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18th January 2010

Jamie Abbott
Jamie Abbott - (Photo Tom Ward)

Four members of England's victorious Home Internationals team as well as double boy champion Tom Lewis have been included in a strong seven-man team to contest the Jones Cup Invitational in the United States at the start of February.

The full group comprises Jamie Abbott ( Fynn Valley , Suffolk), Billy Hemstock ( Teignmouth , Devon), Stiggy Hodgson ( Sunningdale , Surrey), Tom Lewis ( Welwyn Garden City , Hertfordshire), Chris Paisley ( Stocksfield , Northumberland), Darren Renwick ( Hill Barn , Sussex) and James Robinson ( Southport & Ainsdale , Lancashire).

A field of 84 players, including the top amateurs from the US, Scotland and Wales, will compete over 54 holes of stroke play at Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island, Georgia, on 4th - 7th February.

Abbott, 22 (photo © Tom Ward), has represented the English Golf Union (EGU) in Australia, Denmark, Russia and Spain and has played in the last two Home Internationals. In 2008, the Suffolk golfer finished runner-up in the Midland Open Amateur and the Parman Championship and third in the Welsh Open Stroke Play.  The runner-up theme continued last year in the Portuguese Amateur, when he lost a playoff to England team-mate Dale Whitnell, as well as the Lagonda Trophy, again in a playoff, and the Berkhamsted Trophy.

Hemstock, 25, twice the Devon Champion, was the leading English player in last year's European Amateur, finishing third. He has enjoyed other successes on foreign fields including joint second place in the Irish Open Amateur and sixth in the Chiberta Grand Prix, both in 2008, as well as finishing joint second in last year's Chiberta event.  At home, his 2008 successes included runner-up in the Duncan Putter and equal fourth in the Tillman Trophy, while he finished third in last year's Tillman.

Hodgson, 19, has been a prolific winner over the past decade after making his mark in junior events. He came to national attention in 2006 when he finished third in the English Under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy. He was capped at under 16 level that year and has made continued progress by becoming a boy cap in 2008, then stepping up to the full England team in last year's Home Internationals and the GB&I Walker Cup team.

In 2008, the Surrey youngster won the McEvoy Trophy, the English Under 18 Championship, the Duke of York Young Champions tournament and the Hampshire Salver. Last year, he finished runner-up in the Junior Orange Bowl in Florida and the South of England Stroke Play Championship, equal third in the Tillman Trophy, joint fourth in the Brabazon Trophy and was a semi-finalist in the British Amateur Championship and a quarter finalist in the English Amateur.

Lewis, 19, is another with huge potential. Last year, he won the British Boys and English Boys Championships and was a quarter finalist in the Spanish Amateur. He showed promise in 2005 by finishing third in the English Under 14 Championship for the Reid Trophy, then in 2007 he won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters; was joint winner of the North of England Under 16 Championship and second in the McGregor Trophy.  Further runners-up spots followed in 2008 in the Honda Junior Championship in Japan and the Fairhaven Trophy, while he was tied third in the Brabazon Trophy and equal fourth in the Carris Trophy. An under 16 international in 2005 and 2007, he has been a boy international in the past two years with England and GB&I.

Paisley, 23, graduated last year after four years at the University of Tennessee where he won several events. His spell in the United States kept him away from most of the domestic scene but he still managed to win the 2008 Czech Amateur Championship, was runner-up in the Tillman Trophy, the English Amateur Championship and the South of England Open Stroke Play Championship that year.  He was capped by GB&I in 2008 for the St Andrews Trophy and last year became a full England international as well as a member of the Walker Cup team.

Renwick, 20, is currently attending Tennessee State University where he has already stamped his mark. His first major title came with the Scottish Under 16 Championship and the Douglas Johns Trophy in 2005. He was fourth in the McGregor Trophy in 2006 and tied third in the 2008 Hampshire Hog.  Last year, the Sussex player reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship and was runner-up in the Tillman Trophy. Capped at under 16 level from 2004 to 2006, he became a boy international in 2007 and 2008.

Robinson, 21, enjoyed a successful 2009, highlighted by his debut for England in the Home Internationals. Earlier he won the Lytham Trophy, finished second in the S&A Bowl and was tied third in the Hampshire Hog.  A semi-finalist in the 2007 English Amateur Championship, Robinson helped Lancashire to the County Championship in 2008 and has represented the EGU in the Czech Republic, France, Spain and Venezuela in the past two years.

The Jones Cup was inaugurated in 2001 at Sea Island and so far the title has eluded English players. The most successful has been Gary Wolstenholme who finished tied fifth in 2001 while Jamie Elson was equal sixth in 2003. Originally a biennial event, it is now played annually.


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