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Ams Advance In Q-School, Face Decisions

by Colin Callander - November 11, 2013

Callum Shinkwin edged one step closer to earning a European Tour card when he finished tied for second place at last week’s European Tour Stage 2 Qualifying School at Lumine Golf & Beach Club in Spain.

The 19-year-old reigning English Amateur champion carded rounds of 68, 71, 65 and 70 to finish on 10-under-par 274 and now moves on to this week’s Final Qualifying School at the PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona, where the leading 25 players and those tied for 25th place will earn a place on next year’s European Tour.

Shinkwin will be joined at PGA Cataylunya by Irish international Dermot McElroy, who grabbed the last available spot at Lumine Beach, and now can wait and see how he plays at PGA Catalunya before deciding on his future.

“I don’t know if I will turn professional yet because I have a lot of options and I’ll just wait and see what happens next week,” he told Brian Keogh of the Irish Golf Desk. “If I got a Challenge Tour card I’d definitely turn pro but even if I didn’t, it’s definitely an option now. It’s a hard decision but I’m sure I will make the right one, whatever it is.”

German amateur Christopher Dammert also made it to Final Qualifying after finishing tied 14th at the Stage 2 event at Las Colinas. However, there was heartache for the English trio of Garrick Porteous, Ryan Evans and Nathan Kimsey, plus Scottish international Scott Crichton, who all missed out at Stage 2 and now will have to decide whether to remain in the amateur ranks or turn professional and attempt to secure a spot on one of the mini-tours.

Porteous, the 2013 British Amateur champion, looked set to progress to Final Qualifying School when he opened with rounds of 69, 71 and 67 at the Stage 2 Qualifying event Las Colinas but a disastrous closing round of 80 saw him drop down to a share of 41st place and miss out on his chance to bid for the big time. Two other amateurs, Robbie Busher from England and Robin Goger from Austria, also failed to qualify at Las Colinas.

Evans, the 2013 Berkshire Trophy winner from Wellingborough, also will rue one bad round as he finished T26 at El Saler.

The English international opened brightly enough with solid rounds of 71 and 70 but then carded an 80 before bouncing back with a 73 that left him three shots outside the qualification mark. Frenchman Adrien Saddier and Ireland’s Kevin Phelan, who both turned professional ahead of Q-School, were among the qualifiers at the same venue but it turned out to be a disappointing event for another relatively recent convert, Alan Dunbar, the 2012 Amateur champion from Northern Ireland, who finished well down the field in a share of 47th place.

The fourth Stage 2 Qualifying event was staged at Valle Romano, near Estepona, where the only two amateur competitors, Carl Corbin from England and Spain’s Javier Gallegos, both missed out. Two other recent converts, France’s Édouard España and Englishman Max Orrin, did qualify but there was no such luck for 2012 Welsh Open Stroke Play champion Craig Hinton, from The Oxfordshire, or 2011 European Amateur champion Manuel Trappel from Austria, who finished T23 and T31, respectively.

This year’s Final Qualifying School started at PGA Catalunya on Sunday and runs through to Friday. Shinkwin, McElroy and Dammert all will be hoping to emulate the sort of form displayed 12 months ago by German amateur Moritz Lampert.

The 2012 German and Portuguese amateur champion was in contention all the way before finishing sixth behind England’s John Parry. However, he since has struggled to find any sort of form and has made just €45,251 in 22 starts on the European Tour and a further €8,068 in eight appearances on the Challenge Tour. That meant a speedy return to the Qualifying School and it also ended in disappointment when he finished T62 at the Stage 2 event at El Saler.

Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) and Rory McNamara (Headfort) will set out in search of a maiden Irish victory when they tee up in this week’s Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup at Los Lagartos Country Club, near Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Irish pair will face stern competition from a strong international field including Gerlou Roux and Callum Mowat from South Africa and defending champions Australia, who this year are represented by Anthony Murdaca and the in-form Jarryd Felton. Murdaca won his second Australian Boys’ title in April while Felton is in the middle of a successful run that has brought him victories in the Queensland Amateur Stroke Play, the City of Perth Championship, the Mandurah Amateur and the Gosnells Trophy.

The Irish are regular participants in a popular event that dates to 1996.

Twelve months ago an Irish duo, Richard O’Donovan and Reeve Whitson, led by five shots at the halfway stage but then dropped back to finish 15 shots adrift of a rampant Australian side comprising Geoff Drakeford and Jordan Zunic.

It was Australia’s fifth victory in the team event and Drakeford also won the individual contest after putting together rounds of 71, 69, 66 and 74 to finish two shots ahead of Uruguay’s Juan Alvares and three in front of Alejandro Tosti, representing the home nation. Whitson posted rounds of 69, 72, 73 and 71 to finish sixth on 285 while O’Donovan carded rounds of 70, 71, 78 and 75 to drop back into a share of 19th place on 10-over-par 294.

England is the only one of the four host nations to have won the title but no longer sends a team to event. The English won for the first time back in 2000 when Gary Wolstenholme and Nick Dougherty lifted the trophy and then 12 months later repeated that success when represented by Zane Scotland and David Skinns. Gary Lockerbie and Michael Skelton claimed England’s third success in 2003 and three years later Seve Benson and Ed Richardson added to the haul with another win.

Other former winners include Australians Adam Scott and Kim Felton (1998) and Aaron Baddeley and Brett Rumford (1999), Argentina’s Sebastián Saavedra and Estanislao Goya (2004) and Holland’s Daan Huizing and Robin Kind (2011).

