Day one round-up:
Ireland’s Joshua Hill carded a spectacular six-under par 64 to storm into the lead after the first round of the English Boys’ Under 16 Stroke Play Championship (McGregor Trophy) at Radcliffe-On-Trent Golf Club in Nottinghamshire.
The 15-year-old, from Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Co. Antrim, won this year’s Leinster Under 16 Boys’ title at Beaverstown Golf Club in Dublin. He also finished third behind Scot, Cameron Adam, at last week’s Scottish Boys’ Under 16 Open at Royal Burgess and he maintained that sort of form with a course record round that included seven birdies.
Despite his low scoring Hill goes into the second round with only a single shot lead over another 15-year-old, Jack Bigham, from Redbourn Golf Club in Hertfordshire, who will represent England in next week’s European Young Masters in the Czech Republic. He began his round with a bogey at the tenth but went on to post a 65 which included three birdies in his last four holes.
This year’s event has attracted it usual strong international field and tied for third place on three-under par 67 are another Hertfordshire player, George Durkan from Bishops Stortford, and Italy’s Flavio Michetti. The Italian, from the Marco Simone club near Rome, which will host the 2022 Ryder Cup, finished just one shot out of the play-off at last week’s Scottish Under 16 Championship in Edinburgh.
Further down the leaderboard three other Englishman, Rohan Miah from Mannigs Heath, Matthew Dodd-Berry from Royal Liverpool and Joshua Pritchett from Northamptonshire County shared fifth place with Italians Riccardo Fantinelli and Allessio Battista and Spanish duo Guillermo Acha and Eduardo De Los Rios on 68 while France’s Martin Couvra, England’s Lewis Wright and Finlay Szafnauer, Scotland’s Cameron Johnstone and Dylan Thomas from Wales are just outside the top-ten on 69.
Adam’s bid for a cross border Under 16 double is also still on. He was one of the 13 players who registered level par rounds of 70 on the opening day.
Day two round-up:
England’s Rohan Miah carded a three under par 67 to climb into a one-shot lead after the second round of the English Boys’ Under 16 Stroke Play Championship at Radcliffe-on-Trent.
15-year-old Miah, from Mannings Heath in West Sussex, was three over par after the first five holes of his opening round but then birdied the seventh and ninth before racing home in 30 to post a 68 and finish the day in a share of fifth place three shots behind leader, Joshua Hill.
He started his second round on the tenth with ten straight pars but then carded a bogey and four birdies over his closing eight holes to post a 67 and claim a one-shot lead on five-under par 135.
“It’s nice to be in the clubhouse at five-under and nice to play well on the back nine,” he said. “I got off to a really slow start yesterday but then came home in 30 and I played solid again today. It sets me up nicely for the final day.”
“I thought the pins were in slightly easier positions than yesterday but there was a good club-and-a- half wind,” he added.
“It seemed to get a bit gustier as the round went on so I’m very pleased with my score.”
Miah’s nearest challengers heading into the final 36-holes are Hill, Scotland’s Cameron Adam and England’s Jack Bigham.
Adam won last week’s Scottish Boys’ Under-16 Open at his home club, Royal Burgess, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and his hopes of completing a cross border double were enhanced when he fired a best-of-the day four under par 66 to finish tied with Hill and Bigham on four under par 136.
“Last week was special, winning in front of my family and friends, and it has given me a lot of confidence coming here. I was pretty calm, I knew I was playing well and I just tried to keep it going.
“The course is in really good condition,” he added. “It’s not the sort of course you can hit driver everywhere. You’ve got to think your way round and that’s what I like. The plan tomorrow is the same as the last two rounds. Just try to hit fairways, hit greens and see if I can hole some putts.”
Hill, the current Connacht and Leinster Under 16 champion from Galgorm Castle, led the field with a course record six-under par 64 on the opening day and added a 72 to finish in the group on 136. He is also on top form, having finished tied-third behind the Adam at Royal Burgess.
“I missed a lot more putts today and that was probably the difference from yesterday,” he said. “But I’m striking it well and, if I can get a few more putts to drop, I know I will be there or thereabouts tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it.”
Bigham, from the Harpenden club in Hertfordshire, started the second round one shot behind Hill after carding a 65 but bettered his Irish rival by one with a one-over par 71.
“Yesterday, I hit 16 out of 18 greens which was a big help. Today, the wind was up a bit, but I hit it well again. I’m enjoying it. I’m in a good position to give it a go tomorrow.”
Further down the leaderboard, Thomas Hull from Spalding Golf Club in Lincolnshire, carded a one under par 69 to share fifth place with Scotland’s Cameron Johnstone, Welshman Dylan Thomas and compatriot Finlay Szafnauer on one under par 139.
Day three update:
Ireland’s Joshua Hill shot a level par 70 in the last round to come from behind and win the English Boys’ Under 16 Stroke Play Championship at Radcliffe-on-Trent.
The 15-year-old from Galgorm Castle started the final round four shots behind Scottish Under 16 champion Cameron Adam but took advantage of an uncharacteristic display by the Scot who carded two double bogeys in an opening nine of 40 before coming home in 35.
Hill’s four-under par aggregate of 276 was enough to see him finish one shot ahead of Adam and thre in front of Spain’s Eduardo De los Rios whose closing round of 67 included seven birdies and a seven on the long seventh hole.
Scotland’s Cameron Johnstone and England’s Rohan Miah shared fourth place on level par 280.
14-year-old Harley Smith closed with a 74 to claim a five-shot victory in the Jean Case Salver awarded to the leading competitor under the age of 15.
Smith, from The Rayleigh Club in Essex, set himself up for victory with a superb five-under par 65 in the morning and then recovered from an opening double bogey six in the afternoon to finish five shots in front of Italy’s Pietro Guido Fenoglio on one under par 283.