The 2019 European Amateur Championship, set to have one of its strongest fields to date, gets underway in less than a week. Diamond Country Club, which has previously hosted the European Amateur Team Championship and multiple European Tour events, will set the stage for the 32nd edition of the championship from 26 to 29 June.
144 of the best amateur players from across the globe will compete over four days of stroke play to have their names engraved on a trophy that features the likes of Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, and Lucas Bjerregaard. The champion will also earn a place in The 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush next month.
34 different nationalities will be represented at Diamond Country Club. At the closing date for entries, 17 players were inside the top-50 of the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), and 35 inside the top-100. That list includes Japan's Takumi Kanaya, the reigning Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion, who is currently ranked third in the world. 2018 U.S. Junior Ryder Cup player, Akshay Bhatia, the current number four in the world will also tee it up in Austria next week.
Alongside Kanaya and Bhatia, a number of other notable players will make the trip to Austria:
Alvaro Mueller-Baumgart is currently ranked inside the top-10 of the WAGR and will make his first appearance in the European Amateur Championship this week. The Spanish player is in good form, having won the Campeonato de Espana Amateur earlier this month.
Ireland's Conor Purcell won the Australian Men's Amateur Championship in January, and recently finished runner-up in the Irish Amateur Open. Purcell finished 6th in last year's event, missing out on a medal by a single stroke, but will have the honour of hitting the first tee shot in this year's event.
Jerry Ji will be hoping to go one-better this year after finishing tied for second in last year's event. The Dutch player represented the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Léglise Trophy in 2018 and finished runner-up in this year's Murat Cup.
Tom Sloman claimed one of the biggest victories in the amateur game so far this season. The English player won the individual prize at the European Nations' Cup (Copa Sotogrande) in April.
Marc Hammer played an important role in the Continent of Europe's victory in the St Andrews Trophy last year. The German player has also represented Europe in the Bonallack Trophy.
Spanish duo, Eduard Rousaud Sabate and David Puig Currius are 35th and 39th respectively in the WAGR. The pair helped Spain to the European Boys' Team Championship title last year, and were also both selected for the Continent of Europe Jacques Léglise Trophy and Junior Ryder Cup teams.
Jake Burnage is one of the most in form players heading into the week. The Englishman triumphed in the prestigious St Andrews Links Trophy earlier this month, and sits 65th in the WAGR.
Euan Walker was the field's highest finisher in The Amateur Championship last week, the Scottish player finished runner-up after suffering a narrow defeat to James Sugrue in the final match.