Wednesday, August 21, 2019

International field at The Duke's for Scottish 
men's open amateur stroke-play

By CAMERON McLAY
The Scottish men’s open amateur championship over 72 holes will get underway this Friday at The Duke’s Course, St Andrews.  The event, which takes place between August 23 and 25, will see an excellent international field of 144 top-class amateurs teeing it up.
The format will be 36 holes over Friday and Saturday before a cut, and then a final 36 holes on Sunday.
Competitors from more than 15 different countries will travel to Scotland seeking to become the 2019 Scottish Men’s Open Champion. In 2018, it was Victor Veyret from France who came out of top in the event on the King’s Course at Gleneagles.
In what was a dominant performance, Veyret finished the week on 12-under par, six shots clear of runner-up Connor Purcell of Ireland.   The highest ranked player in this week’s field is England’s Bailey Gill from Lindrick Golf Club.  Gill is ranked 80th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and comes in to the week holding a handicap of +4.7.
Speaking to Scottish Golf ahead of this week’s event, Gill said, “I’m really looking forward to playing The Duke’s golf course, I have heard many great things about it! And always find it really fun being in and around St. Andrews.”
Recent winner of the 2019 Scottish men’s amateur championship, George Burns of Crail, will be teeing it up again at The Duke’s as he looks to build on his win last month. Following a victory in the Welsh Open Stroke-play last week, Charleton’s Andrew Davidson will be in the field this week looking to add a second title in as many weeks.
Davidson won the Welsh event in a play-off with fellow Scot Stephen Roger of Peebles who will also be in the field in St Andrews as he looks to go one better than his runner-up finish in Wales.
Other notable Scottish entries include, Irvine’s Stuart Easton, Euan McIntosh (Turnhouse) and Liberton’s Kieran Cantley.
 In 2018, Easton finished in a tie for 4th on two-under par and will be looking to build on that excellent performance at The Duke’s this year while McIntosh, the 2018 Scottish Men’s Amateur Champion, comes in to the event off the back of a victory at the North-east District Open Amateur Stroke-play Championship at Portlethen at the weekend.
Cantley is another Scot who will head into the event full of confidence having also recently won the Amateur Champion Gold Medal at Leven Golfing Society by an impressive seven shots, finishing on 20-under par for the four days.    
The youngest player in this week’s field is Old Ranfurly’s Aidan O’Hagan.  The 15-year-old  holds a handicap of +2 and will be joined by fellow Scottish U18s, Ruben Lindsay, Lachlan Reynolds and Gregor Graham.   
The Scottish Men’s Open Championship has a long list of notable champions including European Tour winners Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan, Richie Ramsay, Alistair Forsyth, Stephen Gallacher, Andrew Coltart and eight-time European Order of Merit winner, Colin Montgomerie.

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