Pictured after winning Solihull golf tournament before they were famous Justin Rose and Lee Westwood - The Solihull Observer

Pictured after winning Solihull golf tournament before they were famous Justin Rose and Lee Westwood

Solihull Editorial 4th Mar, 2024   0

THEY ARE two of British golf’s most familiar faces – but these pictures of Lee Westwood and Justin Rose were taken in Solihull long before either became legends of the sport.

Both were propelled to stardom after winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath Golf Club, which takes place next month.

With the clock ticking down to the 43rd event, the man who inspired it has paid a fulsome tribute to the success which Lee and Justin have gone on to achieve.

Westwood, at 18 years old, emerged victorious in the Peter McEvoy Trophy’s 1991 tournament, two years before turning professional.

‘Westy’ has gone on to cement his name as one of the greatest British players of all time, becoming the first countryman to hold the World No.1 spot since Sir Nick Faldo, after dethroning Tiger Woods in 2010.

The now-50-year-old has enjoyed an immensely decorated career, winning 46 tournaments across five continents while receiving four European Tour Golfer of the Year awards.

Copt Heath founded the tournament as a tribute to its most famous member, Peter McEvoy, who looked back on Westwood’s career.

He said: “My memory of Lee was actually more from when I was England captain, and he played in the England men’s team as an 18/19-year-old, a while before he became famous.

“At that age in a team of adults, he was already our best player. I remember watching when he played at Hoylake in 93’, where he didn’t actually perform particularly well. However, with quality players, even when they don’t play brilliantly, you can still see they’re quality players.”

Rose enjoyed similar success in his amateur career, winning the Peter McEvoy Trophy at 17-years-old in 1998. The honour came alongside a silver medal at the 1998 Open Championship, as well as appearing at the Walker Cup the year prior.

The Johannesburg-born prospect soon turned professional, and continued into a widely-praised career which involved 30 tour victories to-date. Rose’s personal highlights include a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics, in which he made the competition’s first ever hole-in-one, and an exceptional U.S Open victory in 2013.

As England captain, McEvoy once again recognised the talent Rose showed as a teenager.

Peter said: “I remember Justin playing for the men’s team when he was just 16, which is obviously an incredibly young age to compete at a senior level.

“He played in a match against Spain at La Manga, and drew Sergio García who was around the same age in the singles. They finished all square, and I remember saying: ‘My god, these two boys are going to win majors.’ Sure enough, they did.”

The achievements both Westwood and Rose went on to accomplish in their professional careers are indicative of the importance of the Peter McEvoy Trophy.

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