IT has been a busy few weeks for Northumberland Juniors and the youngsters have been producing some fine performances. The 2010 County Junior under-21 36-hole Stroke Play Championships were held at Blyth Golf Club. While a cold wind made the course tricky, the scoring was still commendable and reflected how much junior golf has improved in recent years.
In the boys’ competition, 14-year old Jack Hermeston from City of Newcastle Golf Club scored 77 and 74 for a total of 151 and 4th place. In 3rd place and also from the City, Nicky Maddison’s total of 149 (77 + 72) was narrowly beaten by Thomas Rowland from Prudhoe who shot 148 (75 + 73) but the winner and the Boys’ Champion 2010 was his changing room mate from Prudhoe, Andrew Scrimshaw.
The 17-year old youngster, who is the County Junior Captain and a pupil at Prudhoe Community High School, battled it out neck and neck over the closing holes and sealed it at the last with a super eagle.
Andrew said: “Andy Paisley’s coaching has been a big factor and as ever the county’s development programme helps a lot of us young players.”
The best nett score on the day was recorded by Lewis Patterson from Slaley Hall with a total of 130.
In the girls’ competition, Kelly McNulty from Whitley Bay took the trophy. Scoring birdies at the 13th and 20th holes, along with 20 pars over the two rounds, her totals of 82 and 77 was enough to see her home by two shots. Nicola Haynes had to settle for the runners-up spot on 161.
Like the boys’ championship it was a close thing in the end, but Kelly’s exciting chipping and putting just couldn’t be matched and any chance of her being caught by Nicola went with a bogey at the last. Kelly sealed her win with a great par.
The 14-year old, a pupil at Marden High School, said: “I was disappointed with my first round score and even my final round wasn’t great, but the conditions didn’t help with me.
“I would like to thank John McKenna, my coach at Tynemouth. We have been working hard all winter on the game and if I can keep growing and getting stronger whilst working on my game with John, it should pay dividends over the next few years.”
The girls’ best nett score was 135 carded by Kara Yule from Goswick Golf Club.
Another young lady of note is 12-year old Samantha Malone who recently qualified to represent Parklands Golf Club in a competition held at Royton and Crompton Golf Club in Lancashire, where she finished second out of a field of 92 players.
She will now represent her club in the Grand Final at Worcestershire Golf Club.
Samantha, who attends Cramlington Learning Village, started playing golf at the age of nine. Last season she won five trophies at Parklands, cutting her handicap by nine shots.