South West boys claim spoils
BEING off big numbers didn’t prove a handicap to Gloucester’s young golfers. Instead, it helped them to comfortably come out on top in the Junior Champion Club over the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.
Their line-up of 17-year-old twins, Edward and Will Andrews, and Tom Bebber added 76 Stableford points to their opening round 86 for a tally of 162, which no one came close to matching.
The trio finished seven points ahead of runners-up Ifield from Sussex with Breadsall Priory from Derbyshire third on 154.
The victory meant Gloucester, with a combined handicap of 58, became the third club from their county to win the title in 12 years of the event, following the triumphs of Knowle in 2006 and 2008.
On top of that, St Edwards School from Cheltenham won the English Schools Team title over the same circuit a few weeks earlier [see page 10 for more] so the Bracken is becoming a happy hunting ground for Gloucestershire sides.
Club’s junior organiser Colleen Seymour, also the club secretary, said: “I am overwhelmed with what the boys have done. This is a big fillip for the club.”
A stiff breeze allied to the tricky greens made conditions difficult, but it didn’t blow Gloucester off course and their second day 76 was equalled only by the Stoke Park threesome. Will Andrews, off a handicap of 23, amassed 38 points, as did 19-handicapper Bebber to give Gloucester their excellent winning total.
The ironic thing about Gloucester’s success was that they did it without their junior captain Shay Morgan, who left himself out of their line-up because he was out of form, with Bebber taking his place.
“After what the boys have done, leaving myself out was the best thing I could have done,” he said.
“I thought we might have a chance but after the boys scored 86 points in the first round I really felt confident.”
Edward Andrews added. “I can’t believe it. Our club only has ten junior members which I believe is one of the smallest in Gloucestershire and our lowest junior handicap is nine. After what we’ve done, I’m expecting the red carpet when we get back!”
© John Thomson