Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Three members of the re-formed England Squad will travel Down Under next month to challenge for several of Australia’s key championships, hoping to emulate the successes of the last two winters.
Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire), Ben Loughrey (Wrag Barn, Wiltshire) and Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire) will spend over a month in the southern hemisphere sunshine during which they will compete in five events.
The trio will tee off with the Masters of the Amateurs at Royal Melbourne from January 10-13, followed by the Australian Amateur Championship at the Woodland and Huntingdale Golf Clubs from January 17 to 22.
They will then move on to the Lake Macquarie International at Belmont from January 26 to 29,  before the New South Wales Medal at Long Reef and Mona Vale Golf Clubs from February 1 to 3.
If they qualify from that, they will contest the New South Wales Amateur Championship at Elanora Country Club from February 6 to 9.
Chesters, 22, has won many events in his home county and was an under 16 cap in 2005. He has made rapid progress over recent years on the national scene, culminating in victory in the Lee Westwood Trophy in August.
He represented the EGU in the Simon Bolivar Cup in Venezuela early last month, finishing runner-up to Dutch international Robin Kind. He was then named in the re-formed England Squad.Loughrey, 23, who preceded Chesters as winner of the Lee Westwood Trophy, visited Australia last winter, winning the New South Wales Cup. It led to a successful 2011 in which he has finished third in the Welsh Open Stroke Play and tied fifth in the Brabazon Trophy and the South of England Stroke Play Championship.
He also made his full England debut against Spain at The Berkshire in May and also played in the Home Internationals while he was a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the English County Championship at Ganton.
Raymond, 25, was another to visit Australia a year ago when, like Loughrey, he was a member of the winning England team in The Ashes tournament. He also made his England debut this year against the Spanish and went on to win the Brabazon Trophy in an emotional finish at Burnham & Berrow. He was also capped in the Home Internationals, finished runner-up in the Selborne Salver and seventh in the Welsh Open Stroke Play.
In January 2010, Tommy Fleetwood had three top ten finishes down under including runner-up in the New South Wales Amateur. Last January, Jack Senior won the New South Wales Amateur, beating Andy Sullivan in an all-English final and tied second behind Sullivan in the New South Wales Medal.
Also at that time, Sullivan tied second in the Masters of the Amateurs when Laurie Canter finished fifth. Canter was also joint fourth in the New South Wales Medal alongside Stiggy Hodgson, while Tom Lewis reached the quarter finals of the New South Wales Amateur and was tied seventh in the Medal.
The Masters of the Amateurs tournament has an international field. The opening round is played with club professionals and guests with a shotgun start. The other three rounds comprise only the amateurs.
The long established 72-hole Lake Macquarie International at Belmont Golf Club has seen several English winners such as Roger Chapman, Russell Claydon, Ricky Willison, Nick Dougherty and Adam Gee.
The field in the New South Wales Medal will play one round each over the Long Reef and Mona Vale courses after which there will be a cut with the leading 60 players plus ties playing 36 holes at Long Reef. The leading 32 players from that will enter the match play knockout competition for the NSW Amateur at Elanora.



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