour.

He also played in eight Ryder Cup matches and represented his native Scotland in the World Cup on five occasions.

Gallacher took over the reins at Wentworth from Tom Halliburton, his mentor, in 1972 and, reflecting on his dual role as club pro and tournament player, he said: “There’s no chance that could happen now.

“The demands on Tour players make that an impossibility. Similarly the role of Ryder Cup captain is a full time one – that wasn’t the case in my day.

“I was still head pro at Wentworth when I captained the team and some of the members came out to Kiawah Island in 1991 to support us.”

Gallacher was awarded the OBE in 1996 and was so highly thought of at Wentworth that, following his retirement a year later, a statue of him was erected at the club.

Since then he has worked in the media and been in-demand as an after-dinner and motivational speaker. It was during one speaking engagement in Aberdeen that he suffered a cardiac arrest and was revived by a defibrillator kept in the building.

This inspired his wife, Lesley, with his support, to launch a successful campaign that encouraged golf clubs to raise funds to have at least one defibrillator on site.

Commenting on Gallacher’s nomination as PGA captain, the Association’s chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “Just as Bernard is honoured to become captain, so are we that he will take on the role.

“Although he has been one of the most high-profile and respected figures in golf for almost 50 years and still is, he has never forgotten his roots and calling as a PGA Professional.

“As a result he has been a loyal and superb ambassador for the Association and we look forward to him continuing to do so as its captain.”

Cheshire’s Elaine Ratcliffe appointed captain of GB&I Curtis Cup team

CHESHIRE’S Elaine Ratcliffe has been appointed captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team for the 2020 match and will also lead the teams in the Vagliano Trophy and the Astor Trophy next year.

Elaine, who hails from Sandbach, i enjoyed a distinguished amateur career as a player and won the Finnish Amateur Championship in 1997 and the English Amateur Championship the following year.

She was a member of the GB&I team which defeated the United States 11½- 6½ in the 1996 Curtis Cup at Killarney and played for GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe, who won the match 12½-11½ at Royal Aberdeen in 1997.

Elaine also represented GB&I as a player in the Espirito Santo Trophy and England in the European Amateur Team Championships. After turning professional, she was named Rookie of the Year by the Ladies’ European Tour in 1999 but was reinstated as an amateur in 2008.

She has since captained England in a number of international matches, including the Ladies Home Internationals and the European Amateur Team Championships, and has twice led the European team in the Patsy Hankins Trophy against Asia-Pacific.

“It is a real honour to be appointed captain and I am looking forward to the challenge of preparing the team for the international matches,” she said Ratcliffe.

“There are a number of amateur events to be played over the coming months and we will be monitoring the performances and results of golfers from Great Britain and Ireland to determine who has played their way into contention for team selection next year.”

Maria Dunne has also been confirmed as GB&I captain for the Junior Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe at Royal St George’s in 2019.

As a player, Dunne featured as a member of the Great Britain and Ireland team which beat the United States to win the Curtis Cup in 2016 at Dun Laoghaire and also played in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe at Circolo Golf Bogogno last year.

She represented Ireland in the Ladies Home Internationals and European Amateur Team Championships and won the 2017 Irish Open Stroke Play Championship.

This year Dunne was appointed Women and Girls Development Co-ordinator in Ireland following funding provided to the Golf Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union by The R&A.

 

North West players in world title bid

THERE’S a strong representation of  North West players in the England teams  announced for the World Amateur Team Championships which start next week at Carton House, near Dublin.

The women’s team for the Espirito Santo Trophy is Annabell Fuller, Sophie Lamb and Hollie Muse. The championship will be played from August 29 to September 1.

The men’s team for the Eisenhower Trophy, from  September 5-8  is Matthew Jordan, Gian-Marco Petrozzi and Mitch Waite. England won the silver medal when the championship was last played in 2016.

The players

Annabell Fuller, 16, (Roehampton, Surrey) is England’s youngest-ever Curtis Cup player. She reached the last 16 of US women’s amateur, losing only on the 19th hole, and was runner-up in both the Portuguese and English women’s amateur. She has just been selected for the European team for the Junior Ryder Cup.

Sophie Lamb, 20, (Clitheroe, Lancashire) also played in the Curtis Cup and joined Fuller as runner-up in the English women’s amateur. She was also second in the Welsh women’s open and currently leads the England Golf women’s order of merit.

Hollie Muse, 18, (West Lancashire) is at college in the USA and during her summer break at home she reached the semi-finals of the British amateur, qualified to play in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and had a top ten finish in the English women’s amateur.

Matthew Jordan, 22, (Royal Liverpool, Cheshire) is fifth in the world amateur rankings, played in the 2017 Walker Cup and has won both the St Andrew Links and Lytham Trophies.

Gian-Marco Petrozzi, 21, (Trentham, Staffordshire) led the individual scoring in qualifying at the European men’s team championship, where he shot 10-under 62 in the first round. He won the New South Wales amateur at the start of the season.

Mitch Waite, 23, (Filton, Gloucestershire) leads the England Golf men’s order of merit after finishing runner-up in the European amateur and the Lytham Trophy and reaching the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship. He won the Hampshire Salver early in the season.

Petrozzi and Jordan helped England to a 20-shot win in the European Nations’ Championship and, with Waite, were in the side which won the silver medal at the European team championship. All three represented GB&I in the St Andrew’s Trophy match against continental Europe.

