Yorkshire will be looking to secure their 21st English County Championship and Surrey their 12th when the 81st final takes place at Royal North Devon on 26th – 28th September.
Two of the most successful counties in the history of the event, which dates back to 1926, will be joined at the famous north Devon links by Cornwall, which has never won the title, and five-time winners Warwickshire.
Yorkshire, the North Region champions, are back in the finals after a gap of seven years. They last won the title in 2007 at Cleveland Golf Club in County Durham, their third successive victory, while they also won three-in-a-row in the late 1990s.
They may also welcome the fact that when the finals were last played at Royal North Devon in 1993 they were triumphant over the same links but against different opposition.
This time Yorkshire will have English champion Nick Marsh in their line-up (image © Leaderboard Photography). He lifted the title on his last visit to the south west when he won a few miles along the coast at Saunton. A full English international for the past two years, Marsh also finished runner-up in the Portuguese Amateur and the Scottish Open Stroke Play this year while he helped GB&I win the St Andrews Trophy in Sweden recently.
Yorkshire also include boy caps Dan Brown and Joe Dean, who both reached the quarter finals of this year’s Amateur Championship, while Dean has won the Lee Westwood Trophy for the past two years. Last year, Brown won all six of his games to help Yorkshire win the Boys County Championship.
Cornwall, the South West Region champions, making their first appearance in the finals since 1997 at Ferndown, include Harry Hall, the Welsh Open Youths champion, who made his debut for England in the Boys Home Internationals and helped them to the title. He also finished tied fifth in the Carris Trophy and equal eighth in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.
Matthew Richards is the Cornish county champion while the team also includes 6ft 7in Rob MacGregor, a stalwart of Cornwall county golf and a prodigious striker of the ball. He is joined by another long-time servant of the county, Josh Greenaway, the golf manager at Bowood Park.
Conor Wilson won the Cornish Closed Championship earlier this year, an event also open to professionals, while Tom Fox is the Deputy Golf Manager at China Fleet and was the individual winner when Cornwall qualified as South West champions at Royal North Devon.
Surrey, the South East champions, include two members of the Hindhead team that finished runners-up in last weekend’s Champion Club Tournament at Trentham, David Corben and Kieran Lovelock. Corben was also the winner of the Surrey Order of Merit last year and currently lies second and was runner-up in this year’s Berkshire Trophy.
Also included is Oscar Granstrom-Livesey, the Surrey county champion, who reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur Championship, while Mark Booker was county captain for the past three years. Simon Crockett was his predecessor and has been a Surrey county player for 12 years.
Surrey, who made their last Finals appearance at Ganton in 2011, are missing several players at college in the United States.
Tom Ibbertson is the only member of the Warwickshire line-up that played on their last appearance in the final at Ganton in 2011. He was also in action when Warwickshire were last at Royal North Devon for the Boys County Finals in 2008, while he was county champion three years ago.
The Midland winners also include Louie Pett, last year’s county match play champion and winner of a Midland Order of Merit event this year, while another Midland Order of Merit tournament winner has been Ryan Wallace.
Max Martin, 17, finished equal fourth in this year’s Fairhaven Trophy and tied eighth in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and he represented England Golf in the German Boys Open.
Also in the Warwickshire side is Stuart Bloxham, a former Midland mid amateur champion.
The County Finals are played on a round robin basis over the three days, each match comprising three morning foursomes and six afternoon singles. In the draw for the first round of matches, Cornwall face Yorkshire and Warwickshire meet Surrey.
Joe Cruse (St Enodoc) Tom Fox (China Fleet) Josh Greenaway (Bowood Park) Harry Hall (West Cornwall) Rob MacGregor (Tehidy Park) Matthew Richards (West Cornwall) Conor Wilson (Perranporth)
Mark Booker (Royal Wimbledon) David Corben (Hindhead) Simon Crockett (Addington Palace) Andy Devonport (Windlesham) Oscar Granstrom-Livesey (Royal Mid-Surrey) Kieran Lovelock (Hindhead) Callum Mackay (Windlesham)
Stuart Bloxham (Coventry Hearsall) Tom Ibbertson (Coventry Hearsall) Max Martin (Ladbrook Park) Louie Pett (The Warwickshire) Pat Ruff (Sutton Coldfield) Will Smith (Stoneleigh Deer Park) Ryan Wallace (Handsworth)
Jamie Bower (Meltham) Dan Brown (Bedale) Martin Brown (Pike Hills) Joe Dean (Lindrick) Nick Marsh (Huddersfield) Craig Smith (Pike Hills) William Whiteoak (Shipley)