The 2019 European Young Masters takes place in the Czech Republic this week. Europe's best under-16 golfers, including boys and girls, will compete over three days of stroke play at Golf & Spa Kunětická Hora.
114 players representing 34 countries will tee it up on the championship course at Kunětická Hora in the 24th edition of the event, first played in 1995.
Players will be looking to join a prestigious list of winners which includes Sergio Garcia, Rafael Cabrera-bello, and Matteo Manassero on the boys' side, and Suzann Pettersen and Carlota Ciganda on the girls' side.
For the first time this year, the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation will be represented by four players competing for the individual prizes. Two European teams, each made up of a mixed pair, have been invited to compete in the APGC Junior Championship at the end of August. Finishing position this week will determine selection for the teams that compete in Hong Kong next month.
The 2019 edition will also mark the first time the event will be included in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
Each EGA member federation is allowed to send a team of up to four players, made up of two boys and two girls.
All players will play three rounds of stroke play, starting on Thursday (25 July). The top three in each category (boys and girls) at the end of round three on Saturday (27 July) will be awarded medals.
Players will also be able to win medals in the Nations' Cup, a team competition that combines the three lowest scores from each team's four (boys and girls) on all three days. The teams with the lowest totals of the nine combined scores will earn medals for their country.
The European Young Masters will take place in the Czech Republic for the first time in its 24-year history. Golf & Spa kunětická Hora, will present the challenge to the players this week.
The par-72 championship golf course opened just 12 years ago but has already hosted the European Amateur Team Championship, Division 2 on two occassions, and multiple Challenge Tour events.
Players to Watch
Jose Luis Ballester is the highest ranked player teeing it up in the Czech Republic. Ballester is currently ranked inside the top-100 of the WAGR and recently represented Spain at the Toyota Junior World Cup and the European Boys' Team Championship, where he finished second in the individual stroke play classification.
Tiger Christensen features on the start list in the Czech Republic this week. The German player helped his country to a second-place finish at the European Boys' Team Championship less than two weeks ago, finishing 11th in the stroke play classification and winning two points from five matches in the match play.
Carolina Lopez-Chacarra won the silver medal at last year's European Young Masters in Norway. The Spanish player helped the Continent of Europe to victory in the Junior Vagliano Trophy at Royal St. George's last month, and the Spanish team to a second-place finish at the European Girls' Team Championship two weeks ago.
Italy's Francesca Fiorellini won the second edition of the R&A U16 Girls Amateur Championship in April and also featured in the victorious Continent of Europe Team at the Junior Vagliano Trophy. Fiorellini will have the chance to become the first Italian player to win the girls title since 1995 this week.
Natalia Guseva is the third player in the girls' field that helped the junior Continent of Europe team to victory at Royal St. Georges. The Russian player will be looking to improve on her 5th place finish in Norway last year, and would become the first Russian player to claim an EGA gold medal should she find herself on top of the leaderboard come Saturday evening.
Paula Schulz-Hanssen carded the lowest round on day one of the European Girls' Team Championship at Golf Club El Saler two weeks ago. After shooting 30 on the opening nine, the German player returned a level-par back-nine to shoot a six-under 66. A two-under-par round of 70 on day two meant she would finish second in the individual stroke play ranking.
Lilas Pinthier is currently ranked inside the top-200 of the WAGR. So far this summer, the French player has finished in the top-10 of the German Girls Open, qualified for the match play of the Womens' Amateur Championship, and finished fourth in the Annika Invitational Europe.
Beth Coulter narrowly missed out on a spot on the podium in the event last year, but her fourth place finish earned her a spot on the European team at the APGC Junior Championship. The Irish player, who represented GB&I at the Junior Vagliano Trophy, will return to play the European Young Masters again this year.
Where to Follow
Livescoring can be found from Thursday morning onwards here, while updates can be followed throughout the week on our social media channels:
More information about the event and the full list of participants can be found on the Championship Webpage.