An international field will gather at Royal Lytham & St Annes and St Annes Old Links for The 127th Amateur Championship next week after a record number of entries were received.
The Championship, staged from 13–18 June, attracted 585 entries with players hailing from 43 different countries. This is an increase of 32 per cent on the previous entries record which was set in 2017 at The 122nd Amateur Championship played at Royal St George’s and Princes.
This year, for the first time, a pre-qualifying competition has been introduced for the Championship. A maximum of 72 entrants will compete over 18 holes of stroke play at St Annes Old Links tomorrow, Friday 10 June, to qualify for a minimum of 10 places into the Championship.
Pre-Qualifying provides a route into the Championship for those players who do not have the pre-requisite World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®)
The 288-man field will then play 36 holes of stroke play on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 June to determine the top-64 players and ties who make it through to the match play rounds.
The 36-hole Final will be played on Saturday 18 June with the Champion earning a place in The 150th Open at St Andrews next month.
The field will feature three players from the top ten of the World Amateur Golf Ranking, including number three Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, number eight David Puig of Spain and number nine Ratchanon Chantananuwat of Thailand. The highest-ranked Great Britain and Ireland player is Sam Bairstow of England at number 22.
The local favourites in the field will include Royal Lytham & St Annes member Callan Barrow and John Gough, who won the Lytham Trophy last month.
Gough is hoping to follow in the footsteps of one of golf’s greatest amateurs, Sir Michael Bonallack, by winning The Amateur and Lytham Trophy in the same year. Only Bonallack has achieved that feat.
Gough, number 50 in the WAGR, should also be a factor in this year’s Amateur Championship because of another impressive record,
“I’m currently 21 matches unbeaten going back to last year’s English Amateur, going through the Home Internationals, a France match and the Spanish Amateur. I hope to keep the streak going,” said the Beaconsfield Golf Club member, who won the Spanish Amateur in March. He is also reigning English Amateur champion and won the Palmetto Amateur last year after graduating from the University of South Carolina.
“With a win comes a lot of confidence and expectations and I just have the right mind set before every tournament. I’m ready to go out to win every tournament I play, but I fully expect Lytham to play totally different in The Amateur.
“The Amateur will be a fresh start, a stronger field, but I have the same chance as everyone else. I know the key to playing well around there. Every tee shot is important because you have to be in play and avoid the bunkers. There are plenty of them and they are very penal. I managed to do that well in the Lytham Trophy and that was one of the keys to my win.”
Other players to watch in The 127th Amateur Championship include last year’s runner-up Monty Scowsill, 2021 Walker Cup player Barclay Brown and Australian Amateur Champion Connor McKinney, with the Fife-born Australian also winning the St Andrews Links Trophy at the weekend.
The R&A will provide live broadcast coverage of the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday 17 June and the 36-hole Final on Saturday 18 June.
This will be a seven camera production following the golf action across two days with the commentary team being led by Dougie Donnelly, with Beth Allen and Kit Alexander joining him in the booth throughout the two days and an onsite presenter team of Iona Stephen and George Harper Jnr.
The 127th Amateur Championship is open to spectators with tickets available here.