30 county champions competing this week in Oxfordshire

David Hague

The English international David Hague heads a group of 30 county champions competing in this week’s English Men’s County Champion of Champions tournament, at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire.

The 23-year-old Yorkshire champion from Malton and Norton is part of a quality field all bidding to succeed Essex golfer Curtis Knipes as champion.

Knipes, from Abridge, holed a six-foot putt on the 36th hole of last year’s tournament at Woodhall Spa to get into a play-off with Cornwall’s Joe Cruse (St Enedoc) and BB&O’s Olly Huggins (Frilford Heath) and then beat Cruse with a birdie on the fourth extra hole. Huggins had previously dropped out on the second extra hole.

The English Men’s County Champions tournament is played over 36-holes on Sunday September 15 and its part of a big week of golf at the Oxfordshire club. The Boys’ County Champion of Champions event being played the previous day and the Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions straddling both days.

Last year’s Boys’ event was won by Yorkshire’s Ben Schmidt who has since gone on to burnish his growing reputation by winning both the Brabazon Trophy and the Carris Trophy. He will travel to Frilford Heath straight after representing England at the Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch.

The 36-hole Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions is played over both September 14 and 15 and features several present and past senior internationals including Surrey’s Ian Attoe (Worplesdon), Nottinghamshire’s Charles Banks (Stanton-on-the Wolds), BB&O’s Douglas Cameron (Frilford Heath) and Hertfordshire’s Tyrone Carter (Stevenage). Attoe was part of the English team that won last week’s European Senior Men’s Team Championship in Denmark.

The 30-man field are all bidding to succeed County Durham PE teacher John Kirkpatrick (Ramside Hall) who beat Bedfordshire’s Philip Sutton (Dunstable Downs) by five shots at Woodhall Spa.