Golf: Sam Wilkinson in scintillating form in the British Boys’ Amateur Championship (From York Press)
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Golf: Sam Wilkinson in scintillating form in the British Boys’ Amateur Championship
HAVE-A-GO Huntington golf ace Sam Wilkinson starred at the course which will next year host The Open Championship.
The 16-year-old Fulford Golf Club prospect was in scintillating form in the British Boys’ Amateur Championship held at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake – next year’s venue for The Open – and also at nearby Wallasey GC.
The tournament started with 36 holes of stroke-play at the two courses.
Despite brutal weather conditions of driving rain and wind, Wilkinson, who described his experience as “awesome”, was the only player in the 64-strong international-class field to tame the Royal Liverpool circuit.
He shot a two-under-par 70, not only the best round of the day but the only round under-par at Royal Liverpool.
Wilkinson then followed that with a level-par 72 at Wallasey – and that after he had been startled awake at 4.30am by the fire alarm in the hotel where he and the rest of the guests had to evacuate the building.
Out of the 252-strong field Wilkinson finished in a superb second place to easily make the match-play rounds for the leading 64.
Wilkinson negotiated his first match, a narrow triumph clinched by an exacting 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole.
However, the Huntington teenager’s interest ended in the next round, where he was beaten 3 and 2 by the French number one, who represented Europe against Great Britain and Ireland in last year’s Jacques L’eglise Trophy.
Said Wilkinson, who celebrated his 17th birthday this week: “I’d been watching Tiger Woods’ Open win at Hoylake in 2006 on a DVD and to think that here I was not just walking on the same course but playing it really well was absolutely brilliant.
“There was also a bit of a crowd watching us and that just added to the whole awesome experience.”
Wilkinson’s British Boys’ endeavours followed a solid performance in the North of England Under-23s at Middlesbrough GC, where he finished 25th after rounds of 71, 68, 72, 72.
He also finished third in the U18s Fairweather Salver and excelled in the Carris Trophy for England U18s at the West Lancs GC.
His handicap has now been trimmed to plus-1.4, which he will carry into the English County Finals Championship at Kedleston Park GC as part of the six-man Yorkshire boys’ team this weekend.
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