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First round abandoned at British Amateur & Women's Am
25 Aug 2020
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: British Amateur Championship, Nairn Golf Club

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UPDATE: August 25 message from The R&A

The first round of stroke play qualifying at The Amateur Championship and The Women’s Amateur Championship has been abandoned.

The start of play was delayed by two hours this morning due to inclement weather. Following a second suspension of play this afternoon at both courses, Royal Birkdale for the men and West Lancashire for the women, the decision was made to cancel the first round and all scores from today.

A cut in both championships will now be made after one round of stroke play qualifying to be played tomorrow (Wednesday 26 August). The top 64 players and ties will go through to the match play stage of The Amateur Championship. The top 64 players will progress to match play at The Women’s Amateur Championship.

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

Many of the world’s most talented amateur golfers will assemble at neighboring venues on England’s Golf Coast this week to contest the British Amateur and British Women’s Amateur championships.

But many of the top-ranked players who you would normally expect in the field will be missing due to Covid-19 travel restrictions -- most notably defending champion James Sugrue of Ireland.

Sugrue, and 12 other Irish golfers who had entered the competition are following Golf Union of Ireland guidelines that advised Irish golfers not to travel to England in line with the public health advice issued by the government.

Several of those same Irish players, including Sugrue, had also entered the Brabazon Trophy, the English Open Amateur which took place last week in Sherwood Forest.

But don't feel too bad for Sugrue.

While he had to decline invitations to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Memorial tournaments on the PGA Tour, he is planning on holding off on turning pro long enough to enjoy his invitations to the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot, and The Masters in November. He'll have a few less competitive rounds under his belt, but we're guessing Sugrue is playing plenty of golf and will arrive in the U.S. with plenty of time to practice at Winged Foot.

In total, 120 players will gather at Royal Birkdale, a ten-time host of The Open, for The Amateur Championship, with another course in Northwest England, West Lancashire, hosting almost 100 players for The Women’s Amateur Championship.

Both championships will be played as closed door events due to the COVID-19 pandemic with health and safety protocols in place to ensure a safe environment for players and officials.

MEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP

With an exemption into The Open at Royal St George’s next summer and, by tradition, an invitation to play in next year’s Masters Tournament and an exemption to the US Open there is much at stake in the 125th staging of The Amateur Championship.

While Irishman James Sugrue is unable to defend his title due to travel restrictions, players from the likes of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and the home nations will assemble at the famous Southport links. Frenchman David Ravetto, who won last week’s Brabazon Trophy, is one to watch.

Teenager Benjamin Schmidt from England is the top-ranked player in the field and last year’s Brabazon Trophy winner will look to fend off a strong challenge from his countrymen, including

Emily Toy returns to defend her Women’s Amateur title after the former R&A Scholar edged out Amelia Garvey at Royal County Down last year. As Toy has enjoyed, there are significant rewards for the champion with exemptions into the AIG Women’s Open and, traditionally, the US Women’s Open, The Evian Championship and Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship.

Toy, 22, said, “I’m really looking forward to playing at West Lancashire to defend the Women’s Amateur Championship title. It is a great championship, well run and on a world class track.

”Last year, I gained lots of great opportunities, including teeing it up in two major championships. I’ve got the US Open to come in December and then Augusta next year. It’s amazing to have these opportunities.”

Two of the world’s top ten players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®) will start in the field at The Women’s Amateur Championship – Italian duo Alessia Nobilio (3) and Benedetta Moresco (9).

The highest-ranked Englishwoman is Lily May Humphreys at 13, who won the 2017 R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship and was also a Curtis Cup team member for Great Britain and Ireland in 2018.

In-form Emily Price defeated Humphreys to win the English Women’s Amateur Championship earlier this month, while West Lancashire’s Hollie Muse will hope to use local knowledge and build on her run to the semifinals in 2018.

Former Curtis Cup players Annabell Fuller, who won the English Women’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship last week, Paula Grant and Shannon McWilliam also compete, along with 2018 R&A Girls’ Under-16 Open champion Hannah Darling.

-- The R&A contributed to this report.

Update:
>> Amateur Golf Scoreboard

ABOUT THE British Amateur

This championship, along with the US Amateur Golf Championship, is considered the most important in amateur golf.

The first stage of the Championship involves 288 players each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes, one to be played on each of the two courses. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes and ties for 64th place will compete in the match play stage of the Championship. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes except the Final which will be over 36 holes.

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