This year's Boys County Championship was held at Halesowen GC on Monday 27th July. Despite the torrential rain over the previous few days, the course was in fine condition, due to the excellent work of Tim Dorrell and his team of green keepers. With a full field of 56 boys, from 19 clubs across the County, playing 36 holes and teeing off continuously from 7.42am until 4.33pm, it was vital that the weather didn't cause any delays. Fortunately, whilst overcast all day, there were only one or two light showers and the boys took these in their stride.
The Championship comprises several different events; the overall Championship (Mansell Cup), the overall nett Championship (Rigbey Cup) and the U16 Championship. In addition there is the Team Championship (Miram Salver) for any clubs with more than 3 players.
Good scores filtered in throughout the morning round, and at lunch time the leaders were Nathan Grant (70), Matt Osborn (71), James Robinson (72) and Dan Doyle (73). The nett leaders were Ted Pickering (66), Kyan Hopkins (67), Elliott Mason (67), Joe Price (67) and Nathan Grant (67).
After a superb lunch provided by Dave and his team, the boys went out again all hoping to improve on their morning scores. The standard of golf in the afternoon was excellent, with 17 of the field posting under par nett scores. With many other nett scores at par, or in the buffer zone, the afternoon CSS was to fall by 1 shot to 68. A fantastic achievement by the boys and a reflection of how well the course and the greens had held up to the bad weather.
The moment of the day was to come in the afternoon round, when Cameron Green holed his tee shot on the 4th hole. He was later to be presented with a dozen golf balls, and a special prize (donated by Halesowen GC President, Trevor Bytheway) of a swing session in the superb simulation facility at Halesowen GC. Cameron receiving his prizes.
Ted Pickering, one of the earlier starters, was able to add another nett 66 to his morning 66 to set a 36 hole total of 132, which was to remain the best score all afternoon, despite great performances from Joe Price, Elliott Mason, Dan Doyle and Nathan Grant.
In the Mansell Cup, Nathan Grant added a 72 to his morning 70, Matt Osborne added a 73 to his morning 71, Dan Doyle added another 73 to his morning score. However, the prize was to go to James Robinson (Redditch) who added a fantastic 68 (one under par) to his morning 72 to post a 36 hole total of 140, to win by 2 shots
Dan Doyle (Stourbridge) was the well deserved U16 Champion with his consistent scoring of 73 both morning and afternoon.
The Rigbey Cup went to Ted Pickering (Worcester G&CC) with some more consistent scoring, with two nett 66's.
The competition for the Team Championship was to prove extremely close, and had to go to a card count back. Both Worcester G&CC (Ted Pickering, Jacob Hamer and Riccino Paccagnini) and Redditch (Nathan Grant, Rhys Hopkins and Harry Nicholls) posted team scores of 414 over 36 holes. The prize went to the Redditch Team on count back (last 18) by just 1 shot.
It was good to see so many boys and their parents staying for the prize presentation, with Elaine Povey (Halesowen GC Ladies Captain) and Trevor Bytheway (Halesowen GC President) joining Will Painter (WUGC President) in the presentation party.
Will was to thank Halesowen GC for hosting the event, and commented on the excellent state of the course and the generally friendly and professional service provided by everyone at the club. He also thanked the people who had provided the support for the day. 12 hour shifts were put in by the referees, Tony Edwards and Colin Day who were both heard to comment on how warm it was even on the more exposed parts of the course! Mark Ralphs, the WUGC Junior Organiser, also put in over 12 hours. He was to start half of the field in the morning and half of the field in the afternoon, as he was keen to see and talk to all of the boys. Both Denis Hayes and Jim Gray were also to undertake two shifts of starting and spend many hours on the score card desk.
The last word should go to Paul Johnson, Halesowen GC professional, who was to provide the boys with water, tees, pencils and sweets on the first tee throughout the day. His support of the whole event was greatly appreciated by both the boys and the organisers.
WUGC Boys Champion 2015 - James Robinson, Redditch GC.
James will represent Worcestershire at the England Golf Boys Champion of Champions and Midland Golf Union events later in the year.
Ted Pickering Worcester G&CC, Rigbey Cup Winner for best nett.
Dan Doyle, Stourbridge GC, U16 Champion. Dan will be invited to represent Worcestershire at the Midland Golf Union U16 Championship later in the year.
(L-R) James Robinson, Nathan Grant & Rhys Hopkins) from Redditch GC, who with Harry Nicholls, won the Miram Salver for Boys Team Championship.
Posted on 28/07/2015
by Stuart Pritchard