Michael Stewart launches the Troon Junior Open with a little help from Clr Bill Grant; Buzzworks’ Kenny Blair; Provost Moonie; Clr Philip Saxton
Scotland's Amateur Golfer of the Year took to the greens in Troon to launch the 2012 Troon Junior Open for the Tom Lehman Trophies.
Michael Stewart – who turned professional at the end of last year and has previously competed for the Tom Lehman trophies himself – dropped into Troon Lochgreen golf course to encourage young golfers to sign up for the prestigious competition, which takes place on 7 August.
Organised by South Ayrshire Council's Golf South Ayrshire and Buzzworks, the 2012 Troon Junior Open is played over the Darley, Fullarton and Lochgreen courses in Troon and – with top golf prizes worth £2,500 on offer – competition is set to be fierce.
Tournament namesake and golf legend Tom Lehman helped establish the competition, which is recognised as one of the top events for young golfers in the UK, after playing the Open Championship at Royal Troon in 1997 and donating a sum of money for junior golf.
Open to golfers under 18 years of age on 1 January 2012, this superb one-day tournament offers both scratch and handicap prizes including the Tom Lehman Trophies – two replica silver claret jugs – for the boy and girl with the lowest scratch score.
A fantastic TaylorMade putter is also up for grabs in the event's putting competition.
Michael Stewart – who recently made his European Challenge Tour debut – said: "Competitions like this offer great opportunities for young golfers and I would encourage anyone who is eligible to sign up for the Tom Lehman tournament. It's a great chance to play on some fantastic courses, show just what you're made of and maybe even win one of the great prizes on offer. I know I would take part again if I could!"
Joining Michael to launch the tournament was South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie, Portfolio Holder for Tourism and Leisure Councillor Bill Grant, local Councillor Philip Saxton and Buzzworks Director, Kenny Blair.
Provost Moonie said: "We're home to some of the finest municipal golf courses in the country and if that's not incentive enough to take part, then the fantastic golfing prizes on offer are sure to get the entries in!"
Kenny Blair added: "As a local company with golf very close to our heart, Buzzworks is delighted to step in to ensure the continuation of this fantastic junior golf tournament. We look forward to working with South Ayrshire Council to make this event a great success."
The final word was left to the man himself – Tom Lehman – who returns to South Ayrshire in July to play in the Senior Open Championship at Turnberry. Tom said: "I am very proud to have my name associated with junior golf in Scotland through the competition at Troon.
"Golf has been very, very good to me, and has been at the heart of most of the many lessons I have learned throughout my life. It is my hope that all juniors who love golf and love to compete will take part in this summer's tournament for the purpose of becoming a better person, a better player, and maybe even winning the Tom Lehman Trophy."
Entry to the 2012 Troon Junior Open is only £5, which includes a free packed lunch and goody bag.
Entry forms and further information can be found online at www.golfsouthayrshire.com/tomlehman, in the latest edition of Bunkered magazine or by calling 01292 616255. The closing date for entries is Tuesday 24 July and entries are limited to 150 per course.
For the latest information on the tournament, follow www.facebook.com/TomLehamnTrophy2012 or www.twitter.com/tomlehmantrophy2012.