GB&I international Bronte Law has made a fine start to her freshman year at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The 2012 Curtis Cup player from Bramhall, Cheshire, claimed two second-place finishes in her first five starts for the Bruins and then capped that with her first collegiate victory at the subsequent Pac-12 Preview event at Nanea Golf Club in Hawaii.

Law opened the event with a 3-under- par 70 and then added a flawless 8-under 65 before closing with a 76 to finish one shot ahead of Southern California’s Annie Park on 8-under-par 211.

The 18-year-old is not the only English girl to have starred on the US collegiate circuit during the past 10 days because Yorkshire’s Alison Knowles followed her first collegiate victory at the Samford Women’s Collegiate tournament with another at the recent Steelwood Preview hosted by the University of South Alabama. The freshman at the University of Louisiana at Monroe carded rounds of 72 and 68 to finish six shots ahead of the field on 4-under-par 140 and to help ULM claim its third win of the season.

Bradley Moore, who headed this year’s England Golf Boys’ Order of Merit after victories in the European Young Masters and the Peter McEvoy Trophy, is one of 10 top performers to be included in the England Boys’ training squad for 2013-14.

Moore, 16, who also reached the semifinals of last year’s British Boys’ Championship, is joined by 2013 English Under-15 and Under-16 champion Marco Penge, recent Daily Telegraph Junior champion Ashton Turner, Lancashire men’s and boys’ champion Haydn Mc- Cullen and 15-year-old Matty Lamb, the champion at this year’s Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Both Jack Singh Brar, 16, the South of England Boys’ champion, and his 14-year-old cousin, Arrun Singh Brar, the North of England Under-16 champion, are also in the squad.

The full squad comprises: Lamb (Hexham), McCullen (Delamere Forest), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park), Penge (Worthing), Arrun Singh Brar and Jack Singh Brar (both Brokenhurst Manor), Billy Spooner (Boston), Jake Storey (Alnmouth), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick) and Turner (Kenwick Park).

The revamped girls’ squad for 2013- 14 comprises Annabel Dimmock (Wentworth), Samantha Fuller (Roehampton), Eloise Healey (West Lancashire), Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted), Sophie Keech (Parkstone), Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe), Sophie Madden (West Essex) and Hollie Muse (West Lancashire).

The 17-year-old Dimmock made her debut for the English ladies’ team at the women’s Home Internationals, having previously helped the girls to retain the Girls’ Home Internationals. Fuller, 14, Hewson, 16, Keech, 17, Lamb, 15, and Madden, 16, also were part of that winning girls’ squad.

Fuller, Hewson, Lamb and Madden are also GB&I girl internationals while Muse, 13, and Healey, 16, were respectively in England’s winning teams in this year’s Under-16 internationals against Spain and Switzerland. Keech is the reigning English Girls’ and English Schools’ champion.

Ben Amor is just one of a number of promising youngsters to be drafted into the England Men’s “A” squad for the 2013-14 season. The 18-year-old from Marlborough Golf Club in Wiltshire, who won this year’s Carris Trophy, is joined by 2012 English Amateur champion Harry Ellis, 2012 Carris Trophy winner Patrick Kelly, Joe Dean from Lindrick, who won the Lee Westwood Trophy a few weeks ago, and Robert Burlison, from Oxley Park, who won all six of his games while helping Staffordshire to victory in the recent Boys’ County Team Championship at Woodhall Spa. Bobby Keeble, the 18-year-old Essex county champion, who won this year’s English County Championship tournament, is also in the squad.

There are a total of 13 players in the “A” squad, nine of whom are boy caps: Amor (Marlborough), Jamie Bower (Meltham), Daniel Brown (Bedale), Burlison (Oxley Park), Adam Chapman (Windermere), Dean (Lindrick), Ellis (Meon Valley), Luke Johnson (King’s Lynn), Keeble (Crowlands Heath), Kelly (Boston West), Paul Kinnear (Formby), Alie Plant (Rochester & Cobham) and Daniel Wasteney (Bondhay).

Steve Creed (right), from Maxstoke Park near Birmingham, has won the Mid- Amateur Golf Tour Order of Merit for 2013. Creed, who plays off scratch, captured the Chart Hills, Berkhamsted and Midland Open titles and claimed six other top-10s on his way to finishing ahead of Enville’s Steve Watton and Scottish Mid-Amateur champion, Colin Johnson, from Hainault Forrest. Global Golf Post’s James Bunch was 11th on the list after adding the Welsh Mid-Amateur title to the Scottish equivalent he won the year before.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Steve on his performances during the 2013 season,” said Jason Morris, director of golf at the Mid-Amateur Golf Tour. “He is a great supporter of the tour and is a pleasure to have around.

“We are very pleased with how the tour has developed and the Order of Merit has proved to be a big hit with the players,” he added. “The tour has really taken off with players coming from all over the UK and Europe and we are looking for potential sponsors who may be interested in joining us for 2014.

“We are also in the final stages of planning for 2015 when we are looking to resurrect the British Mid-Am having had the green light to proceed from the R&A.”

A total of almost 20 Mid-Amateur Tour fixtures already have been scheduled for 2014, including new events at Wildernesse, Royal Blackheath, Ganton, Vicars Cross, Woodhall Spa and Letchworth. There are also plans to stage a three-man team event and a Grand Final featuring the leading players on next year’s Order of Merit.

The Mid-Amateur Tour is open to all male golfers aged 35 and older who are members of a golf club and have an active handicap. The handicap limit for most events is 12 although some have no ballot and are played on a first come, first served basis. More information about the tour is available at www.midamgolf.co.uk or from Jason Morris on 07891 766102.

Reproduced with kind permission of Global Golf Post - Subscribe now for free

 




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