The internationally-renowned Castle Stuart Golf Links will play host to some of the world’s best young amateur golfers when it stages The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy later this year.
The 54-hole stroke play event for young men and women has featured in the past some notable players, including Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero, Pablo Martin, Oliver Fisher and Anna Nordqvist. Five former players also took part in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The 60-strong field at the four-time Scottish Open venue near Inverness from 17-20 September will be made up of golfers who are the current holders of their under 18 national Championship, or the winner of a separate but recognised major golfing event in the preceding year.
The competition is supported and overseen by officials of the R&A, golf’s governing body, and counts towards the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The Duke of York, who is also The Earl of Inverness, founded the event in 2001 with the aim ofpromoting the development of junior golf, encouraging competitiveness and friendship between individual champions, whilst providing them with an opportunity to play on leading championship courses against their peers.
Dominic Hampshire, the Tournament Director, said: “Castle Stuart is a world class links course and we are delighted it will be the setting for this year’s Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, particularly as His Royal Highness has such a strong affinity with Inverness."
“I have no doubt that for those junior champions invited to play this year it will be a huge privilege to have the opportunity to play this wonderful course.”
It is the first time the event has been staged in the Highlands, having previously been held at other Scottish venues, Royal Aberdeen and Royal Troon, as well as Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool, Royal St George's and the Prince’s Golf Club in Kent.
It is another milestone in the short history of Castle Stuart Golf Links, which was opened in 2009. The course was ranked at Number 53 in Golf Digest’s World’s Best 100 Golf Courses this month.
Stuart McColm, Castle Stuart’s general manager, said: “This is a huge honour for Castle Stuart and the Highlands."
“The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy is an event highly regarded around the world for promoting and supporting young golfers."
“It is an exciting prospect to be involved in such a distinguished tournament and to see potentially the stars of tomorrow from around the world playing in the north of Scotland.”