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Preview: 2018 European Amateur Championship

144 players line up in the Netherlands this week with dreams of being crowned European Amateur Champion and earning a spot in The 147th Open at Carnousite. 

The championship is now in its 31st edition, and returns to the Netherlands for the first time since 1986, the founding year of the event.

The trophy is engraved with numerous big names in the world of golf. Past winners include Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Victor Dubuisson, and Stephen Gallacher. 

Last year's edition, played at Walton Heath, England, was decided by a playoff. Englishman, Alfie Plant, birdied the 72nd hole to get to 15-under and secure a playoff against defending champion, Luca Cianchetti and his Italian compatriot, Stefano Mazzoli.

Plant birdied the fifth extra hole to claim the title. He would go on to win the Silver Medal in The Open at Royal Birkdale for finishing as low amateur, and represent GB&I in the Walker Cup. 

The championship will be played at Royal Hague (Koninklijke Haagsche) Golf and Country Club, a course that is frequently ranked in the top-100 of the world and the top-5 in Europe. The course is built on undulating links land near the coast of the North Sea and will offer the players a tough test. 

Watch the highlights from 2017: