11th June 2019
The St. Andrews Links Trophy must be considered one of the main selection events in any home Walker Cup year.
With 72 holes of championship links golf, one of the strongest amateur fields and played just three months before the match it’s hard to think of too many better opportunities for Great Britain & Ireland’s (GB&I) leading players to state their case.
23 year old Jake BURNAGE (ENG) was this year’s champion and given the above is now very likely to make the GB&I team in September.
His 268 -20 total over 18 holes on the Jubilee (69) and 54 holes on the Old (64, 66 and 69) as well as the nature of his win, clawing back a 6-shot deficit on the final day, required all of his determination, experience and skill.
Jake Burnage (Photo: Burnage Family)
A member of Saunton G.C. in Devon Jake is unsurprisingly a links specialist but has also proven on more than one occasion in recent years that when he’s ‘on his game’ he can compete with anyone, anywhere.
This win lifted him to 30th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking which tells us this was no isolated performance either. His resumé includes winning the Walton Heath Trophy in 2017, being medalist at the Spanish International Amateur in 2018, finishing tied 3rd at the St. Andrews Links Trophy last year and impressively coming in 3rd at the South Beach International Amateur in Miami last December.
He is already a member of the 2019 GB&I Walker Cup initial squad and won the stableford competion played at Royal Liverpool G.C. during the last gathering in May.
Jake was obviously not the only player to make an impression in Fife. Some moved into the picture for the first time whilst others cemented their existing positions further.
Matty LAMB (ENG) -19 finished 2nd, Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) -17 3rd, James WILSON (SCO) & Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) -13 tied 4th and Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) -12 6th. I have previously extolled the virtues of Rafferty but the others will also have done their chances no harm in such a prestigious event.
Angus FLANAGAN (ENG) & Thomas PLUMB (ENG) -11 tied 7th, Bailey GILL (ENG) & David LANGLEY (ENG) -10 tied 12th and David HAGUE (ENG) -9 was 15th.
To read more about this Championship please read my article – The St. Andrews Links Trophy – 2019 Preview, Reports & Results
Whilst the St. Andrews Links Trophy was being played Sandy SCOTT (SCO) was in action for the International Team in the Arnold Palmer Cup match against USA.
Scott finished with a W2 H1 L1 record to help the Internationals win 33.5 – 26.5 at The Alotian G.C. in Arkansas.
His two wins came in the Mixed Fourball and Mixed Foursomes on Day 1 when he had the good fortune to be paired with Ireland’s Julie McCarthy who has been in very good form for Auburn in 2018/19. He halved his Singles against Will Grimmer (SPWAR #60) on the final day.
Tom PLUMB (ENG) won the South West Counties Amateur Championship at Parkstone G.C. today, posting two 66’s for a -12 total.
The South West is currently one of England’s strongest counties with Somerset teammate Tom SLOMAN (ENG) -6 tied 2nd and Jake BURNAGE (ENG) Ev tied 18th amongst a number of notable players in the field.
Accepting that the Amateur Championship will probably change the pecking order again (and my own thoughts with it) here’s my current team and some possible foursomes pairings: –
Conor PURCELL (IRE) and Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE)
Euan WALKER (SCO) and Sandy SCOTT (SCO)
Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Harry HALL (ENG)
Tom SLOMAN (ENG) and Tom PLUMB (ENG)
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) and David LANGLEY (ENG)
For me Bailey GILL (ENG), Ben JONES (ENG), Josh MCMAHON (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG), Matty LAMB (ENG), Ronan MULLARNEY (IRE) and Tiarnan MCLARNON (IRE) are now banging on the door and a good result next week from any of them would put pressure on some of the group I have chosen above.
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