• Bearsden's Ewen Ferguson lifted the title at Cruden Bay last year
• This week's event taking place at Royal Burgess just outside Edinburgh
SCOTTISH BOYS OPEN STROKE PLAY
A field of 144 players will be seeking to claim one of the UK’s most prestigious junior titles as the Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play Championship at Royal Burgess gets underway today.
With a rich history and a proud record of attracting top quality fields, the Lothians venue will welcome talented Under-18 home hopefuls and those from countries such as England, Australia, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
Last year’s Scottish Hydro Boys Order of Merit winner, Cawder’s Calum Fyfe, is among the favourites on the parkland layout on the outskirts of Edinburgh, as well as Lothian players like Murray Naysmith (Marriott Dalmahoy), Joseph Bryce (Bathgate) and Christopher Curran (Harburn).
"We look forward to watching the best young players in the country in action" - John Fraser
The Scottish Boys champion, Will Porter from Carnoustie, will also hope to shine, as will in-form Sandy Scott from Nairn, the current Boys Order of Merit leader, and Deeside’s Michael Lawrie, the youngest son of the 1999 Open champion, Paul.
Royal Burgess are looking forward to a great week of golf and captain John Fraser, a member of Scotland's Seniors team, said: "We’re delighted to be hosting this week's event, the course is in great condition, and we look forward to watching the best young players in the country in action."
Former two-time winner Stephen Gallacher.
The venue, which was originally designed by Willie Park Jnr with subsequent improvements from Harry Colt and Philip Mackenzie Ross, are enjoying a boost in junior golf themselves, helping develop the game in the Lothians.
“We are organising a Pro-Am this year to raise funds for the Stephen Gallacher Foundation,” continued Fraser. “This is our way of supporting junior golf in the Lothians.
“Secondly, there is lots of negative publicity about those under 30 years of age not joining golf clubs, but we now have 110 youth members and I think if more clubs made it attractive for young people to join they would.”
Lothians man Stephen Gallacher is one of many notable winners of the event, achieving back-to-back victories in 1991 and 1992. Fellow European Tour star Scott Jamieson took the 2001 title at Lanark, Henry won in 2004 while Walker Cup player James Byrne emerged victorious at Cardrona in 2007 with an impressive 14-under par total, beating Michael Stewart in a play-off.
Main picture: royalburgess.co.uk.