Schools glory for St Edwards after Thomas’ awesome round
A TRULY STUNNING card of 45 Stableford points, off a handicap of 16, by Thomas Hage steered the St Edwards School from Cheltenham to victory in the National Schools Team Championship at England Golf’s headquarters at Woodhall Spa.
Seventeen-year-old Hage went round the Bracken Course in a gross 80 to amass his amazing total and with his two colleagues - Luis Arteaga, playing off five, and 12-handicap Alex Robinson - both returning 32 points, with just two scores to count, the total of 77 saw the St Edwards boys to victory.
It was the first time a Gloucestershire school has won the national title but it was a close-run thing with five teams finishing just a point behind.
Thomas Telford School from Shropshire filled second spot with their best non-counting score, with John F Kennedy Catholic School from Hertfordshire third.
“We felt we had a chance of winning but when I scored just two points from my last four holes I wasn’t so sure,” said Arteaga, like Hage a member of the Cotswold Hills Golf Club. “But we put in a lot of practice, which stood us in good stead.”
It was the first time any of the trio had seen Woodhall Spa but Hage gave the impression of a player who knew the course like the back of his hand and proved to be the hero of the day. He signed for only one birdie but had 12 pars on his card and could even afford a triple-bogey six at the short seventh and still score 45 points.
“This is absolutely amazing,” he said. “I think the school will be proud. We’ve only got a few days before the holidays but I’m sure something will be mentioned in assembly.”
For the Thomas Telford School, Harry Burt returned 39 points and William Enefer 37, while their non-scoring man Harrison Morris’ 36 tipped the balance their way over the other teams finishing with 76.
On a fine day for golf with cloudy conditions replacing the hot, humid weather of the practice day, a crowded leaderboard saw only four points separated the top 12 school teams at the end of the tournament.
Although Northampton School for Boys finished down the field with 70 points, they had something to celebrate after Sam Round had a hole-in-one at the 16th.
It was a second ace for Sam, who is the son of Golf Foundation chief executive Mike Round and is also a member of the Collintree Park club. His first ace came last year in his county’s U15 championship at Brampton Heath Golf Club.
© John Thomson