Raymond tops Order of Merit

Neil Raymond 2012

Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI), Brabazon Trophy winner for the past two years and an England international for the same period, has won the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Men’s order of merit for 2012.

Raymond (Image © Tom Ward) 26, topped the list with 609.09 points, less than three ahead of his international team-mate Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O) but over 60 clear of third placed Edward Richardson (Hemsted Forest, Kent).

“I’m delighted to win the order of merit and to see my name among the previous winners,” he said. “This caps off my season nicely and I’m grateful to Titleist and FootJoy for their sponsorship.

“My season has been good and the highlight was winning the Brabazon Trophy again. Some of the other performances were not what I was looking for and I was disappointed not to win the English Amateur. It would have been nice to do ‘the double’.

“But it doesn’t always go as planned so I’ll keep working hard over the winter and hopefully I’ll get to where I want to be next year.”

Jonathan Dowdell, Titleist Golf Ball Product & Marketing Manager, commented: "As the #1 ball in golf, Titleist is delighted to have once again supported the order of merit and there can be no doubt that the title has gone to a truly worthy winner. We would like to congratulate Neil on claiming the order of merit title which is just reward for a season of great quality and consistency."

Most of Raymond’s points were gained when he successfully defended the Brabazon Trophy at Walton Heath following his initial success at Burnham & Berrow in 2011.

That was his only major victory of the season although he also won the New South Wales Medal in a playoff while in Australia at the start of the year. However, he reached the quarter finals of the English Amateur Championship at Silloth-on-Solway.

The bulk of Hinton’s points were gained from his victory in the Welsh Open Stroke Play while the 24 year old also finished equal fourth in the St Andrews Links Trophy.

Richardson, 44, has made a successful return to top level amateur golf after battling with serious illness. An international between 2005 and 2008, he won the Hong Kong Amateur Championship last week and has enjoyed top ten finishes in at least six tournaments.