Day six round-up – The Final:
Conor Gough produced a sparkling performance to win the English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common in Surrey.
The 16-year-old from Stoke Park beat 20-year-old Callum Farr from Northamptonshire County 3&2 in the final to add to the McGregor Trophy and the British Boys’ titles he won last year.
Gough spent much of the early part of the season studying for his GCSEs but clearly the enforced break has had no detrimental effect on his golf.
He began the morning round of the final by hitting a 350-yard drive down the first and then holing out from 12-feet for a birdie and seven holes later he was three up after a birdie on the 6th and an eagle on the 8th.
20-year-old Farr claimed his first hole of the day when he birdied from just off the front of the green at the 10th but he could never quite reel in his opponent and he was four down heading into lunch before he won the 18th with a par.
Farr started the second round strongly by winning the first with a birdie and the second with a par but he found himself three down again after dropping shots at both the 4th and the 5th. Thereafter the pair were to share eight birdies between them before Gough sealed victory with a testing four-foot downhill putt for a par on the short 16th.
“It feels great to win,” said Gough moments after holing the winning putt. “I played really well. I love match play and as soon as I got through the stroke play qualifier I knew I had a good chance.
“I’m proud of myself. I’ve got a couple of big weeks coming up so I hope I can keep things going.
“I’ve got the Boys’ Home Internationals next week and then the US Amateur Championship at Pinehurst. I’m really looking forward to that. It’s the same format as this so hopefully I can put in another good performance.”
It was impossible not to feel for England “A” squad member Farr who has now reached the last four and the last two in the past two years without tasting success.
“I hit the ball better this afternoon but just couldn’t get the putts to drop,” he said. “I’m disappointed but Conor is a very good player and he deserved to win because he played a lot better than me.
“I got to the semi-final last year and now the final so maybe next year will be my year,” he added.
Day five round-up:
England internationals Conor Gough and Callum Farr will contest the final of the 2019 English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common in Surrey.
After coming through 36 holes of stroke play and five rounds of match play the 16-year-old from Stoke Park and the 20-year-old from Northamptonshire County are the last two men standing and will be battling it out to lift a trophy won in the past by a series of illustrious players including Nick Faldo, Paul Casey, Mark James, Tommy Fleetwood and Danny Willett.
Reigning Boys’ Amateur champion Gough beat Chelmsford’s Curtis Knipes 3 & 2 in their quarter-final and then in the afternoon was in remorseless form as he defeated 2019 St Andrews Links Trophy winner Jake Burnage 4 & 3 in semi-finals.
The highlight of the match came at the 604-yard par-5 eighth where Burnage holed out for an eagle from 50-feet only to see his younger opponent follow him in from ten. Gough was four under par when the match ended on the 15th.
Farr played both his quarter-final and his semi-final without dropping a single shot to par.
He beat Gough’s English Boys’ team colleague Enrique Dimayuga 4 & 3 in the morning and then withstood a dogged challenge from Rochford Hundred’s Bradley Bawden before beating him 2 & 1. Farr played the more consistent golf from tee to green but his Essex opponent, who has just graduated from the University of Memphis, holed several clutch putts to keep him in the match before he overshot the 17th green and had to admit defeat.
The final starts at 8.30 tomorrow morning.
Day four round-up:
Saunton’s Jake Burnage remains on course to claim his second major title of the season after beating Buckinghamshire’s William Shackleton 5 & 4 in the fourth round of the English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common.
Burnage, who won the St Andrews Links Trophy earlier in the year, will now play Jack Floydd from Haywards Heath for a place in tomorrow afternoon’s semi-final. Floydd beat Lewis Hinton from Foxhills 8 & 6 in their fourth round match.
Conor Gough’s bid to add to last year’s British Boys’ title continues after he beat this year’s Lytham Trophy winner Josh McMahon, from Wallasey, 5 & 4 in their fourth round match and the 16-year-old from Stoke Park will now come up against the in-form Curtis Knipes, from Chelmsford, in tomorrow morning’s quarter-final. Knipes, who played in The Open at Royal Portrush, claimed a 2 & 1 victory over experienced international Tom Sloman from Taunton & Pickeridge.
Gough is not the only member of next week’s England Boys’ Home International team left in the draw because Walton Heath teenager, Enrique Dimayuga, defeated Wakefield’s Daniel Bradbury 2 & 1 in their fourth round match and will now play Northamptonshire County’s Callum Farr who ran out a 3 & 2 winner over Jason Stokes from La Moye.
The other quarter-final match in the bottom half of the draw will feature Bradley Bawden, from Rochford Hundred, against Joe Harvey from The Kendleshire. Bawden beat Chelmsford’s Arron Edwards-Hill 3 & 2 while Harvey emerged with a 2 & 1 victory over Ben Rhodes from Woodhall Hills.
