Monday, August 13, 2018

Almost 400 of the world’s leading young golfers will tee it up in Northern Ireland when two of the sport’s most prestigious amateur championships get underway this week.
The Boys' Amateur Championship will take place at Royal
Portrush and Portstewart from Tuesday to Sunday while the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship will be staged at Ardglass from Tuesday  to Saturday.
The Boys' Amateur Championship
Players from 28 countries will compete for the Boys'
Amateur Championship trophy, won last year by Portugal’s Pedro Lencart who defeated defending champion Falko Hanisch 5 and 4 in an enthralling final at Nairn.
Lencart returns for the 92nd staging of the championship and
will compete in the 252-strong field, which includes some of
the best young golfers from Europe as well as players from
as far afield as Australia, Canada, Japan, India and Vietnam.
Fresh from playing alongside the best in the world at The
147th Open, 2018 European Amateur Champion Nicolai
Hojgaard features as the highest ranked player in the field.
The 17-year-old Dane holds the 12th spot in the World Amateur Golf RankingTM (WAGRTM) and will look to take
another title in what has already been an impressive year for the teenager. His twin Rasmus, ranked 49th in the world, joins
him in Northern Ireland.
The home hope comes in the shape of Ireland’s Mark Power.
The 18-year-old former Irish Amateur Champion comes into
the event on an encouraging run of form, finishing second in
the stroke-play qualifying rounds at the European boys' team
championship last month and third at the South of Ireland amateur open championship.
Power, who represented Great Britain and Ireland in the
2017 Jacques Leglise Trophy, will be joined by another
member of that team in England’s Robin Williams. Both
competed in the Boys' Home Internationals last week at
Royal Dornoch, where Power won 6pts from six matches.
The 64 lowest scores over 36 holes, plus ties for 64th place,
will progress to the match-play stage which culminates in a
36-hole final on Sunday.
The Girls' British Open Amateur Championship
The Girls 'Amateur Championship will be contested by 144
competitors from 24 countries. Players from as far afield as
Australia and Canada, as well as a strong group from Europe
and Great Britain and Ireland will compete in the
The highest ranked player in the field, Italy’s Alessia Nobilio
(WAGRTM 19), heads into the championship on an exciting
spell of form. The 2018 German Girls runner-up topped the
leaderboard in the stroke play qualifying rounds at the
European Girls Team Championship in Sweden in July.
The 16-year-old followed that up with a tie for third at the
European Ladies Amateur Championship in Slovakia.
Nobilio’s national team-mate and 2016 Girls Amateur
Champion Emilie Paltrinieri returns and will 'be targeting
another title after a strong showing at the Ladies British Open
Amateur Championship in June.
The 16-year-old Italian reached the quarter-finals at Hillside before being knocked out by England’s Hollie Muse. In recent weeks, Paltrinieri chalked up a fourth-place finish in the stroke-play qualifying rounds at the European girls' team championship and a top ten at the European ladies' amateur championship.
On the home front, Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson will be ready to
make an impact at Ardglass. With a pair of top ten finishes under her belt at the beginning of the year – 8th at the
Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship and
9th at the Spanish Ladies Amateur Championship – the 2017
Great Britain and Ireland Vagliano Team member will relish
playing in front of local support as she bids to capture her
first Girls British Amateur trophy.
Girls Under-16 Open Champion, Scotland’s Hannah
Darling, will tee it up at Ardglass as she looks to follow up her win at Fulford with another title.
Runner up to Darling, Beth Coulter from Ireland, and third placed Switzerland’s Elena Moosman will also make their way to the Co Down course in a bid to go one better.
The first stage of the championship comprises two qualifying
rounds of stroke-play before the leading 64 players progress
to match-play. Each match will consist of one round of 18
holes including Saturday’s final.
Admission and parking is free at both venues. Scoring from
each championship will be available at
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