The R&A is quite proud of the improved field caused by the British Amateur date change. I'm more proud of the amateurs for making the trip:
When the dates for the 2006 Amateur Championship were being considered, The R&A decided to play the Amateur during the third week in June to avoid a clash with the NCAA Division 1 Finals in the US.
That decision has resulted in 21 players in these NCAA Finals entering this year’s Amateur Championship which will be played at Royal St George’s and Prince’s from 19-24 June.
American college players Kevin Chappell, Stuart Moore, Dustin Pimm and Alex Prugh head the US entry of 19 which also includes 33 year old Kevin Marsh of Las Vegas, the winner of the 2005 US Mid-Amateur Championship. Marsh is a reinstated amateur following a brief spell as a professional.
Other top-ranked overseas players who will be competing in Kent include Won Joon Lee, Australia’s number one player and the winner earlier in the year of the NSW Medal. Countryman Tim Stewart, their national champion has also entered, as have Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, the German titleholder and Antti Ahokas of Finland, the recent winner of the Irish Open Stroke Play Championship.