England boys ready to sit French exam

Six members of the boys’ squad will take part in next month’s French Boys’ Open each with the aim of becoming the first English winner since 1988.

Cheshire’s Oscar Doran and Remy Miller (pictured above) are joined in the selection by Hertfordshire duo Max Hopkins and Jack Bigham.

Josh Berry (Yorkshire) and Craig Passmore (Devon) complete the six-strong squad who will represent England at Les Aisses Golf Club between April 9-13.

Not since James Cook won the event in 1988 has an English name appeared on the Trophee Michel Carlhian.

All six boys took part in a recent squad training camp at Quinta Do Lago in Portugal as a follow on from a number of coaching sessions over the winter months at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa.

The format for the 2020 French Boys’ Open sees players compete on an individual and team basis.

After a 36-hole stroke play event, the top 32 players qualify for the match play.

For those boys aged under 16 who miss out on the last 32 of the match play, there is a chance to compete for the Trophee Pierre Massie.

The only member of the England squad who would be eligible for this secondary event is 14-year-old Berry (pictured below).

In addition to the individual honours, there is also a Nations Cup element to the play over the opening two days.

Players of the same nationality will be grouped in threes with the two best scores from the opening 36-holes of stroke play going towards a team aggregate.

Hopkins, Berry and Passmore will be in one team with Bigham, Miller and Doran in the other.

Previous winners of the individual championship include Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia and Nicolas Colsaerts as well as European Tour players Romain Wattel and Guido Migliozzi.

Les Aisses Golf Club – located south of Orleans in the Loire Valley – is a Martin Hawtree design and recognised as one of the toughest tracks in France.

The par 72, heathland course stretches to 7270 yards from the back tees with each hole flanked by dense woodland.

In total, there have been seven previous English winners of the event which was first staged in 1926.