The Royal and Ancient Golf Club has increased the number of Elite Bursaries from ten to fourteen which reflects the increasing number of golfers who are choosing to study in the British Isles while continuing to play amateur golf at the highest level.
In announcing these awards for academic year 2002 – 2003, Duncan Weir, the R&A’s Golf Development Secretary, said, “The R&A is committed to developing its Golf Bursary Scheme so that it becomes a viable alternative to the NCAA Scholarships offered in the United States. Not only are we awarding bursaries to players who have already reached full international status but are supporting others who have shown the potential to reach this level.”
All bursaries are given for each year of a student’s course to help offset educational expenses and are not restricted to meeting costs associated with competitive golf.
Included for the first time in these awards are Jonathan Evans, a member of England’s potential ‘A’ squad and a player who had top placings in both the Lytham and Brabazon Trophies. From further afield, Nuno Brito e Cunha, a Portuguese player who won their Amateur Championship while still a junior, is the first overseas player to be awarded an Elite Bursary to study in this country. He is currently in Kuala Lumpur representing Portugal in the Eisenhower Trophy.
Other recipients of first-time awards include outstanding English junior Sophie Walker, Irish international Marian Riordan, English girl international Fay Sanderson, Scottish youth cap David Sutton and Yorkshire county players Richard Oddy and James Mason.
The awards given to these golfers for the present academic year amount to £45,000 in total.