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Solihull Sport

As the clock ticks down to one of britain’s biggest junior amateur golf tournaments, its founder pays tribute to two of its most famous ever winners

THEY are two of British golf’s most familiar faces. But these pictures of Lee Westwood and Justin Rose were taken long before either became legends of the sport.

Both were propelled to stardom after winning thePeter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath Golf Club, which takes place in less than two months’ time.

With the clock ticking down to the event, the man who inspired it has paid a fulsome tribute to the success which Lee and Justin have gone on to achieve.

Westwood, at 18 years old, emerged victorious in the Peter McEvoy Trophy’s 1991 tournament, two years before turning professional.

‘Westy’ has gone on to cement his name as one of the greatest British players of all time, becoming the first countryman to hold the World No.1 spot since Sir Nick Faldo, after dethroning Tiger Woods in 2010.

The now-50-year-old has enjoyed an immensely decorated career, winning 46 tournaments across five continents while receiving four European Tour Golfer of the Year awards.

Copt Heath founded the tournament as a tribute to its most famous member, Peter McEvoy, who looks back fondly on Westwood’s career beginnings.

He said: “My memory of Lee was actually more from when I was England captain, and he played in the England men’s team as an 18/19-year-old, a while before he became famous.

“At that age in a team of adults, he was already our best player. I remember watching when he played at Hoylake in 93’, where he didn’t actually perform particularly well. However, with quality players, even when they don’t play brilliantly, you can still see they’re quality players”.

Rose enjoyed similar success in his amateur career, winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy at 17-years-old in 1998. The honour came alongside a silver medal at the 1998 Open Championship, as well as appearing at the Walker Cup the year prior.

The Johannesburg-born prospect soon turned professional, and continued into a widely-praised career which involved 30 tour victories to-date. Rose’s personal highlights include a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, in which he made the competition’s first ever hole-in-one, and an exceptional U.S Open victory in 2013.

As England captain, McEvoy once again recognised the talent Rose showed as a teenager.

He said: “I remember Justin playing for the men’s team when he was just 16, which is obviously an incredibly young age to compete at a senior level.

“He played in a match against Spain at La Manga, and drew Sergio García who was around the same age in the singles. They finished all square, and I remember saying: ‘My god, these two boys are going to win majors.’ Sure enough, they did.”

The achievements both Westwood and Rose went on to accomplish in their professional careers are indicative of the importance of the Peter McEvoy Trophy.

The tournament’s 43rd instalment will be taking place from Wednesday 10th to Thursday 11th April at Copt Heath Golf Club in Solihull, where the most prestigious young golfers from Great Britain and Ireland will compete for silverware.

To find out more about attending the Peter McEvoy trophy, visit their website at https://www.coptheathgolf.co.uk/the_mcevoy_trophy.

About the tournament

The Peter McEvoy trophy will begin on April 10. Regarded as a pathway to greatness, whoever comes out on top is likely to be catapulted towards success.

This year’s event is being organised with the backing of Champions (UK) plc, a business with a proven track record in transforming golf tournaments.

The Farmfoods British Par Three is among a string of golfing events Champions (UK) plc has helped make unmissable in recent years. Now, the Peter McEvoy Trophy is set to provide another highlight for golfing fans.

Since its inception in 1981, the Peter McEvoy Trophy has been the traditional curtain-raiser to the junior golf season and is arguably the most prestigious Great British and Irish amateur mixed entry competition for young golfers.

Held at the Copt Heath Golf Club and played over 72 holes over two consecutive days (Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th April), the under-18 tournament is one of the most highly regarded English amateur events to adopt a mixed-entry competition to date.

All competitors play the first 36 holes on Day 1, playing in groups of three. The leading 40 players (and ties) then return for the final 36 holes on the following day, which is played in two-balls.

Tournament director Ian Davidson said: “This tournament is massive for those who are in regional squads and want to break into the England squad”.