Regional players in Amateur Championship

FORMBY and Southport & Ainsdale are among four English clubs fielding two players in the week-long Amateur Championship which gets under way on Monday at Royal Portrush and Portstewart in Northern Ireland.

PAUL KINNEAR

PAUL KINNEAR

England international Paul Kinnear and James Bolton will represent Formby and Sean Towndrow and Paul Howard, who is also an England player, will fly the flag for Southport & Ainsdale.

Three of their Lancashire team-mates are also crossing to water. They are Louis Tomlinson (West Lancs), Henry Tomlinson (Royal Lytham & St Annes) and Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest/St Annes Old Links) who is another England player.

Cheshire also has a strong contingent comprising Oliver Carr (Heswall), Mark Geddes (Prenton), James Newton (Prestbury), James McCormick (Styal) and Thomas Lawton (Wilmslow)

For the third year in succession, all 288 competitors from 28 countries feature on the World Amateur Rankings with England providing the most with 63.

Other counties represented in the 119th staging of the event are Scotland,  Wales, the USA , Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and New Zealand.

The winner will earn a place in next month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool and next year’s US Open in Washington State. Traditionally, an invitation is also extended to play in the Masters Tournament at Augusta.

Thirty-three of the top 100 in the world rankings list will make the trip including Wellingborough’s Ryan Evans, the highest ranked British player in the field. Evans was the stroke play medalist at the 2014 Australian Amateur before winning the Lake Macquarie Amateur in January.

Euan Mordaunt, the R&A’s amateur events director, said: “The support for amateur golf has always been strong in Ireland and Northern Ireland and the Amateur Championship is a wonderful opportunity for spectators to watch golf at the highest level played at two of the finest links courses in the UK.”

The first two days comprise strokeplay qualifying over both courses before the field is cut to 64 and ties and the matchplay format finds the champion over the final four days’ play at Royal Portrush.

Several former Open Champions and Ryder Cup team members have played in the Amateur Championship including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Sergio Garcia, who won in 1998.

Admission and parking is free and spectators are welcome in the clubhouses at both clubs. Full details including the championship draw can be found at RandA.org and television highlights will be broadcast from Thursday to Saturday, 19 to 21 June 2014 on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and via local satellite suppliers in other countries.

 

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