Champions line up to take on Spain

The players who won the European Nations Cup last weekend are all in England’s mixed team for next week’s international against Spain at Formby Golf Club, Lancashire.

Champions  Ben Jones, Tom Plumb, Tom Sloman and Bailey Gill will be joined by the women’s European Nations Cup bronze medallists, Georgina Blackman, Emily Toy and Bel Wardle.

The 10-strong team will be completed by Jake Burnage, Ben Hutchinson and Lily May Humphreys.

The players will follow in the steps of golfing giants as they take part in this biennial match, on the weekend of April 27-28. Over the years, it’s been contested by the likes of Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal.

The match started in 1985 as a men’s fixture with England leading Spain 14-2 by 2013. It became a mixed event in 2015 and England have won both matches played so far.

The teams compete for the Seve Ballesteros Trophy and this year’s match will be played in memory of Spain’s Celia Barquin Arozamena, the 2018 European Ladies’ Champion who died in the USA last year.

The England players:

Georgina Blackman, 23, (Chelmsford, Essex) is the English Women’s Amateur Champion and was third in the recent Portuguese Women’s Amateur. She is currently second on the English Women’s Order of Merit.

Jake Burnage, 23, (Saunton, Devon) was third in the South Beach international in Miami at the end of last year, before competing in Australia. He is a past winner of the Walton Heath Trophy.

Bailey Gill, 21, (Lindrick, Yorkshire) was fifth in this year’s Portuguese amateur, having represented England on a tour of Australia in the New Year, following a successful 2018 season.

Lily May Humphreys, 17, (Stoke by Nayland, Essex) is a Curtis Cup player and the 2018 Scottish Women’s Open champion. She played in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur and was fifth in the 2019 Italian Open.

Ben Hutchinson, 23, (Howley Hall, Yorkshire) was 10th in the Hampshire Salver and a quarter finalist in the Spanish amateur. He reached the last 16 in the 2018 Amateur Championship.

Ben Jones, 19, (Northamptonshire County, Northamptonshire) was a semi-finalist in the NSW Amateur in Australia, reached the matchplay stages of the Spanish Amateur and was joint runner-up in the 2018 Portuguese Amateur.

Tom Plumb, 20, (Yeovil, Somerset) has made a fast start to 2019 with a win in the Cape Province Open and third place in the South American Amateur in Chile.

Tom Sloman, 22, (Taunton & Pickeridge, Somerset) was the individual winner at the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande. He reached the last 16 in the 2019 Australian Amateur and was runner up in the 2018 Welsh Open. Sloman is the team’s highest ranked player at 32nd in the world.

Emily Toy, 21, (Carlyon Bay, Cornwall) won the women’s New South Wales Stroke Play and was fifth in the Avondale Amateur in Australia. She shared fourth place in the 2018 English Women’s Amateur.

Bel Wardle, 19, (Prestbury, Cheshire) currently leads the English Women’s Order of Merit, having been was fourth in the Portuguese Amateur, where she was defending champion, and a quarter finalist in the Spanish Amateur. She recently won the Comboy Scratch Trophy on seven-under par.

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