English Amateur: Reputations mean little in match play
28 Jul 2010
see also: Berkshire Golf Club


Streetly, Sutton Coldfield, England (July 28, 2010) -- Reputations counted for little when the English Amateur match play stages got underway at a often overcast Little Aston and among the casualties were two of England’s European Team Championship-winning squad.

One of the chief executioners was Adam Hedges who went all the way to beat Laurie Canter having also taken 18 holes to get through is preliminary round tie against his Kent colleague Michael Saunders.

“That is quite a scalp,” said Hedges after his 1 hole victory over Canter. “Laurie is a very good player and I knew it would be tough. But I putted really well and I’m looking to go even further.”

After Canter birdied the first, a Hedges eagle at the third leveled matters but Canter birdied the ninth to edge in front again. He lost the next then, at the long 12th, Hedges escaped from the trees and holed across the width of the green for eagle to lead again then held on with halves to clinch victory.

Having played 36 holes in the day to reach the last 32, Hedges’ victory came in the wake of three missed cuts in previous events. But having consulted his coach, Stuart Dowsett, at Sundridge Park and altered his grip, it all came right.

The other England man to bite the dust was Eddie Pepperell but it was at the hands of his international colleague Chris Paisley. Although the Northumberland man lost the opening hole, a run of four birdies from the third put him 2up. He went further in front at the 11th while further birdies at 12 and 13 saw Paisley five ahead. Pepperell then went birdie-eagle at 14 and 15, but a half at 16 eased Paisley, beaten finalist in 2008, through.

Tommy Fleetwood admitted he struggled early on in his first round match with Cornwall’s Tom Murtagh but managed to be all square through six holes.

“I could have won a few holes in a row but Tom kept getting up-and-down,” said the England man. “But I managed to win the 12th and 13th and although I lost 14, halves at 15 and 16 get me home.”

Darren Wright, looking to add the English Amateur to the Brabazon Trophy he won at Hoylake last month, came out on top in a birdie-laden tussle with Hugo Dobson, winner of the inaugural South East of England Links Championship back in May.

Dobson, from Suffolk, went 2up through five holes but back-to-back birdies at six and seven saw Wright square the match by the turn. There was nothing to separate them after 15 holes but a 12-foot birdie at the 16th followed by a Dobson bogey at 17 sent Wright safely through to round two.

“I was very scrappy on the front nine, particularly off the tee, but my short game was very good,” said Wright. “Hugo is a good player and he was very steady. I had seven birdies and I think he had at least five so it was a good match.”

The converse was the case when Nuneaton’s Andy Sullivan cantered to a 5 and 4 win over Alasdair Dalgliesh from Sussex, who needed 20 holes to get through his preliminary round tie with Max Brittan.

“It was pretty boring for the spectators,” said Sullivan. “I just played steadily with a couple of birdies and the rest were pars. I know this course well and enjoy playing here. I’m just happy to get through,” he added.

The all-Lancashire clash between England cap Matthew Nixon and Jack Senior went Senior’s way on the final green by one hole.

“It is always difficult when you play someone you know well,” said the man from Heysham, who also had to battle through a preliminary round tie. “It wasn’t superb golf and it was tight all the way.”

Senior won the first with a birdie, lost the second and Nixon edged ahead at the third. However, Senior built a two-hole lead after seven and had chances to increase his lead. But he was pegged back again when he bogeyed 11 only to win the 12th with a par. Senior then got his nose in front again at 15 and the remaining holes were halved to see him home.

Suffolk’s Jamie Abbott secured a comfortable win over Dominic Barnes from Cheshire. The England man made a fast start by winning the first two holes and also won three holes from the seventh to be 5up. He lost the 11th but stayed in control to run out a 4 and 3 winner.

Also in full control was boy cap Chris Lloyd, the leading qualifier, who accounted for Lancashire’s Ciaran Doherty, one-hole winner over Richard Prophet in his preliminary round by 5 and 3. Another fast start saw Lloyd claim five winning birdies in the first seven holes and he reached the turn 6up. Doherty cut the deficit with a couple of birdies of his own but Lloyd birdied 14 to go dormie four, then he fired his second at the long 15th to eight feet and was conceded the match.

ABOUT THE English Amateur

The English Amateur was played in its inaugural year of 1925 at Hoylake when local golfer T Froes Ellison captured the title. He successfully defended the following year at Walton Heath, a feat achieved by only six others: Frank Pennink, Alan Thirlwell, Michael Bonallack, Harry Ashby, Mark Foster, and Paul Casey. Sir Nick Faldo is the most famous to have won the event as the six-time major champion won the 1975 tournament at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

The tournament consists of two stroke play rounds, after which the top 64 players will advance to the match play rounds, culminating in a 36-hole final between two finalists.

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For English Amateur Golf Championship
Place  Pts
WinEnglandTommy FleetwoodEngland700
Runner-upEnglandWarren HarmstonEngland500
SemifinalsEnglandRoss DeeEngland400
SemifinalsEnglandTom LewisEngland400
QuarterfinalsEnglandJames BurnettEngland300

View full results for English Amateur Golf Championship

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