Meltham’s Jamie Bower has been named in a powerful six-man England squad to defend the Costa Ballena title in Spain later this month.

Bower, 21, was a member of last year’s winning team and is hoping to repeat the success.

The Costa Ballena International Quadrangular Tournament will be played for from January 21 to 23 on a round robin basis against teams from Finland, Germany and hosts, Spain.

Bower flies out on January 18 for an intensive five-day schedule: two practice days, followed by three playing days, with 18 holes of foursomes and a round of singles on each day.

He said: “It’s a tough schedule, especially for matchplay.

“I will have to try and win quickly so I don’t have to play so many holes!

“I was very happy to be selected and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I can get off to a good start and that we defend the title.

“It’s a great course, typically Spanish with soft, fast greens and wide fairways, but there is a lot of water if you miss them.

“It will be in really good condition for January.

“Last year I won all my foursomes and lost all my singles matches, and I definitely want to do better than that this year.

“I hope to win at least two or three of my singles matches.”

Bower has been practising at Meltham, his home club, as well as the covered driving range at Woodsome Hall and feels he is ready for the challenge.

Each match comprising three foursomes and six singles. England’s victory in last year’s event was their first since 2006.

Golfer Jamie Bower selected for England - Meltham Golf Club.
 

Other members of the England squad are Jamie Dick (Forest Hills, Gloucestershire), Scott Gregory (Corhampton, Hampshire), Bobby Keeble (Crowlands Heath, Essex), Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale, Lancashire) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park, Lincolnshire).

All are members of the England A squad for 2015.

Bower enjoyed a successful second half of last season, finishing runner-up in the Lee Westwood Trophy and the North of England Amateur.

He also finished second in the Hampshire Hog.

He has twice been a winner of the North of England Youths Championship and won the English Schools title in 2011.

He’s hoping to get off to a fast start this season, with Costa Ballena this month, followed by the Portuguese Men’s Open in February.

Yorkshire’s Joe Dean will join double European Amateur Champion Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire) and two more internationals to try for an England hat trick at the South American Amateur Championship in Lima, Peru, on January 22 to 25.

Dean (Lindrick), Chesters, Luke Johnson (King’s Lynn, Norfolk) and Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent) have the chance of making it three-in-a-row by lifting the Arturo Calle Cup.

Callum Shinkwin from Hertfordshire won the title in Colombia in 2013, while Lancashire’s Paul Howard triumphed, again in Colombia, a year ago.

Dean, 20, an England boy cap, has won the Lee Westwood Trophy for the past two years and also reached the quarter finals of the English Amateur Championship last summer.

The South American Amateur Championship is a 72-hole strokeplay event.