The Amateur Championship

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The Amateur Championship
The Amateur Championship Trophy in 2009 at Gardagolf Country Club
Tournament information
Location United Kingdom
Established 1885
Format Stroke play and match play
Month played June
Current champion
France Romain Langasque

The Amateur Championship (sometimes referred to as the British Amateur or British Amateur Championship outside of the UK) is a golf tournament which is held annually in the United Kingdom. It is one of the two leading individual tournaments for amateur golfers, alongside the U.S. Amateur. It normally has the widest international representation of any individual amateur event, with 34 golf federations from all six continents represented in the 2010 championship.[1] It has been held in the UK on all but one occasion; in 1949 Ireland hosted the championship.

Before World War II it was regarded as one of golf's major championships, but given the modern dominance of the sport by professional golfers, this is no longer the case. Only one Amateur Championship winner in the post-World War II era has gone on to win a professional major championship: José María Olazábal.



The championship was founded in 1885 by the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and was, for many years, regarded as an unofficial event. In 1922, the R&A decided that Allan Macfie, the winner of the event, should be added to the list of Amateur Championship winners.[2]

The tournament was played on 20, 21 and 23 April and was "open to all amateur members of recognised golf clubs". The format was match-play. All players were included in the draw for each round, any extra player receiving a bye. If a match was halved after the 18 holes both players progressed to the next round, playing each other again. There were 49 entries from 12 different clubs, although only 44 were included in the draw and four of these players did not turn up. Of the 22 first-round matches, 2 were halved, meaning that there were 12 matches in the second round.[3][4] There were no more halved matches in the following rounds which meant that 3 players reached the semi-final stage.[5][6] John Ball beat his father, also called John, in the third round.[6] Allan Macfie was the lucky player to receive a bye at the semi-final stage with Horace Hutchinson beating Ball 2 up in the only semi-final match. After his morning round, Hutchinson played badly in the afternoon and Macfie won 7&6.[7][8]

Each player paid a 1 guinea entry fee. This, together with 25 guineas from the Royal Liverpool club, was used for prizes. The losing finalist received £10 with the remainder being used to buy plate for the winner.[4] The final amount for the winner was about £60[7] or £70.[8] By comparison the winner of the 1885 Open Championship received £10.

Entry, format

Entry to the Championship is now given to the most-qualified 288 applicants from around the world, with perhaps half the places reserved for top players from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Qualifying rounds for all players were first introduced in 1983, when the popularity of the championship led to the number of applicants increasing to unmanageable levels. Major golf nations are allocated entries on what amounts to a quota basis for their top applicants, with each applicant's national federation cooperating with the R&A on selection. For example, the 2010 entry list included players from the British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland), mainland Europe (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Slovenia, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland), North America (USA, Canada, Mexico), South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Peru), Asia (China, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore), Australasia (Australia, New Zealand) and Africa (South Africa).[1]

The first stage of the Championship involves 288 players, each of whom plays two rounds of 18 holes, one on each of two courses, over the first two days. The 64 lowest scores over the 36 holes, and ties for 64th place compete in the match play stage of the Championship, on the event's principal course, and are seeded by qualifying scores. Each match consists of one round of 18 holes, except for the Final, which is over 36 holes. Since there are generally more than 64 qualifiers from the stroke play stage, the first round of the match play involves a small number of matches to reduce the number of qualifiers to exactly 64. Tied matches are broken by sudden death through extra holes. The event is played in June, normally with a Monday through Saturday schedule.

The winner receives invitations to three of the major championships, namely the following month's Open Championship, and the following year's Masters Tournament and U.S. Open provided he remain an amateur prior to each major. The Amateur Championship is open to amateur golfers of any nationality in good standing with their national federations. Briton John Ball won the most career titles, with eight. Ball was still competing in the event as late as 1921 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.[9] In modern times, Briton Michael Bonallack's five titles lead. The most famous American winner of the competition was Bobby Jones, whose 1930 victory was part of his Grand Slam.

