Nizels Golf and Country Club, Hildenborough, again played host to the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters Golf Championship.
112 boys and 23 girls battled it out, in wonderful conditions, over four rounds, with Robert MacIntyre (Scotland) running out Champion and Lauren Horsford (Wimbledon) becoming Girls’ Champion with scores of fifteen under and six under respectively. Brilliant scoring in perfect weather conditions for one, the tournament having had three consecutive wet and cold years previously!
“The Henry Cooper” is now recognised as one of the top, best run and prestigious junior tournaments in Europe. It is an R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking event, and an England Golf Order of Merit tournament for both the boys and the girls.
Heavily oversubscribed, the places are determined on merit, with the lowest handicaps qualifying. This year the cut-off was 0.2 for the boys and 4.5 for the girls. To give some idea of how eager the youngsters are to play in this tournament, a couple of reserves turned up (without any guarantee of a game), just in case there were last-minute dropouts on the Friday.
The conditions over the weekend proved challenging for many players. Although warm, sunny and with little wind, the course itself demands respect from even the best players. Perfect greens, running fast at 11 on the stimp meter, and fairways exquisitely prepared, were bordered by penal rough. If players attacked the greens they very often lost the ball!
It was all the more remarkable, therefore, that eighteen players finished the four rounds under par.
Our 2013 Girls; Champion is Lauren Horsford from Wimbledon, a total of 6-under – fantastic scoring over 4 rounds – gave her a three-shot winning margin over Sophie Keech from Parkstone.
For the boys, Marcus Sewell (Shooters Hill) and Murray Naysmith (Scotland) were joint runners-up at 9-under par and Rob MacInyre (Scotland) our 2014 Champion, with a sensational final round of 66 to finish on 15-under, six shots clear.It was a doubly good day for Scotland – The Henry Cooper Under 16 winner from 2012, Bradley Neil, became the British Amateur Champion at Royal Portrush, Ireland, and as a result will receive invitations to The Open and The Masters amongst other wonderful accolades! Well done Bradley!
As always, the standard of golf played and the etiquette of the players was impeccable – one player even bravely disqualifying himself for signing for a wrong score! It could only happen in golf.
The Junior-‘Pro’/Am, when the best of the Under-18 competitors are teamed with three amateurs, took place on Thursday 19th June and was fully subscribed with 25 teams. A very enjoyable day was had by all and it was a great success, raising well over £6,000 for the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters Charitable Trust.
Chairman, Tournament Team and Founding Trustee
Alan@grand-fromage.co.uk 07725 528241