Rising Perthshire golf star Connor Graham will lead the home challenge at this week’s Scottish Boys’ Under-16 Open.
The Blairgowrie member has been in stunning form out on the course ahead of his next test at Dumfries and County Golf Club, which begins on Tuesday and runs until Thursday.
Connor (14) currently holds a large lead in the 2021 Scottish Boys’ Order of Merit following a number of high-class performances.
Wins at the Barrie Douglas Scottish Junior Masters and the Paul Lawrie Junior Jug showed this was a young man at the top of his game.
And then there was a victory at the Scottish Junior Par 3 Championship.
Now Connor’s attention is on producing the goods again among a field that has a dusting of continental competitors as well as a strong challenge from south of the border.
There are almost 60 home players in the field and no less than 11 of them possessing plus handicaps at the time of entry, including Connor.
Fraser Munro, Scottish Golf’s head of events, is excited to welcome the country’s top players for the tournament.
“This is always an interesting championship because you see so many new names coming through,” he said.
“There are quite a few players you recognise from the Scottish Golf Performance programme but always others who seem to appear almost out of the blue.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dumfries and County for hosting this championship at such a busy time of the year and know their course will provide an excellent challenge for all the competitors.”
Connor, who will be joined at the event by Muckhart pair Lewis Seath and Luke Volland, will be tackling a Dumfries and County course originally designed by 1883 Open champion Willie Fernie in 1912.
It was extensively remodelled in the late 1920s by five-time Open champion James Braid.
The par 69 lay-out is no stranger to staging top events having hosted the British Youths Championship in 1958, the Scottish Girls Amateur in 1976, 1980, 1988 and 2014 and the British Senior Ladies Championship in 2006.
“We are delighted to be hosting the championship and offer a warm welcome to all competitors and parents,” said Dumfries and County’s head professional James Erskine.
“We look forward to watching the next generation of rising golf stars showcasing their skills over our course. We wish all the competitors the very best of luck and hope they enjoy the test.”
COVID-19 resulted in the 2020 Scottish Boys’ U16 Open being cancelled and the lingering effects of the virus mean this year’s championship will be played under strict safety guidelines.
These guidelines are reviewed regularly to ensure they align with up-to-date Sportscotland, Scottish Government and Public Health safety requirements.
All scores from the 2021 Scottish Boys’ U16 Open Championship will be registered by players on the course using the Scottish Golf App. This means that live scores from Dumfries and County will be available for everyone to follow on the Scottish Golf website.