The England players who shone during a fabulous month of golf in Australia have been encouraged to use the experience as a springboard to further success in 2020.
Seven squad players supported by England Golf – five from the men’s team and two from the women’s – have just ended a four-tournament stretch down under.
Emily Toy and Charlotte Heath represented the women’s squad with distinction and claimed wins.
Ben Schmidt also got his hands on silverware while Callum Farr, Ben Jones, Matty Lamb and Tom Plumb contributed to a steady stream of good news stories.
England Golf Head of Performance Nigel Edwards believes the players will have picked up invaluable experience from playing in top-class events and can bring that knowledge to championships and team events throughout the year.
Edwards said: “It’s been our best start to the year in a long time. It’s been great to see so many good scores and wins.
“I’ve no doubt that success breeds success and these results will only motivate others to kick on.”
Highlights of the month’s play were fantastic overall tournament wins for Yorkshire duo Heath and Schmidt.
Heath (pictured above) stole the show at the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship with a dominant performance to lift the title after Cornwall’s Toy had shown her class to win the strokeplay event and qualify as top seed for the matchplay.
Heath also finished tied for sixth in the Avondale Amateur while Toy made it all the way to the semi-finals of the NSW Women’s Amateur.
Schmidt (pictured below) cashed in on the developing feelgood factor when he triumphed in the all-English final in the NSW Men’s Amateur against Northamptonshire’s Farr.
Farr had earlier put on a good show in the Australian Men’s Amateur and claimed a first round hole-in-one!
Schmidt followed up his win by finishing runner up in the Avondale Amateur – the 17-year-old posting four rounds in the 60s.
Northamptonshire’s Jones can look back on a good month reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Men’s Amateur, finishing seventh in the Master of the Amateurs and a top 20 finish at Avondale.
Matty Lamb showed good early form in the Australian Men’s Amateur carding an opening round of 65 before a back injury laid him low for two weeks of the trip.
There were other notable performances from England players in the fields at the four events.
Charlie Strickland found some form and claimed some big scalps before losing in the semi-finals of the Australian Men’s Amateur.
Lancashire’s Callan Barrow too was a constant threat on leaderboards throughout January.
Edwards added: “There is a lot of strength in depth.
“Charlotte and Emily came up with wins and I’m really pleased for them both.
“Charlotte now has a chance to play in two professional events in Australia – what an opportunity.
“She deserves it as she always works diligently and smartly.
“Ben’s win was terrific and it was just a pity he didn’t make it a double in the Avondale.
“But he didn’t lose it – he shot 69 and the winner closed with two rounds of 66 so there’s still plenty positives for him to take from that final day.
“Overall it’s been a fine start to 2020 with Caley McGinty, Joe Long and Jake Bolton doing well in the South American Amateur Championship and a six-man England team winning the Costa Ballena Octangular in Spain.
“There will be some tricky decisions to be made in the next few weeks when it comes to picking squads for one or two events.
“It all augurs well for the rest of the year.”