Top 5 finish for Under 18 Boys in England Golf qualifier

Herts Boys finish 5th of 11 at Rookery Park, Suffolk

The South East Group England Golf Boys Qualifier or the ‘6 Man’ is often one of the most hotly contested events of the County calendar and this year was no different. A stacked field of players from across the South East assembled at Rookery Park GC in Suffolk including numerous England Boys internationals, the most recent winners of the McEvoy Trophy, The Henry Cooper, The England Golf U18 Championship, The Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Championship and no less than 3 County champions all under the age of 17, including our very own two time county champion Harry Cox.

After the practice round on Wednesday afternoon and a hearty evening meal, expectations were high and the players and officials retired for the evening ahead of what was going to be a long day. On arrival at the club on Thursday morning the conditions had changed and were to prove a challenge with the wind switching to the opposite direction and substantially stronger than the  day before.

The format of the event is 36 hole Strokeplay with 5 of the 6 scores counting towards the team score. Harry who had the honour of hitting the opening tee shot, led the team off and posted an opening round of +6 78. Finlay Rennie had a disappointing finish to his opening round finally finishing with a ten over par 82. Ben Sessions was his usual steady self and post the lowest team score of the morning with a 4 over round of 76. Nate Warren and Louie Bloxham rounds of 77 and 81 respectively which meant that Oscar Freeman’s round of 83 was the round to be discarded. This gave the team a lunch time total of 394 and left us 19 shots behind Kent.

The players’ disappointment was clear over lunch, and they were determined to put things right in the afternoon and so they did with 5 of the 6 players posting improved rounds by between 1 and 7 shots. This was against the trend of the majority of 2nd round scoring being much higher. Harry once again led the way and t posted the lowest afternoon round of the entire field with a r1 under par 71 which included 7 birdies. Finlay and Oscar, ably assisted for 36 holes by Jamie Jackson and captain Castor Morris, the two players to miss out from the squad of 8 but who were great support to the players as caddies, returned rounds of 78. Louis shaved 5 shots off his morning round of 81 finally posting a round of 76 and Ben posted a further 75. Nate, started on the 10th, struggled over the first 8 holes finding himself 8 over par but started turning the tide with a birdie on 18th and followed that up with further birdies on the 2nd and 5th and an eagle 3 on the par 5 7th before finally posting a second consecutive round of 77. This meant we had an afternoon total of 377 and improvement of 17 strokes and the 2nd lowest team total of the afternoon. So despite the disappointment of the morning, there were many positives to take away especially as the 6 players who played are all eligible for next year too.

Overall Hertfordshire finished 5th with a total of 771, some 16 shots behind Kent and Essex who tied on 755. In this case, the 6th player’s scores are used, and this gave Kent the overall win.

Click here to view the full results from the day

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Herts Boys finish 5th of 11 at Rookery Park, Suffolk