England won the Nations Cup at the Italian U16 boys’ championship and Ben Schmidt claimed the individual runner-up trophy at the weather-hit event at Biella Golf Club.
Schmidt (Rotherham, Yorkshire) teamed up with British Boys’ Champion Conor Gough (Stoke Park, BB&O) and Max Hopkins (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire) to take the team prize. Their team total for the first two rounds was 12-under and they won by 10 shots from South Africa.
All three also contended strongly for the individual title, with Schmidt winning the runner-up trophy thanks to his final round of one-under 72. He had finished the 54-holes of play on two-under, in a tie with Hopkins and South Africa’s Samuel Simpson.
Gough held the first round lead with a score of five-under 68, while Hopkins took over on six-under after 36 holes. In the third round, the weather played its part, with two suspensions and, finally, the cancellation of the fourth round. Schmidt, however, handled the conditions in style and moved up the leaderboard.
The 16-year-old has been on fine form this season, finishing runner-up to Gough in the English U16 McGregor Trophy, winning the Lee Westood Trophy and helping Yorkshire to victory in Boys’ County Finals, where he was undefeated.
Gough finished the championship on one-under, tied fifth. George Leigh (Trevose, Cornwall), the fourth member of the England Golf squad, tied 23rd.
The championship and the Teodoro Soldati Trophy was won by Italy’s Lucas Nicolas Fallotico, who was four under.
Caption: The England squad with their trophies, from left Conor Gough, Ben Schmidt, Max Hopkins and George Leigh.