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The Silver medal ... and how its won
The Silver medal is awarded to the leading amateur, who makes the cut and complete’s 72 holes. It was first awarded in 1949, In the 71 championships since it’s been won 51 times by 45 players. These include Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy who are the only two golfers to win both prizes at the Open Championships. Frank Stranahan won 4 times in the first 5 years. Joa Carr, Michael Bonallack and Peter Mc Evoy all won it twice.
Six amateurs lined up on the first day at Royal Port Rush last year. How many will make it to the start of the 2020 Open Championships?
Players who have won it at Royal St Georges are:
1981 – Hal Sutton – American golfer from Louisiana, in 1980 was named as Golf magazine college player of the year. After his amateur win at Royal St Georges in 1981 turned professional. His first professional tournament win was in 1982 when he won Walt Disney World Classic after tying with Bill Britton on 272 after 72 holes. He won the playoff. That was his first win of 15 tournaments. Highest ranked 4th in the world. His best place in the Open was 10th in 1999 at Carnoustie
Jose Maria Olazabal As an amateur, he represented Spain on all levels and at the Eisenhower Trophy at 16 years of age in 1982 and again two years later.
In 1984, he won The Amateur Championship at Formby Golf Club, Liverpool, England, at age 18, beating Colin Montgomerie 5 and 4 in the final and thus direct slot into the Open of that year at St Andrews but did not make the cut with scores of 74 and 75.
In 1985 he won the British Youths Open Amateur Championship, he became the first player to have won the British Boy’s, Youth’s and Amateur titles in a career. He also qualified for the Open again where this year he won the Silver medal with scores of 72 – 76 – 71 70 (289) and came joint 25th.
He went on to have a very successful professional career.
1993 – Iain Pyman (born 3 March 1973) is an English golfer. Pyman was born in Whitby. His first success was when he won the Carris Trophy in 1991 and played in a winning Jacques Léglise Trophy team the same year. In 1993 he won The Amateur Championship by defeating Paul Page after 37 holes at Royal Portrush and thus got a direct place into the Open at St Georges where he was the leading amateur with rounds of 68 – 72 – 70 -71 (281 total) and won the Silver Medal. It’s just with mentioning that this year Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Sandy Lyle and Tony Jacklin all missed the cut that year.
2003 – (Not awarded – no amateur got past the cut)
2011 – Tom Lewes – An English golfer from Welwyn Garden City started out as an Amateur two years earlier by winning the boys amateur championship at 18. Further success followed in 2010 at the New South Wales Open and the Australian Open.
In 2011 he first won the St Andrews Links Trophy before qualifying, with two others Mark Laskey and Adam Wootton, via the local final qualifying at Rye East Sussex for the Open Golf at Royal St. Georges. His first round was something I am sure he will never forget shooting a 5 under par 65 and was joint leader with Thomas Bjorn. This was the lowest single-round score by an amateur in Open history. His scores were 65,74,76, 74 Total 289, he finished 30th joint and won the Silver medal. Peter Uihlein was runner up with a score of 292.
His only other appearances at the Open as a professional was in 2018 where he was 47th and 2019 was joint 11th.
The Silver medal should have been awarded in 2020, but owing to corona virus it was cancelled. 2021 – ( name awaits)