Most times hosted

The courses that have hosted the Amateur the most times (through 2015):


Year Venue Champion Country Score Runner-up
2015 Carnoustie Golf Links Romain Langasque  France 4 & 2 Scotland Grant Forrest
2014 Royal Portrush Golf Club Bradley Neil  Scotland 2 & 1 South Africa Zander Lombard
2013 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Garrick Porteous  England 6 & 5 Finland Toni Hakula
2012 Royal Troon Golf Club Alan Dunbar  Northern Ireland 1 up Austria Matthias Schwab
2011 Hillside Golf Club Bryden Macpherson  Australia 3 & 2 Scotland Michael Stewart
2010 Muirfield Jin Jeong  South Korea 5 & 4 Scotland James Byrne
2009 Formby Golf Club Matteo Manassero  Italy 4 & 3 England Sam Hutsby
2008 Turnberry Reinier Saxton  Netherlands 3 & 2 England Tommy Fleetwood
2007 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club Drew Weaver  United States 2 & 1 Australia Tim Stewart
2006 Royal St. George's Golf Club Julien Guerrier  France 4 & 3 England Adam Gee
2005 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Brian McElhinney  Ireland 5 & 4 Scotland John Gallagher
2004 St. Andrews Links Stuart Wilson  Scotland 4 & 3 England Lee Corfield
2003 Royal Troon Golf Club Gary Wolstenholme  England 6 & 5 Switzerland Raphael De Sousa
2002 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Alejandro Larrazábal  Spain 1 up Wales Martin Sell
2001 Prestwick Golf Club Michael Hoey  Northern Ireland 1 up England Ian Campbell
2000 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Mikko Ilonen  Finland 2 & 1 Germany Christian Reimbold
1999 Royal County Down Golf Club Graeme Storm  England 7 & 6 England Aran Wainwright
1998 Muirfield Sergio García  Spain 7 & 6 Wales Craig Williams
1997 Royal St. George's Golf Club Craig Watson  Scotland 3 & 2 South Africa Trevor Immelman
1996 Turnberry Warren Bladon  England 1 up Scotland Roger Beames
1995 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Gordon Sherry  Scotland 7 & 6 England Michael Reynard
1994 Nairn Golf Club Lee James  England 2 & 1 Scotland Gordon Sherry
1993 Royal Portrush Golf Club Iain Pyman  England 37 holes England Paul Page
1992 Carnoustie Golf Links Stephen Dundas  Scotland 7 & 6 Wales Bradley Dredge
1991 Ganton Golf Club Gary Wolstenholme  England 8 & 6 United States Bob May
1990 Muirfield Rolf Muntz  Netherlands 7 & 6 Wales Michael Macara
1989 Royal Birkdale Golf Club Stephen Dodd  Wales 5 & 3 England Craig Cassells
1988 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Christian Hardin  Sweden 1 up South Africa Ben Fouchee
1987 Prestwick Golf Club Paul Mayo  Wales 3 & 1 England Peter McEvoy
1986 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club David Curry  England 11 & 9 England Geoff Birtwell
1985 Royal Dornoch Golf Club Garth McGimpsey  Northern Ireland 8 & 7 England Graham Homewood
1984 Formby Golf Club José María Olazábal  Spain 5 & 4 Scotland Colin Montgomerie
1983 Turnberry Philip Parkin  Wales 5 & 4 United States Jim Holtgrieve
1982 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Martin Thompson  England 4 & 3 England Andrew Stubbs
1981 St. Andrews Links Phillipe Ploujoux  France 4 & 2 United States Joel Hirsch
1980 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Duncan Evans  Wales 4 & 3 South Africa David Suddards
1979 Hillside Golf Club Jay Sigel  United States 3 & 2 United States Scott Hoch
1978 Royal Troon Golf Club Peter McEvoy  England 4 & 3 Scotland Paul McKellar
1977 Ganton Golf Club Peter McEvoy  England 5 & 4 Scotland H.M. Campbell
1976 St. Andrews Links Dick Siderowf  United States 37 holes England J.C. Davies
1975 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Vinny Giles  United States 8 & 7 England Mark James
1974 Muirfield Trevor Homer  England 2 up United States Jim Gabrielsen
1973 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Dick Siderowf  United States 5 & 3 England Peter H. Moody
1972 Royal St. George's Golf Club Trevor Homer  England 4 & 3 England Alan Thirlwell
1971 Carnoustie Golf Links Steve Melnyk  United States 3 & 2 United States Jim Simons
1970 Royal County Down Golf Club Michael Bonallack  England 8 & 7 United States Bill Hyndman
1969 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Michael Bonallack  England 3 & 2 United States Bill Hyndman
1968 Royal Troon Golf Club Michael Bonallack  England 7 & 6 Republic of Ireland Joe Carr
1967 Formby Golf Club Bob Dickson  United States 2 & 1 United States Ron Cerrudo
1966 Carnoustie Golf Links Bobby Cole  South Africa 3 & 2 Scotland Ronnie Shade
1965 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Michael Bonallack  England 2 & 1 England Clive Clark
1964 Ganton Golf Club Gordon Clark  England 39 holes England Michael Lunt
1963 St. Andrews Links Michael Lunt  England 2 & 1 England John Blackwell
1962 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Richard Davies  United States 1 up Wales John Povall
1961 Turnberry Michael Bonallack  England 6 & 4 Scotland James Walker
1960 Royal Portrush Golf Club Joe Carr  Ireland 8 & 7 United States Robert Cochran
1959 Royal St. George's Golf Club Deane Beman  United States 3 & 2 United States Bill Hyndman
1958 St. Andrews Links Joe Carr  Ireland 3 & 2 England Alan Thirlwell
1957 Formby Golf Club Reid Jack  Scotland 2 & 1 United States Harold Ridgley
1956 Royal Troon Golf Club John Beharrell  England 5 & 4 Scotland Leslie Taylor
