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18th June 2010

Photo of Brabazon Trophy - (courtesy of Tom Ward and the English Golf Union)

The Brabazon Trophy, supported by SkyCaddie, has been played at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on four occasions and only once - arguably twice - has an Englishman collected the title.

In 1961, the late Ronnie Shade won it for Scotland followed in 1977 by Sandy Lyle, while the 1989 event, the most recent, saw a tie between Craig Rivett from South Africa and Neil Roderick from Wales.

When Lyle won he was an England international but later chose to play for Scotland so technically, only in 1972, on the second occasion Royal Liverpool played host, has an Englishman been crowned champion when Peter Moody from Nottinghamshire, a former Cambridge Captain, emerged victorious.

Will this imbalance be rectified when the Brabazon Trophy (picture © Tom Ward), or to give it its official name, the English Men's Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship, returns to the famous Hoylake links on 24th - 27th June?

This will be the 64th playing of the event that was inaugurated in 1947 as the English Amateur International Trophy. However, in 1948 the present trophy was donated by Lord Brabazon of Tara, a pioneer aviator, Member of Parliament, accomplished golfer and captain of the R&A in 1952/53.

There is an added incentive for the English entry in that the title currently resides in Ireland following Niall Kearney's win at Moortown last year. But he won't be defending as he has turned professional.

The English entry, as usual, is strong and contains three members of last year's Walker Cup team, Tommy Fleetwood ( Formby Hall , Lancashire), Stiggy Hodgson ( Sunningdale , Surrey) and Chris Paisley ( Stocksfield , Northumberland), and all but one of the England team that lost narrowly to France in May.

The field also contains several 2010 tournament winners such as Tom Lewis ( Welwyn Garden City , Hertfordshire), winner of the Berkhamsted Trophy; Laurie Canter ( Saltford , Somerset), South African Amateur, West of England and Hampshire Hog winner; Andrew Sullivan ( Nuneaton , Warwickshire), Midland Closed, Lagonda Trophy and Hampshire Salver winner; Welsh Open Stroke Play champion Eddie Pepperell ( Drayton Park , BB&O); and Matthew Southgate ( Thorpe Hall , Essex), who won the St Andrews Links Trophy.

The overseas challenge is also strong with several players from France including internationals Johann Lopez Lazaro and Alexander Levy, Wouter de Vries from the Netherlands and leading Australian Matt Jager, who scored three points from four in last year's Ashes match with England at Royal Birkdale.

The title has gone overseas several times in recent years with the likes of Ignacio Garrido from Spain (1992), Peter Hanson from Sweden (1998), Germany's Jochen Lupprian (2000), Charl Schwartzel from South Africa (2002) and Frenchman Romain Bechu, joint winner with England's Jamie Moul in 2007.

Under the new format, the two regional qualifying rounds have been completed and the winners, Ross Dixon ( Three Rivers , Essex) and Alex Christie ( Tyrrells Wood , Surrey) from the South and Matthew Fitzpatrick ( Hallamshire , Yorkshire), from the North, have booked their places.

Play starts 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 EGU website, .


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