A teenage trio delivered national glory to Doncaster Golf Club when they won England’s Junior Champion Club title by five points at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire.
The team of junior captain Connor Longworth, Jack Ciullo and Cameron Newman, supported by their reserve Declan Stoppard, amassed 162 points over 36 holes on the Green course (image © Leaderboard Photography).
They are the first champions of England Golf’s new Golf Week, which is celebrating grassroots golf with a host of team and handicap events over a five-day festival.
The runners-up were the team of Mikey Nicholls, Dominic Williams and Ryan Thrupp from Worlebury, Somerset, who scored 157 points. Third prize was won by Marley Najak, Imogen Rafferty and Joseph Capewell of Breadsall Priory, Derbyshire, on 155 points. The best two scores counted in each round.
“This is massive,” said Doncaster junior organiser Simon Longworth. “Nobody at the club has ever been involved in an event like this and to win it puts us well and truly on the map.
“It’s one of the best golfing days of my life and I haven’t hit a ball!”
Doncaster travelled a long road to the title. First they had to win the Sheffield Golf Union inter-club competition, which was contested by 37 teams, with all three scores counting. Then they had to win the Yorkshire team championship to take their place in the final.
Yesterday all three team members played below their handicaps for a first round total of 80 points. Today, they did even better with 82, but they were among the earliest starters and had a long wait before they could begin celebrating.
Cameron Newman, 15, led the team’s scoring today with 43 points, despite starting with a double bogey seven. “It didn’t really put me off, I’m used to getting them, it’s just one of those things,” said the 13-handicapper.
“After that I had a string of pars and two birdies,” said Newman, who finished by holing a 10-footer for a birdie three on the 18th.
Conor Longworth, 17, provided the other counting score with 39 points, playing off 14 handicap. Doncaster’s third player, Jack Ciullo, 17, had 33 points, playing off 13.
Worlebury were the overnight leaders and they held on well today to take second place. Mikey Nicholls added 38 points to his opening 45, while Dominic Williams and Ryan Thrupp both had 35 points
Imogen Rafferty again led the scoring for the Breadsall Priory team adding 41 points to yesterday’s 40. The 21-handicapper started and finished with pars and she commented: “That’s really good.” The team score was completed by Marley Najak’s 37 points while Joseph Capewell had 33.
The best score of the day was returned by 15-year-old Freya Daniels of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, who scored one-over par gross for 45 points. The 10-handicapper even had a double bogey on the 16th, but bounced straight back with a birdie, par finish.
“It’s definitely my best round ever and I’m really proud of it,” said Daniels. “This event has been a great experience and I really like the golf course, it’s one of my favourites.” Her team finished tied ninth.
Other low scorers in the second round included Charlie Mintz of Shirley, Warwickshire, who also had a personal best with 44 points. “It’s a fantastic course and the greens are great,” he said. His team shared fifth place.
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Caption: (from left) Cameron Newman, Jack Ciullo, Connor Longworth and Declan Stoppard.