Scottish players are seeded to claim three titles at the Scottish Junior Open, which would equal their record haul at the Irish Junior Open in November. A further 6 players have been seeded 2nd giving high hopes that the 2015 Scottish Junior Open could prove to be the most successful in recent memory for the home contingent.
Scottish interest is led by Rory Stewart and Elspeth Young who top the seedings in the respective U19 events. Rory’s biggest challenge looks set to come from south of the border with two English players seeded 2nd and 3/4. Scottish number 2, Craig Valente-Wallace is the other 3/4 seed.
In the Girls U19 event, a home winner seems almost guaranteed as Elspeth Young, Claire Gadsby, Kirsty Lobban and Carrie Hallam dominate the top 4 seedings. They will be looking to repeat their historic clean-sweep of the podium at the recent Irish Junior Open – the first time Scotland had ever achieved this feat at a European Junior Circuit event.
Scotland’s other top seed is 13 year-old Alasdair Prott who has already enjoyed success on the European Junior Circuit, most notably at the Swiss Junior Open last month when he became the first Scottish player to reach the final of a Super Series event for many years. The prospect of another all-Scottish final seems possible with Chris Murphy seeded 2nd but Pakistan’s Dorosham Khan, who recently finished 6th at the British Junior Open looks like the player to beat. Players from Switzerland, England, Peru and Argentina will also be hoping to challenge for the title. Peruvian, Rafael Galvez, could be a danger to anyone and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious compatriot, Diego Elias, the reigning World Junior Champion who has won the Scottish Junior Open for the past 2 years and recently broke into the World top 50 at just 18 years of age.
The Boys U17 event looks like one of the most competitive events with Richard Hollins hoping to upset the European Junior Rankings should he face James Wyatt (England) in the final. James is currently ranked 6th in Europe with Richard one place lower at 7th but last year’s champion, Juan Segundo Barreyro (Argentina) will provide a stern test to both players as he looks to defend his title. Patrick O’Sullivan completes the top 4 seeds.
Emma Fitzsimmons will have to overcome top-seed Satomi Watanabe (Japan) to claim the Girls U17 title, while Georgia Adderley will also be looking to upset the seedings should she reach her anticipate place in the Girls U15 final, where she would most likely face European number 1, Nadia Usenko (Ukraine).
In the U13 events, Craig Thomson leads the way for Scotland in the Boys event but will face higher-seeded opposition from Norway, England and New Zealand as well as Mexican, Pakistani and Polish competitors in a truly international field. Orla Young will be hoping to build on her runners-up finish at the Irish Junior Open in the Girls U13 event but will face stiff opposition from Marina Stefanoni (USA) who won the U.S. Junior Open last month and finished 5th at the British Junior Open last week.
This event will be one of the qualifying events for players who are looking to earn selection for the Commonwealth Youth Games, with results contributing towards their European Junior Ranking which serves as the main selection criteria for those hoping to be selected for Samoa 2015.