England Golf has announced the eight rising stars who will comprise the Boys’ Squad for the 2019-2020 season.
After another fantastic year of development and achievement in 2019 – not only on home soil but at European and international events – the selectors have been able to draw from a deep talent pool and pick a strong group of players for the challenges ahead.
Walker Cup player and English Amateur champion Conor Gough (pictured above) will lead the squad into the new campaign. Conor’s form in 2019 made him a strong candidate to graduate to the full Men’s team for the new campaign. However, both the selectors and Conor and his family have decided that in order to strike the right balance between his golf development and schoolwork the best option is for the 17-year-old to remain within the Boys’ squad.
Jack Bigham, aged 16, and 17-year-old George Leigh are also included having played alongside Gough when they helped England win the Boys’ Home Internationals at Ashburnham. Max Hopkins also played his part in the Home International squad while Remy Miller, Oscar Doran and Craig Passmore’s form throughout 2019 makes them worthy inclusions in the set-up. Josh Hill completes the line up as the youngest member of the squad at just 15 years of age.
The boys will convene at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa early next month for the first of several team coaching sessions over the autumn and winter months. The squad will also benefit from a week of warm-weather training at the Quinta do Lago resort on Portugal’s Algarve Coast in February.
As well as helping the player’s attain their individual goals for the season with one-to-one coaching sessions taken by lead coach Rob Watts, the focus for the boys this season is also to represent England at several key team events. These include the European Boys’ Team Championships in Uppsala, Sweden and the Boys’ Home Internationals which will be staged in August at Killarney Golf Club in Ireland.
Team manager Stephen Burnett said: “Throughout 2019, the performances from the boys have been outstanding with Conor’s results rightly earning a lot of praise and attention and the team once again winning the Home Internationals.
“This is a new group which will gather for the 2019-20 season and we are hopeful that the lads fulfil their obvious potential in team competitions with England and in their development as individuals.
“The focus is always on key targets such as the Europeans and the Home Internationals and we are confident that with this group of boys we have the talent and character to enjoy another terrific year.”
MEET THE SQUAD
JACK BIGHAM (Harpenden GC – Hertfordshire): At 16 years of age, Jack tied 6th in the McGregor Trophy and 8th in the McEvoy Trophy in 2019. He also finished 10th in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and competed in the European Young Masters and helped England win the Boys Home Internationals.
OSCAR DORAN (Delamere Forest GC – Cheshire): 17-year-old Oscar came 5th in the Carris Trophy and tied 9th in the McEvoy Trophy as well as playing in the Boys’ Amateur Championship.
CONOR GOUGH (Stoke Park GC – Beds, Bucks and Oxon): Conor enjoyed a stellar season winning the English Amateur crown and featuring for GB & I in the Walker Cup at Royal Liverpool. He also won the Duke Of York event and the Major Champions Invitational in 2019.
JOSH HILL (Dubai): At 15 Josh finished 11th in the European Young Masters and played in both the English Amateur and the Amateur Championship. He also represented England in an Under 16 match v Spain and was in the victorious Boys Home International team in 2018.
MAX HOPKINS (Bishops Stortford GC – Hertfordshire): Max was pipped into second place for the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and finished 5th in the McEvoy Trophy. He also came 8th in the European Boys Team Championships stroke play qualifying and featured as the highest points scorer in the Boys Home International win.
GEORGE LEIGH (Trevose GC – Cornwall): George finished 11th in the Fairhaven Trophy and played his part in the Boys Home International triumph. He also competed in the Carris Trophy and Boys’ Amateur Championship.
REMY MILLER (Prestbury GC – Cheshire): 17-year-old Remy finished 5th in the Fairhaven Trophy and tied 6th in the North Group Boys Qualifying. He also tied for 15th in the McEvoy Trophy and took part in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and German Boys Open.
CRAIG PASSMORE (Torquay GC – Devon): The 17-year-old reached the quarterfinals in the Boys’ Amateur Championship and finished 7th in both the South West Group Boys and Carris Trophy. He also took part in the English Amateur.
Photograph credit: Leaderboard