1955 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club Joe Conrad  United States 3 & 2 England Alan Slater
1954 Muirfield Douglas Bachli  Australia 2 & 1 United States William C. Campbell
1953 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Joe Carr  Ireland 2 up United States Harvie Ward
1952 Prestwick Golf Club Harvie Ward  United States 6 & 5 United States Frank Stranahan
1951 Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Dick Chapman  United States 5 & 4 United States Charles Coe
1950 St. Andrews Links Frank Stranahan  United States 8 & 6 United States Dick Chapman
1949 Portmarnock Golf Club Samuel McCready  Ireland 2 & 1 United States Willie Turnesa
1948 Royal St. George's Golf Club Frank Stranahan  United States 5 & 4 England Charles Stowe
1947 Carnoustie Golf Links Willie Turnesa  United States 3 & 2 United States Dick Chapman
1946 Royal Birkdale Golf Club James Bruen  Ireland 4 & 3 United States Robert Sweeny Jr.
1940–45: Not played due to World War II
1939 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Alexander Kyle  Scotland 2 & 1 Wales Tony Duncan
1938 Royal Troon Golf Club Charlie Yates  United States 3 & 2 Republic of Ireland Cecil Ewing
1937 Royal St. George's Golf Club Robert Sweeny Jr.  United States 3 & 2 Northern Ireland Lionel Munn
1936 St. Andrews Links Hector Thomson  Scotland 2 up Australia Jim Ferrier
1935 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club Lawson Little  United States 1 up England William Tweddell
1934 Prestwick Golf Club Lawson Little  United States 14 & 13 Scotland J. Wallace
1933 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Hon. Michael Scott  England 4 & 3 England T.A. Bourn
1932 Muirfield John De Forest  England 3 & 1 England Eric Fiddian
1931 Royal North Devon Golf Club Eric Martin-Smith  England 1 up England John de Forest
1930 St. Andrews Links Bobby Jones  United States 7 & 6 England Roger Wethered
1929 Royal St. George's Golf Club Cyril Tolley  England 4 & 3 Scotland J. Nelson Smith
1928 Prestwick Golf Club Philip Perkins  England 6 & 4 England Roger Wethered
1927 Royal Liverpool Golf Club William Tweddell  England 7 & 6 England D.E. Landale
1926 Muirfield Jess Sweetser  United States 6 & 5 Scotland A.F. Simpson
1925 Royal North Devon Golf Club Robert Harris  Scotland 13 & 12 England Kenneth F. Fradgley
1924 St. Andrews Links Ernest Holderness  England 3 & 2 England E.F. Storey
1923 Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club Roger Wethered  England 7 & 6 Scotland Robert Harris
1922 Prestwick Golf Club Ernest Holderness  England 1 up Scotland John Caven
1921 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Willie Hunter  Scotland 12 & 11 England Allan Graham
1920 Muirfield Cyril Tolley  England 37 holes United States Robert A. Gardner
1915–19: Not played due to World War I
1914 Royal St. George's Golf Club J.L.C. Jenkins  Scotland 3 & 2 Ireland Charles O. Hezlet
1913 St. Andrews Links Harold Hilton  England 6 & 5 Scotland Robert Harris
1912 Royal North Devon Golf Club John Ball  England 38 holes England Abe Mitchell
1911 Prestwick Golf Club Harold Hilton  England 4 & 3 England E.A. Lassen
1910 Royal Liverpool Golf Club John Ball  England 10 & 9 England C.C. Aylmer
1909 Muirfield Robert Maxwell  Scotland 1 up Scotland Cecil Hutchison
1908 Royal St. George's Golf Club E.A. Lassen  England 7 & 6 England Herbert Taylor
1907 St. Andrews Links John Ball  England 6 & 4 England C.A. Palmer
1906 Royal Liverpool Golf Club James Robb  Scotland 4 & 3 England Clifford Lingen
1905 Prestwick Golf Club Arthur Barry  England 3 & 2 England Osmund Scott
1904 Royal St. George's Golf Club Walter Travis  United States 4 & 3 Scotland Edward Blackwell
1903 Muirfield Robert Maxwell  Scotland 7 & 5 England Horace Hutchinson
1902 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Charles Hutchings  England 1 up England Sidney Fry
1901 St. Andrews Links Harold Hilton  England 1 up Scotland John L. Low
1900 Royal St. George's Golf Club Harold Hilton  England 8 & 7 Scotland James Robb
1899 Prestwick Golf Club John Ball  England 37 holes Scotland Freddie Tait
1898 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Freddie Tait  Scotland 7 & 5 Scotland S. Mure Fergusson
1897 Muirfield Jack Allan  Scotland 4 & 2 Scotland James Robb
1896 Royal St. George's Golf Club Freddie Tait  Scotland 8 & 7 England Harold Hilton
1895 St. Andrews Links Leslie Balfour-Melville  Scotland 19 holes England John Ball
1894 Royal Liverpool Golf Club John Ball  England 1 up Scotland S. Mure Fergusson
1893 Prestwick Golf Club P.C. Anderson  Scotland 1 up Scotland Johnny Laidlay
1892 Royal St. George's Golf Club John Ball  England 3 & 1 England Harold Hilton
1891 St. Andrews Links Johnny Laidlay  Scotland 20 holes England Harold Hilton
1890 Royal Liverpool Golf Club John Ball  England 4 & 3 Scotland Johnny Laidlay
1889 St. Andrews Links Johnny Laidlay  Scotland 2 & 1 Scotland Leslie Balfour-Melville
1888 Prestwick Golf Club John Ball  England 5 & 4 Scotland Johnny Laidlay
1887 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Horace Hutchinson  England 1 up England John Ball
1886 St. Andrews Links Horace Hutchinson  England 7 & 6 England Henry Lamb
1885 Royal Liverpool Golf Club Allan Macfie  Scotland 7 & 6 England Horace Hutchinson

