England Golf: Brabazon Trophy qualifiers

STELLAR EFFORT: Jack Whaley (Rotherham), who led Northern Qualifying at Pannal

Fit-again Jack Whaley defies windy Pannal to go bogey free and finish three clear

ENGLAND GOLF: Thursday May 12th

FORMAT: 18-hole stroke play

Rotherham junior Jack Whaley proved he has fully recovered from a freak injury as he went bogey free for the first time in leading Brabazon Trophy Northern Qualifying at Pannal on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old’s season was disrupted after he “popped a rib out” trying the new Callaway Rogue driver. A heavier shaft and an over vigorous swing left him in agony.

He tried to return at the Scottish Boys Open last month but struggled to an 81 but at the Harrogate course reached the Brabazon Trophy in some style, finishing three clear of fellow South Yorkshire golfer Luca Houlgate (Waterfront) and Scotsman Jamie Stewart (Old Course Ranfurly). Saunton hosts the big one later this month (May 19-22) with World No 13 Sam Bairstow defending his title at the Devon venue.

“It was the most ‘textbook’ round I have ever played,” said the England Schools international who carded a 68 (-4) to ensure he was one of 20 players to make it through to the English Men’s Open Strokeplay.

“I tend to be quite good at one-day events and was targetting one under but it all came together really well.

“To get to my first Brabazon is a real thrill but I get a lot of support, not least from Eco Power and I can’t thank them enough for all the help they give me.”

Windy conditions ensured the North Yorkshire venue was a difficult challenge and Whaley identified his “red-hot” putting as the key to breaking 70.

Support MacMillan’s Longest Day challenge and play 72 holes in a day for a great cause

“The putter was unbelievable,” added Whaley. “I held a lot of putts for par between six and ten feet and I needed to because they weren’t easy green to chip on.”

The Rotherham youngster’s greatest escape came at the sixth where his two iron off the tee was blocked right into deep rough. He managed to hack a nine iron out to 45 yards before pitching to 12 feet and then sinking a massive momentum-boosting putt.

At that point he was one under having birdied the par five fourth and, throughout, he did a great job of taking advantage of the birdie opportunities at the long holes. Having left himself 205 yards, he drilled a 4 iron under the blustery wind and just missed the target. A chip went close (four feet) and he was quickly under par.

His next birdie came at par five 11th where again he got it close enough with his approach and his short game did the rest, holing out from five feet to get to two under.

A brilliant three wood at the par five 13th from 240 yards out finished 15 feet from the pin and he lipped out for eagle before he got to four under at the picturesque short par four 18th. A two iron from the elevated tee left him with 115 yards in and Whaley pinged his 49 degree to two feet, the ball landing five yards short before rolling into gimme range.

At the Midland Qualifier, Welshman Ieuan Phillips (Newport) finished a shot clear of the rest at Stanton-on-the-Wolds where the top 20 made it through while Aussie Alexander Maxwell (Royal Fremantle) was one of four players to finish on four under at Beaconsfield, where the top 21 qualified. Alfie Forisky (Maidenhead), Harry Uzzell (Wentworth), Eliot Baker (Tiverton) also shot 68.

Qualifying scores – Northern Qualifying (par 72, Eng unless stated)
1) Jack Whaley (Rotherham) 68 (-4)
2) Luca Houlgate (Waterfront) 71 (-1)
3) Jamie Stewart (Old Course Ranfurly, Sco) 71 (-1)
4) Tom Osborne (Lindrick) 72 (level)
5) Tom North (Howley Hall) 72 (level)
6) Jake Sowden (The Oaks) 72 (level)
7) Kieran Hogarth (Royal Lytham) 72 (level)
8) Cormac Sharpe (Blairgowrie, Sco) 72 (level)
9) Will Coxon (Carus Green) 72 (level)
10) Ryan Owen (Styal) 72 (level)
11) Jack McPhail (Southport & Ainsdale) 72 (level)
12) Jake Hibbert (Warrington) 73 (+1)
13) Jack McDonald (Schloss Roxburghe, Sco) 73 (+1)
14) Stuart Thurlow (Murrayfield, Sco) 73 (+1)
15) Matthew Lever (Bolton) 73 (+1)
16) Reece Goodyear (Elsham) 74 (+2)
17) Michael Kilgallon (St Annes Old Links) 74 (+2)
18) Dominic Barron Holden (Kendal) 74 (+2)
19) Aamar Saleem (New GC St Andrews) 74 (+2)
20) Jack Williams (Wrexham, Wal) 74 (+2)
For full scores click here
Qualifying scores – Midland Qualifying (par 73, Eng unless stated)
1) Ieuan Phillips (Newport (Wal), Wal) 69 (-4)
2) Theo Baker (Celtic Manor, Wal) 70 (-3)
3) Freddie MacArthur (Ullesthorpe Court) 70 (-3)
4) Adam Dorricott (Chilwell Manor) 71 (-2)
5) Jenson Forrester (Walsall) 71 (-2)
6) George Griffiths (Lingdale) 71 (-2)
7) Joshua Ashton (Kedleston Park) 72 (-1)
8) Jake Plumb (The Gog Magog) 72 (-1)
9) Jacob Smith (Sherwood Forest) 72 (-1)
10) George Cordall (Worksop) 73 (level)
11) Alfie Robinson (Pyecombe) 73 (level)
12) Luke Yardley (Stockport) 73 (level)
13) James Claridge (Enville) 73 (level)
14) Joe Jones (Langland Bay, Wal) 73 (level)
15) Alex Ford (Copt Heath) 73 (level)
16) Dean Reddington (Sherwood Forest) 74 (+1)
17) Warren Bates (Heacham Manor) 74 (+1)
18) Nick Davies (Filton) 75 (+2)
19) Kyle Harman (St Athan, Wal) 75 (+2)
20) Charlie Gilgenkrantz (West Hove) 75 (+2)
For full scores click here
Qualifying scores – Southern Qualifying (par 72, Eng unless stated)
1) Alexander Maxwell (Royal Fremantle, Aus) 68 (-4)
2) Alfie Forisky (Maidenhead) 68 (-4)
3) Harry Uzzell (Wentworth) 68 (-4)
4) Eliot Baker (Tiverton) 68 (-4)
5) Louis Sanders (Copt Heath) 69 (-3)
6) Carl Banner (Beaconsfield) 69 (-3)
7) Taylor Paul (Stoke Park) 70 (-2)
8) Ollie Brimfield (Burnham & Berrow) 70 (-2)
9) Jack Neill (Ealing) 70 (-2)
10) Sam Russell (Royal Eastbourne) 70 (-2)
11) Joshua Hayes (East Brighton) 70 (-2)
12) Huxley Howell (Saltford) 70 (-2)
13) James McLaughlin (Ely City) 71 (-1)
14) Joss Gosling (Brocket Hall) 71 (-1)
15) Reis Suart (Welwyn Garden City) 71 (-1)
16) Carter Rowe (Chelmsford) 71 (-1)
17) Jake Antoun (Kings Hill) 71 (-1)
18) George Saunders (Lee-on-the-Solent) 71 (-1)
19) Callum Tibbs (London Club) 71 (-1)
20) James Whyte (Poult Wood) 72 (level)
21) Leyton Hardwick (Wentworth) 72 (level)
For full scores click here