Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

Fleetwood three behind in US PGA championship

TOMMY Fleetwood is three shots of the pace after posting a one-under-par 70 on the first day of the US PGA Championship as Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen led the way alongside American Kevin Kisner.

The Lancastrian said: “The course is brutal, It’s a really tough test. Anything par or beating the course is a great score. So in the practice rounds, it’s either playing rock hard and windy or it’s been really wet with the rain and playing miles.

“So when you get into the tournament, you never know what to expect. I’m just really happy to be off the course at one-under.

“There’s not a let-up, really. You’ve never got one shot where you kind of feel you can go easy for ten minutes or you have a little rest. It’s just five hours of really tough golf.”

Olesen is aiming to become the first player from Denmark to win one of golf’s big four and entered this week in good form after a top ten at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he finished with a 65.

A birdie at the second hole got his round up and running before he bounced back from a bogey at the par three sixth with back-to-back birdies. Three birdies in his final five holes, paired with a second dropped shot of the day at the 17th, took the four-time European Tour winner home in 34 for a 67.

On a day when only 24 players broke par at a tricky Quail Hollow Club, Patrick Reed was the next best-placed European Tour member in a tie for eighth on two under par, while Spain’s John Rahm, Pat Perez of the USA and England’s Jordan Smith matched Fleetwood’s scores,

Rory McIlroy, chasing a third US PGA Championship title and a fifth Major, was two shots further back after three dropped shots in two holes on the back nine stymied his charge and left him with a one over par 72 – alongside Grand Slam-chasing American Jordan Spieth, among others.

England boys home in on championship

England celebrate winning the Boys Home Internationals.JPG

ENGLAND were crowned the 2017 Boys’ Home Internationals champions with a 100 per cent  record after winning all three matches against Ireland, Scotland and Wales at St Annes Old Links.

Derek Hughes’ side successfully defended the trophy which they won at Ballyliffin in Ireland last year and England have now won the under-18 team event 16 times since 1996.

An English victory was sealed during the morning foursomes against Scotland earlier today when they took a 4-1 lead, while Wales, who had held a slim chance of catching them, lost their foursomes against Ireland by the same margin.

Despite the main prize having gone, Scotland restored some pride in the afternoon singles which they won 6-4, although narrowly losing the contest 8-7 overall.

Scotland got their first singles point on the board when Callum Bruce beat Ben Jones 4&2. Bruce, who had had to miss Wednesday’s play with a stomach upset, was three up with three to play when he hit a 6-iron to 4ft at the short 16th.

Jones was in an awkward lie in a greenside bunker, splashed out over the green and when he missed his chip, conceded the hole and the match.

Toby Briggs beat Darren Howie 2&1 to level the afternoon’s proceedings for England and Charlie Strickland beat Eric McIntosh by one hole, having been four up with five to play, to put his side ahead. Then Alex Fitzpatrick extended the lead with a 4&3 victory over Greg Dalziel.

England’s Joe Pagdin and Robin Williams, who both went into the final singles with five wins out of five under their belts, both had their 100 per cent records broken when they lost on the 18th by one hole as the Scots fought back. Pagdin was beaten by Jack Broun, while Williams fell to 13-year-old Calum Scott, who was chalking up his fifth victory in six matches.

Conor Gough, England’s youngest player at 14, beat another Scot, 13-year-old Aidan O’Hagan, 3&1 to put the host nation 4-3 ahead but then Scotland won the last three matches of the afternoon: John Paterson beat Jack Cope 4&3, Marc Watt beat Thomas Plumb 3&2 and Lewis Irvine beat Harry Goddard 2&1.

Ireland finished on a high against Wales winning six of the ten afternoon singles and the match overall 10-5.

John Brady got the first point on the board for Ireland with a 6&5 win over Thomas Matthews. Then George Bryant got a point for Wales beating Reece Black 4&2, before Ireland went ahead again when Mark Power beat Luke Harries 3&2 and Jack Hearn beat Ben Hicks 2&1.

Wales hit back with wins for James Ashfield by 2&1 over Robert Moran and Sean Davies, who beat Aaron Marshall 3&2 to level the scores at 3-3.

But then Charlie Denvir beat Tom Peet 3&1, Jack Doherty beat Harry Frazer by one hole and Ross Kelly beat Jack Cade 3&2 to take Ireland clear.

