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Brabazon Trophy hopefuls get set to challenge

Over 260 players will set out next week to try to win a place in one of amateur golf’s top championships, the Brabazon Trophy.

They’ve got a sprint ahead of them: just 18 holes to claim a top-30 spot at either of two pre-qualifiers and guarantee a place in the championship. They’re being held on Tuesday, 16 May, at the southern venue of Littlestone, Kent, and the northern host club, Sandiway in Cheshire.

The successful competitors will join over 80 exempt players in an international field, challenging for the title of English men’s open amateur stroke play champion.

The Brabazon Trophy, as it’s better known, will be played at the home of England Golf, on the famed Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa, from May 25-28.

It’s one of amateur golf’s most sought-after titles, attracting future stars of the professional game from around the world and two of the champions, Sandy Lyle and Charl Schwartzel, have gone on to win Majors.

This year’s pre-qualifying hopefuls include Devon’s Harrison Greenberry, who is a past British boys’ champion, Hertfordshire’s Danny Daniels from the England Golf boys’ squad; and former boy international Rhys Nevin-Wharton, who will enjoy home advantage at Sandiway.

All the contenders will be aiming to join a field which represents global golf. Exempt players will be travelling from as far as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. But there will be an extra frisson for payers from Great Britain and Ireland, with the selectors for this year’s Walker Cup match paying particular attention to the action.