The Junior Open

Paul Lawrie trophyPaul Lawrie, The Open Champion at Carnoustie in 1999, had a tip for the 128 teenagers who will be contesting the sixth Junior Open Championship at Lundin Golf Club over the next three days.

At the official opening ceremony, attended by a large gathering in front of the Lundin Clubhouse, the guest of honour addressed representatives from 77 nations, most of them boy or girl national champions, who make up a record field for the biennial event.

“To all competitors, I wish a warm welcome to windy Scotland! To those of you who have never been here before and might not know how to play in as strong a wind as we have had today, here’s a little tip:

“Play the ball further back than you would normally have it in your address position, and hit it softly, not hard. That will keep it low, under the wind, which is what you need to do.

“Lundin links is a very good golf course in excellent condition for the Junior Open. May the best player win!”

The boys and girls then encircled the 18th green and Lawrie went round, wishing them all good luck and presenting each with a special R&A competitors’ badge.

Lawrie, accompanied by a replica of the Claret Jug he won 11 years ago, then took time to acquiesce to requests from mums and dads, chaperones and friends to have his picture taken with many boys and girls who have travelled to Fife from all over the world.

Among the personalities on hand was the colourful American Doug Sanders, the man who came so close to winning The Open at St Andrews in 1970. Had he holed a three-foot putt on the last green, Sanders would have been Champion. But he missed it and lost an 18-hole play-off to Jack Nicklaus the following day.

The Junior Open Championship got underway at 8.00am this [Monday] morning. Full scores and stories will appear on RandA.org at the end of each of the three days of play.

2010 draw and scores available by clicking here.