The Amateur Championships & International matches resume

Bernie McGuire
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The R&A’s amateur championships and international matches resume this week with The Boys Home Internationals, the Girls and Ladies Home Internationals and The Seniors Amateur Championship.

The Boys Home Internationals
England will set out to defend the Boys Home Internationals at St Annes Old Links in the North West of England from August 8–10. The round robin international series features the four home countries with each match comprising five morning foursomes followed by ten afternoon singles.

England were crowned 2016 champions after a strong final day performance saw them defeat the holders Scotland 9-6 in the deciding match at Ballyliffin in Donegal.

Alex Fitzpatrick, brother of European Ryder Cup star Matthew, and 2017 Lytham Trophy runner-up Charlie Strickland have both been selected to play for England as they bid to retain the trophy.

Ireland team (Boys Home Internationals, St Anne’s Old Links, 8-10 August): Reece Black (Hilton Templepatrick), John Brady (Rosslare), Charlie Denvir (Elm Park), Jack Doherty (Carton House), Jack Hearn (Tramore), Ross Kelly (Tuam), Aaron Marshall (Lisburn), Robert Moran (Castle), Eoin Murphy (Dundalk), Mark Power (Kilkenny), Cameron Raymond (Newlands). Team Captain: Cathal McConn (Roscommon). Team Manager: Alasdair Gibson (Knock). National Coach: Neil Manchip.

Girls and Ladies Home Internationals
From August 9–11, the Girls’ and Ladies’ teams will battle it out at Little Aston near Birmingham. The teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete against each other in individual matches. Each match consists of three foursomes in the morning and six singles in the afternoon.

Last year, Ireland were victorious in the Girls Home Internationals with the Ladies’ honours going to England. Vagliano Trophy teammates Lianna Bailey, India Clyburn and Sophie Lamb, fresh from winning the Smyth Salver as the leading qualifier at the Ricoh Women’s British Open on Sunday, feature in the home team aiming to defend the ladies’ title. Their fellow GB&I colleague Maria Dunne heads up an Ireland team which also includes 2016 R&A Foundation Scholar Championship winner Chloe Ryan and leading qualifier at the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship Paula Grant.

In the girls’ event, Junior Vagliano team members Ffion Tynan (Wales), Carys Worby (Wales), Sara Byrne (Ireland) and recent English Women’s Amateur champion Lily-May Humphries (England) feature for their respective countries.

The Seniors Amateur Championship
At the same time in Berkshire, American Chip Lutz will aim to secure a fourth Seniors Amateur Championship at Sunningdale’s Old Course from August 9–11. A field of 144 competitors from 17 countries will play 36 holes over the first two days of the championship before the leading 60 players and ties go through to play the final 18 holes on Friday.

In 2016, Lutz completed a hat-trick of titles in dramatic fashion when he holed a 25-foot birdie putt at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off at Formby, beating fellow American Brady Exber and Scotland’s Graham Bell.

Lutz became the seventh American in a row to lift the trophy. He tees off on Wednesday at 2.13pm alongside France’s Francois Illouz and England’s Ian Crowther.

Ireland will have a number of competitors in this event including, Maurice Kelly (Naas), John Mitchell (Tramore), Adrian Morrow (Portmarnock), Alan Egan (Royal Curragh), Michael Quirke (Donerail), Tom Cleary (Cork), Barry O’Leary (Greystones) and Pat Lyons (Cork).

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