61. Alfie Plant Wins The European Amateur

2nd July 2017

England’s Alfie PLANT yesterday won the European Mens Amateur Championship at Walton Heath Golf Club.

This was no ordinary victory either. The quality of the event and venue, the nature of the win and it’s timing even surpassed Plant’s win at the Lytham Trophy last year.

The European Amateur had an exceptionally strong field, expected to be the fifth best in amateur golf this year.

Plant, who is 25 next Thursday, shot rounds of 72, 66, 67 and 68 for an impressive 273 (-15) total. His birdie on his 72nd hole will live long in the memory as he forced his way into a play off with Italian pair Luca CIANCHETTI, the defending champion, and Lorenzo SCALISE, both of whom bogeyed the 18th in an exciting finale in Surrey.

Plant and Scalise (both Even) saw off Cianchetti (+1) in the initial three hole aggregate play-off before the Englishman birdied the 2nd sudden death play-off hole to secure the most prestigious win of his career. Plant did not miss a shot in the play-off and can now look forward to competing in The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in a few weeks time.

Alfie Plant (Photo: GolfBible)

Plant’s win, like Harry ELLIS’ last week at The Amateur Championship, has just thrown another grenade into the GB&I Walker Cup team selection box. Neither player was probably in the Walker Team prior to their wins. Whilst Ellis is assured of his place, because of the ‘selection rule’ concerning The Amateur, Plant’s position is not quite as clear cut. Having said that it would be a surprise to most commentators if he was to now miss out, certainly to those who witnessed yesterday’s action.

Plant has the added selection value of appearing to be a really nice lad, often with a smile on his face, who would be an experienced and welcome member of any amateur golf team. There was perhaps evidence of this when England Golf selected Alfie last week for their 6-man European Team Championship team. What seemed a debatable choice at the start of this week of course now looks like an inspired one. His entourage – he is probably the best supported amateur golfer in the world – would certainly add something to the atmosphere in Los Angeles too !

In the context of the 2017 Walker Cup a number of our leading players took the opportunity to reassert their cases with good performances. These included: –

Robert MACINTYRE (SCO) – 68 70 70 66 (-14) T4
Matthew JORDAN (ENG) – 68 68 73 66 (-13) 6th
John-Ross GALBRAITH (IRE) – 75 70 66 65 (-12) T7
Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) – 72 72 66 66 (-12) T7
Sandy SCOTT (SCO) – 69 71 67 70 (-11) T10
Daniel BROWN (ENG) – 68, 73, 66 71 (-10) T13
Paul MCBRIDE (IRE) – 70 69 72 67 (-10) T13
Conor O’ROURKE (IRE) – 67 70 70 71 (-10) T13
Connor SYME (SCO) – 72 71 67 69 (-9) T17
Liam JOHNSTON (SCO) – 68 69 71 71 (-9) T17

Other notable scores by players who are in the Walker Cup squad / mix and made the 54 hole cut included: –

Owen EDWARDS (WAL) – 71 74 67 69 (-7) T26
David BOOTE (WAL) – 69 73 70 69 (-7) T26
Scott GREGORY (ENG) – 71 74 66 71 (-6) T32
Colm CAMPBELL (IRE) – 70 72 69 71 (-6) T32
Craig HOWIE (SCO) – 69 70 71 72 (-6) T32
Stuart GREHAN (IRE) – 70 72 71 70 (-5) T39
Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) – 71 72 71 71 (-3) T47
Jake BURNAGE (ENG) – 69 72 72 72 (-3) T47
Robin DAWSON (IRE) – 68 73 72 72 (-3) T47
Harry ELLIS (ENG) – 71 70 72 73 (-2) T52

Just for those who have read this far….

If I had to pick the Walker Cup team today, and let’s not forget there are now no major amateur events left, save for the short field European Men’s Amateur Team Championship, where everyone will be able to play against each other, I would go for (in order) 1. Jordan, 2. Singh Brar, 3. Syme, 4. Johnston, 5. MacIntyre, 6. Boote, 7. Howie, 8. Ellis, 9. Plant and 10. McBride. For this last spot I did have to toss a coin to exclude Davidson, Dawson and Galbraith who are all still pushing hard for a spot.

For the full story on the European Amateur Championship, including Results link, take a look at my GolfBible report – The European Amateur Championship – Preview, Reports & Results

ME.

Copyright © 2017, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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7 thoughts on “61. Alfie Plant Wins The European Amateur”

  1. Just one Irishman — when they hold the Home International Trophy —- match play record will be seriously considered — ??
    Re-consider ME.

    1. Hi Eric,
      Thanks for reading all of the post and getting to the interesting bit !
      Unfortunately:-
      1) the Irish players haven’t really delivered consistently this season in the big events, accepting Paul McBride and JR Galbraith have done well recently;
      2) the Home Internationals, which were nearly a year ago, now clash in the schedule with the US Amateur so many of our leading players don’t play in them so their selection value is diminished; and
      3) it is by no means guaranteed there will be any Irish at this year’s Walker Cup.
      The obvious response is who would you pick ahead of my current ten, remembering I have also excluded Scott Gregory who many rate highly, and why ?
      Mark.

  2. Agree , in stroke play Irish lads have been poor in 2017 .
    One still has to consider 2016 Home Internationals .
    Walker Cup is Matchplay — guile, hustle and bustle !
    Will be surprised / disappointed if at least 2 from Irish squad do not make it to LA.

    1. Eric,
      As it’s you I’ll consider the Home Internationals.
      Albeit only the 2017 ones and only when we see who is there and who is in Los Angeles playing in the US Amateur.
      Mark

  3. You leave out Scott Gregory who was amateur champion last year and nsw amateur champion this year, plus experience of playing in 3 majors plus memorial. Also currently 6 inbthe world. Would you really leave him out??

  4. Can’t see the selectors finding 10 players better than Scott Gregory given he has been playing against fields of far, far higher quality than his rivals for a place – he has not exactly been disgraced in any of the three majors and was only one shot shy of making the cut in the other two professional events. He is still the world No. 6. And Harry Ellis was very close to being in the team having played the Palmer Cup based on his FSU form – shooting 65 around St George’s in front of the selectors to qualify in third was a pretty big clue he needed to be in their thoughts. The Italians played hard at Walton Heath, but Alfie’s putting put them all in the shade when it mattered… that could be worth a lot in LA and the support he brings is something you need to see in the flesh and see how he feeds off it. When asked after his win, he denied feeling any pressure after missing the matchplay at Sandwich over whether he would even make England’s six-man team and was confident he was playing well for a while without his scores reflecting his real form. While I have not seen all of your 10 play this year, with respect three have a lot more to prove than Scott does right now IMHO. And I think the England management would be completely gobsmacked if he was not picked based on what I heard while at The Amateur.

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