England’s Hugh Adams held his nerve to win the Reid Trophy on the fourth hole of a sudden death play-off at Reading Golf Club.
The 13-year-old from Hagley Golf Club in Worcestershire defeated Spain’s Angel Ayora with a par and said: “It just felt great. I was just excited to lift up the trophy.
“I didn’t come here expecting to win, I’m only 13 and I’ve still got another year so I was just trying to play well.”
However, when he got within four shots of the lead after two rounds he was determined to go for it – and secured his place in the play-off with his three-under 67. It gave him a level par total and a tie with Ayora who closed with 66.
“I tried to get off to a quick start,” he said. “I didn’t really know anything until about the 14th or 15th, but when I birdied the 16th I knew I had a chance.
“Everything just started to go my way, I had a couple of nice bounces, took advantage of my luck and holed some nice putts.”
Adams actually had a 10-footer on the 18th to win outright, but it slid past the hole and he was into the play-off.
He’d been involved in sudden death once before and although he lost that time – on the eighth hole – the experience helped him.
“I was quite relaxed, quite calm, but definitely determined,” he said.
The first three play-off holes were halved in par, but on the fourth Ayora’s drive went behind a tree and his next just slipped out of bounds.
Adams, who plays for his county, has been in good form this season, with high finishes at both the Midlands U16 championship and the Douglas Johns Trophy. “It’s been going well,” he said.
Four other boys were in the top ten: Stuart Reis (Welwyn Garden City), Manato Nakatini (Hendon), Harley Smith (The Rayleigh Club) and Luke Perkins (Frilford Heath).
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Eight year-old Hayden Sarfo from the West Midlands has taken a step closer to a professional career after he finished in the top 10 at the IMG World Golf Championship finals.
Eight year-old Hayden Sarfo, from Droitwich, finished ninth in the 7-8 age category at the IMG global tournament in San Diego – where he came up against 80 of the best golfers in the world within his age group.
Hayden, who already plays at county level, finished the three-day tournament at three under par, helped by brother Brandon, an England U16s golfer, who caddied for his younger brother in the Californian sunshine.
He finished nine shots behind the eventual winner, Yuma Nemoto from Japan. Six of this year’s top 10 finishers had played in 2017.
Hayden said: “I loved playing in the competition in America and also enjoyed meeting new players and friends from Australia, Brazil, USA, China and the Philippines.
“It was really tough playing in hot weather over the three days but I am pleased to have finished in the top ten and to have made some great shots. My best was the chip in for a birdie on hole three in my final round. I have more competitions coming up this year and I hope it is the start of a great golfing summer.”
Following the success in the USA, and in high placed finishes in tournaments in the UK, Hayden’s handicap is now 23.6. This year he will continue to play as part of the Worcestershire County Under 14s golf squad, the youngest member of the team, and other national events.
Businesses and individuals interested in becoming a Funding Ambassador for Hayden and his 16 year-old brother Brandon, who is also an elite golfer, can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07976 433254.
A specially designed funding information pack can be requested on their website, BrandonandHaydengolf.com.
Golfing prodigy Abhay Kapoor stunned onlookers by recording a hole in one during a golf lesson at 3 Hammers Golf Complex in Wolverhampton this weekend.
Abhay, who attends Mayfield prep school in Walsall recorded the feat on the 14th with a 7 iron, emulating his golfing hero and fellow 3 Hammers alumni Aaron Rai who had holed out for an Ace only the day before at the European Tour’s BMW International.
Abhay’s dad Shiv couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing, especially after seeing Aaron hole out the day before, “Me and Abhay’s coach at 3 Hammers, Kyle Cooper, were speaking about Aaron Rai’s Hole in One at the BMW just before Abhay’s lesson. For him to then go and emulate his hero and do the same in that very lesson is incredible. I’m so proud of him.”
