28. Jack Hume Turns Pro

3rd October 2016

Jack HUME today confirmed what everyone already knew – the man from Naas in Ireland was turning professional.

Having signed with International Sports Management (ISM) he will make his professional debut at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

He is the last of the ‘famous five’ Irish players who made the 2015 Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team to do so, following in the footsteps of Paul DUNNE, Gary HURLEY, Gavin MOYNIHAN and Cormac SHARVIN.

Jack won 1.5 points out of a possible 4 at the 2015 Walker Cup; he won his opening morning foursomes with Gavin Moynihan 3&2 against Mike McCoy and Lee McCoy and halved his final day singles with Robby Shelton.

All 10 of the 2015 GB&I Walker Cup team have now turned pro. Gavin MOYNIHAN and Jack MCDONALD also signed for ISM, Gavin straight after the Lytham match and Jack in March 2016.

Jack, who will turn 23 this coming Saturday, has been one of the world’s leading amateurs for the last few years. He made a superb start to 2016 winning both the South African Stroke Play Championship and the European Nations Cup. Results that made him an obvious choice for the inaugural Golf Bible Player of the Quarter award (for Quarter 1 2016).

He also starred for Europe in the Bonallack Trophy in March winning all four of his matches, played well for Ireland in the European’s Men’s Amateur Team Championship and was a leading contributor for GB&I in the retained (halved) St. Andrews Trophy match.

In his amateur swan song last week he helped Ireland to a best ever tied 3rd finish at the World Amateur Team Championship, finishing in a share of 11th in the Individual standings in Mexico.

Jack first came to prominence in 2010 still when he won all four boys provincial championships in Ireland, a feat never achieved before or since.

Jack will be looking for some invites on to the European Challenge Tour in the next few weeks before teeing it up at one of the European Tour’s Second Qualifying Stage events in Spain in early November.

He said: “It’s been a great year but I want to move to the next level and I can’t wait to turn professional. I’m really looking forward to the weeks and months ahead and testing myself.

“Joining ISM is a big part of it. They’ve helped a lot of players from the very start of their careers and that’s obviously a path I’m hoping to follow.”

ISM’s Chief Executive Officer Chubby Chandler said: “We’ve monitored Jack for a long, long time and he’s a player with a huge amount of potential.

“He’s got all of the ingredients and we’re excited about doing what we can to help him be the best he can be and really flourish.”

Good luck to Jack this week and in his future professional career.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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23. Jamie Savage Turns Pro

14th September 2016

The European Tour’s First Qualifying Stage started yesterday with the two Section A events.

Cawder’s Jamie SAVAGE, who was 22 on the 24th July, turned Pro ahead of The Roxburghe qualifier in his Scottish homeland.

Prior to the event commencing Jamie was ranked 100th in the SPWAR and 261st in the WAGR. The highlights of his 2016 season being a 2nd place at the inaugural African Amateur Stroke Play Championship and a tied 2nd at the Lytham Trophy.

Jamie’s biggest amateur win came in 2014 when he won the Irish Amateur Open at Royal Dublin.

He was subsequently named in the 2014 GB&I St. Andrews Trophy team and the initial 2015 Walker Cup squad.  However, he struggled to recapture his form from the previous season and was ultimately omitted from our final 10-man Walker Cup team.

Best wishes to Jamie who follows in the recent footsteps of Jack MCDONALD and Ewen FERGUSON and represents the loss of another experienced Scottish amateur to the Pro game.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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8. Marco Penge & The 2016 PGA EuroPro Tour Q-School

8th April 2016

The 2016 PGA Euro ProTour Final Qualifying School came to a conclusion today at Frilford Heath G.C. in Oxfordshire.

For followers of amateur golf the entry of England’s Marco PENGE into the Q-School progress was of particular interest.

Marco Penge is one of GB&I’s leading amateurs ranking, at the time of writing, around 90th in the World (SPWAR 97 / WAGR 86). This despite only being 17 – he is 18 on 15th May. He has started the 2016 season well, recording a T6 finish in the South American Amateur, a T4 at the Portuguese Amateur, a T14 in the European Nations and of course winning the Sunningdale Foursomes with girlfriend Sophie Lamb last month.

