Alan Dunbar in action.
25 April 2012
Michael Bonallack Trophy - Latest
Live scoring is available for this event: http://portal.fpg.pt/web/smbt2012
Team Europe’s players have been selected with guidance from the R&A’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and the players’ national coaches and officials as well as by regarding high-level performances. Attention was paid to match play results, particularly those attained in the European Golf Association’s International Matches and European Team events.
Europe will meet an exceptionally strong Asia/Pacific team this year at the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club in Portugal. The match’s last edition, scheduled for India, was cancelled owing to 2010 eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, which restricted air travel. Selectors feel the team will compete strongly, led onto the course by former EGA President and current Chairman of Golf Development Wales, Andrew B. Morgan, who will have the task of defending the Trophy, last won by Europe at Valderrama in 2008.
To assist the defence will be European Amateur Champion, Manuel Trappel of Austria, who is also Austrian Stroke Play Champion and Austrian International runner-up. Marcel Schneider (GER), has already shown the opposition his form by winning the Australian Amateur title last year. He has since taken second position in the Turkish, Portuguese and Spanish Amateur Championships. Ryder Cup Junior Match and Jacques Léglise Trophy player, Mortiz Lampert, tied with compatriot, Schneider, in the Turkish, but was able to go one better in the Portuguese Amateur by winning the title.
Trophy conditions state a two-player limit by nationality and Europe’s second dual representation will be Daan Huizing and Robin Kind of the Netherlands. Huizing has been one of Europe’s most successful amateurs of late. Since winning his National Stroke Play and Amateur Opens in 2010, he has won the Argentinian, Turkish and German Amateur Championships, was runner-up in the St Andrews Links Trophy and tied second in the Portuguese Amateur last year. He tied for third in the Irish Amateur Open and the recent Spanish International. Kind is keeping-up, with a win in the Riverwoods Junior Open and the Copa Simon Bolivar. He was leading amateur in the KLM Open and runner-up in the South of England Amateur and 2011 Spanish International and has recently shown his match preparation to be sound by winning the Copa Baleares and individual honours at the European Nations’ Cup in Spain.
Two of the continent’s 2011 Jacques Léglise Trophy (JLT) representatives have been selected. Spain’s Jon Rahm-Rodriguez was individual second runner-up to new team-mate, Kind, at the European Nation’s Cup. He won the 2011 Copa Balearas, was instrumental in Spain’s European Boys’ Team Championship victory and is a former Spanish under-21 and under-18 champion. JLT team-mate Thomas Detry (BEL), had a successful 2011 season winning the King’s Prize and the National Match Play Championship in Belgium, becoming runner-up in the Junior Orange Bowl and achieving third in the Boys’ Amateur and French Boys’ Championships. In 2010, he was on the winning Belgian Team at the European Boys’ Team Championships and represented Europe in the Ryder Cup Junior Match and the Continent of Europe in the last two editions of the Jacques Léglise Trophy.
Recent Walker Cup success was the catalyst for selecting Alan Dunbar (IRE), who was Brabazon Trophy runner-up last year and and a fomer Irish Amateur Open champion. With most of the 2011 GB&I Walker Cup team having turned professional, there was room for some new GB&I players to make their mark. Jack Hiluta (ENG) delivered by winning this year’s Spanish International. Based in the US, he was runner-up in the 2011 Mobile Bay Intercollegiate, an event he won in 2010 and was winner of the Memphis Intercollegiate. Completing Europe’s third nations’ dual pair, Ben Taylor also brings his experience from the US and abroad. Taylor was Abu Dhabi Junior Champion in 2010 and won the NCAA Otter Invitational last year before contributing to England’s Men’s Home Internationals win. He is retaining his form into 2012 with third place in The Jones Cup and recent naming as NCAA Sunshine State Conference Golfer of the Month. Rhys Enoch, a seasoned campaigner for Wales in both the Boys’ and Men’s divisions, completes the GB&I contingent. He is presently based in the US and has already achieved runner-up in two college events this season - the General Hackler Championship and the JU Invitational. Last year he was an NCAA Regionals winner, an NCAA Division 1 All-American and a quarter-finalist in The Amateur Championship.
Completing the team is the EGA North Zone’s sole representative, Robert Karlsson from Sweden. Karlsson is also a US-based college student, but his studies have not prevented him for showing early 2012 form with a third place in the Seahawk Intercollegiate and, last year, from winning two college events and achieving runner-up in another. During the 2011 break, he returned home to take leading amateur honours in the Nordea Masters on the European Tour.
Despite World, European, and recent Nation’s Cup champions, France, not being able to field their selected players for this edition, Team Europe should compete well with their Asia/Pacific opponents, whose team includes: the current Masters Leading Amateur, the Asian Amateur Champion, the Australian Amateur Medallist, the World Universities Champion, the New Zealand Amateur Champion, the Chinese Amateur Champion, the Australian Men’s Stroke Play Champion, the Australian Boys Champion, the Bangladesh Amateur Champion, Korean Junior Champion, Japan Open Leading Amateur, Taiwanese Amateur Champion, Thailand Junior Champion; Indonesian Amateur Champion and Thailand Match Play Champion. More on both teams’ players is posted here: http://www.ega-golf.ch/news/news2012-04.asp.
An exciting match awaits...
Event namesake, Sir Michael Bonallack is a British amateur golfer of outstanding repute. He won The Amateur Championship and the English Amateur five times each and the Brabazon Trophy four times. He was a member of nine Walker Cup teams and played in the Eisenhower Trophy seven times. He was leading amateur at The Open in 1968 and 1971. He was also Secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews from 1984 to 1999.