EG Boys Championships – Ashbourne Golf Club 3rd June 2021
Alex Ford (Capt) - Robin Hood
Seb Cave - Olton
Sam Easterbrook - Wishaw
Ollie Clark - Ladbrook Park
Charlie Lamb - Coventry Hearsall
Ryan Gavin - Coventry
In preparation for this event the team had already scaled the hills of Ashbourne in mid-May and had endured wind and driving rain so it was a relief for us all to be greeted by glorious sunshine for the official practice round the day before the Championships themselves.
We were joined by Tom Whitehouse again who had mapped the course for us so we set off with all 6 boys in one group to plan how we would attack the course the following day. Tom was in fine form and left us confident the boys would live up to his expectations.
After a good nights sleep in the local Travelodge we were all up and ready to leave at 6.45am to get to the course for 7. As Team manager I had managed to procure a bright orange Transit van which was duly loaded with clubs, trollies, food and water before being parked close to the 9th green providing a stop off point for the players to re stock. Rich Clark was on hand to give the remaining boys a lift. We arrived on time and took over the putting green and the range as planned.
The sun was out again but the breeze was up and would only get stronger during the day making conditions tricky at best but the course was in excellent condition and the boys were in a buoyant mood.
It was a two tee start. Alex and Seb led the way and both made solid starts. Sam and Ollie were next followed by Ryan with Charlie out last.
Stuart Bloxham, Mark Reynolds, Rich Clark and myself saw them all out and then watched with interest at strategic points on the course as the round developed avoiding the steepest parts of the course where we could so the ropes and crampons were not required. We were joined later by Bob Harrison and John Duncombe. A fantastic turnout from the Board which the boys appreciate.
Seb finished first, and in true Seb style had no idea how he had scored until he added up the card before declaring he was 1 under. A great start. Alex was not far behind and finished just 2 over playing some solid golf including an eagle on 17 but not holing many putts.
Sam and Ryan also played well both finishing 4 over and including 2 eagles from Sam in three holes! Ollie struggled in the windy conditions despite his best efforts but Charlie was playing nicely as the last man shooting two over despite telling us he had had at least 6 putts lip out!
With the first round completed we were just 2 shots ahead of Leicestershire and 11 ahead of S&H so there was all to play for in the afternoon especially as the wind was now significantly stronger than first thing in the morning.
Tom sent us a rallying cry via social media, the boys re fuelled and headed out for another 18 holes and wind and hills.
The team played in the same order but played the course the opposite way round. Conditions were testing and both Seb and Alex found life more difficult. Alex lost a ball on his 2nd hole and Seb was 2 over after 9 holes.
Both players showed great determination, Seb fought back to finish level and -1 overall and Alex shot 6 over with a triple and a double, a battling round for sure.
Ollie was in better form in the afternoon and Sam looked good too. Ryan was rock solid yet again and was under par early on. Charlie started poorly and was 3 over after 2 but was fighting hard. We knew it was close and Tom W was alive on Whats App constantly looking for updates! I think he was more nervous than the boys.
We had always known the final 9 on the second round would be crucial as the wind blew and the hills took their toll on both players and spectators.
Sam finished 7 over and sadly after grinding out a similar score Ollie was DQ’d on a technicality.
Ryan was in fine form and despite an unfortunate bogey on 17 finished just 1 over, truly a fantastic effort. Charlie was also battling hard and finished 5 over, another solid score all things considered.
With 5 from 6 to count the team finished just 27 over for 180 holes of golf. A tremendous effort but it was not quite enough to maintain our lead as L&R produced some fine scores in the afternoon to finish 22 over winning by 5 shots.
Seb’s -1 total for 36 holes was enough for him to win the individual event and in doing so qualifying for the Carris Trophy (English Boys Championship). This was a fantastic effort over the 2 rounds and the win was fully deserved.
On behalf of myself and the boys I would like to thank all of the County Officials for their outstanding support both in the preparation for these Championships and on the day. We were certainly the best supported team on the course.
A special mention for Tom Whitehouse. We could not have prepared the boys so well without him and his enthusiasm during practice and on the day was infectious although he did drain my phone with the constant flow of messages!
Finishing 2nd is a good result. As a team we are proud of the achievement but definitely not satisfied and we will be back next year.
Link to all TEAM SCORES HERE
Link to all INDIVIDUAL SCORES CLICK HERE
U18 Boys Team Manager