Marco Penge Scottish Open Strokeplay Championship

Marco Penge – 2015 Scottish Men’s Amateur Champion (Photo: Kenny Smith Photography)

Marco qualified for the EuroPro Tour’s Final Stage Q-School comfortably on 30th and 31st March, finishing 4th at Burhill G.C., with rounds of 66 and 76 (-2). In the Final at Frilford rounds of 71, 73 and 72 saw him finish Even and Tied 22nd. This Top 30 finish saw him earn the highest card possible, a Category 3.

The good news is I believe Marco isn’t planning to turn Pro on the back of his solid start to the year and today’s securing of EuroPro Tour playing rights. I think he wants to play another amateur season, hopefully winning more men’s events and gaining selection for both the St. Andrews Trophy (20-21 July) and Junior Ryder Cup (26-27 September) teams.

The bad news is (at least from my perspective), assuming he maintains his form, he almost certainly will be moving into the Pro ranks towards the end of this year.

Looking at his situation from the perspective of this website it is clear that as things stand he doesn’t see the 2017 Walker Cup as part of his medium term plans. Of course no-one is guaranteed selection but I am sure he would be one of the players Captain Watson would currently like to have at his disposal in 2017. It is hard to criticise Marco for his ambitions. He continues to keep moving forward and the next match in Los Angeles, still over 500 days away, has always looked like being a year too far away for him.

Following his decision to turn Pro last week (click to read article) Jack McDONALD shot rounds of 71, 76 and 71 to finish on +2 and Tied 46th.  He secured a Category 6 card.

With the EuroPro offering 14 events between May and September and operating with fields of 168 both Jack and Marco (but only if he chooses to turn Pro) should be able to play most of the events they want to this season.

It will be interesting to see what Marco decides to do as the season progresses. Why enter the EuroPro Tour Q-School if you don’t plan to turn Pro ? For the time being I guess it can have done him no harm to use the Q-School for experience and to gauge where he currently stands in the pecking order. At 17 I am sure he must be pleased with what he found out.

18th August 2016 Update: Marco PENGE played in The Matchroom Sport Championship at East Sussex National as an amateur this week. He shot rounds of 77 and 76; his +9 score saw him finish a disappointing tied 133rd on his PGA EuroPro Tour debut.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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7. Jack McDonald Turns Pro

31st March 2016

Jack McDonald one of the stars of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) 2015 Walker Cup team today announced he was turning professional.

Jack played in three matches at the recent Walker Cup.  He was unbeaten in both of his foursomes, where he partnered superbly with his fellow Stirling University friend Cormac Sharvin.  He halved his final day singles against Lee McCoy, who finished 4th as an amateur at the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour just a few weeks ago.

Jack is the 7th member of the 10-man GB&I Walker Cup team to turn Pro.  Just Ewen Ferguson, Grant Forrest and Jack Hume remain amateurs.  Ewen and Grant also today announced they had signed with Edinburgh-based Bounce Sport “ahead of expected switches to the professional ranks later this year”.  The move has secured them four starts on the European Challenge Tour in 2016 as part of a new alliance between Bounce and Scottish Golf.

Jack won the 2009 Scottish Boys’ Stroke Play Championship aged 16 and has twice been a semi-finalist in the Amateur championship, in 2012 and 2015 where he lost to Romain Langasque. In 2014 he was part of the successful 2014 European Palmer Cup team and last year he was a member of the Scotland team that won the European Men’s Team Championship.

It was only 6 days ago that Jack was included in the R&A’s GB&I St. Andrews Trophy Squad announcement having spent the winter with Scotland Golf playing in Australia and South Africa.  Therefore it seems he was either playing his cards close to his chest or a late decision has been made. He currently has no playing rights on any professional tour.

