Strong international field set to contest Boys Amateur Championship

Jamie Clare will be hoping that local knowledge counts in his favour when he tees up in the Boys Amateur Championship to be staged over Burnham & Berrow and Enmore Park on Tuesday 9 - Sunday 14 August 2011.

The 17-year-old from Burnham & Berrow, who lost to Steven Brown in the final of the recent English Amateur Championship at Woburn, will be among the favourites in a strong international field comprising 252 young golfers, all aged 18 or under, from 18 different countries including Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Germany, the UAE and USA as well as the four home nations.

In addition to Clare, the field includes reigning Welsh Boys Stroke Play champion, Ryan Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan), Joshua Jamieson (The New Club, St Andrews) the current Scottish Boys Stroke Play champion, and Enfield’s Harry Casey, winner of the recent Carris Trophy.

The strong international contingent is headed by Robin Goger from Austria, the individual winner at the 2011 European Boys Championship, Italy’s Domenico Geminiani, who at 14 was the youngest-ever player to compete in a European Tour event, Germany’s Aaron Leitmannstetter, a beaten semi-finalist 12 months ago, and his compatriot Max Rottluff who will be hoping to go one better than last year when he lost 4&3 in an engrossing 36-hole final against Adrian Otaegui from Spain.

The field also features the vast majority of the competitors in this week’s Boys Home Internationals at Royal St David’s. They include Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park), a semi-finalist in the recent English Amateur, Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa), winner of the 2011 Peter McEvoy Trophy, highly rated Scots Ewan Scott (St Andrews) and Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) and six of the Irish team which was defending its title in Wales.

The first stage of this year’s Championship involves all 252 players, each of whom play two rounds of stroke play, one round over Burnham & Berrow and the other over Enmore Park, a testing parkland course, designed by renowned golf course architect Fred Hawtree, and making its debut as host to an R&A event.

The players with the 64 lowest scores and ties over the 36 holes move on to the match play stage of the Championship, which commences on Thursday 11 August with the 36-hole final taking place on Sunday 14 August over Burnham & Berrow.  The winner will receive an exemption into the 2012 Amateur Championship, which will be held at Royal Troon and Glasgow Gailes Links.

Burnham & Berrow is a classic links which meanders around the whins and dunes of the Berrow Warren, close to the Burnham lighthouse. The current course was designed by Harry Colt back in 1913 and is regularly used as the venue for top amateur events.

The Club last hosted the Boys Amateur Championship in 1982 when it was won by Devon youngster, Mark Grieve, against a field that included future Ryder Cup stars Colin Montgomerie, Jesper Parnevik and Jose-Maria Olazabal.

Last year, Olazabal’s compatriot, Otaegui, proved a worthy winner, beating Frenchman, Julien Brun, in the quarter-finals before ending the hopes of the two Germans, Leitmannstetter and Rottluff, in the semi-finals and final, respectively.

The full list of competitors, scores and stories will appear here throughout the competition.

Spectators are welcome at both venues.