It's a fairytale as Storey storms to victory
Jake Storey added his name to the list of northern winners of the McGregor Trophysupported by FootJoy when he stormed to an impressive victory at Trevose in north Cornwall.
A closing round of 69 for 285, one over par, left the 16 year old from Northumberland (image © Tom Ward) with a four stroke winning margin over Ewen Ferguson from Scotland and seven clear of Klaus Ganter from Spain, both of whom finished with 73.
“This hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Storey after signing his card. “Hopefully this will get my golfing career going and I want to try to break into an England team later this year.”
Storey’s victory means the English boys under 16 Championship has gone to a northern-based player four times in the past five years. Seb Crookall-Nixon from Cumbria, won in 2008 and 2009, and he succeeds Jack Hermeston from Newcastle as champion.
After two days of stiff winds and driving rain, the weather was much kinder with constant sunshine although there was still a stiff breeze to contend with. Yet the lower scoring reflected the easier conditions.
Storey started the day sharing the halfway lead on three over par 145 with Cheshire-based Haydn McCullen. But while Storey matched par before lunch, McCullen faded with 75 to eventually finish equal seventh.
Going into the final round, Storey was still joint leader, this time with Scotland’s Ewen Ferguson. But again Storey overcame the opposition. He went quietly about his business and an eagle-three at the fourth got the round going.
“I felt confident all day,” added Storey. “But I dropped a couple of shots to get back to level and I felt Ewen was close. But when I saw the scoreboards on the 11th and 16th I knew I was ahead.”
But knowing he was in control of the situation, Storey birdied the ninth and tenth then parred his way home in style for an inward 34.
“Coming into the week I felt I had a good chance. I have been hitting the ball well for weeks and I should have been leading after round one. But I finished bogey-bogey.”
He also gave credit to Kendal McWade, the north region coaching manager, who has looked after Jake for four years.
“He is extremely driven as are all the boys I work with,” said McWade, who witnessed Storey’s triumph. “I believe I am the first Scotsman to coach an English winner and Jake’s game has a long way to go. But he is getting there.”
Ferguson, who won the Munster boys under 16 title last week, shot 70 in the morning and seemed to be on the march as he birdied three of the first six holes.
But he met disaster on the seventh where he got himself into all sorts of trouble and ran up a quadruple-bogey eight. He also dropped shot at ten, 11 and 12, but battled back with birdies at 13 and 18.
“I’m disappointed,” he said. “But after the eight I managed to keep my head up and I’m proud to have finished with a birdie at the last.”
Ganter, from Madrid, finished with 70, one of three sub-par scores in the final round, for third spot, while boy international Ashton Turner shot 72 for 293 and fourth.
But the day belonged to Storey, a quite and unassuming young man from Alnmouth, whose 69 was the only sub-70 return in a difficult week.
Final scores, news and photos are available on the Championships Section of the England Golf website, www.englandgolf.org.