(Left to Right - Click to enlarge photo: Boys Champion Jamie Johnson, Jamies 2nd round card, 18th Hole, Under 16 Champion Alex Spencer)
The Warwickshire Boys and Under 16 Championships were held at Maxstoke Park Golf Club with superb putting surfaces and weather to match.
After 9 holes in the morning there was one player out in front on 3 under par which was Jacob Parsons from The Warwickshire however, he’s hit a bit of trouble on the back nine holes but birdied the last to return an excellent first round leading score of 1 under par (70). His nearest rival at this stage was Maxstoke home member Josh Davenport, who had a quite opposite approach in his round, by dropping to 3 over par early on in his round and then gradually clawing his way back to return a very respectable level par score for the round.
After the leading two players there were a number of players only 5 shots further back on 76; Rhys Wallace (Handsworth), Rocco Luca (Coventry), Joseph Seaton (Shirley), Charlie Lamb (Hearsall) and Ethan Trouth (Moor Hall). Interestingly, the more observant of you will have spotted that the top 7 players at this point are all from different Clubs and overall we had 19 different Clubs represented in the Championship which is fantastic.
Another interesting fact is that over a third of the players had returned a score in the seventies for round one, so the Championship was still wide open and could be snatched by anyone of the 13 players.
In the Under 16’s Championship Charlie Lamb from Hearsall returned a consistent score of 76 to take the lead and was closely followed by Alex Spencer (Ladbrook Park) on 79 and Chanon James (Kenilworth) on 81.
Many players in the hunt of the Championship title turned it up a gear in round two, no one more than Ethan Trouth (Moor Hall) after completing his front nine for the afternoon in 4 under par which brought him back to 1 over for the Championship and an overall lead of 4 shots from Jamie Johnson (Coventry) and Josh Davenport (Maxstoke).
As you can see our round one leaders unfortunately didn’t start as well in the afternoon with Josh and Jacob both sliding to 5 over par.
However, it was far from over as 27 hole leader Ethan Trouth hit a bit of trouble on the back 9 holes which knocked him back to 1 under for the round after 14 holes, but then bounced back with 2 birdies on the following holes at which point he still held a 2 shot lead from Rocco Luca (Coventry) who had a got himself back to 4 over par for the tournament after briefly being at 7 over par.
With only two holes to play we still had three players within 4 shots of each other, all three of them finishing their rounds differently. Rocco returning bogey, par. Jamie Johnson finishing par, birdie to complete a fantastic second round score of 3 under par (68) and lowest of the day. Ethan finishing bogey, double bogey after an unfortunate incident on the 18thhole where he was forced to take a penalty drop for an unplayable ball which also forced him into taking a drop over the other side of a copse of bushes making his next shot extremely difficult.
All three players finished on a total of 5 over par and a 3 hole playoff was needed to separate them.
Meanwhile, in the Under 16 Championship, Alex Spencer returned another 79 to give him a total of 16 over par which was enough to take the title by 1 shot from Chanon James who returned an afternoon score of 78 to finish on 17 over par and Charlie Lamb on 19 over following an 85 in the afternoon round. Very well played Alex!
After a long wait for all players to finish their rounds a three hole play-off began using the 1st, 2ndand 3rdholes. Jamie Johnson started well with a par, Ethan Trouth a bogey and Rocco Luca a double bogey. On the second Jamie and Ethan saved their pars and Rocco made bogey.
On the 3rdhole Jamie found the trees on the right along with Rocco and Ethan hooked a tee shot out of bounds meaning he needed to hit another off the tee.
It was clear at this point Jamie was in the driving seat, and he opted to chip out of the trees leaving a very tricky pitch shot over a bunker to the flag. He hit third shot perfectly leaving him a 10 foot putt to save his par and secure the Championship. With the pressure of the Championship and the number of spectators seeming to have no effect whatsoever on Jamie he calmly converted his par putt and truly earned the title of Warwickshire Boys Champion.
Under 18 Championship: 1stJamie Johnson, 2ndRocco Luca, 3rdEthan Trouth
(The play off decides the winner only)
Under 16 Championship: 1stAlex Spencer, 2ndChanon James, 3rdCharlie Lamb
The spirit the game was played in all day was exceptional and the playoff especially being played with great maturity which is fantastic to see.
Jamie now goes on to compete in the National Junior Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa in September and Jamie and Alex qualify for the Midland Junior Champion of Champions event being held at Newark Golf Club in September also. Good luck to you both!
Alongside the Championships there is also a Team Challenge Trophy and an U14 age group prizes. The U14 age group was won by Chanon James but as Chanon was runner-up in the under 16 Championship he took that title instead of the under 14 prize. So with that in mind Oliver Clark returned a total of 26 over par to take the Under 14 age group prize and Sam Easterbrook only one shot further back to come second.
With the Team Challenge, The Warwickshire team of Oliver Clark, Max Dargan and Jacob Parsons returned a total of 49 over par to take the Coventry Evening Telegraph Trophy. In second place was Stratford on Avons team of Theo Barnes, Robbie Fitchford and Joshua Kearns
Finally our thanks go to everyone at Maxstoke Park for looking after us so well throughout this event and for hosting this Championship and the ensuing Boys Matchplay Championship. Thank you very much once again we are truly grateful for your efforts.