amateur golf
amateur golf



Surrey will attempt to complete a unique double while Yorkshire will bid for a record fourth successive title when they meet Somerset and Warwickshire in the English County Championship Finals at Little Aston on 29 September – 1 October.

South East Group champions Surrey are seeking to add the title to the Boys County Championship they won for the first time earlier this month at East Devon. And no county has ever held both trophies simultaneously.

Unfortunately for Surrey, two of their leading lights, double English champion and Walker Cup star Paul Casey and David Ryles, semi-finalist in both the Amateur and English Championships, are away at college in the United States and unavailable. Both were in the side when Surrey won the South East Qualifying by eight shots at West Herts. As was Mark Side, who is now a professional.

However, Surrey’s line up includes Zane Scotland, 18, who won all his six matches in the Boys County Finals, and Josh Simons, also 18, an absentee at East Devon but a boy international and a member of this year’s victorious Jacques Leglise Trophy side.

Their line-up also includes Welsh international Morgan Palmer, a former Surrey champion, and the current county champion, John Franks as well as Joel Wormald, winner of the Berkhamstead Trophy in April, runner up in the Lagonda Trophy and third in the Berkshire Trophy.

Yorkshire, county champions at Ferndown in 1997, Stoneham in 1998, and Seaton Carew last year, will take some stopping again despite the fact that four of their 1999 winning line-up have turned professional. The three survivors, internationals Graeme Clark and Richard Finch and former English Mid-Amateur champion Stephen East, are again in the team.

Joining them will be former boy international Jonathan Lupton, Fraser Kelley, son of ex-international Mike Kelley, Darryl Bery, and Gareth Davies. Cec Bloice, who has masterminded all their three previous triumphs, will again skipper Yorkshire.

Somerset, in the finals for the first time in 10 years, can also boost two internationals in John Morgan and David Dixon although a third, Colin Edwards, didn’t play in South West Week and is unavailable.

However, they also have a promising teenager in Lee Cofield, who reached the fourth round of the English Amateur at Royal Lytham in August, and the experienced Matthew Lock, who played in the 1997 County Finals with Cornwall.

Somerset were runaway winners of the South West Qualifier at Royal North Devon, winning by 21 shots. It was a little closer for Warwickshire, who eased through by one over Leicestershire at Brocton Hall.

They will have the services of Tom Whitehouse, a member of the England’s victorious European Youth Team Championships squad and who enjoyed a fine senior debut in recent Home Internationals at Carnoustie. The Maxstoke Park 20-year-old has been the Warwickshire champion for the past four years.

Warwickshire, under the playing captaincy of Peter Chalkey, also include David Fletcher, an ex-boy international, who formerly played for Gloucestershire. But they also will be without their American college student, Jamie Elson who is at Augusta State.

Yorkshire will be seeking their 16th win in their 30th Final while Surrey have won the title nine times to Warwickshire’s five. However, despite their many successes, Surrey haven’t appeared in the Finals since they last won in 1981 at Ferndown, while Warwickshire’s last Final was in 1990 at Hayling when Yorkshire and Somerset also appeared. Somerset has yet to lift the trophy.

The Finals are contested on a round robin basis, each match consisting of three foursomes and six singles. In the first round of matches on 29 September, Surrey will play Somerset and Yorkshire meet Warwickshire.

Lee Corfield (Burnham and Berrow)
David Dixon (Enmore Park)
Philip Fisher (Tall Pines)
Matthew Lock (Enmore Park)
John Morgan (Clevedon)
Bradley Porter (The Kendleshire)
Duncan Whittaker (Bath)

Mark Booker (Royal Mid-Surrey)
John Franks (Shirley Park)
Morgan Palmer (St George’s Hill)
Zane Scotland (Woodcote Park)
Josh Simons (Coombe Hill)
Kieran Staunton (Woodcote Park)
Joel Wormald (Kingswood)

Peter Chalkey (Copt Heath)
Matthew Cryer (Coventry Finham)
David Fletcher (Ingon Manor)
James Hempill (Walmley)
Bill Nicolson (Coventry Finham)
Ben Senior (Maxstoke Park)
Tom Whitehouse (Maxstoke Park)

Darryl Berry (West Bradford)
Graeme Clark (Doncaster)
Gareth Davis (Abbeydale)
Stephen East (Moortown)
Richard Finch (Hull)
Fraser Kelley (Ganton)
Jonathan Lupton (Middlesborough)

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