Triumphant pair set for Costa Ballena event

Patrick Kelly

Patrick Kelly, just back from a victorious trip to the United States, and Nick Marsh, winner of back-to-back tournaments on a professional tour in Spain prior to Christmas, have both been included in a six-strong team to represent England Golf in the annual Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament in Spain later this month.

Kelly (Boston West, Lincolnshire) and Marsh (Huddersfield, Yorkshire) will be joined by Jack Bartlett (Worthing, Sussex), Ryan Evans (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire), Darren Timms (Mid Kent, Kent) and Daniel Wasteney (Bondhay, Yorkshire) for the tournament being played over the Ocean Club course on 23rd – 25th January. 

Kelly, 18, became English Boy champion at Royal Cinque Ports last summer and he continued that good form by winning the annual post-Christmas Junior Orange Bowl International Championship in Florida.

Despite battling conjunctivitis and nosebleeds, Kelly not only beat a high class international field but did it by 13 strokes after returning four sub-70 rounds. An under 16 cap in 2010, he has been a boy international for the past two years and finished runner-up in the British Boys Championship in 2011.

Last year, in which he finished runner-up on the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Boys Order of Merit, Kelly won the Fairhaven Trophy, while he won five and halved the other of his six games in the Boys Home Internationals in Ireland. He also represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.

Marsh, 18, upstaged the professionals by winning successive tournaments as an amateur on the Gecko Tour in December. Those triumphs capped a successful year for the Yorkshireman, who finished runner-up in the McEvoy Trophy and the Boys County Champions event and tied third in the Fairhaven Trophy.

He also reached the quarter finals of the British Boys Championship, helped Yorkshire win the English Boys County Championship and was leading individual in the Canadian International Junior Challenge in which England won the team title for the fifth successive year. Marsh also became a boy international and finished fourth on the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Boys Order of Merit for 2012.

Bartlett, 23, a former Sussex county champion, won the Berkhamsted Trophy and the Hampshire Salver last year as well as finishing fourth in the Brabazon Trophy and fifth in the Selborne Salver.

Evans, 25, earned his biggest win to date when he lifted the South of England Open Amateur at Walton Heath last summer, having finished seventh the previous year. He also finished third in the Midland Open Amateur and seventh in the Berkshire Trophy and the Biarritz Cup and sixth on the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Order of Merit.

Timms, 22, has come to the fore over the past two years and enjoyed a successful 2012 in which he finished fifth on the Order of Merit. He won the Lee Westwood Trophy in a playoff, finished runner-up in the Lagonda Trophy and the BUCS Student Tour Finals and tied seventh in the Berkshire Trophy.

Wasteney, 21, a former Yorkshire Open and NAPGC Championship winner, played in the Costa Ballena event two years ago. In 2012, he finished sixth in the Lagonda Trophy and reached the last 16 of the English Amateur Championship.

After five successive runners-up finishes and third place last year, England will hope to land the title for the first time since 2006.

The Costa Ballena competition is played on a round robin basis over three days against teams from Finland, Germany and hosts Spain, each match comprising three foursomes and six singles.

Image of Patrick Kelly copyright Tom Ward Sport Photography