The 120th Amateur Championship gets underway next week from 15-20 June at Carnoustie and Panmure in Angus, Scotland with two-thirds of the field travelling to the UK from overseas to compete.There will be players from 30 different countries in the starting field and all 288 competitors are ranked on the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING™ (WAGR™).
The Amateur Champion will earn a place in the 144TH Open at St Andrews and the 2016 US Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania. Traditionally, an invitation is also extended to the winner to play in the Masters Tournament at Augusta.
More than 30 players in the WAGR™ top 100 feature in the draw including five of the world's top 20: Australia's Ryan Ruffels, the reigning Australian Junior Boys champion, two-time European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters of England, 2015 Lytham Trophy winner Marcus Kinhult of Sweden, Austin Connelly of Canada and Mario Galiano of Spain.The field also includes 16 players from the GB&I Walker Cup squad who will be looking to perform well ahead of final team selection in August for the 45th Walker Cup match at Royal Lytham & St Annes on 12 and 13 September.
The first two days of The Amateur Championship comprise stroke play qualifying over both courses before the field is cut to 64 and ties and the match play format finds the champion over the final four days' play at Carnoustie.
Carnoustie is one of the world's most famous links courses and has hosted The Open on seven occasions, most recently in 2007 when Padraig Harrington lifted the Claret Jug for the first time. It will host the Amateur Championship for the fifth time in 2015, while Panmure has strong ties to the Amateur as one of the 24 clubs that funded the trophy commissioned in 1886.
Several Open Champions and Ryder Cup players have played in the Amateur including Jack Nicklaus, José Maria Olazábal, Colin Montgomerie, Sir Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, who won in 1998.
Euan Mordaunt, The R&A's Director – Amateur Championships, said, "The Amateur Championship will bring together an international field to compete over two of Scotland's most historic and challenging links courses for the prestigious title of Amateur Champion. With exemptions into two of golf's Major Championships at stake, as well as a traditional invitation to the Masters Tournament, it promises to be an exciting week of golf and the opportunity to watch the talents of some of the world's finest amateur golfers should not be missed."
Admission and parking is free and full details including the championship draw can be found by clicking here. Television highlights will be broadcast Friday through Monday, 19 to 22 June 2015 on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland and via local satellite suppliers in other territories.