Abhay took up golf a year ago aged 3 and has proven to be a natural. He’s received coaching at 3 Hammers Golf Academy from Kyle but has also been greatly inspired by Aaron Rai, as Shiv continues, “Abhay’s met Aaron Rai a few times and was recently at a Q&A with him at 3 Hammers. Aaron spoke about focus and discipline and Abhay’s worked even harder on his game ever since. Straight after he got his hole in one he turned to me and said ‘Daddy, see! I work hard for you!’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!”
Abhay’s Hole in One comes straight off the back of his first ever tournament win the week before. He secured top spot in the regional qualifier for the ‘Wee Wonders’ Golf Tour the previous week playing against 5 and 6 year olds, and while a tournament victory at the age of 4 might seem unlikely Kyle thinks that it will be the first of many for Abhay, “Seeing Abhay follow in his hero’s footsteps comes as no great surprise. Winning his regional at the Wee Wonders and getting a Hole in One in the same week are fantastic achievements, but Abhay’s love of being on the golf course shines through as much as his ability. It’s exciting to see him achieving great things so early, but even more exciting to see the enjoyment and confidence he’s getting from the game.”
Next on Abhay’s radar is the Regional Final of the Wee Wonders on 25th July where he will take on the best 5 and 6 year olds in the area. With his first Hole in One in the bag and brimming with confidence, the last word goes to Abhay on his achievements, “I’m really happy I got a hole in one like Aaron and I’m going to work hard to get better at golf!”
The American Golf Junior Championship in association with PING has announced its rosta of Championship qualifying events for 2018, and with PING once again on board as tournament sponsor, the event is set to be one of the highlights of the year’s junior calendar.
John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe, said, “Over the years we’ve been involved with the American Golf Junior Championship, we’ve seen some fantastic golf played by hugely talented golfers but, more importantly, we’ve seen sportsmanship and camaraderie from some inspiring young people. We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with American Golf and being part of this fantastic event yet again, and we’re looking forward to welcoming all the qualifiers to Gainsborough Golf Club for the finals.”
2017 saw impressive golf played in the Scratch, Boys and Girls Handicap and Future Stars (under and over 8) categories with Aaron Mohun (featured image) from Chester coming out on top in the overall Championship. With the 2018 qualifying competitions set to begin at Roganstown G.C. near Dublin on 11th of July, players from all over the U.K. & Ireland will be lining up to qualify for the opportunity to take on Aaron when he returns to PING’s H.Q. at Gainsborough Golf Club to try and retain his title.
Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf concluded, “Some of the best junior golfers in the U.K. & Ireland have played in the Championship over the past few years so I’m excited to see how the event develops for 2018. PING have been fantastic supporters of our drive to get more Juniors of all abilities out hitting balls so I’m delighted to have them on board again for our celebration of the best of junior golf.”
The American Golf Junior Championship will be shown on Sky Sports in October. The event is free to enter and players with and without handicaps can take part in different categories. For more information on entries please visit:
Ireland – Roganstown G&CC – Wednesday 11th July
South England – The Shire London – Monday 30th July
Midlands – Gaudet Luce GC – Tuesday 31st July
North England – High Legh Park GC – Wednesday 1st August
Wales – Glamorganshire GC – Thursday 2nd August
Scotland – Leven Links – Wednesday 8th August
Main image – Archie with his Woodhall Spa coach Neil Harvey
YOUNG gun Mark Hewlett had the top brass at Gaudet Luce Golf Club thumbing the record books after landing his first hole-in-one.
The 11-year-old is thought to be the youngest to achieve the feat at the Hadzor venue’s Phoenix course and it follows a highly successful year for the emerging talent.
He landed the shot on the sixth hole, adding to the home trophy he collected earlier in the campaign and an unbroken record of appearances in team matches which have resulted in two finals.
Before turning 11, Hewlett turned out for Worcestershire under 14s team and captained the under 12s which father Mark senior said had been his “proudest moment” prior to the hole-in-one.
Those exploits and assistance from coach Russell Adams have helped his son to cut his handicap from 21 to 16.
“Seeing the pure emotion he showed when holing out, it surely had to be a moment he will never forget,” said Mark senior.