Under 16s now have Scots and Irish in their sights

Oliver Clarke

Five members of the England under 16 team that overwhelmed their equivalents from Wales 17½ – 2½ recently have been named in the ten-strong squad to face Scotland in the annual international at Blackwell Golf Club in Worcestershire on 4th – 5th October.

The five are Jake Benson (Beeston Fields, Nottinghamshire), Harry Bigham (Redbourn, Hertfordshire), Coby Cartwright (Cosby, Leicestershire & Rutland), Ben Jones (Brampton Heath, Cambridgeshire & Huntingdon) and Dan O’Loughlin (Ruddington Grange, Nottinghamshire).

The other five members completing the team are Oliver Clarke (Formby, Lancashire), Matty Lamb (Hexham, Northumberland), Luke Northwood (Kenilworth, Warwickshire), Josh Oddy (Westridge, Hampshire) and Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex).

Bigham is the English boys under 14 champion following his victory in the Reid Trophy at Enville, while prior to his selection against Wales, Lamb won the Scottish Boys under 14 Championship in 2012 and finished runner-up in the English Boys under 14 Championship then tasted further success when he won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters last year.

In 2014, he has finished second in the Fairhaven Trophy and made his debut as a boy international.

Clarke (image copyright Leaderboard Photography), the Lancashire boys champion, was ninth in the Canadian Junior Challenge recently, while Penge was the English Boys under 16 champion last year, has won the Fairhaven Trophy for the past two years, finished runner-up in the Darwin Salver, third in the McEvoy Trophy and won five points from six in the Boys Home Internationals.

Several of the boys selected finished in the top ten in this year’s English Boys under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy. Northwood was runner-up, Clarke was third, Cartwright, Lamb and Penge were joint fourth, O’Laughlin tied seventh and Jones equal ninth.

The format for the match with Scotland is five foursomes and ten singles on the first day and ten singles on the second.

Bigham, Lamb, Cartwright, Clarke, and Oddy have also been selected for the under 16 international with Ireland at Delamere Forest in Cheshire on 11th and 12th October.

They will be joined by Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall, Norfolk), Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire, Yorkshire) and Billy Spooner (Boston, Lincolnshire) in the eight-strong team.

Briggs, last year’s Norfolk under 14 champion, made his under 16 debut against Spain earlier this year and also played against Wales, while Fitzpatrick, younger brother of Matthew Fitzpatrick, the former US Amateur champion and now a professional, won this year’s Douglas Johns Trophy and will make his England debut against Ireland.

Spooner has been an under 16 cap for the past three years and is the Midland Boys champion. A member of the England boys squad, he enjoyed a successful 2013, finishing runner-up in the McGregor Trophy and the Canadian Junior Challenge, fourth in the North of England under 16 Championship and fifth in the English under 18 Championship for the Carris Trophy.

The match with Ireland follows a similar format with four foursomes and eight singles on the first day and eight singles on the second.