Henry Hayward battled through the torrential rain as he deservedly claimed the Carris Trophy following a spate of horrific weather on the Dorset coast.
The Kedleston Park golfer won the famous trophy after recording a 36-hole total of five under par with rounds of 67 and 68 at Broadstone Golf Club, despite the championship being scheduled to be decided over 72 holes of stroke play.
A monumental downpour on Tuesday wiped out round one and the final round on the last day was abandoned as a monsoon swept into Poole and turned the fairways into rivers. It was a frustrating end to a disrupted season for all 132 boys in the starting field, but Hayward’s classy play and positive attitude shone through to allow him to lead the way.
The 16-year-old’s victory came by two shots from Alfie Robinson from Pyecombe Golf Club in Sussex and three from Joseph Quinn playing out of Northants County Golf Club after the result was called on the scores from just two rounds.
“It feels amazing,” said Hayward, who was one of only three players to shoot under par in their consecutive rounds. “It’s my first time in this event having played in the Reid and McGregor Trophies previously. I know it was English lads only this year, but it’s one of the best events and I’m happy.”
Over the course of the two completed rounds, the 16-year-old rattled off ten birdies and played the game with a smile on his face. When asked if he led a lunchtime rain dance knowing bad weather was on its way, Hayward added: “I was! I was trying to keep level-headed. I expected the worst for me and expected to have to play round three. I was trying to keep it cool.
“Now I have a win under the belt it will increase my confidence going into the next events. It will increase the amount of people who know who I am for going to college in America in a couple of years and lead me on to bigger things, hopefully. The ambition is to be a professional golfer on the PGA Tour and win majors.”