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ENGLAND LOOK TO TURN SILVER INTO GOLD AT COSTA BALLENA
6th January 2010

After finishing runners-up for the past three years, England is sending a powerful team to Spain in a bid to recapture the annual Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament title it last won in 2006.
Ben Loughrey
Ben Loughrey (Photo Tom Ward)


The event, which will be played at the Costa Ballena Ocean Golf Club on 27th - 29th January, will see England represented by Jonathan Bell ( Royal Blackheath , Kent), Ben Loughrey ( Wrag Barn , Wiltshire), James Robinson ( Southport & Ainsdale , Lancashire), Tom Shadbolt ( Mid Herts , Hertfordshire), Matthew Southgate ( Thorpe Hall , Essex) and Josh White ( Chipstead , Surrey).

Both Robinson and Shadbolt played in the event last year, Robinson scoring four points from his six matches.

Bell, 18, a former English Under 14 Champion, was capped at under 16 level before stepping up as a boy cap in 2008. He enjoyed a successful 2009, helping England win the Boys Home Internationals and GB&I the Jacques Leglise Trophy.  The Kent lad also had a string of fourth place finishes, in the Berkhamsted and Lagonda Trophies and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters when the defending champion. However, the year climaxed with a runners-up spot in the Lee Westwood Trophy and victory in the Faldo Series Final in Brazil. Just after Christmas he represented the English Golf Union (EGU) in the Junior Orange Bowl in Florida.

Loughrey (picture © Tom Ward), 21, has been a member of the Wiltshire team that reached the English County Finals for the past three years. In 2009 he won the South West Colts Championship and the North of England Youths title and finished runner-up in the South West Stroke Play Championship.

Robinson, 20, also enjoyed a successful 2009, highlighted by his debut for England in the winning Home Internationals team at Hillside . Earlier he won the Lytham Trophy, finished second in the S&A Bowl and was tied third in the Hampshire Hog. A semi-finalist in the 2007 English Amateur Championship, Robinson helped Lancashire to the County Championship in 2008 and has represented the EGU in the Czech Republic, France, Spain and Venezuela in the past two years.

Shadbolt, 21, pulled off the performance of his career last autumn when he won the Italian Amateur Championship by beating Amateur Champion and Open Championship silver medallist Matteo Manassero in the final. A former Hertfordshire Boys and County Champion, Shadbolt finished runner-up in the Lagonda Trophy and fourth in the Lee Westwood Trophy, both in 2007, while last year he was sixth in the Selborne Salver and seventh in the Czech Amateur when representing the EGU.

Southgate, 21, broke onto the national scene last year, finishing runner-up to Chris Lloyd in the English County Champions Tournament at Woodhall Spa , having won his first Essex Championship at Clacton-on-Sea . The Thorpe Hall player also helped Essex to their first ever English County Championship in the finals at Chipping Sodbury.

White, 18, is the Surrey County Champion, who has also broken through in 2009. He helped Surrey to a third successive English Boys County Championship, finishing joint top scorer for his team with five points from six matches. He also finished third in the McEvoy Trophy, sixth in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and was capped by England for the first time when helping to win the Boys Home Internationals at Hankley Common .

After winning the Costa Ballena event in 2005 and 2006, England finished runners-up to Spain in the following two years while they were denied by Germany last year. Finland will be the other country competing.

As in previous years, the Costa Ballena competition will be played on a round robin basis, each match comprising three foursomes and six singles.


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