This Wednesday, at the Estonian Golf & Country Club in Jõelähtme, the European Amateur Golf Championship begins and last year’s champion, Stefano Mazzoli hopes to triumph for the second year in succession. This tournament started in 1986 and to date, only one champion has succeeded in defending his title and that was Englishman Ashley Chesters in 2014.

Yesterday Mazzoli played his first practice shots at Jõelähtme. The Italian hopes for a good result – not least because the winner of the title will get the opportunity to play in the British Open next year. "I hope the weather is good and I can compete as well as I did a year ago," said Mazzoli.

According to Arnaud Baratcabal, European Golf Association Competitions Director, Jõelähtme is ready, willing and able to host this event. "It is very important for us that this is a top-shelf competition. For example, past competitors have represented Europe in the Ryder Cup on several occasions” said Baratcabal.

Estonian Golf Association president Marko Kaljuveer spoke of the honour of hosting the very best amateur players, of whom we will hear much more in years to come. "This tournament has been won, for example, by today's superstar Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland as well as veteran Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia," said Kaljuveer. "If a local player finishes in the top 60, we will have achieved a major goal. We’re expecting a big crowd to come and cheer the players on" added Kaljuveer.

Estonia is represented by Egeti Liiv and Sander Aadusaar, whose goals are firstly, to make the cut and then, to place 60th or better.

Golfers from 28 countries are taking part and we kick off early in the morning of August 3. The champion will be crowned on the evening of August 6.

Picture gallery from the press conference