A feast of top class amateur golf will be on show when the Brabazon Trophy is played at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire, from 31st May to 3rd June 2018. An international field will compete for the highly prized trophy, or to give its full name, the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship. It’s a title that all amateurs want on their golfing CV and past champions include Major winners Sandy Lyle and Charl Schwartzel, while Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and last week’s GolfSixes winner, Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan are all among the past challengers. The golf will be superb and there’s free admission for spectators, who are warmly welcomed to watch the action unfold.
Alistair Booth, who is both Chairman of Frilford Heath and President of BB&O (Berks, Bucks & Oxon), commented: “We want to let everyone know about this great opportunity to watch top quality players who will be the professionals of the future. We’d love to welcome everyone with an interest in golf and we’re hoping for lots of spectators from local clubs and that families will see this as a great day out.”
The main contenders will include England’s own Todd Clements and Matthew Jordan, who are both ranked in the world top 20 – and are in sizzling form. Clements (Braintree, Essex) is the English amateur champion and recently saw off the pride of Europe to score a five-shot individual win at the European Nations Cup. Jordan (Royal Liverpool, Cheshire) is a Walker Cup player and has just won the prestigious Lytham Trophy, where he was the only player to beat par – eight-under – and won by nine shots. Among the other in-form players are Hampshire’s Billy McKenzie (Rowlands Castle) who is the Spanish amateur champion and Staffordshire’s Gian-Marco Petrozzi (Trentham), the New South Wales amateur champion. They’re among 75 exempt players who are travelling from as far afield as Australia and South Africa, as well as from a range of European countries.
Last year’s championship was won by South Africa’s Kyle McClatchie and three of his countrymen will aim to emulate his feat. Malcolm Mitchell, Matt Saulez and Chris Woollam are all ranked in their country’s top six. Closer to home, the challengers include French internationals Edgar Catherine and Frederic Lacroix, Welsh international Ben Chamberlain and Scotland’s 2017 men’s amateur champion, Sam Locke. The strong Scottish contingent also includes Darren Howie, last year’s Scottish Boys’ Order of Merit winner and John Paterson, the 2017 Scottish Boys’ Open Stroke Play champion.
The exempt players will be joined by at least 60 competitors from next Tuesday’s pre-qualifying tournaments at Camberley Heath, Surrey, and Fairhaven, Lancashire. Over 280 players will compete at the two venues in an attempt to win a place in the Brabazon. Ahead of them lies the challenge of Frilford Heath’s Red course, the Club’s oldest and most prestigious course, which was laid out by JH Taylor.
Frilford Heath is a regular host of England Golf events, including the English Men’s Amateur Championship and England Golf Week, but the flagship Brabazon Trophy will be the most prestigious amateur event it has held.