Aled Grenville got a consolation win for Wales in the final match beating Raymond Cameron 2&1.

England will defend the Boys Home Internationals title in Scotland where the round-robin event will be played at Royal Dornoch from 7-9 August 2018.


Top field for Reid Trophy at Manchester

AN international field will head to Manchester Golf Club next week to play for the Reid Trophy, one of the golfing world’s most sought after U14 boys’ titles.

Talented youngsters from England and the home countries will be joined by players from across Europe and as far afield as Jordan and Korea.

The English U14 boys’ open championship will be played over 54 holes, from Tuesday to Thursday, 8-10 August.

Players include Tom Gregory,  who was fifth in the U16 McGregor Trophy and has represented England at U16 level. Dubai-based Josh Hill was another high finisher at the McGregor, sharing 11th place.

Meanwhile, Jack Bigham of Redbourn, Hertfordshire, will be aiming for a special double – for his brother, Harry, won the Reid Trophy in 2014.

Other past winners include England’s Eddie Pepperell, now a successful European Tour player and Scotland’s Bradley Neil who went on to become the Amateur Champion and a Walker Cup player before turning professional. England international Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park) won the trophy in 2011.

Manchester Golf Club – which is proud of its junior development programme – will challenge the players with a course which is predominantly moorland in character but also has heathland and parkland features – as well as scenic views.

All 144 competitors will play 18 holes on each of the first two days of the championship. After 36 holes, the leading 70 competitors and ties qualify to play the final 18 holes on the third day.

What a Bel-ter! Prestbury ace England girls’ champ

Bel.jpgTHE winds blew at gale force – but nothing could stop Cheshire’s Bel Wardle as she swept to a seven-shot win in the English girls’ championship at Littlestone, Kent.
The brutal weather made it tough to take a stance, let alone hit a ball, but the 17-year-old international shot one-under 72 in the third round – and became the champion when the fourth round was abandoned because of the conditions.
She was seven-under par for 54 holes, while runner-up Martha Lewis (St George’s Hill, Surrey) finished on level par. Third place, on three over, was taken by Megan Dennis (Woburn, Buckinghamshire) and Annabell Fuller (Roehampton, Surrey) was a further shot back.
The win is huge for Wardle, who plays at Prestbury. She said: “Last year I led after two rounds and kind of blew it in the third round. I went out there today so determined not to let that happen again. I didn’t want that that sinking feeling again.
“I knew I could compete, but this was about getting over the line with my first win and it does so much for my confidence. It shows me I can do it, I really can do it.”
Wardle’s plan was to get off a quick start – and she couldn’t have been speedier. She drove the first green and holed the 3ft putt for an eagle, then birdied the next two holes to get to 10-under for the championship. She parred her way to the turn and then began the very difficult inward half.
“It was so tough coming in. On the 10th I started wondering how I could get the club back in the wind and we were only just making the fairway. When you were over the ball it was a matter of take whatever stance you could and give it a go.
“I just kept things simple, I didn’t go pin-hunting, I just tried to hit greens and control my shots into the greens.”
Now Wardle is off to play for England in the girls’ Home Internationals at Little Aston, Staffordshire, which start on Wednesday. After that it’s the British girls’ championship, where she was runner-up last year.

Cheshire chosen to attract more juniors

CHESHIRE is among four counties chosen to work in partnership with England Golf over the next two years to get more juniors involved in the sport.

Durham, Lincolnshire and Somerset are also joining the pilot project which aims to get more under-18s playing and joining clubs.

The latest England Golf Club Questionnaire, which is carried out every two years and tracks trends, shows a decline in junior membership. On average, each club lost three boy members between 2014 and 2016 and altogether juniors account for just seven per cent of club members.

Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “It’s vital that we address the challenges facing junior golf. Cheshire and the other three counties have enormous commitment and enthusiasm for developing junior golf and involving more young people. “I am looking forward to working with them over the next couple of years to see how much of an impact

Junior-golf (3).jpgwe can have and how we can inspire a love of golf to last a lifetime.”

Cheshire is already deeply committed to growing junior golf. It has had excellent results with Girls Golf Rocks, the England Golf and Golf Foundation project to attract more girls into the game, and has just started a county-wide project to encourage more juniors generally. It has also run junior leagues for 24 years and has a talent pathway for promising youngsters.

