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Orrin Joins Walker Cup Teammates Turning Pro

by Colin Callander - September 16, 2013

England’s Max Orrin is the latest member of GB&I’s 2013 Walker Cup team to announce that he has turned professional.

The 19-year-old from the North Foreland Golf Club in Kent signalled his intention on his return from the biennial match at the National Golf Links of America and now hopes to compete in a number of professional tournaments across Europe before heading to the European Tour Qualifying School later this year.

Orrin joins 27-year-old compatriot Neil Raymond and 22-year-old Irishman Kevin Phelan, who announced their intention to join the paid ranks ahead of their swansong in the amateur game at the match in America.

A host of other top British and Irish players also have entered Stage 1 of the European Tour’s Qualifying School as amateurs and several of them played in last week’s Stage 1 events at The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course in Scotland and Schloss Ebreichsdorf in Austria (see below).

Orrin heads into the professional ranks after a fine 2013 season in which he won the South East of England Links Championship at Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s and the Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog.

He also claimed the George Henriques Salver as the leading under-20 player at the Brabazon Trophy, finished tied second behind Raymond at the St. Andrews Links Trophy and reached the semifinals of the Amateur Championship, where he lost to Finland’s Toni Hakula in front of his home Kent fans.

The Kent youngster was an integral part of the English teams that won the European Nations Championship at Sotogrande and then beat Scotland in the final of the European Men’s Team Championship in Denmark.

But he did disappoint on his debut in the Walker Cup where he emerged with just half a point out of four after slumping to heavy singles defeats against both Max Homa and Justin Thomas.

Chloe Williams was the star performer as Wales won the Ladies’ Home Internationals at Scotscraig Golf Club in Fife.

The Wrexham girl won all six of her foursomes and singles matches as her country beat England 6½-2½, Ireland 5-4 and Scotland 7-2 to win the Miller Trophy for the first time since 2009 when, coincidentally, the competition also was held north of the border at Irvine.

Williams was by no means the only Welsh heroine because Katie Bradbury and Becky Harries were both unbeaten while accumulating five points out of six and four and a half points out of six while Curtis Cup player Amy Boulden claimed four points out of six and Katherine O’Connor a creditable two points out of three.

“Absolutely buzzzzzin we have just won the home internationals,” tweeted Boulden shortly after the result was confirmed. “Cmaaaan team Wales!!”

England had gone into the event bidding for a hat-trick of successive victories but they were blown off course on the opening day by Wales and then ceded second place when Ireland beat them 5-4 on the final day. Scotland was fourth with only a draw against Ireland in the opening match to show for their efforts.

Italy’s Guido Migliozzi withstood a late charge from England’s Jack Singh Brar to win the 13th edition of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal St George’s.

The Italian boys’ champion started the final round with a four-shot advantage, but in the end, he had to battle all the way to withstand the challenge from the English international who signed off with a 3-underpar 69 that tied the low round of the week with Vince van Veen from the Netherlands.

Migliozzi closed with a 2-over-par 72 to give him a 54-hole aggregate of 215 and a one-shot advantage on Singh Brar. Scotland’s Bradley Neil ended his campaign with a 71 to finish third on 220 while Nicole Morales from the United States was the leading girl in the field having closed with a 70 to finish tied in fourth place alongside Ireland’s Robin Dawson and Kristian Johannessen from Norway one shot further behind.

“I didn’t play my best golf today but my short game got me out of trouble,” said Migliozzi, who earlier this season had finished tied second behind Frenchman Matthieu Caron at the Scottish Boys’ Under- 16s Open Stroke Play Championship. “I’m very happy to win this tournament, my biggest so far,” he added.

James Ross has won the Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year Award after finishing the year as the leading Scot on the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

The 23-year-old from Royal Burgess, in his final year at the University of Houston, was 97th on WAGR at the cut-off point at the start of September ahead of Graeme Robertson, Grant Forrest, Jack McDonald and Neil.

He joins a Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year roll of honour that includes Andrew Coltart, Dean Robertson, Steven O’Hara, Richie Ramsay and last year’s winner, McDonald.

Ross started the year by finishing just outside the top-20 at the Lytham Trophy and then came third behind Rhys Pugh and Garrick Porteous at the Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play at Royal Porthcawl.

He was one of only two players who finished under par in qualifying for the European Amateur Team Championship in Denmark, where Scotland went on to reach the final before losing to England. Ross was fourth at the East of Scotland, ninth at the Carrick Neill Scottish Stroke Play, 11th at the European Individual and 12th at the St. Andrews Links Trophy before earning another cap representing Scotland at the Home Internationals at Ganton.

“To win this award is a great accolade and definitely caps off my year,” Ross said. “I had a good year. I played well in big European events, like the European Individual, and jumped up the rankings on the back of that.”

Ireland completed a magnificent national double when its teams won both the European Senior Men’s Team Championship in Hungary and the European Senior Ladies’ Team Championship in Slovenia.