 

Cheshire’s Fisher is England’s champion captain

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CHESHIRE’S Bill Fisher is England’s champion golf captain – winning the title in a national final at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire.
He scored 39 stableford points on the Blue course to win the final of the England Golf Captains’ Series by two and commented: “I’m delighted, it’s huge achievement in a very competitive field.”
The final was played as part of England Golf Week and Bill’s closest rivals were Ian Gwinnell (Brocton Hall, Staffordshire), George Grant (Leaside, Middlesex) and Ken Sargent (Haydock Park, Lancashire), who all scored 37 pts.
The players all qualified through the series of tournaments held for members of the England Golf Captains’ programme, which is open to county, club and lady captains as well as vice captains and past captains.
Bill was the 2017 captain at Alderley Edge Golf Club, where he has been a member for 32 years and where he enjoys the competitive golf. “At our club the golf is competitive, everyone is trying to win, but not at any cost,” he said.
Last year he was the first winner of the inaugural Cheshire nine-hole county championship, which was held at Alderley Edge, and he’s looking forward to defending that title next week.
He took great pleasure in his year as captain, remarking “The people made it fantastic.” He’s also enthusiastic about his membership of the captains’ programme. “It’s about meeting people who have been through a shared experience,” he commented.
England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring a host of finals of team and individual events.

New caps to challenge for Euro senior honours

NEW caps Sue Spencer, Trevor Foster and Rupert Kellock are named in the England sides for the European senior team championships. Foster, the British senior champion, and Kellock will be joined in the men’s team by Ian Attoe, Stephen East, Richard Latham and Richard Partridge.

In the women’s team, Spencer will play alongside Julie Brown, Jackie Foster, Aileen Greenfield, Helen Lowe and Cath Rawthore.

The championships will be played from September 4-8, with the women competing at Mont Garni Golf Club, Belgium, and the men travelling to Diamond Country Club, Austria.

Last year the women won the silver medal at their European championship while the men took bronze.

THE PLAYERS.

Men, captained by Roy Smethurst (Crewe).

Ian Attoe (Worplesdon, Surrey) won the English senior men’s amateur for the second time in May and is currently second in the England Golf senior order of merit.

Stephen East (Wyke Ridge, Yorkshire) is a past winner of the English, Spanish, Portuguese and Scottish senior titles.  He also won the senior order of merit in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Trevor Foster (Accrington & District, Lancashire) scored a runaway nine-shot win in the British seniors’ at Royal Porthcawl where he was eight-under. He has also won the Irish seniors this season and leads the order of merit.

Rupert Kellock (Sunningdale, Berkshire) is currently third in the order of merit after high finishes in the English and British championships and the Bill Shankland Memorial Trophy at Parkstone, Dorset.

Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) was fourth in the British seniors and has twice won the English senior title.

Richard Partridge (Wildernesse, Kent) is a past winner of the Irish and Scottish senior titles and a runner-up in Wales.

Women, captained by Debbie Richards (Burhill, Surrey).

Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe, Sussex) is the English senior women’s amateur champion and has been runner up for three national titles.

Sue Spencer, pictured right(Whittington Heath, Staffordshire) reached the semi-finals of the senior amateur and took fourth place in the senior stroke play.

Jackie Foster (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire) won back-to-back senior stroke play titles in 2016 and 2017.

Julie Brown (Trentham, Staffordshire) is a past winner of the British and English senior amateur title.

Cath Rawthore (Sale, Cheshire) is also a past British champion as well as the winner of both English senior titles.

Helen Lowe (Scraptoft, Leicestershire) won the English senior stroke play title this year and is a past winner of the amateur.

Foster storms to senior title glory

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ACCRINGTON legend Trevor Foster lifted the Seniors’ Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl  when a closing one-over-par 73 sealed a nine shot win over runner-up Randy Haag.

Finishing on an eight-under-par total of 208, Foster was the only man in the field to finish under par on the sun-baked links which provided a tough and fair challenge for the world’s elite senior amateurs.

Foster’s opening round 63 on Wednesday put the Englishman seven strokes clear of the field and it proved to be a lead that would not threatened over the next two rounds.

In the final round, Foster parred the first three holes before he dropped a shot at the short fourth when his tee shot landed in a grassy swale to the right front of the green and he couldn’t get up and down.

He missed a birdie chance at the long fifth when he was just short of the green in two, then he had two putts from long range at the next two holes to make par. Foster was unable to take advantage of further birdie opportunities spanning four holes from the 8th before one finally came at the long 12th with a driver and a rescue club to the front apron and two putts from 50ft.

A regulation par at the 13th was followed by dropped strokes at the 14th and 15th. He parred the 16th then got a stroke back at the 17th with a drive and a 5-iron to just off the green, holing his birdie putt from eight feet. He finished in style in front of a sizeable crowd at the 18th, skirting the bunker with his second before sending his first putt stone dead from off the left apron.

Foster admitted: “It was a hard finalday and I couldn’t sink a putt until I got my first birdie at the 12th. I had so many putts shave the hole and I dropped a couple of shots on 14 and 15.

“I thought I did it all on the first eleven holes and to get back to level par on the 12th I thought that with my experience I can’t blow this. It was a bit easier coming in because I knew it was mine.

“The people I’ve got to really thank are Bill Bromilow, who caddied for me this week. He could have played in this himself, but said ‘I can’t win it, but I know you can, so I’d rather be on the bag for you’. He’s been a rock all week.

“Ryan Done, the professional at Heysham, who was my caddy in the Open at Royal Lytham when I played in it 30 years ago. He turned pro and has coached me for the last three years and I think I’m playing as good a golf as I’ve ever played.

“Martin Wild, who I played with 100 times for Lancashire, is my biggest supporter who helps me more than anything and made me believe in myself. Any my wife Debbie, who turned up unexpectedly l after a six hour drive down from Lancashire. She’s supported me throughout my career.”