POTENTIAL Open champions will be at Heswall Golf Club next week to take part in the Junior Open Championship.
Their illustrious older counterparts Tiger Woods and Angel Cabrera will be teeing off down the road at the Royal Liverpool Club in Hoylake as the Open Championship starts on Thursday but the youngsters will see action first as 100 boys and girls aged 12-16 and representing more than 60 countries descend on Heswall on Sunday.
More than half bring with them a handicap of three or less but there are also some in the 10-21 handicap bracket from countries new to golf like Latvia, Qatar, Peru, Puerto Rico, Guam and Estonia.
Spanish ace Sergio Garcia once won this tournament, which is held every two years - three days prior to the Open - and on a course near to the main venue.
Club secretary Tony Brooker said: 'This is the biggest event since the club was founded in 1902.
'It came as a surprise when we were selected in 2003 and we are honoured to be able to host a Royal and Ancient tournament. You do not ask to hold this event, you are invited.'
The selection is a tribute to Heswall, where the clubhouse is undergoing a multi-million-pound makeover. Phase one will be open for the juniors.
The conditions at the course will challenge the golfers, and Heswall's Junior Open chairman Gordon Forrest says the greens will be smooth and nippy.
The event will also feature the children of some of the senior Open golfers playing in a special invitational match.
'We feel the Junior Open is something people should know about,' said Forrest.
'A lot has been made of the Open of course, and this championship seems to have been lost a bit.
'We would like to see a lot of people here and they will be very welcome.'
Sunday is practice day and the tournament starts on Monday, finishing on Wednesday. Admission is free.