As he said today “I have done a lot in the amateur game now. I think I’m ready to make the transition and that my game is there so I’m looking to just keep improving.”  He turned 23 on the 12th February so it is difficult to argue with his decision and thinking.

Jack had already entered the Final Stage of the PGA EuroPro Tour Qualifying School.  His Walker Cup selection having exempted him from the First Stage qualifiers which concluded today.  He will now make his professional debut at Frilford Heath next week.  He was missing from yesterday’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, where he has been a Top 50 player for much of he last 12 months, so the writing was perhaps on the wall for an announcement this week.

Jack who plays out of the Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club in Scotland has signed for International Sports Management (ISM), the management company headed up by Chubby Chandler.  Fellow Walker Cupper Gavin Moynihan signed with ISM immediately after last September’s match at Lytham.

Jack McDonald signs for ISM 310316

Jack McDonald and Chubby Chandler (Photo: ISM)

Jack is expected to seek starts on the European Challenge Tour, the PGA EuroPro Tour and the MENA Tour (a well worn path for ISM clients).

I wish him every success as he embarks on the next chapter of his golfing life.  If he can get his game in order then commercially he should be a God send; he always seems to be smiling (even whilst playing) and appears to have a friendly personality to go with his youthful good looks.

I’ve got a 2016 target for him – qualify for The Open at Royal Troon, his ‘home’ Championship venue.

ME

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley All rights reserved.

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6. R&A Announces 2016 St. Andrews Trophy Squad

25th March 2016

The R&A and new captain Craig Watson (SCO) yesterday announced an 18-man GB&I Squad for the 2016 St. Andrews Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

7 players from Scotland, 5 from England, 4 from Ireland and 2 from Wales have been selected. They are listed below in alphabetical order: –

David BOOTE (WAL)
Jamie BOWER (ENG)
Owen EDWARDS (WAL)
Ewen FERGUSON (SCO)
Grant FORREST (SCO)
John Ross GALBRAITH (IRE)
Alex GLEESON (IRE)
Stuart GREHAN (IRE)
Scott GREGORY (ENG)
Jack HUME (IRE)
Jack MCDONALD (SCO)
Robert MACINTYRE (SCO)
Greg MARCHBANK (SCO)
Bradley MOORE (ENG)
Marco PENGE (ENG)
Craig ROSS (SCO)
Connor SYME (SCO)
Ashton TURNER (ENG)

The current GB&I Scratch Players World Amateur Golf Ranking is shown below: –

SPWAR 240316

The current GB&I World Amateur Golf Ranking is also shown below: –

WAGR 240316

As one would expect the Squad largely reflects the current rankings.

The obvious omission is Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) who has made a strong start to his freshman year at Florida on the US College circuit and sits near the top of both rankings. It is unclear at the moment whether the R&A have ignored him after his late Walker Cup withdrawal last summer or Sam has simply made himself unavailable. It is interesting to note that he has made himself available for Europe’s Palmer Cup Team and the match taking place against the United States at Formby GC in June.

Jimmy ALLEN (ENG) who was well placed in the rankings turned pro ahead of the MENA Tour opener in Morocco this week and was therefore not considered.

From an analysis of the two rankings – and in particular looking at those players that either sit in the Top 18 or above others that have been selected – the following players may consider themselves unlucky (or additionally motivated for the next few months): Paul KINNEAR (ENG),  Jamie SAVAGE (SCO), Paul MCBRIDE (IRE), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Craig HOWIE (SCO) and James WALKER (ENG).

A speedy recovery is hoped for both Jonathan THOMSON (ENG) and Sean TOWNDROW (ENG) who have both been battling injury and health issues in recent months and whose exclusions are understandable.

The match, which will be contested by a team of 9, is to be played at Prince’s Golf Club in Kent, England on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st July 2016. The St. Andrews Trophy has been played for since 1956. GB&I have won 25 times with Europe having just five wins to their name, albeit two of them came in 2010 and 2012.

