Top field for St Andrews Links

St Andrews, 11 April 2008: With almost four weeks to go until entries close, The St Andrews Links Trophy has already attracted a top class field for the 72-hole stroke play event to be played over the Old Course and Jubilee Course from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 June.
It was in 1989 that the proposal to run a tournament over the Old Course for the world’s top amateurs was first mooted. Since then, when Russell Claydon won with a total of 284, the scores have gradually come down to last year’s record winning score of 15-under par 273. It was Walker Cup player Llewellyn Matthews who posted that total and added his name to the list of distinguished winners over the years.
Many of these winners have gone on to success on the PGA and European Tours, notably Justin Rose, Richard Finch and more recently teenager Oliver Fisher. Surprisingly, only one winner has come from overseas and the records show that it is 18 years since Stuart Bouvier of Australia lifted the trophy. And yet in that time the Links Trophy has attracted players from around the world. This year is no exception.
Australia has half a dozen players in the field and if present form is anything to go by, then both Tim Stewart and Rohan Blizard should be in with a chance of winning. Already this year, Stewart has won the Tasmanian Open at Devenport while Blizard was successful in the New South Wales Medal at Pennent Hills. Portugal has also entered six players who include their National Champion, Pedro Figueirodo, the winner earlier this year at Estela.
It is likely that the Home Countries will dominate the entries and England has several international players already entered. These include Matthew Cryer, losing finalist to Daniel Willett in the 2007 English Amateur and the winner this year of the Avondale Medal and 39 year-old Ed Richardson, the West of England stroke play and English Mid Amateur Champion.
Scotland has returned from Sotogrande, Spain, as winners of the European Nations Trophy in which Callum Macaulay took third place in the individual awards. Macaulay was the 2007 Scottish Order of Merit winner and will be playing at St Andrews alongside countrymen Wallace Booth, James Byrne and Scott Henry.
Competitors in the St Andrews Links Trophy play one round over the Jubilee Course on Thursday 6 June, one on the Old Course on the Saturday and the top 40 and ties play a further 36 holes over the Old Course on the Sunday.