David Durling, Chair of the Cheshire Golf Development Group, said: “We have already identified junior development as a priority and are hugely enthusiastic about this project. It will help us increase the number of young people coming into golf and support the clubs which are struggling to run junior sections.”

Each of the four counties will have a bespoke plan which recognises their particular challenges and targets. They’ll be supported by Lee Dolby and the England Golf network of club support offers and regional managers.

This will include offering access to research, workshops and educational resources and help with marketing to a younger audience.

Dolby added: “By working closely with counties, rather than individual clubs, we can look at wider solutions which, eventually, we can share across the country.”

Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

Honours for PGA quartet

A QUARTET whose jobs typify the broad range of roles open to PGA Professionals have attained the Association’s highest honour – Master Professional status.

Peter Ball, Paul Burley, Phil Kenyon and Graham Walker have all joined a distinguished band that includes the late John Jacobs OBE and Pete Cowen, coach of several major winners including Henrik Stenson.

Each one was presented with a commemorative plaque recognizing their status by PGA captain John Heggarty during the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Ball, who is based at Moor view Driving Range in Sheffield, put major winner Danny Willett on the road to stardom and specialises in giving youngsters, many from disadvantage backgrounds, the opportunity to play golf.

“He’s passionate about working with children and introducing them to golf,” said Dr Kyle Phillpots.

“Not just middle class children but all children, especially those who are disadvantaged. Some of them are violent and dangerous and Peter has had to make them hand in knives. He also gets them to undertake menial tasks before they play.

“Not all of them are violent or bad. One who came through showed a real passion for the game was Danny Willett.

“Another at the other end of the spectrum whose whose father was a drunk and close relatives workshy has proved a real success story.

“Peter took him on and gave him some discipline. Golf became the boy’s focus, he completed his schooling, has never been out of work and still plays golf.”

In accepting the award, Ball said: “I’m very proud to be here – not just for myself but all the other coaches who I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from.

“One of those is Graham Walker. Joe Dean (who qualified for the 2017 Open) is another I’ve coached and Graham has taken Joe on as he did Danny Willett.

“I’m just a junior coach who tries to inspire kids. Graham takes them to the next level and has done a superb job.

“As coaches we never know the lasting effect we have on young people. Or the impact that is felt by the families. Because of this I’m very proud to be a golf coach.”

Graham Walker is has a not so much strong as a rock hard Yorkshire connection. He won the county’s Open Championship three times and the Yorkshire PGA championship once.

But it is as a coach he has excelled. So much so that he was named Coach of the Year by England Golf in 2015, an honour fuelled by a passion for coaching when he was head professional at Hillsborough Golf Club, Sheffield.

Under his tuition, 11 junior members went on to turn pro, three of them playing on the European Tour.

Walker, who runs his own academy at the Oaks Golf Club, near Selby, had four of his charges playing in the Open at Birkdale: Richie Ramsay, Paul Waring, Willett and Dean.

In accepting the award he paid tribute to his first two bosses, Doug Poole and Ray Wilkinson.

“My first two bosses were massive influences on me,” he said. “They encouraged me to play golf which I do now when dealing with my assistants now.

“They also encouraged me to work hard, teach at night schools and spread golf to juniors around the golf clubs.

“I’ve had some very good influences. One was the late Ramsey McMasters. He was a great one for helping me to share. He said everything you do you must share with other people.

“And I was fortunate to listen to John Jacobs over the years – his advice that sticks with me is to be careful what you ask a good player to do because he might not be able to do it.

“My role with England Golf has got me into contact with some very good players, many coached by PGA pros, who become Tour pros.

“Great to work with them and get them to play well. That’s when we get lucky because they give you a profile.”

In terms of Tour players. Phil Kenyon’s role as a specialised putting coach has seen him work with a who’s who of Europe’s finest golfers.

Major winners, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Stenson have all been coached by him as have Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.

The latter is rated the fourth best on Tour while Stenson was ranked 174th in 2014, the year he turned to Kenyon for help, and 60th a year later.

Kenyon is the principal owner of the Harold Swash Putting School of Excellence based at Formby Hall, Merseyside.

In accepting his award, he paid tribute to the school’s founder who passed away last year.

“Harold was a huge inspiration and I wouldn’t be here without his help and encouragement.