Multiple winners

Sixteen players have won more than one Amateur Championship, through 2013:

Three players have won both the Amateur and the Open:

  • John Ball – 1888, 1890, 1892, 1894, 1899, 1907, 1910, 1912 Amateurs; 1890 Open
  • Harold Hilton – 1900, 1901, 1911, 1913 Amateurs; 1892, 1897 Opens
  • Bobby Jones – 1930 Amateur; 1926, 1927, 1930 Opens

Future sites


  1. 1.0 1.1, the 2010 Amateur Championship entry list
  2. "Golf – Meeting of the Championship Committee". The Times. 3 March 1922. p. 8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Golf tournament at Hoylake". The Glasgow Herald. 21 April 1885. p. 7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Golf tournament at Hoylake". Dundee Courier. 21 April 1885. Retrieved 15 July 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "The golf tournament at Hoylake". The Glasgow Herald. 22 April 1885. p. 9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "The golf tournament at Hoylake". Dundee Courier. 22 April 1885. Retrieved 15 July 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The golf tournament at Hoylake – Victory of a Scottish player". The Glasgow Herald. 22 April 1885. p. 8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Golf – The tournament at Hoylake". Dundee Courier. 24 April 1885. Retrieved 15 July 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Rice, Grantland (25 May 1921). "Wright Only U.S. Golfer Left in Play". The New York Tribune. Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links