8am Round-Up: Jose Maria Olazabal accepts R&A membership

Jose Maria Olazabal has accepted an invitation to become an honorary member of the R&A. Picture: Getty Images
Jose Maria Olazabal has accepted an invitation to become an honorary member of the R&A. Picture: Getty Images
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Two-time Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal and English amateur legend Bridget Jackson have accepted invitations to become the latest Honorary Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.

“I am thrilled and extremely proud,” said Olazabal, winner of 30 titles overall in his career, of his honour.

“Winning The R&A’s amateur championships (the boys at Glenbervie 1983 the men’s at Formby a year later) and the Silver Medal in The Open were huge achievements for me and gave me a tremendous boost in the early stages of my career.

“It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of so many of golf’s great champions in becoming part of the club’s celebrated history.”

Jackson played in the Curtis Cup for Great Britain and Ireland on three occasions and was selected as an England international nine times.

She has served as chair and president of the English Ladies Golf Association and President of the Ladies’ Golf Union. She was made a MBE in 2003 for her services to women’s golf.

“I have been fortunate to be involved in golf throughout my life and have always enjoyed being able to give something back to the game,” she said.

“I look forward to representing the club and playing my part in continuing its great tradition of supporting golf.”

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Defending champion Craig Ross led five Scots into the matchplay stages of this week’s Sanlam South African Amateur Championship.

Kirkhill’s Ross became the fourth Scottish player in the last six years to win the title 12 months ago, securing a 3&1 victory over home hope Dylan Naidoo at George Golf Club.

It was Ross who continued his form in the event after a sizzling 63 in round two to be the leading Scot in strokeplay qualifying at Humewood GC, sharing fourth place on 12 under par.

Cawder’s Calum Fyfe, Peebles’ Craig Howie, Liam Johnston (Dumfries & County) and Jamie Stewart from Old Ranfirly also progressed inside the top-64 as the Scots eye more glory.

South African teenager Chris Woollam won the Proudfoot Trophy as leading qualifier after beating English champion Dan Brown at the fourth extra hole in a sudden-death play-off, which followed the pair tying on 15-under-par 129.

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Scottish Golf has recruited Fraser Munro, a former Ladies European Tour Tournament Director, to the position of head of events.

The 38-year-old will oversee the amateur governing body’s new-look events calendar for 2017 as he returns to the world of golf after a spell in banking.

Munro, a member at Kinross Golf Club, boasts 13 years golf industry experience working with the Ladies European Tour and the former Ladies’ Golf Union.

The three-handicap golfer is an R&A qualified referee and has officiated at more than 100 professional events worldwide, including the Ricoh Women’s British Open and US Women’s Open.

“Fraser has an extensive background in golf event management and will add a huge amount of experience to our organisation,” said Scottish Golf chief executive Blane Dodds.

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Darren Clarke has welcomed the R&A’s announcement that The Open is heading back to Royal St George’s in 2020.

Clarke lifted the Claret Jug the last time the event was held at the Kent course in 2011, holding off American duo Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in the final round.

“It was an unbelievable feeling to lift the Claret Jug and know that my name was displayed on the trophy alongside so many of the greatest players ever to play the game,” said Clarke.

“The Open is what it is all about for me as a golfer and it is the championship I always dreamt of winning from when I first took up the game as a kid.

“I have so many wonderful memories from that week at Sandwich and I will be thrilled to go back there for The Open in three years’ time.”

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Former Walker Cup player Ewen Ferguson is sitting joint-fifth, three shots off the lead, after carding an opening three-under-par 69 in the Red Sea Little Venice Open.

In the second Alps Tour event of the season at Sokhna Golf Club in Egypt. Jamie Savage and Joe Knox also broke par with 70 and 71 respectively.

Daniel Young opened with a 72 while Jack McDonald had a 74.

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Jamie McLeary is sitting joint-second, one off the lead, after firing a 66 in the Algarve Pro Tour’s Palmares Classic V.

The former European Tour player’s card included a run of seven birdies in 10 holes from the fourth.

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Inverness teenager Rory Franssen finished second in the Sun Gator Invitational, a top college event in Florida.

The Missouri player carded rounds of 68-66-70 at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville for a five-under total, losing out by a shot to Charles Kim from Arkansas.