Yorkshire teenager Jonathan Thomson – who persevered at golf despite suffering from childhood leukaemia – is celebrating two triumphs within the space of a week.
First, the 16-year-old from Lindrick (Image © Tom Ward) was the runaway winner of the boys’ title at the North of England U16 Championship at Pannal, near Harrogate. He scored 12-under par 276 for the four rounds and was five shots clear of his closest challenger, with rounds of 69 68 71 68.
Now, Thomson has followed up by helping Yorkshire to win the Boys’ County Finals for the first time in seven years. He contributed four points from his five matches as Yorkshire completed a clean sweep of the other counties, Staffordshire, Devon and Hampshire, IoW and Channel Islands.
Thomson was first selected for Yorkshire coaching when he was 10, three years after being diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia. The aggressive illness required five years of treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital before he went into remission and he now has six monthly checks.
On many occasions Jonathan was unable to complete a full coaching session with Yorkshire but he persevered throughout his treatment regime. Now, as well as playing for the boys’ county team, he captains the Yorkshire U16 boys.
His victory in the North of England championship gives him entry into the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship.
The girls’ title at Pannal went to England international Gabriella Cowley, 16, from West Essex. She was 12-under par on the ladies’ card with scores of 67 75 71 71 for a total of 284. Her closest challenger for the girls’ title was Dorset’s Sophie Keech (Lyme Regis) on 288. Overall, Gabriella finished in a tie for fifth place in the mixed field.
She won the 2011 English U15 girls’ title, followed up with victory in this year’s Scottish U16 open stroke play and recently helped England win the Girls’ Home Internationals. Next week she will make her debut for England ladies when they defend their Home Internationals title.