The 117th Amateur Championship

Michael StewartThe 117th staging of the Amateur Championship tees-off next week (18-23 June 2012) at Royal Troon and Glasgow - Gailes Links and for the first time all 288 competitors from 32 countries in the starting field will be found from the top 1165 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).

Awaiting the Amateur Champion, exempt entry into this year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes, next year’s US Open and, traditionally, an invitation to the 2013 Masters Tournament.

Leading the field and world ranked 6,7 and 8 respectively when entries closed at week 20 on WAGR are Australia’s Jake Higginbottom, USA’s Corbin Mills and The Netherland’s Daan Huizing, winner of last week’s St Andrews Links Trophy. The reigning European Amateur Champion Austria’s Manuel Trappel ranked number 28 in the world also starts with Walton Heath’s Ben Taylor at number 59, the highest ranked British player.

Commenting on the quality of the field The R&A’s Director of Amateur Events, Euan Mordaunt said:

“This must be one of the strongest Amateur Championship fields in recent years, and spectators will get the opportunity to see some great golf from many of the talented young players who will become the top professionals of the future”.

“The field also includes eleven squad members of the GB&I team to face the Continent of Europe later this year in the St Andrews Trophy Match at Portmarnock and two members of the victorious 2011 Walker Cup Team, Vale of Glamorgan’s Rhys Pugh and Rathmore’s Alan Dunbar, ” added Mordaunt.

Former Major Champions and Ryder Cup team members including Jack Nicklaus, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Louis Oosthuizen and the reigning Open Champion, Darren Clarke, have all played in the Amateur Championship.

Admission and parking is free at Royal Troon and Glasgow - Gailes Links and public catering is available.

The stroke play stage of the Amateur Championship is played over the first two days of competition at both courses before the field is cut to 64 and ties and the match play format finds the Champion over the final four days at Royal Troon.

Full details including the championship draw can be found here.  Television highlights will be broadcast on Thursday through Saturday, 21 to 23 June 2012 on Sky Sports.