Wednesday, June 13, 2012


No player has won two successive Brabazon Trophies for over 20 years. But Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire) will attempt to change that when he defends the title over the Old Course at Walton Heath on 28th June – 1st July.
Raymond won the English Men’s Open Stroke Play Championship, the Brabazon’s official title, at Burnham & Berrow in Somerset a year ago, a victory that followed his full England debut in the international with Spain.
Since then he has played a central role in England successes including the recent international against France at Rochester & Cobham Park in Kent.
The last player to win back-to-back Brabazons was Gary Evans who shared top spot with Frenchman Olivier Edmond at Burnham & Berrow in 1990 and with Mark Pullan a year later at Hunstanton. However, should there be a tie this year there will be a sudden death playoff.
If Raymond, who begins his defence at 7.40am on the opening day, is to make it two-in-a-row this time he will have to fight off his England colleagues as well as a host of talented golfers from home and abroad.
This year’s field of 153 players contains most members of the England team that beat France last month, as well as many boy internationals along with most of the top ten in the current Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Order of Merit.
Current leader of that is Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O) following his victory in the Welsh Open Stroke Play, while Spanish Amateur champion Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex) can also be counted among the favourites.
Four of the current top five are England internationals, the odd man out being Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent), winner of the recent Lagonda Trophy, while Wales could land the title through Rhys Pugh, a member of last year’s victorious Walker Cup team.
Among the boy caps in the field is Greg Payne (Chobham, Surrey), one half of the winning pairing in this year’s Sunningdale Foursomes and who tied third in the Lagonda, the reigning British Boys champion Harrison Greenberry (Exeter G&CC, Devon), and Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire), who won the County champions tournament last year.
The other Home countries are well represented as are internationals from France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain as well as Australia.
Two qualifying competitions were staged last month with 30 players from each joining those who were exempt. Andy Rideout (West Wilts, Wiltshire) won the rain-shortened Southern event at Rochester & Cobham, while Jordan Wrisdale (Boston, Lincolnshire) and Sam Whitehead (Woburn, BB&O) came out on top in the Northern qualifier at Worksop.
The Brabazon has been won by many famous players including Sir Michael Bonallack, Sandy Lyle and Peter McEvoy and in 2002 by South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 US Masters champion.
Play begins at 7am in the first two days and 7.30am on the last two and admission is free. For those unable to attend, live scoring and news updates will available on the Championships Section of the England Golf website,
-For urther information please contact:
Lynne Fraser, Marketing and PR Manager
Tel: 01526 354500



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