Looking ahead to July’s match Craig Watson said: “We have a strong group of players to call upon again this year and there is a good mixture of experience and youth in the squad. We know we will be in for a tough match at Prince’s so we have to pick the best team we can and the players will be working hard throughout this season to impress the selectors”.

GB&I won the 2014 match at Barsebäck, Sweden by a 14 – 10 scoreline. Grant Forrest is the only member of that winning team to be included in the 2016 Squad.  His fellow Scottish Internationals Jamie Savage and Graeme Robertson are the only other members of the 2014 Team to remain amateur.

A long way to go until the 2017 Walker Cup but nevertheless it is worth recording the players that the R&A currently view as their strongest.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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5. Jack Hume Stars At The 2016 Bonallack Trophy

18th March 2016

Europe comfortably beat Asia-Pacific 21.5 – 10.5 in the 2016 Bonallack Trophy in Portugal.

Here is my analysis of the individual player contributions: –

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 19.54.24

Jack Hume (IRE) starred for Europe winning all four of the matches he was selected for. He has made a superb start to the season. The only surprise in Portugal was that he was rested for a session, the Day Fourballs.

David Boote (WAL) won three of his four matches, only losing his Day 1 Fourball where he was paired with Stefano Mazzoli (ITA).

Ashton Turner (ENG) was the only other GB&I player to win 3 matches. Paired with Bradley Moore (ENG) he lost his Day 1 Foursomes and Day 2 Fourball.

Grant Forrest (SCO) and Jack McDonald (SCO), who were paired together in the Foursomes and Fourballs, and Bradley Moore all lost their Final Day Singles matches thus falling into ‘negative territory’ in my analysis.

Finally, I am starting to develop the view that Bradley Moore’s match play performances are not comparable with his consistently strong stroke play results. I am going to have to research this topic further.

Bonallack Trophy 2016 Europe Winners Photo 2

Team Europe (Photo: Hugo Ribeiro / FPG) 

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley.  All rights reserved.

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4. Europe Announces It’s 2016 Bonallack Trophy Team

22nd February 2016

The European Golf Association (EGA) have recently selected their Bonallack Trophy team for this year’s match against Asia-Pacific.

Bonallack Trophy 2014 Europe Team

The 2014 Bonallack Trophy Winning European Team (Photo: EGA)

Players are supposedly selected with reference to the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and guidance from national coaches and officials. No more than two players may be selected from the same country.

For the sake of completeness I thought it was worth recording the names of the six Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) players that have been included in the team: –

David BOOTE (WAL) – WAGR 79
Grant FORREST (SCO) – WAGR 25
Jack HUME (IRE) – WAGR 24
Jack MCDONALD (SCO) – WAGR 36
Bradley MOORE (ENG) – WAGR 54
Ashton TURNER (ENG) – WAGR 100

The rest of the 12-man European team are noted below: –

Ivan CANTERO GUTIERREZ (ESP) – WAGR 11
Luca CIANCHETTI (ITA) – WAGR 85
Mario GALIANO AGUILA (ESP) – WAGR 20
Jeroen KRIETEMEIJER (NED) – WAGR 132
Stefano MAZZOLI (ITA) – WAGR 39
Robin PETERSSON (SWE) – WAGR 38

It is clearly premature to link this match with the 2017 Walker Cup selection process.  Nevertheless the six GB&I players that have been invited to Portugal in March can take confidence from their inclusion and do now have the opportunity to put a marker down.  Who knows demonstrating some match-play tenacity, highlighting a new playing partnership or even just being a good team member may help one of them somewhere down the line.

Ashley Chesters (ENG) and Gavin Moynihan (IRE) were both members of the 2014 Bonallack Trophy Team who were victorious in India. Both made the 2015 Walker Cup Team the following year. Other GB&I players in the 2014 team included Ryan Evans (ENG), Dermot McElroy (IRE) and James Ross (SCO). Evans and Ross chose to turn Pro before the Walker Cup whilst McElroy just missed out on selection.

N.B. The WAGR quoted above was taken from the 17th February 2016 listing.

ME.

Copyright © 2016, Mark Eley. All rights reserved.

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