The 2015 Lytham Trophy Reports
Mothers-in-law can occasionally be nice, if they choose to. So can the links at Royal Lytham and with an easterly wind taking the venom out of the back nine, eight players broke the par of 70. The four players on 68 came from Sweden, Hong Kong, Denmark and Northern Ireland. Each came home in 33, Oliver Roberts of Hong Kong finishing 3,4,4,3.
Members of the Walker Cup squad had mixed fortunes. Cormac Sharvin of Ardglass with one of the 68s led the way, with Jack McDonald on 70 and Gary Hurley and Bradley Neil both on 71. Several were in the mid 70s but Gavin Moynihan has some way to go after a 78. The startling fall from grace was Ashley Chesters who had only two pars on the front nine
when he went out in 44, bringing in an 82.
Club member Nicholas People's had a commendable 72.
On a day of surly weather, the mood of the links at Royal Lytham reflected the weather. Of the overnight leaders Walker Cup squad member Cormac Sharvin added a steady 74 but found himself in second place five behind the Swedish player Marcus Kinhult whose second round 69 was the only sub par round of the day. Kinhult started slowly, dropping three shots in the first three holes, but five birdies and only one bogey thereafter was a steady performance.
Some other Walker Cup squad players stayed in touch with Bradley Neil, Gary Hurley and Jack McDonald all on 147 and Jimmy Mullen two further shots back and Daniel Brown one further shot away. Jack Hume and Nick Marsh on 152 had a nervous wait. However, for Gavin Moynihan and Adam Chapman on 154, Jamie Savage on 157 and Graeme Robertson on 159, their chances to make a good impression were over, whilst Ashley Chesters on 161 must have dented his prospects.
The four on 69 overnight were all between eight and eleven shots worse in the second round. Of the two others on 68 on Thursday, Oliver Roberts of Hong Kong had an 82 and John Axelson of Denmark an 84. A hard day.
Marcus Kinhult likes Lytham and Lytham likes him. Last year the links allowed him to clamber into fourth place. In 2015 he went one better and finished eight shots clear of the rest of the field. From sharing the lead after the first round, he went further ahead after each subsequent round, adding a 69 in the second, a 71 in the third and a 72 in the fourth. To put these into perspective, in the second round no one else equalled par and he was the only one to better it and in the third his score was only bettered by one in Ashton Turner's 68.
Walker Cup squad members had a mixed experience. The only one to do himself a great deal of good was Cormac Sharvin of Ardglass. Going into the last round he was the only player anywhere near Kinhult and by going out in 32 with birdies at the first and second, he closed in on the young Swede, getting within four shots after the latter had a six at the fifteenth. After a pushed drive at the seventeenth, Kinhult finally closed the door with a superb rescue club to the green, as Sharvin found a bunker and dropped a shot.
At the last Sharvin found the only thick rough on the course from the tee and the ball was never found. Getting a five with the next ball meant that not only did he drop back to tie with two others on +8 but lost second and third places to Richard James of Aberystwyth who closed with a fine 68 and the French player Robin Rousell, who posted a 70.
Of the others in the Walker Cup squad, Daniel Brown's 68 in the last round lifted him to 6th place and Bradley Neil was 9th, Jack McDonald 15th, Gary Hurley 19th and Jimmy Mullen 23rd. Seven others missed the cut, noticeably Ashely Chesters after an 82 and a 79.
In an easterly wind the course was unforgiving, with the CSS on the second round at 79 some nine shots more than par.
Kinhult, still some way short of his nineteenth birthday. moved up to second place in the World Amateur Rankings as a result of his win, with came on top of a recent win in the Junior International at Sage Valley in Georgia. He became the first Swedish winner of the Lytham Trophy and the fourth overseas winner in the last four years, following Dan Huizing of the Netherlands, Albert Eckhardt of Finland and Thriston Lawrence of South Africa.