English internationals Conor Gough and Ben Schmidt will head the field when the English Boy’s Under-18 Open Stroke Play Championship gets underway at Moor Park in Hertfordshire on July 23.
Gough, the reigning British Boys’ champion from Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, and Yorkshireman Schmidt, from Rotherham Golf Club in Yorkshire, who earlier this year became the youngest-ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy, will be joined by international colleague Max Hopkins, from Bishops Stortford and Hertfordshire, who was also part of the English team that finished fifth in the recent European Boys’ Team Championship at Chantilly.
Other current English Boys’ squad members in the field include George Leigh (Trevose and Cornwall) and Ben Pierleoni (Berkhamsted and Herfordshire).
Twelve months ago, 18-year-old Barclay Brown, from Hallamshire Golf Club in Yorkshire, birdied the last two holes to snatch a one-shot victory over Italy’s Gregorio De Leo at Fulford and this year sees another strong international contingent from the same country as well as representatives from Australia, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Estonia and the Czech Republic.
Moor Park is the historic home of the Championship. It was staged at the Hertfordshire club on an annual basis between 1935 and 1987 (except for a break during World War Two) and on seven occasions since, most recently in 2014 when Hayden McCullen claimed the title.
Other past winners of the Carris Trophy include Justin Rose, Tom Lewis, Peter Baker, David Gilford, Sandy Lyle and Ken Brown.
The 72-hole stroke play championship is played over four days between the 23rd and the 26th of July. The full field plays 18 holes on each of the first two days. After 36 holes, the leading 60 competitors and those tied in 6th place play a further 18 holes on the third day. There is then a re-draw with the final 18 holes being played on the fourth day.