The Irish men’s team, comprising reigning Irish Senior Open Amateur champion Michael Quirke (Doneraile), current Senior Close Amateur champion Garth McGimpsey (Bangor), Tom Cleary (Cork), Maurice Kelly (Kileen), Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock) and Arthur Pierse (Tipperary), lifted the trophy after defeating defending champions Sweden by 4-1 in the final at Pannonia Golf & Country Club.

England secured third place after beating Scotland 3-2 in the third place playoff while, at the start of the week, the English Senior champion, Richard Latham, carded rounds 70 and 68 to claim the individual honours after the 36-hole stroke-play qualiier. That was enough to give him a four-shot victory ahead of Cleary, with Pierse and Kelly third and fourth and McGimpsey tied ifth alongside England’s Martin Galway.

The Irish Senior Ladies’ team, comprising Irish Close champion Suzanne Corcoran (Portumna), Pat Doran (Donabate), Sheena McElroy (Grange), Gertie McMullen (The Island), Laura Webb (East Berkshire) and Carol Wickham (Laytown & Bettystown) travelled to Bled Golf Club where they finished fourth behind the Netherlands in qualifying and then went on a run that saw them beat Sweden and the Netherlands before securing a 3½-1½ victory against Italy in the final.

England claimed third place after defeating the Netherlands 4-1 in a playoff. The individual prize was won by Nan Crookewit from the Netherlands, who defeated Switzerland’s Marie-Christine De Werra by five shots after posting two rounds of 72 for a 2-under-par total of 144.

Wickham was the leading Irish qualiier after posting rounds of 76 and 75 to finish tied fourth and she went on to win all three of her singles including a 3-and-2 victory against Italy’s Clotilde Fasolis Costa in the final.

Kerry Smith, a former English champion and Curtis Cup player from Waterlooville, carded rounds of 77 and 70 to retain the Liphook Scratch Cup.

Smith’s 3-over-par aggregate of 147 left her tied with Charlotte Thompson, the 2011 champion from Channels Golf Club. Thompson opened with a 4-underpar 68 but slumped to a second-round 79 to lose the title on countback. Saunton’s Emma Tayler recorded rounds of 75 and 73 to claim third place on 148 while Sophie Madden, the English international from West Essex, was fourth after adding a 77 to her opening 74.

The Liphook Scratch Cup was the last counting event on this year’s England Golf Lorrin Ladies’ Order of Merit and Smith’s victory saw her rise to 12th on the list just behind current English international Amber Ratcliffe, from Royal Cromer.

The 2013 list was topped by Alex Peters, from Notts, just ahead of reigning English stroke play champion Sarah-Jane Boyd, from Truro, and 2013 Irish Women’s Open Stroke Play champion Meghan McLaren, from Wellingborough.

The rest of the top 10 consisted of Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak), Gabby Cowley (Brocket Hall), Rachael Goodall (Heswall), Charlotte Thomas (Singapore), Tayler (Saunton), Sam Fuller (Roehampton) and Thompson (Channels).

Lincolnshire will start out as favourites when this week’s England Golf Ladies’ County Ffinals gets underway at Wilmslow Golf Club in Cheshire.

Its team includes eight of the players who won the championship for the first time in 2011, including Helen Hewlett (nee Dobson), a past British champion and Curtis Cup player, who won on the LPGA Tour in 1993 before rejoining the amateur ranks.

Yorkshire, who return to the championship after an absence of two years, have been champions 11 times, most recently in 2008, when they won the title for a ifth year in a row. Their team includes current county champion Emma Brown, who has played in three Curtis Cups and won British, English, European, South African and Scottish titles.

The County Finals are played in a round-robin format with the six finalists playing each other in foursomes and singles. The other four counties to make it through to this year’s Finals are Hertfordshire, the champions in 2010, who beat the holders Essex in this summer’s East qualifier, Kent, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire are the only one of the finalists never to have lifted the trophy but their team includes former girl international Shelby Smart as well as Bethan Popel, who is the South West women’s champion and the Under-18 English stroke play champion.

Kent has claimed the title four times, most recently in 2003, while Warwickshire have won it twice, albeit not for 50 years.

Scottish international Scott Crichton was one of three amateurs who progressed from last week’s European Tour Stage 1 Qualifying School event at The Roxburghe Hotel & Golf Course near Kelso.

Crichton, from Aberdour, carded rounds of 74, 69, 73 and 72, to go through to Stage 2 on the same mark as American amateur Zac Blair. England’s Carl Corbin qualified on 1-over-par 289 but the event proved to be a big disappointment for Scottish Amateur finalist James White, who started brightly with rounds of 69 and 71 but then slumped to a 74 and a 77 to miss out by two shots. Fellow Scottish international Robertson was also among the casualties.

Austria’s Robin Goger was the only amateur to make it through the concurrent Stage 1 Qualifying event at Schloss Ebreichsdorf. He produced rounds of 70, 71, 65 and 66 to finished third behind Mexican professional Rodolfo Cazaubon.

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