Date: April 07, 2008

Preview: The Ashes

Anticipation is building for golf&aposs version of “The Ashes” which will be played between Australia and England at Moonah Links from April 8-9. The best amateur players have been hand-selected by each nation for the second staging of this international event which Australia won 11-4 last year. Formerly, the tournament was for male players from both nations, but 2008 sees the introduction of Australia&aposs and England&aposs elite female players who will compete alongside the men in foursomes and singles match play. The last two Australian Amateur Champions, Rohan Blizard and Tim Stewart will spearhead the Australian team which also includes recent Riversdale Cup winner Scott Arnold, Matt Jager and Victorians Matt Griffin and Daniel Beckmann, who makes his Australian squad debut. Leading amateur at the MFS Women&aposs Australian Open, Kristie Smith is a leading light for the women and she will play alongside compatriots Stephanie Na and Australian Senior squad debutants, Julia Boland and Clare Choi. Boland took out the 2008 Women&aposs Riversdale Cup and Lake Macquarie Amateur while Choi is currently the top-ranked player in the inaugural Karrie Webb Series. England will be hungry to avenge last year&aposs loss and have named a very strong team to lock horns with the Aussies. All six men in the touring party are members of England&aposs Elite Squad and boast an impressive list of recent credentials including numerous individual victories on the international stage. Daniel Willett, 20, recently won the Spanish Amateur Championship to earn himself an exemption into the Open de Andalucia on the European Tour where he finished a credible 19th. Neil Chaudhuri of Leicestershire is a former winner of the Czech Amateur and Dale Whitnall, just 19, finished runner-up in the French Stroke Play and third in the Russian Amateur. Sam Hutsby is another former winner of the Spanish Amateur and comes into the event riding a wave of confidence after taking out the South of England Youth Championship last week. Steven Uzzell, an English County Championship player with Yorkshire and Chris Wood, Russian Amateur champion round out the talented squad. The teams will play six singles and three foursomes matches on the Legends Course on Tuesday followed by another six singles matches on the Open Course on Wednesday. Following The Ashes, the teams head to Adelaide to prepare for the Srixon Australian Amateur Championship to be co-hosted by The Grange, Glenelg and Royal Adelaide Golf Clubs from 13-20 April. The Golf Australia website will offer comprehensive live scoring throughout the duration of the 2008 Srixon Australian Amateur Championships. Visit for the latest information. The Ashes – April 8-9, 2008 at Moonah Links, Victoria Australian Team: Men: Scott Arnold (NSW), Daniel Beckmann (Vic), Rohan Blizard (NSW), Matt Griffin (Vic), Matt Jager (WA), Tim Stewart (NSW) Women: Julia Boland (NSW), Clare Choi (Vic), Stephanie Na (SA), Kristie Smith (WA) English Team Men: Neil Chaudhuri, Sam Hutsby, Steve Uzell, Dale Whitnell, Daniel Willet, Chris Wood Women: Liz Bennett, Naomi Edwards, Rachel Jennings, Florentyna Parker, Kerry Smith