Forty-eight boys and girls aged thirteen or under, gathered at Kenilworth Golf Club on Wednesday 16th April 2014 for the sixth playing of the Kenilworth Junior Masters, supported by the Golf Society of Great Britain. With the course in great condition and, for the first time in six years, clear blue skies and sunshine welcoming the competitors it was always likely to be a day when the scoring was good.
The competition for the John Butler Trophy, awarded to the lowest gross score, is always very fierce but this year there was an extra incentive to play well with the boy and girl with the lowest gross score receiving an invitation to take part in the exclusive Ian Poulter Junior Invitational at Woburn GC in July. The competitors didn't disappoint! Standing on the 18th tee, one of our regular competitors, Dominic Clemons from Gog Magog GC was tied with newcomer, Luke Bartram, from Rossendale GC at 3 over par. Dominic played first and pulled his tee shot slightly to finish pin high but a few yards off the green. An up and down for par looked very possible from the tee. Next up was Luke Bartram, playing off a handicap of 8, who had been striking the ball superbly all day. Luke's tee shot was slightly thin but arrow straight and, with a bit of help from the top of the bunker acting as a brake, finished about 5 or 6 foot from the hole. A tie was still a real possibility until Dominic arrived at his ball to find his stance badly impeded by a tree. A bogey four followed leaving Luke with two putts to take the title. In fact, he didn't need two putts as his birdie putt found the middle of the hole for an excellent gross score of 73. Dominic, playing off a handicap of 5, was two behind with a gross 75. Eddie Turner-Bennett, another first time competitor playing off 6, took third place with a gross score of 77.
In the handicap section, Kenilworth GC's own George Halstead, aged 9, obliterated the field with a stableford score of 50 points! Even more remarkable was the fact that his handicap was restricted for this event to 44 rather than his actual handicap of 50 - probably just as well! In second place, with a score that would normally have seen him win the best nett, was Rhys Wallace from Handsworth GC playing off a handicap of 17 and scoring 44 points. Third place went to James Ricketts from Walsall GC who tied with Kenilworth GC's Chanon James on 40 points but won by virtue of a better back nine.
The trophy for the best girl went to another regular visitor to Kenilworth GC, Ffion Tynan from Minchinhampton GC, playing off a handicap of 8 and aged just 11, who produced a gross score of 85 which was good enough to finish 8th overall on the day. Unfortunately, Ffion will not be able to take up her invitation to the Ian Poulter Invitational as she will be playing in the Callaway World Junior Championships at Pinehurst GC at the time.
In the age group categories the U14 prize went to Katie Leck from Forest Hills GC with 38 points. Kirtus Grimmet from Rugby GC won the U12 group also with 38 points. Kenilworth GC's own Chanon James, having lost 3rd nett on a count back, was victorious in the U10's section.
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