Big line-up for Boys’ Amateur Championship

A STRONG international field of top young players will battle it out in the  Boys’ Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale this week.

More than half of the competitors in the 252-player field will travel to England’s Golf Coast from Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australasia to compete over two of the UK’s finest links courses.

England’s Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood) will lead the home charge and will be looking to earn a fourth title this season after winning the Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship, the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Peter McEvoy Trophy.

He will be joined in the field by 67 other Englishmen including Kedleston Park’s Bradley Moore who captured the Carris Trophy last month at Little Aston and Alex Fitzpatrick, younger brother of European Tour player and 2012 Boys Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Nine of the 11 players from the victorious Scottish team at last week’s Boys Home Internationals will be in the field including Scottish Boys champion Will Porter from Carnoustie and Nairn’s Sandy Scott, winner of the Stephen Gallacher Foundation Trophy and the Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play Championship this summer.

There are ten Swedes in the field who will be aiming to secure a Swedish double in 2015 following Oskar Bergqvist’s one-hole victory over Ireland’s Rowan Lester at Prestwick last year.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director – Championships at The R&A, said: “The championship will bring together many of the world’s top young players and it is a great opportunity for people to come along and support some potential stars of the future.

 “We have two outstanding venues in Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale. Many of golf’s greatest champions have won The Open at Royal Birkdale while Southport & Ainsdale is one of England’s most highly regarded links courses. It promises to be a tremendous championship and we look forward to presenting the trophy to the 2015 champion.”

The stroke play qualifying stage will see competitors play one round each at both Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale tomorrow and Wednesday. Thereafter the field is cut to 64 players and ties before the match play stage finds the champion over the final four days, Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 August 2015, at Royal Birkdale.

Many of the world’s top players have competed at the Boys Amateur including former champions Sergio Garcia (1997) and Jose Maria Olazabal (1983), along with their fellow European Ryder Cup players Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood and former Open Champions Sandy Lyle, Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy.

Admission and parking is free at both clubs. Full details including the qualifying round draw can be found at RandA.org 

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