Day three round-up:
Leading qualifier, Jake Bolton, from Ogbourne Downs Golf Club in Wiltshire, is through to the third round of English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common.
Bolton beat the host club’s Bobby Leopold by one hole in their second round match and will now face Lewis Hinton from Foxhills tomorrow morning for a place in the last sixteen. Hinton beat Calcot Park’s Melan Dhaubhadel 2 & 1 in the second round.
There are some intriguing matches in the third round with St Andrews Links Trophy winner Jake Burnage facing Matty Lamb, his nearest challenger at the Home of Golf, and fellow English international Tom Sloman coming face-to-face with Alex Fitzpatrick from Hallamshire.
In the second round, Burnage, from Saunton, beat Kendleshire’s Haider Hussain 4 & 3 while Lamb, from Hexham, won by the same margin against Belton Park’s William Hopkins. Sloman, from Taunton & Pickeridge, progressed with a 3 & 2 victory over Cole Betteridge from Sherwood Forest and the result was the same in Fitzpatrick’s match against David Houlding from Moortown.
Other big names to progress included Lytham Trophy winner Josh McMahon, Harry Goddard, Callum Farr, Ben Hutchinson and reigning British Boys’ champion Conor Gough. The 16-year-old from Stoke Park now plays Cumberwell Park’s Jamie Li in the next round with the winner coming up against either McMahon or Jordan Boulton from Notts in the afternoon.
Arguably the biggest surprise in the second round was Tom Plumb’s 3&2 defeat by George Saunders from Meon Valley. The victor’s reward is a third round match against Bradley Bawden from Rochford Hundred.
Day two round-up:
Ben Firth, James Wilson and Enrique Dimayuga all shot course records as they qualified for the match play stage of the English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common.
Firth, from the Leeds Golf Centre, carded a six-under par 64 in his second qualifying round at North Hants to qualify in second place alongside Walton Heath’s Harvey Byers on five-under par 136 while Dimayuga recovered from an opening 76 at Hankley Common to match Firth’s score at North Hants and make it through in 19th place on 140.
Wilson, from Tyneside, had opened with a two-over par 72 at North Hants but moved up to a share of fourth place with Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick on four-under par 137 after firing a six-under par 65 at Hankley Common.
This year’s leading qualifier, who will be the No. 1 seed in the match play draw, was Jake Bolton, from Ogbourne Downs, who shot a 67 at North Hants, one better than his score the previous day at Hankley Common, to finish on six-under par 135.
On a day of low scoring, Stoke Park’s John Gough, Yeovil’s Tom Plumb, Saunton’s Jake Burnage and Harry Goddard from Hanbury Manor all shot under par to finish on three-under par 138 while the large group on 139 comprised Chelmsford’s Arron Edwards-Hill, Frilford Heath’s Olly Higgins, Mere’s Jack Brooks, Cumberwell Park’s Jamie Li, Atherstone’s Sam Broadhurst, Hartford’s Rhys Nevin-Wharton and Olton’s Joe MacIwraith.
A total of 72 golfers qualified for the match play stage on 144 or better meaning there will be a preliminary round in the morning to determine the top 64 who will start in the first round proper. One player who missed out was defending champion Tom Thurloway, from Chartham Park, who carded a 70 at North Hants to add to his opening 78 at Hankley Common leaving him four shots outside the qualification mark.
Day one round-up:
Lindrick’s Samuel Rook made a late charge to share the lead after the first round of the 36-hole stroke play qualifier at the English Men’s Amateur Championship at Hankley Common and North Hants.
Rook, playing his first round at North Hants, eagled the 17th and birdied the 18th to share top spot on three under par with Callum Farr (Northamptonshire County), Jamie Li (Cumberwell Park), Harvey Byers (Walton Heath) and Jake Bolton (Ogbourne Downs). Both Farr and Li also played their first rounds at North Hants while Byers and Bolton were at Hankley Common. The par for the course is 70 at North Hants and 71 at Hankley Common.
Sam Broadhurst, from Atherstone Golf Club, a son of former Senior Open champion and Ryder Cup player Paul, is tied on two under par in a group that also includes Harry Crockett (Addlington Palace), Sam Robertson (Chestfield) and John Gough (Stoke Park).
Gough’s younger brother Conor, the reigning British Boys’ champion, carded a 69 at North Hants to be in the large group on one-under par.
Defending champion Tom Thurloway, from Chartham Park, has left himself with a lot to do to reach the match play stage of the championship after carding a seven-over par 78 at Hankley Common.
At the end of the second round, the leading 64 players, and those tied for 64th place, will qualify for the match play stage at Hankley Common. A preliminary match play round will be played to determine the top 64 players if that is required.