Turner wants to follow in Willett’s footsteps

Ashton Turner.
Ashton Turner.
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Ashton Turner will be among a team of England amateurs who will follow in the footsteps of US Masters champion Danny Willett when they take on France in next week’s biennial international.

The match - played at Lancashire’s Formby Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday - is a must for talent spotters who have been richly rewarded when looking for future stars.

Both Danny Willett and Chris Wood were in the 2008 match – and gave ample indication of what was to come.

Willett sealed his final day singles with five successive birdies while Wood won all four of his matches.

In 2010 Tommy Fleetwood was in the team, playing a memorable singles against Victor Dubuisson.

Other players have included Eddie Pepperell, Tom Lewis and Jean van de Velde.

This year’s England team is also packed with promise.

The eight-strong line-up is Jamie Bower of Yorkshire, Scott Gregory of Hampshire, Josh Hilleard of Somerset, Paul Kinnear of Lancashire, Bradley Moore of Derbyshire, Alfie Plant of Kent, James Walker of Yorkshire and Kenwick Park member Turner.

Turner, 20, had a top 10 finish in the Lytham Trophy and helped Europe beat Asia Pacific in the Bonallack Trophy.

He toured Australia earlier this season where he had top 20 finishes in the Master of the Amateurs and the Lake Macquarie Amateur, reached the second round of the Australian Amateur and made the matchplay in the New South Wales Amateur.

He won the under 21 Darwin Salver last year, having also held it in 2013.

Bower, Moore and Gregory are in the world top 50 with Alford’s Turner not far behind.

They will play the French line up of Edgar Catherine, Ugo Coussaud, Andoni Etchenique, Jeong Weon Ko, Adrien Pendaries, Pierre Pineau, Grégoire Schoeb and Victor Veyret.

The fixture dates back to 1934 and England have won 28 of the matches so far, conceding just five.

The French team were last successful in 2010 in Chantilly.

The match consists of four foursomes and eight singles on each day and spectators are very welcome to watch the action unfold at Formby, which is renowned as one of the world’s great links courses, set amongst magnificent coastal sand dunes and towering pines.