Emily Price and Charlie Thornton are England Golf’s top junior golfers of 2016, having respectively won the girls’ and boys’ Orders of Merit.
Price, from Cleobury Mortimer in Worcestershire & Herefordshire, won the English women’s stroke play among other titles. Thornton, from Fulford in Yorkshire, impressed in his final season of boys’ golf with many high finishes, notably reaching the quarter finals of the Boys’ Amateur Championship.
“Winning the order of merit does mean a great deal to me,” said Price, 17. “It's great to know that all my hard work throughout the season has paid off. It shows me just how well I performed throughout the whole year, which is a real confidence boost and also motivation to do it again next year.”
Her year got off to a fast start when she had three wins in two weeks, including the Scottish U18 championship. GCSE exams then took priority but she returned in the summer to win the women’s stroke play and to represent England in the European and world girls’ team championships
“Playing with other girls at such high levels is really motivational and helped me to understand what I need to do to become better,” she said. “Overall this season has been brilliant and I have really enjoyed it with playing in events, travelling to different countries and playing with Team England.”
Next year, Price wants “to improve on everything I have done this year. So, I would like to win more of the bigger events and improve my average score per round as I would also like to reduce my handicap to plus-4 by the end of the season.” She added: “Every year I want to become a better golfer.”
Charlie Thornton’s win in the Boys’ Order of Merit was the perfect ending to his junior career and the 18-year-old said: “It means the world to me.
“It’s an endorsement of all the hard work me and my coach, Steve Robinson, have put in over the years. I’ve been with Steve since I was six years old and getting the basics in place has taken many hours of practice – but it’s helped create a solid foundation and I’ve had a consistent year with lots of good finishes.”
Thornton’s best moment was reaching the quarter finals of the Boys’ Amateur Championship at Muirfield, where he was beaten only by the eventual champion on the 18th green. Representing Yorkshire in the English Boys’ County Finals was another highlight for the teenager, who won all six of his games.
Now, he’s planning to push on and make inroads in the men’s game. “It’s a big step up, but I know I have the credentials to give a good showing and I’m really looking forward to the new season.
“Between now and then, I’m going to make sure I put in the hours of practice needed to be ready when the new season kicks-off. What I’m not looking forward to is the cold weather!”
Leading final placings
1 Emily Price (Cleobury Mortimer, Worcestershire) 94656.875 pts
2 Cloe Frankish (Chart Hills, Kent) 80506.250
3 Bel Wardle (Prestbury, Cheshire) 76343.300
4 Lily May Humphreys (Channels, Essex) 76103.500
5 Annabell Fuller (Roehampton, Surrey) 51916.667
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1 Charlie Thornton (Fulford, Yorkshire) 43262.083 pts
2 Angus Flanagan (St George's Hill, Surrey) 41381.500
3 Jake Bolton (Ogbourne Downs, Wiltshire) 40776.417
4 Oliver Clarke (Hillside, Lancashire) 40095.792
5 Danny Daniels (Essendon, Hertfordshire) 38448.083
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Images copyright Leaderboard Photography