JUSTIN Rose and Louis Oosthuizen have been among Mark Young’s playing partners as the Clitheroe Golf Club ace prepares for his Open Championship debut tomorrow.

Young travelled to Scotland early to get in some valuable practice at St Andrews and the 33-year-old, who turned pro only eight months ago, has been in illustrious company.


Young still works part time as a conservatory fitter, even turning up for a shift just days after qualifying for the Open.

But on Sunday he was completing his first round at St Andrews partnered by South African Oosthuizen, the runaway winner of the last Open at St Andrews in 2010.

Then yesterday Young played alongside 2013 US Open winner Rose, ahead of the start of the championship tomorrow.

Young has been backed to produce a strong performance by Clitheroe Golf Club pro Paul McEvoy.

“I think the course will suit him,” McEvoy said.

“He’s very accurate and he’s got a very good short game. You need that at St Andrews.

“A lot of people from the club are going up to St Andrews to support him. I think there will probably be around 100 and more from around Lancashire.

“We will have it on the TVs here at the club as well, and I’m sure people will be watching it.

“He’s an unassuming guy but he’s a very popular person around the club. He gets on with everyone.”

Young, whose caddy this week is clubmate Carl Drinkwater, moved to Clitheroe from Longridge Golf Club after previously playing at Stonyhurst.

He won the Lancashire Amateur Championship three times and topped the Northern Order of Merit on five occasions, before qualifying for the Open at Gailes Links in Scotland after progressing through regional qualifying at Mere Golf Club in Cheshire.

Young was also a footballer with Great Harwood Town in his younger days.

“It was a difficult decision for Mark to turn pro, weighing it up financially,” McEvoy said.

“He was disappointed when he didn’t get a European Tour card earlier in the year but at the first attempt that’s not abnormal.

“He’s done brilliantly to qualify for the Open at the first attempt.

“We’re over the moon for him.”