International fields assemble to Scottish U18 boys' and girls' open championships at Monifieth and Montrose Links
In-form duo Darren Howie and Jillian Farrell will look to maintain their winning ways at this week’s U18 boys’ and girls’ open hampionships, with both events proving popular on Scottish Golf’s new-look calendar.
Howie and Farrell, both 17, took the respective honours at the season’s opening Junior Tour event at Forrester Park last weekend and are keen to now defeat the international fields heading for Angus.
After the governing body announced a number of changes to national championships following a comprehensive review, this week’s stroke-play events are being played on the same Easter holiday dates, April 12-14, with Monifieth welcoming the boys and Montrose staging the girls.
The Scottish boys' match-play tournament has instead moved into the school summer holidays, to be played for the first time alongside the Scottish girls' championship , running concurrently at Scotscraig and Drumoig from June 30 – July 5.
In total, 216 entries were received for this week’s Boys’ strokeplay championship – the highest number in 12 years – with the handicap ballot for the 144-player field falling at 4.3. The girls’ event also received a strong entry of 134, with the ballot for the 102-player field coming at 7.2.
Jamie Stewart, the 2016 Scottish Boys Order of Merit champion, and last year’s Scottish Boys winner, Eric McIntosh, will join Howie in the chase for the title, but the trio face competition from players from the likes of England, France, Germany, Belgium and Bulgaria.
“I didn’t actually play that well at Forrester Park, but got it round,” admitted Howie, brother of Scotland Men’s international, Craig. “I’ve been working on a few things, like my driving, but my wedge play is as good as it has been and that should work well for Monifieth.”
The Peebles player, seeking to join a winners’ list that includes Stephen Gallacher, Scott Jamieson and Scott Henry, added: “Jamie has had a good start to the year and Eric is as consistent as ever. My aim is to compete and try to beat them this year. I feel I can do that if I play well.”
Meantime, Farrell is hoping to continue her form before the Cardross player heads for the University of North Carolina-Chattanooga in the autumn on a golf scholarship.
“It’s been a busy start to the season, but I’m pleased with it so far,” said Farrell, who also tied for third in last week’s Irish Girls Under-18s Stroke Play. It’s good to see the work I put in over the winter paying off. I’d like to continue to play as well as I can, with preparation important. I’ve never played Montrose competitively, but look forward to the challenge.”
Fraser Munro, Head of Events, added: “We look forward to a great week at Monifieth and Montrose and thank both host venues for once again welcoming Scottish Golf.
“The number of entries for both events was really encouraging, as they were for the Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Championship later this month. We received a record 158 entries for the event in its current form, with the ballot one of the lowest ever at 0.5.
“While this has been a good start, we would like to see more entries for the Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal Aberdeen in early June to keep the positive momentum going.”
>> View draw for Scottish Boys’ Open Championship
>> View draw for Scottish Girls’ Open Championship
Labels: boys and girls