HAMPSHIRE are hoping to win the Carris Trophy for the first time since 2006 – and just the fifth time in the county’s history. Four golfers are carrying the county’s hopes as the English Boys’ Amateur Strokeplay Championship gets under way at Bristol & Clifton GC, today (Tuesday).
Hockley’s Tom Chalk became just the third Hampshire player to win the South East Junior Championship back in June, while South Winchester’s Harvey Denham won the Pechell Salver as the leading qualifier at the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship.
At just 16, Denham, who is also a member at Stoneham, broke Jack Singh-Brar’s record as the youngest winner of the 36-hole qualifier at the championship, played at North Hants, in early June.
North Hants’ Charlie Forster, who claimed the English Schools South West Championship in the same week, is the fourth Hampshire player playing in Gloucestershire this week.
They are looking not only to emulate some of Hampshire’s most successful juniors by winning the 72-hole strokeplay event, but also a club of elite players who have risen to the top of the men’s amateur and professional game.South
Hockley’s former R&A captain Sir Paddy Hine won the Carris, which was first played for back in 1935, at Moor Park in 1949 – when the 17-year-old also did the double by claiming the Brabazon Trophy, later that autumn when the English Men’s Amateur Strokeplay was held at Stoneham.
Justin Rose famously won the McGregor – the English U16s Championship – and the Carris in the space of just three weeks back in 1995, when he was just days away from his 15th birthday.
Rose is still the only player to complete the Carris and McGregor double in the same season.
After his victory 26 years ago, Stoneham’s David Porter claimed the Carris at High Post in 1999, aged just 16. His victory pushed the former Wellow junior straight into the England men’s squad, making his full international against Spain early in 2000, having also won the McEvoy Trophy in 1999, and helping England claim the European Boys and World Boys team titles that summer.
While Lee-on-the-Solent would go close to landing the prestigious Carris prize in the shape of Hutsby, it was his Hampshire and future England Boys team-mate Darren Wright who surprised the watching selectors by landing the famous trophy at Sherwood Forest, in 2006.
Since then the English Boys U18 title has been won by Tom Lewis, now on the PGA Tour, and fellow Hertfordshire winner Callum Shinkwin, but there have been no more Hampshire victories.
Other famous winners of the Carris include Sandy Lyle, who also did the strokeplay double in 1975, breaking Paddy Hine’s record as the youngest winner of the Brabazon.
As well as Rose, Peter Townsend (1964), Peter Dawson (1968), Ken Brown 1974, David Gilford (1981) and Peter Baker (1983) all went on to play in the Ryder Cup after claiming the Carris.
Only nine players had won both the men’s and boys’ strokeplay including Wright in their career until Yorkshire’s Ben Schmidt became the youngest winner of both at just 16 in 2019.
The Carris which used to be held annually at Moor Park, near Watford, where the competition was adopted by England Golf as the national boys’ championship in 1987. Since then it has returned to its spiritual home every five years.
The Hazards Salver is awarded to the best score by a player aged Under 16 at the Carris – Rose won it in 1995 and 1996, while Porter picked it up in 1998 and 1999. Hayling’s Colin Walsh claimed it in 2008 while Bramshaw’s Jack Singh-Brar was the county’s last winner in 2011.
Bristol & Clifton is the home course of Ryder Cup player Chris Wood, who became very good friends with Hutsby while they England junior and full international, before both graduating to the European Tour.
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