A band of leading boy golfers and a full field of established senior amateurs will be put to the test this week when two of The R&A’s championships take centre stage.
The Boys Home Internationals will visit Ireland’s most northerly golf club for the matches at the picturesque Ballyliffin (Glashedy Links) from Tuesday, 2 August to Thursday, 4 August. While the Seniors Amateur Championship takes place at Formby Golf Club on the Lancashire coast from Wednesday, 3 August to Friday, 5 August.
In the 23 years since it opened, the Glashedy Links has established an excellent reputation as a venue that can challenge the very best golfers. The boys selected to play for Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales will compete in a round-robin contest in five morning foursomes followed by ten afternoon singles.
In 2015, a nine-year wait was ended for Scotland, when the team secured an impressive 91/2-51/2 victory over defending champions England in a dramatic final day of action at Conwy (Caernarvonshire) Golf Club in Wales.
Having waited so long for glory, Scotland will be eager to defend the title. Michael Lawrie, son of the Champion Golfer of the Year in 1997 Paul Lawrie, makes his debut in Scott Knowles’ team. Alex Fitzpatrick, brother of the Silver Medal winner at The Open in 2013 and former US Amateur champion, Matt, is set to play his part for England, led by Captain Derek Hughes. Home team Ireland are captained by Cathal McConn, with Chris King heading up the Welsh side.
America’s leading senior golfers will again be looking to maintain their stranglehold over The Seniors Amateur Championship when it returns to England’s Formby Golf Club, the original venue of the competition when it was first introduced by The R&A in 1969.
Last year Patrick Tallent, a 61-year-old from Virginia, emerged victorious to become the sixth successive American Champion and to extend a remarkable sequence that has seen the trophy won by an American player in 15 out of the last 20 years.
Founded in 1884, Formby has hosted The Amateur Championship on four occasions and was also used as a qualifying course for The Open in 1924, 1971 and 1996.
The Seniors Amateur Championship sees 144 golfers aged 55 and over compete over three days of stroke-play, each playing one round on Wednesday and one round on Thursday. The top 60, and ties, then progress to the final round of 18 holes played on Friday.
Englishman Ian Attoe, who gave up his job last year to concentrate on golf, could break the trend of American winners. The 2015 English Seniors Amateur champion gets the event underway at 7am on Wednesday alongside fellow countrymen Mark Logan and Keith Young.
For scoring and reports from the Boys Home Internationals and the Seniors Amateur Championship visit Randa.org.