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Amateur championships to tee off

More than 400 of the world’s leading men’s and women’s amateur golfers will tee it up in two of the game’s most prestigious championships this month, The 114th Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship and The 122nd Amateur Championship.

The Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship gets underway on 13 June Pyle & Kenfig in South Wales and concludes on Saturday. It is followed by The Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s and Prince’s in Kent from 19-24 June.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A said, “We look forward to staging these two great championships for the first time since our merger with the Ladies’ Golf Union and it will be fascinating to watch the world’s leading men’s and women’s amateur golfers compete on three of Great Britain and Ireland’s finest links courses. There will be some outstanding golf on display from potential stars of the future at both events. I would encourage spectators to take advantage of the free admission and enjoy these world-renowned events.”

The Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship will be contested by 144 competitors from 24 countries, including 33 players ranked in the Top 100 of the WORLD AMATEUR GOLF RANKING (WAGR). A total of 86 players will travel from overseas from countries such as Germany, Sweden and the United States while 58 players from Great Britain and Ireland will compete in the championship.

Julia Engstrom, at the age of 15, made history last year by defeating Dewi Weber on the first extra hole to become the youngest ever winner of the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship and will defend her title on the South Wales coast this week.

The winner of the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship will earn a place in the 2017 US Women’s Open next month and the Ricoh Women’s British Open being played in August at Kingsbarns, near St Andrews. Previous winners include Anna Nordqvist, Georgia Hall, Catriona Matthew and Carlota Ciganda.

The first stage of the championship comprises two qualifying rounds of stroke play before the leading 64 players progress to the match play stage. Each match will consist of one round of 18 holes including the Final.

The Amateur Championship continues to attract the most international field in the men’s amateur game, with 288 competitors from 40 countries. Almost two thirds of the field (65 per cent), from 36 countries, will travel to the south-east of England from as far afield as Australia, China, South Africa and the United States. A total of 100 players from Great Britain and Ireland will compete, including 51 golfers from host nation England.

Several members of the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup squad will feature, including last year’s beaten finalist Robert MacIntyre, who is the highest-ranked player in the field (No.6 in WAGR), 2016 Australian Amateur champion Connor Syme, Spanish International Amateur winner Jack Davidson and Alfie Plant, who won the Lytham Trophy last year. GB&I captain Craig Watson, who won The Amateur at Royal St George’s in 1997, will play in the championship as an exempt past champion.

The reward for the winner of The Amateur Championship is a place in The 146th Open at Royal Birkdale in July and the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills. Traditionally, the Amateur Champion is also invited to compete in the Masters Tournament.