Friday 11th May 2018
Hampshire draw with Dorset
Colin Roope and Sam De'Ath in action
Hampshire and Dorset drew their SE Counties League Match at Remedy Oak yesterday.
County Captain Colin Roope holed a four foot putt on the 18th green to win his match and ensure that honours were even.
The result means that both teams can still win the League. Hampshire's next match is against Kent on Sunday 27th May at Shanklin & Sandown GC.
Friday 11th May.......Andrew Griffin previews the match at Remedy Oak....
NEW county captain Colin Roope has named himself in Hampshire’s team for the first South East Daily Telegraph League match of the 2018 campaign along with three other members of the side that claimed the English County Championship for the first time in 21 years in October.
Spanish Amateur Billy McKenzie would have been the first name on the team sheet and taken the contingent from the team that triumphed at Trevose to five.
But the Rowlands Castle ace’s early season form has propelled him into the England team that flies to Nice in France, this weekend while his team-mates travel to Dorset’s Remedy Oak.
But Meon Valley’s George Saunders has also started the season well with victory in the West of England Amateur Championship at the end of last month, following Matt Wilcox’s win at The Berkhamsted Trophy at the end of March.
Both join former captain Martin Young from Brokenhurst Manor in the eight-man team that will play in Sunday’s four foursomes and eight singles matches.
Saunders plays at the same club as British Amateur champion Harry Ellis, who is in his final year at Florida State University, after his making his Masters debut in April.
George, a former England U16 international, has spent the last eight years playing and practising with Harry and picked up many of England’s top amateur’s habits.
Roope, from Blackmoor GC, said: George has had an incredible start to the year with top 10s in the Berkhamsted and Selborne Salver plus his win at Royal North Devon.
Reaching the last eight in the British Boys last summer was obviously a catalyst for him and he has stepped up brilliantly this year moving out of boys golf into the men’s events and competing superbly so far.
He was no doubt disappointed to miss out on Trevose last year, but he has really shone so far this year. George was one of the first names on the team sheet when I picked the team to play Dorset.
The other member of the English championship side heading across the county border is Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson, who now combines his amateur careers with being assistant secretary at his club.
Robson attended the same Alabama College in the States as Danny Willett and can be blisteringly hot with the putter, which in 18 holes of match-play makes him a very dangerous opponent.
Another former US college player is making his league debut against Dorset in the shape of Sam De’ath, wholike Wilcox plays at North Hants, the club where US Open winner Justin Rose rose to fame.
And with Corhampton having produced two England internationals in the shape of Walker Cup players Neil Raymond and Scott Gregory, the 2016 British Amateur champion, it is is the turn of teenager Jamie Markwick to step up into the men’s team having played junior golf for Hampshire.
Roope, the eighth player to lead Hampshire the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands in the 21st century, added: Sam De’ath, Jamie Markwick and Jason Stokes, from Jersey, have slotted in brilliantly in our early season friendlies against the Hampshire PGA, Shanklin and Sandown, and the Channel Islands.
They are all keen to play and are committed to the cause. I do not believe the big name players win the league for you .it is the players that come in at the back
Hampshire are without their other two college golf stars Shanklin and Sandown’s Conor Richards and Jordan Sundborg both not back home on the Isle of Wight until later this month.
But they will be back in time for when their home club hosts Kent over the Whitsun weekend, while McKenzie should also be available.
Roope’s team head to Littlehampton to face Sussex on July 1 and complete their South Division matches when they play Surrey at Hayling, on August 5.
The South East League final will be played in October at Frilford Heath, in Oxfordshire, which is also hosting the Brabazon Trophy at the end of May.
Team: Colin Roope (captain Blackmoor), Martin Young (Brokenhurst Manor) Matt Wilcox, Sam De’ath (North Hants), Jamie Markwick (Corhampton), George Saunders (Meon Valley H&CC), Tom Robson (Rowlands Castle), Jason Stokes (La Moye)