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17th June 2011

Darren Wright (Image Tom Ward & EGU)
Darren Wright ( Rowlands Castle , Hampshire, IoW & CI) will attempt to become the first player in two decades to successfully defend the Brabazon Trophy, supported by SkyCaddie, when it is staged at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club in Somerset on 23rd - 26th June.

Wright (picture © Tom Ward), 22, won the English Men's Open Stroke Play Championship at Royal Liverpool last year but no one has won two successive titles since 1991 when Gary Evans shared top spot with Mark Pullan at Hunstanton . Evans also shared the title the previous year, ironically at Burnham & Berrow, with Frenchman Olivier Edmond and even when Rodney Foster won at Little Aston in 1970 he had finished tied with Michael Bonallack the previous year at Moortown .

This year's field of 150 players contains the cream of amateur golf including all members of the England team that beat Spain at The Berkshire last month, as well as many internationals from home and abroad. Also in action will be several players who will be hoping for selection for the GB&I Walker Cup team to face the USA at Royal Aberdeen in September.  So a solid performance over the splendid and testing Somerset links will go a long way in catching the eyes of Walker Cup selectors on duty.

Most of the top ten in the current Titleist/Footjoy EGU Order of Merit will be in action including No.1 Tom Lewis ( Welwyn Garden City , Hertfordshire) recent winner of the St Andrews Links Trophy, Andy Sullivan ( Nuneaton , Warwickshire), who won the Scottish Stroke Play, Jack Senior ( Heysham , Lancashire), who lifted the Lytham Trophy last month, while Wright has the Welsh Stroke Play under his belt.

Among the younger element competing are Nathan Kimsey ( Woodhall Spa , Lincolnshire), a boy international and winner of the 2010 Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, Toby Tree ( Worthing , Sussex), another boy cap and current English Under 16 Champion, and Seb Crookall-Nixon ( Workington , Cumbria), the Under 16 Champion in 2008 and 2009.
Adam Frontal ( Cookridge Hall , Yorkshire), last year's English Counties Champion, is also in the field, as is Warren Harmston ( Wentworth , Surrey), runner-up in the 2010 English Amateur Championship.

The other Home countries are well represented as are internationals from France, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain as well as from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

Two qualifying competitions were staged last month with 30 players from each joining 90 who were exempt. Luke Cornford ( East Sussex National , Sussex) won the Southern event at The Berkshire, while Scotland's Steven Smith came out on top in the Northern qualifier at Pannal .

Burnham & Berrow has hosted many EGU events as well as R&A championships down the years. This will be the third occasion the Brabazon has visited the club, the second being 1990 with the tie between Evans and Edmond but on the first playing, in 1956, the title was won by Stanley Fox.

Born in 1921, Fox served in the Royal Naval Air Service during World War II, joined Hartley Wintney Golf Club as an artisan and became a full member in the 1950s.  After his Brabazon success, he represented England for three years, was a Hampshire County player on countless occasions, and won the Hampshire and Isle of Wight County Championships twice. He died in 2008 at the age of 87.

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, this year's 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 EGU website, .

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