150th staging of Standard Life Gold Medal to take place this year

New September date announced for Leven Links tournament

Lee Westwood is a past winner of the Standard Life Gold Medal. Picture: Getty.
Lee Westwood is a past winner of the Standard Life Gold Medal. Picture: Getty.

The 150th staging of the Standard Life Gold Medal at Leven Links will take place, after all, this year, having been rescheduled for a second time.

It had been thought that event’s unbroken run had come to an end when a plan to stage it earlier this month was scuppered due to open competitions not having been given the green light at that time.

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However, organisers have now announced that the oldest amateur stroke-play tournament in the world will be held over 36 holes on 20 September with a maximum of 46 players.

“It isn’t the celebration we had in mind but, as a sport, we mustn’t drop our guard and at least we can now go ahead,” said Stewart Kirkwood, captain of Leven Golfing Society. “The organisers and stakeholders involved in this year’s event are working hard to ensure that its delivery meets all relevant safeguarding and protocols are in place.”

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Past winners include former world No 1 Lee Westwood, pictured, as well as two other Ryder Cup players, Andrew Coltart and Per Ulrik Johannson.

Meanwhile, this week sees the Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Championship being staged side-by-side for the first time in Lancashire.

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In total, 120 players have gathered at Royal Birkdale for the men’s event while neighbouring West Lancashire is hosting 100 players for the women’s equivalent.

Sandy Scott, Scotland’s top-ranked amateur, is missing from the men’s line-up due to the fact he is in the US, but national champion George Burns spearheads a Scottish contingent that also includes Matt Clark and 
Darren Howie.

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Hannah Darling, who has been in sparking form at Broomieknowe, will be hoping to make her presence felt in the women’s event along with Hazel MacGarvie and Carmen Griffiths.

Both events are being played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 safety protocols.

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