The 2016 Lytham Trophy Reports
Bradley Moore protected the two shot lead he took into the last round over Alfie Plant by going out in 35, as did Plant. Both had birdies at the tenth, whereupon Moore underwent an implosion that made that of Jordan Spieth at the Masters look inconsequential. Moore dropped nine shots over the last eight holes, during which time he had only one par, to finish eleven over par.
On a card play-off he was overtaken by French player Ugo Cassaud and Jamie Savage. Meanwhile Alfie Plant came home in 35 for a 70 that only one player, Jacopo Vecchi Fossa of Italy, bettered with the only sub par round of the afternoon. Plant's final total of 284, four over par, was seven shots clear of the field.
In the third round only one of the three sharing the overnight lead did himself any harm, Jamie Walker falling away with a 79. Bradley Moore's 72 saw him edge two ahead of Alfie Plant. Moore wobbled with a six at the fifteenth but recovered with birdies at the next hole and the last. Plant undid the good of the first fourteen holes by doing an Adam Scott and finishing with four consecutive bogey fives.
Pre-trophy favourite Jack Hume returned the only sub par round of the morning and his 68 moved him from 29th after halfway to third place after 54 holes, just ahead of Grant Forrest and Jamie Savage after each had a 73. Swiss player Mathias Eggenberger's 71 was the only other round under 72 and that also took him back into contention in seventh place.
The second day at the Lytham Trophy saw but three rounds under par and three players tied for the lead at level par 140. Alfie Plant followed up his opening 67 with a 73, which included sixteen pars. Bradley Moore had a fine second round 68 but the outstanding round of the event came from James Walker who added to his first round 74 a splendid 66. His back nine was made up of nine pars but his score was made on the way out. He opened with two birdies, adding two more with further birdies on the 7th and 9th to go out in a stunning thirty strokes.
Players from Sweden, France and Italy had level par 70's. Jamie Savage was still in touch with a second round 71 as was Grant Forrest on 145. Fancied Irish player Jack Hume has some ground to recover after a second round 76. Amongst those who had good first rounds, Jamie Li had a day to forget with an 80 and Mathias Eggenberger faded to a 78.
On a far from easy day in the first round of the Lytham Trophy, Alfie Plant came in near the end of the day with a fine 67 to lead by two with Jamie Li of Bath in second place. Plant has a track record of good first rounds. In last year's Amateur he twice holed out seven iron shots at Panmure. At Lytham a rare eagle at the seventh and birdies at the tenth and twelfth made his round with only a dropped shot at the third.
Swiss player Mathias Eggengberger, studying Business and Management at Stirling with Jack McDonald had a first round 70.
The American entrant James Glenn had a commendable 71. Strongly fancied Irish Walker Cup player Jack Hume had a steady 72 with Grant Forrest one shot further back.
Also on 72 was Khaled Attieh who appears likely to become the first Saudi Arabian professional. He has already won the Shaik Maktoum Foundation Award twice and played out of the University of South California. He has previously played in the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.
Lytham Trophy Preview
September 2015 saw an epic Walker Cup match played at Royal Lytham, with GB&I winning by a record margin. Inevitably, as Kipling pointed out, ‘The tumult and the shouting dies; The Captains and the Kings depart.’ A number of the victorious team have now transferred to the professional ranks, but three are in action in the 2016 Lytham Trophy.
Scots Ewen Ferguson and Grant Forrest, the latter reaching the final of the 2015 Amateur, are playing as is Jack Hume, the only one of the five Irish players from September still in the amateur ranks. He must be fancied, as in 2016 he has already won the individual part of the European Nations Cup by a large margin after a second round 64. Having finished third the previous week in Pretoria after a closing 65, he won the South African Amateur Strokeplay, when a last round 64 took him past fellow Irish player Stuart Grehan, who also plays at Lytham this week alongside sixteen other Irish players.
Of those in or just outside the Walker Cup Squad of last year, Adam Chapman, Paul Kinnear, Daniel Brown, Jamie Savage, Bob McIntyre and Alfie Plant are all in action, as are three players from the home club - Henry Tomlinson, Callan Barrow and Samuel Turner.
There are now rankings of top amateur events worldwide and the Lytham Trophy is one of the top three in the British Isles, the other two being The Amateur Championship and the St Andrews Links Trophy. Recent years have seen international winners from The Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden.
Beyond the home countries, there are entries from fifteen other countries: Germany, Portugal, Austria, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, Denmark, France, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Poland and, from further afield, Australia and the United States of America. For the first time there is an entry from Saudi Arabia. Khaled Attieh may find his familiarity with sand comes in useful.