Malaysia’s Vinisha Gunaseelan and Feirish Nor Feizal Nor are among 142 promising junior golfers from 78 countries who will compete in next week’s Junior Open Championship at St Andrews.
Founded in 1994 and coming under The R&A’s administrative umbrella in 2000, the biennial Junior Open is played in the days leading up to golf’s oldest Major, The Open Championship, at a nearby course. This year’s edition will be played over the Eden Course from Monday, July 16 to Wednesday, July 18, marking the first time it has been held at St Andrews.
Countries and associations from all over the world can send a boy and a girl aged between 12 and 16 to the Junior Open. The event is contested over 54 holes with all competitors then visiting the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday and Friday.
Open champions Zach Johnson and Darren Clarke welcomed the junior golfers to the 2016 event at Kilmarnock (Barassie) and plans are being made for another golfing hero to welcome this year’s competitors at this Sunday’s opening ceremony on the 18th green of the Old Course.
Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said; “The Junior Open provides talented young golfers from around the world with a fantastic opportunity to play in a prestigious international competition on the eve of The Open.
“The championship continues to produce an excellent standard of golf and we have seen many past competitors, including several now major champions, make their mark in the Junior Open. We can look forward to three exciting days of golf.”
Previous Junior Open winners include reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed, 2013 LPGA Rookie of the Year Moriya Jutanugarn and Portugal’s Pedro Lencart Silva, who followed up his win at Kilmarnock (Barassie) in 2016 by lifting the 2017 Boys Amateur title. Other leading golfers who have featured in the event include Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Paula Creamer.
The Eden Course is one of seven courses that forms St Andrews Links, commonly referred to as ‘The Home of Golf’. Opened in 1914 after demand on the existing courses grew, the Eden was designed by Harry Colt and is named after the Eden estuary.
Live scoring will be available on www.RandA.org