THE R&A has announced that some of the finest golf courses in Great Britain and Ireland will be the venues for its Championships and International Matches in 2017 including The Boys Home Internationals at St Annes Old Links. Royal St George’s, where Darren Clarke won The Open in 2011, will host the Amateur Championship for the 14th time, with the qualifying strokeplay rounds also being played at nearby Prince’s.
The Amateur Championship will return to the famous links at Sandwich for the first time since 2006 when Frenchman Julien Guerrier defeated Adam Gee from Leatherhead by 4&3 in the 36-hole final. Among the winners of the championship at Royal St George’s are the great amateurs John Ball Junior, Freddie Tait and Harold Hilton. Open champion Rory McIlroy is one of several champions and Ryder Cup team members who have played in the Amateur Championship over the years including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Jose Maria Olazabal, who won in 1984, and Sergio Garcia, who won in 1998. The Boys Amateur Championship will be played at Nairn and Dunbar.
It will be the second time the championship has been played at Nairn and the first occasion since 1989 when Carl Watts from Dyke lifted the trophy. A field of 252 of the world’s leading boy golfers will take part in the championship, which featured 23 nationalities in the 2014 event. Previous winners include Sergio Garcia, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sir Michael Bonallack while Major Championship winners Sandy Lyle, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Martin Kaymer and McIlroy have all played in the event. Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director – Championships at The R&A, said:
“We are looking forward to staging the 2017 championships at some of the most renowned courses in Great Britain and Ireland. The venues each have illustrious histories and will provide wonderful tests of golf. I’m sure the players will enjoy the challenge they present and that spectators will take the opportunity to come and watch some top class amateur golf.”
The Boys Home Internationals will be played at St Annes Old Links, which was a Local Final Qualifying venue for The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2012. The Jacques Leglise Trophy will be held at Ballybunion’s Old Course for the first time. The County Kerry links hosted the Irish Open in 2000 and the Palmer Cup, which is contested by teams of European and American students, in 2004. The Seniors Amateur Championship, meanwhile, will make its first visit to Sunningdale’s Old Course. The 46th Walker Cup match between Great Britain and Ireland and the USA will be played at Los Angeles Country Club in California.
The dates for the Championships and International Matches in 2017 are as follows: The Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s and Prince’s: 19-24 June; The Boys Home Internationals, St Annes Old Links: 8-10 August; The Seniors Amateur Championship, Sunningdale (Old Course): 9-11 August; The Boys Amateur Championship, The Nairn and Nairn Dunbar: 15-20 August; The Jacques Leglise Trophy, Ballybunion (Old Course): 1 and 2 September; The Walker Cup, Los Angeles Country Club: 9 and 10 September.