GB&I Walker Cup hopeful Ben Enoch dies

Ben Enoch of Wales tees off on the first hole during the Boys Home Internationals at Royal County Down Golf Club.

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Ben Enoch, an East Tennessee State signee and a rising star in British amateur golf, died Thursday morning in a one-car accident in Herefordshire, England. He was 19.

A BBC report said Enoch was traveling to the Lytham Trophy, a tournament at Lytham St. Annes, at the time of the crash in the West Midlands region of England.

According to a report by the West Mercia police, Enoch’s green Peugeot 306 ran off the A40 eastbound during a sweeping left-hand curve, crashed through a fence and struck a trailer being used as a storage unit. Investigators were appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Enoch, who was being considered this year for the Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup team, was runner-up at last year’s Welsh Amateur Championship and a member of the Welsh team at the World Amateur Team Championship. His older brother Rhys is an All-American sophomore at ETSU.

“All of us associated with the ETSU golf team, and in the entire athletics program, are devastated by Ben’s death this morning,” ETSU coach Fred Warren said in a statement. “He was an outstanding young man and student. We were looking forward to Ben being on our team next year as much as he was looking forward to joining our team, and playing alongside his older brother, Rhys. My heart goes out to Ben’s parents and Rhys, and all who knew this terrific young man. This is a sad day in the world of golf, and Ben will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him.”

Warren told Golfweek that Rhys Enoch was en route home Friday and that funeral arrangements were incomplete.

ETSU, No. 39 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, is expecting an at-large bid when NCAA regional pairings are announced Monday. Warren expects Enoch to be back in Johnson City, Tenn., for the May 14-16 regionals, but added “I told him to take as much time as he needs to be with his family.”

Ben Enoch was part of the 2008 GB&I boys team that won the Jacques Leglise Trophy against the continent of Europe. He also won the Clwyd Amateur last season.

Richard Dixon, the chief executive of the Golf Union of Wales, said in an interview with the BBC that Enoch was “one of the most promising golfers in Wales, a bright and vibrant personality.”

“Our thoughts are with the family at this terribly sad time,” Dixon said.

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