7th May 2019
The 55th Lytham Trophy arguably provided more questions than answers when it comes to the selection of the 2019 Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) Walker Cup team.
This is not unusual. Lytham is one of our more challenging courses and whilst conditions were relatively benign last weekend there was enough wind around to cause difficulties for those players that were unable to draw upon their A games.
The Lytham Trophy is always an important indicator in home Walker Cup years. The theory being if you can deliver here you may well be able to deliver on a similar links course in four months time. It’s no coincidence that most Lytham Trophy winners go on to be selected for the GB&I team.
Josh MCMAHON (ENG) won the competition with rounds of 71, 73, 73 and 71 for a 288 (+8) total. His 40 foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole will live long in the memory. It was a welcome return to form for the Wallasey man and rocketed him into Walker Cup contention. As he lives and plays just a few miles away from Hoylake his selection would certainly be good for the event and ticket sales.
Josh McMahon With The Lytham Trophy (© Golf Bible)
Tom MCKIBBIN (N.I.) is another player who must now be on the selector’s radar. Arriving on the back of wins at The Peter McEvoy Trophy and Junior Invitational in USA he finished a very creditable tied 6th on (+11). What a three weeks he’s had. With exams on the horizon it will be interesting to see if he can maintain his current form and how he manages his schedule.
Of the recently announced 26 GB&I Walker Cup squad players 16 competed at Royal Lytham.
Eight of them made the cut; all advancing their causes in the process. Here is a summary of their scores and results: –
Bailey GILL (ENG) 70 75 70 76 (+11) T6 – leading after 54 holes.
Ben CHAMBERLAIN (WAL) 75 74 72 73 (+14) T12
James SUGRUE (IRE) 75 73 73 74 (+15) T14
Euan MCINTOSH (SCO) 72 73 72 79 (+16) T16
Tom PLUMB (ENG) 71 75 75 77 (+18) T20
Ben JONES (ENG) 71 74 74 79 (+18) T20
Tom SLOMAN (ENG) 74 72 75 78 (+19) T24
Euan WALKER (SCO) 72 76 77 77 (+22) T41
Other non-squad players from GB&I to perform well in Lancashire were Jack BROOKS (ENG) and Harry GODDARD (ENG) who both finished tied 2nd on +9, Max MARTIN (ENG), Ben HUTCHINSON (ENG) and Stephen ROGER (SCO) tied 8th on +12 and Laurie OWEN (ENG) tied 12th on +14.
The other eight squad players on show missed the 36 hole top 40 and ties cut which fell at 149 (+9). 49 of the 144 starters advanced. Here is a summary of their scores: –
Kieran CANTLEY (SCO) 70 80 (+10) MC
Caolan RAFFERTY (IRE) 74 78 (+12) MC
Conor PURCELL (IRE) 75 79 (+14) MC
David HAGUE (ENG) 75 79 (+14) MC
Mark POWER (IRE) 77 78 (+15) MC
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) 82 78 (+20) MC
Jake BURNAGE (ENG) 76 84 (+20) MC
Jake HAPGOOD (WAL) 77 84 (+21) MC
The ten remaining squad players did not play at Royal Lytham. Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO), John MURPHY (IRE), Sandy SCOTT (SCO), Jamie STEWART (SCO) are all still involved in the NCAA Division I Championships in USA and therefore they were understandably absent. Having said that Jake BENSON (ENG) is too and he teed it up; perhaps he received special dispensation from his Rice University coach. Tom THURLOWAY (ENG) travelled back from Jacksonville in Florida for the Hoylake squad session at the start of the week but perhaps didn’t enter expecting to still be involved in the NCAA’s with his University. Joe PAGDIN (ENG) is at high school in Florida so his entry would have been a surprise before the summer recess, even before considering the cost.
The other UK-based squad members, Archie DAVIES (WAL) and Conor GOUGH (ENG), are embroiled in school exams so chose to pass. Davies attended the Hoylake session at the start of last week whilst Gough is in action at this week’s British Masters where he has been afforded an invite by the European Tour.
Royal Lytham & St. Annes G.C. (© Golf Bible)
For additional information please take a look at my Golf Bible article: 2019 Lytham Trophy – Preview, Reports & Results.
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