England sending experienced squad to face the French

Nick Marsh Harry Casey 2013

England Golf is sending an experienced team, all of whom have already been capped, for the biennial international against France at Fontainebleau over the weekend of 17th and 18th May.

England Golf is sending an experienced team, all of whom have already been capped, for the biennial international against France at Fontainebleau over the weekend of 17th and 18th May.

The nine-man squad is: Harry Casey (Enfield, Middlesex), Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire), Ryan Evans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire), Nick Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire), Jimmy Mullen (Royal North Devon), Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent), Jordan Smith (Bowood G&CC, Wiltshire), and Toby Tree (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex).

All of the squad have titles under their belts at home and abroad and will be eager to reverse the result the last time this match was held on French soil when England lost 13-11 at Chantilly in 2010.

Casey, 20, a former boy cap, made his full England debut against Spain at El Prat last year and was also a member of England’s victorious team in the Home Internationals last August at Ganton. In 2013, he won the Selborne Salver and lost a playoff for the Poncat Dutch Junior Open and finished third in the Portuguese Amateur.

Chesters, 24, is the reigning European Amateur champion following his victory at El Prat last August. He made his full England debut against the French at Rochester & Cobham in 2012 and was a member of the European team that beat Asia/Pacific in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in India earlier this year. Recently he finished runner-up in the Selborne Salver.

Evans, 27, was also a member of England’s winning team at Ganton last year on his debut. Over the winter he won two titles in Australia, the Lake Macquarie International and the Avondale Medal and was the leading qualifier in the Australian Amateur. Last year he won the Berkshire Trophy and the Biarritz Cup in France while he was part of the victorious team in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in India. 

Howard, 23, was another to earn his first full cap in last year’s Home Internationals and earlier this year won the South American Amateur in Colombia. A member of last year’s victorious Lancashire team in the English County Championship, winning five of his six games, he recently finished runner-up in the Hampshire Salver, tied fourth in the Hampshire Hog and equal seventh in the Lytham Trophy.

Marsh, 19, a former boy cap, made his full debut in last year’s Home Internationals having won back-to-back events as an amateur on the Gecko Pro Tour in Spain in 2012. Marsh reached the quarter finals of the Amateur Championship last year and finished runner-up in the North of England Youths Championship and the Welsh Open Youths. Earlier this year he was runner-up in the Portuguese Amateur Championship after a playoff.

Mullen, 20, was another to make his full England debut in the Home Internationals at Ganton last year and went on to win five of his six games for Devon in the County Finals at Minchinhampton. He finished third to Howard in the South American Amateur and recently won the Duncan Putter in Wales and finished second in the West of England Stroke Play over his home course at Royal North Devon.

Saunders, 23, also made his full England debut in last year’s Home Internationals having finished runner-up in the Chiberta Grand Prix in France. Winner of the Lagonda Trophy in 2012, he finished tied sixth in the Biarritz Cup and seventh in the Brabazon Trophy and the South of England Amateur last year.

Smith, 21, represented England for the first time in the 2012 Home Internationals at Glasgow Gailes. That year he reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur and was a member of Wiltshire’s winning team in the County Championship. Last year he was a quarter finalist in the Spanish Amateur, won the Brabazon Trophy at Formby and was a member of the GB&I Walker Cup team. This year he has won the Selborne and Hampshire Salvers.

Tree, 19, a former under 16 and boy international, made his full England debut against France in 2012. He won the England under 14 Championship in 2008 and the under 16 title two years later followed by the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters in 2011. Tree represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the 2012 Jacques Leglise Trophy and last year helped England win the European Nations Championship and the European Men’s Team Championship. He also has several victories to his name in South Africa and recently finished seventh in the Lytham Trophy.

The England v France contests date back to 1934. There have been 32 matches of which England has won 27 and France five. However, four of the French victories have come in the last nine encounters.
The match consists of four foursomes and eight singles on each day.

Image caption: Nick Marsh (left) and Harry Casey (right). Image copyright Leaderboard Photography.