Flanagan wins electrifying showdown for Carris Trophy

2016 Carris Trophy winner Angus Flanagan

Angus Flanagan won an electrifying showdown for the Carris Trophy today after Denmark’s Jacob Olesen steamrollered through the field with 10-under par 62 to force a play-off at Hunstanton in Norfolk.

Flanagan, from St George’s Hill in Surrey, took a two-shot lead into the final round and was nine shots ahead of Olesen when play began.

But, as he worked his way steadily round the course, the Danish teenager was quite simply taking it apart and they both finished on 11-under for the English U18 boys’ open championship.

Olesen’s bogey-free round included eight birdies and an astonishing eagle on the 15th which raised huge cheers from his followers who watched him play his second from far above his feet and then hole a 25ft putt.

It was part of a sequence of birdie-eagle-birdie which briefly took him into the lead. But Flanagan, who played with impressive composure today, produced his own master stroke on the 16th.

All the way round he’d shaved the hole with putt after putt which failed to drop, but on the 16th he rolled home a crucial 20-footer for birdie which put him back in a share of the lead.

Two pars later and he was signing for one-under 71 in the final round and heading out into a sudden death play-off. On the first his birdie attempt sat right on the edge of the hole, while Olesen fashioned an exquisite chip and putt for his par.

They moved on to the 18th where Flanagan’s approach finished 12ft from the hole and this time he grasped his chance. “It was the same putt that I’d had earlier, but slightly shorter. As soon as I hit it I knew I had it and my eyes lit up!

“I’m just over the moon, delighted that I’ve done it,” added the 17-year old, whose triumph was watched by his parents.

“It’s made my ambitions to become a professional player and make a good living seem much more reasonable,” went on Flanagan, whose name will now be added to a trophy which has previously been won by Justin Rose.

Olesen, meanwhile, shot the lowest round ever recorded over Hunstanton’s classic links course and said: “It feels great.”

He went out in 32, came back in 30 and said: “For the first 13 holes I felt quite good and then I made a birdie on the 14th and thought if I could do something else good it might be enough.”

He duly eagled 15 and birdied 16, where he holed a downhill putt across the slope, to the delight of his followers: “The guys went absolutely nuts!” Two pars completed his 62 and the pressure was on – but Flanagan proved he could withstand it.

Behind them, Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) scored five-under 67 today to share third place with Oscar Teiffel of Sweden on eight-under overall. Matty Lamb (Hexham) was fifth on five under, while Kristian Tannum Donaldson (Buckinghamshire) and Finland’s Matias Honkala were tied sixth, a further stroke back.

Chelmsford’s Michael Gilbert continued his excellent season by winning the U16 Hazards Trophy by six shots from Hugo Kedzlie (Spalding). He was runner-up in last week’s U16 McGregor Trophy and recently won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

The Malcolm Reid Salver for the best aggregate score in the Carris and Peter McEvoy Trophies was won by Matty Lamb who was also part of England’s winning Nations Cup team, alongside Dan O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange) and Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall).

Captions: Angus Flanagan with the Carris Trophy. Image copyright Leaderboard Photography).