Three Lancashire teenagers made history for their school when they won the English schools’ team championship by two points on the Bracken Course at Woodhall Spa.
Tom Blackhurst and brothers Louis and Harvey Talarczyk scored 75 points to win the salver for Baines School in Poulton-Le-Fylde (image © Leaderboard Photography).
They beat Lode Heath School, from Solihull in the West Midlands, and another Lancashire team, Standish High from Greater Manchester, who both had 73 points.
“This is a first for our school,” said Baines PE teacher Dan Vernon. “I’m very proud of them.”
Golf is on the curriculum at the school but this is the first Baines team to win through to the national final and they’ll be recognised tomorrow night at an achievement event.
Louis, 15, led the way for the team with 40 points – which also won the individual prize – and was supported by Tom, a four-handicapper who contributed 35 points. Harvey, who plays off one, was able to discount his card of 34 points.
“We were joking on the way down here that we might be returning as champions,” said Tom, 18. “But really we were thinking more of the top ten and we were hoping to be number one in Lancashire.”
The team were among the earlier starters and had a long wait before their score was confirmed as the winning total. “We’ve been staring at the scoreboard for four hours,” laughed Tom, who made an unlikely par on his last hole to secure his score. “It’s a bit surreal,” added Louis.
All three are members at Blackpool North Shore Golf Club while the brothers also belong to Royal Lytham & St Annes and play for Lancashire boys. They qualified for the final at their county schools’ event at Preston when all three scores counted.
Today, both Tom and Harvey, also 18, found the putting challenging and even Louis, who played round in level par gross 72, felt he’d left shots on the course. “Tee to green I played really, really well and I hit 15 or 16 greens,” said the four-handicapper. “I did make three birdies but my putting wasn’t as good as it should have been.”
However, those three birdies – all within the last four holes on the homeward nine – proved crucial, for both the team and individual prize.
They meant he played those nine holes in two-under par, amassing 22 points and winning the individual Tom Ward Cup on countback from William Kibbler, 14, (Culford School/Flempton Golf Club) and Gabrielle Dickinson, 18, (Durham Sixth Form Centre/Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club).
William, who plays off 20, described his round as “not bad at all!” while Gabrielle, made a remarkable recovery from a “horrendous” start when she began triple bogey, bogey.
Team runners-up, Lode Heath School, was represented by Jonathan Chapman, Joshua Parsons and Reece Wyatt; while Standish High’s team was Michael Jones, Ryan Fairhurst and Callum Pegler.
Caption: (from left) Louis Talarczyk, Tom Blackhurst and Harvey Talarczyk.