“Richard Bradbeer, a former PGA captain and head pro at Royal Birkdale, was also a great inspiration. I remember walking across the car park as a boy to have lessons with Richard.

“I’ve also fortunate to work alongside Graham Walker as part of my role with England Golf, as I have been in having the support of my parents and my wife.

“My job involves long hours and a lot of travel away from home and her support is invaluable.”

Paul Burley is also well-travelled, ever since the days when he spent two years as a player on the Sunshine Tour.

Subsequently he has been involved with the business and management side of golf clubs and resorts, notably with IMG.

He was head-hunted by them in 1996 and appointed director of operations for Asia and Australia.

He followed that by becoming director of golf at Turnberry, a role which saw him managing 10 PGA pros, and he is now back with IMG as Global senior vice-president with responsibility for golf course management and golf course design.

“It’s a great honour to me to add my name to a distinguished list,” he said. “I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without The PGA.

“I’ve always  tried to hire PGA pros whenever possible –  they understand the business and development of golf better than anybody else.

“I’m proud to say that many of the guys who worked with me at Turnberry have gone on to have great success in their careers.

“Having the PGA brand associated with me in my role has been hugely important.”

Euro champs England bid for double

EUROPEAN champions England will aim to double up with a successful defence of the women’s Home Internationals next month.

Five members of the winning European team are in the line-up for the annual battle against the other three home nations, which will be played at Little Aston Golf Club, Staffordshire, from August 9-11.

They are Lianna Bailey of Leicestershire, Gemma Clews of Cheshire, India Clyburn of Lincolnshire, Sophie Lamb of Lancashire and Rochelle Morris of Yorkshire. England also won European gold in 2016 and the Home Internationals team is completed by two members of that side: Emma Allen of Hampshire and Olivia Winning of Yorkshire.

Alice Hewson, who was in both European teams, is playing in the US women’s amateur and is therefore unavailable.

The girls’ Home Internationals will be played simultaneously and the team will be aiming to regain the crown they lost last year after eight successive wins. In total, England has won the girls’ title 50 times since the championship began in 1954.

The team is Sammy Fuller of Surrey, Lily May Humphreys of Essex, Hollie Muse of Lancashire, Emily Price of Worcestershire, Hannah Screen of Hertfordshire, Bel Wardle of Cheshire and Amelia Williamson of Norfolk.  All but Screen were in the England side which won the bronze medal in the European girls’ team championship.

The players


Emma Allen, 20, (Meon Valley) is a student at the University of Missouri. She was joint runner-up in last week’s English women’s amateur championship.

Lianna Bailey, 20, (Kirby Muxloe) has had a string of high finishes this season in the English women’s amateur, the Welsh and Irish stroke play and the St Rule Trophy.

Gemma Clews, 22, (Delamere Forest) is the Welsh women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner-up in the Irish stroke play and third in the St Rule Trophy.

India Clyburn, 20, (Woodhall Spa) tied second in the English women’s amateur and is  a winner on the US college circuit where she had five top tens in her second year.

Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) is the British women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner up in Irish women’s stroke play and fifth in the English amateur. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography)

Rochelle Morris, 22, (Woodsome Hall) is a Curtis Cup player and has had a series of top-five results in stroke play events and a win in The Leveret.

Olivia Winning, 22, (Rotherham) was fourth in the English amateur and a semi-finalist in the English women’s match play.


Sammy Fuller, 18, (Roehampton) has had high finishes in a string of women’s championships and also reached the quarter finals of the French U21s.

Lily May Humphreys, 15, (Stoke by Nayland) is the new English women’s amateur champion, adding that success to a host of top girls’ titles.

Hollie Muse, 17, (West Lancashire) won the girls’ title at the Fairhaven Trophies and was third in the Scottish women’s open and the Scottish girls’ championship.

Emily Price, 17, (Cleobury Mortimer) is the English women’s open stroke play champion and was runner up in the 2016 English girls’ championship.

Hannah Screen, 17, (Berkhamsted) won the Bridget Jackson Bowl, led qualifying in the English women’s match play and was runner-up in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

Bel Wardle, 17, (Prestbury) was runner-up in the 2016 British girls’ and eighth in the world girls’ championships. She was sixth in the 2017 St Rule Trophy.


Amelia Williamson, 17, (Royal Cromer) has had high finishes in a series of women’s events and was runner-up in the girls’ Fairhaven Trophies.