- Charlie Briscoe Knight photo
By Gordon Simpson
Rhys Nevin from Cheshire took a mighty step towards emulating fellow Englishman Tom Thurloway
when he streaked clear of a top-class field to claim a record victory in the 2021 Walton Heath Trophy
over the sun-drenched Surrey venue today.
Three years ago, Thurloway captured the Walton Heath Trophy in impressive style before going on
to win the English Amateur Championship at Formby the following week.
Now 23-year-old Nevin, who was grinning like an excited Cheshire cat following his tournament
record 18-under-par total of 270 over the formidable Old and New Courses, will head to the ‘English’
at Moortown in Yorkshire next week bidding to follow in Thurloway’s footsteps.
By coincidence, Nevin was Thurloway’s playing partner in the final pairing in 2018 but inexperience
on that occasion saw him shoot 82 in the final round. However, he did enjoy a ringside seat of the
new champion’s calm demeanor as he claimed the Michael Lunt Salver and clearly had no intention
of missing out this time around.
With four rounds in the sixties, Nevin was able to cruise to a six-stroke win from Joe Sullivan of Royal
Ashdown Forest Golf Club, who closed with a fine round of 67.
Nevin, an All-American at the University of Tennessee before graduating in politics and sociology this
year, saved his best for last with a 66 over the Old – the best score of the final round – to add to his
earlier 67,68 and 69 to show his rivals a clean pair of heels.
“This is a very special day,” declared Nevin, from the Sandiway club. “It’s rare that everything comes
together but this week it did and to create the scoring record adds to the sense of satisfaction.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing here. It is one of the best amateur tournaments in the country and I
love both courses. The trophy itself is impressive and there are a lot of people who won it before me
who have gone on to achieve great things. That makes me very proud.”
Nevin added: “I am going to savour this for a few days before going to the English Amateur. What
Tom did three years ago was amazing and he’s a great player. I think watching how he managed the
closing holes here in 2018, with the pressure and a lot of Members out on the course, helped me
today. I knew what to expect this time.”
East Sussex’s Sullivan laid claim to the runner-up berth thanks to a spectacular pair of back-to-back
eagles at the 13th and 14th in a fourth round 67. Dan Bradbury of Wakefield finished third one stroke
behind Sullivan on 277 while Harvey Byers delivered a strong display for the host club by securing a
tie for 10th , helped by a third round 66 over the New.
ABOUT THE Walton Heath Trophy
The Walton Heath Trophy each year attracts a top-
field of amateur
golfers from across the world. The 72 hole
stroke play event
takes place over both the Old and New
at the famed Walton Heath Golf Club in
and consists of four
rounds of golf with a cut after 36 holes.
The tournament changed its name from South of
England Open Amateur to the current name in
November of 2017.
View Complete Tournament Information