After some heroic performances by amateurs in recent times at The Open Championship, we take a look at the players in this year’s field aiming to make the same impact and take home the Silver Medal
The Shootout for the Silver Medal at The Open Championship
The Silver Medal, awarded to the leading amateur at the Open Championship, has had some illustrious winners over the years.
Amateurs have always played an integral part in the story of this great championship, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both taking the crown before going on to win the title as a professional.
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Other notable recent performances have come from Justin Rose pitching in on 18 to finish fourth as a 17-year-old at Birkdale in 1998 and Chris Wood finishing T5 at the same venue ten years later.
At St Andrews in 2015, Irishman Paul Dunne becoming the first amateur since 1927 to lead golf’s most prestigious tournament after 54 holes.
Unfortunately the pressure proved too much for the 22-year-old and he slipped back to finish tied for 30th.
Related: Open Championship Contenders 2017
This year, there are five amateurs in the field battling it out for the silver medal.
Maverick McNealy currently lies at #2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and is the amateur carrying the most hype this week at Birkdale.
He qualified through finishing 2016 as #1 in the WAGR.
His Dad is a billionaire and Maverick was thought to be torn between business and professional golf, but he has said he is planning to turn pro after the Walker Cup later this year.
He studied at Stanford, like Tiger Woods, and notched 11 wins in his time there – just like Tiger did.
The Englishman won this year’s Amateur Championship at Royal St George’s where he came back from 3 down with 4 to play to win in extra holes.
That win also qualified him for the Masters and US Open next year.
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The Englishman, who plays his golf at Sundridge Park in Kent, won the 2017 European Amateur Championship at Walton Heath.
He played his Tuesday practice round in the company of world #2 Hideki Matsuyama and his compatriot Hideto Tanihara.
He said, “This is one event I’ve wanted to play in since I was a kid.
“I was like most kids in that I used to stand on the putting green imagining I was trying to hole a putt to win The Open.
“You dream of these days and now it’s about to come true for me.”
The Scot came through final qualifying at Gailes Links last month, finishing joint 1st at the Glasgow course at -4 for two rounds.
Syme ranks 9th in the WAGR.
He told the BBC he will not be turning professional until the end of the year.
The Italian won the 2016 European Amateur Championship in Estonia.
He ranks highly in the WAGR, at 21st, and has played in a number of professional events including the 2017 Rocco Forte Open in which he made the cut.
Remember that the Silver Medal will be awarded to the highest placed amateur that makes the cut.