Menu Close

Gregor Graham Ends Scotland’s 19-Year Wait For The Brabazon Trophy

Gregor Graham

In a nail-biting finish that had fans on the edge of their seats, Blairgowrie’s own Gregor Graham clinched the prestigious Brabazon Trophy, becoming the first Scot in nearly two decades to do so.

His impressive nine-under-par performance at Hollinwell secured him a place in the history books, joining the ranks of Scottish golf legends like Lloyd Saltman and Sandy Lyle.

The final round was a rollercoaster of emotions for Graham, who had a nearly flawless performance until a three-putt bogey on the last hole left him and the crowd holding their breath.

His closest rivals, Daniel Hayes from Bramhall and Sweden’s Wilhelm Ryding, had golden opportunities to push the tournament into a playoff but ultimately fell short.

The Final Round Drama at the Brabazon Trophy

England Golf President Ian Watkins presents Daniel Hayes (left) with the George Henriques Salver
England Golf President Ian Watkins presents Daniel Hayes (left) with the George Henriques Salver / © Leaderboard Photography

England Boys’ star Daniel Hayes was a formidable contender, birdieing the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes to set up a dramatic conclusion.

Meanwhile, Ryding’s eagle on the 17th raised hopes of a spectacular finish, but he couldn’t manage the necessary birdie on the 18th.

Hayes, needing a par on the last to force a playoff, missed his putt, handing the Brabazon Trophy title to Graham.

“It feels absolutely amazing. It’s great to win such a big event like the Brabazon Trophy,” Graham said after his victory.

Reflecting on the unusual format of the final day, he added, “When I knew it was going to be 12 holes on the final day, it felt a bit different and strange, but it was a bit of a shootout so I just tried to make as many birdies as possible.”

The victory didn’t come easy, as Graham spent anxious moments waiting for the results.

“I was on edge waiting around with my dad and friends to see what the results were for the others, but it was a massive relief really.

It’s nice to get another Scot on the trophy and hopefully, we can get more! I’ve got a long drive home, but I’ll certainly be having a few beers to celebrate and I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends.”

The Contenders and the Course at Hollinwell

Australian Harry Takis, who led the tournament going into the final round, saw his chances evaporate with a disastrous stretch, dropping nine shots in nine holes.

Conversely, Sweden’s Wilmer Edero made a late charge, firing four birdies in his last four holes to finish at -7, briefly holding the clubhouse lead.

England Men’s player Eliot Baker also ended strong, matching Edero’s final score.

Despite missing out on the title, Hayes didn’t leave empty-handed, winning the George Henriques Salver as the top under-20 player of the tournament.

Other notable performances included Harley Smith, who stayed in contention throughout but faltered late, finishing tied for sixth at -6.

Hollinwell’s local star Jack Sallis finished at -5 after a solid round, tying for tenth place.

Walton Heath’s Oscar Lent delivered an electrifying finish with back-to-back eagles on the 16th and 17th, though he ultimately finished eight shots behind Graham.

Weather Woes and Tactical Decisions

The Brabazon Trophy tournament, originally slated to start on Thursday, faced delays due to heavy rain.

After the second round on Saturday, looming thunderstorms forced organizers to reduce the final day’s play to 12 holes for safety reasons.

England Golf Championships Director James Crampton explained, “From a safety perspective, the 12 holes which were being used were relatively close to the clubhouse, and should a suspension have been required, we could have evacuated the course quickly.

Due to the forecast of storms from midday onwards, by reducing the third round to 12 holes, it increased the ability for us to complete a round.”

He continued, “As per the Rules of Golf, once a round has started, we cannot reduce the amount of holes played, so this was the logical decision to ensure we could get play on the final day”.

“A big thanks to the team at Hollinwell for their support over the week and congratulations to all the players, especially Gregor, on a fantastic few days of golf.”

A Celebration Long Overdue for the Brabazon Trophy

As the newest name on the Brabazon Trophy, Gregor Graham’s triumph is a testament to his resilience and skill.

His victory ends a 19-year drought for Scottish golfers in this prestigious event, setting a high bar for future competitors.

With a celebratory drink in hand and a bright future ahead, Graham’s win is a proud moment for Scottish golf.