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Julian Taylor is new York Open golf champion
10:19am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Sport
HOME on the range – and the tee and the fairway and the greens – is the new York Open champion Julian Taylor.
The 19-year-old student is currently vacationing at his parents’ home in Strensall after returning from his first year of studies at the William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri, deep in the American Midwest.
It proved the happiest of holidays when the York Golf Club player triumphed in the York Union tournament after two near flawless rounds at Forest of Park GC to capture the coveted Open crown.
His triumph was all the more impressive after he and his playing partners from the first round were all docked two shots after being found guilty of “slow play”.
Instead of celebrating a brace of 69s, his morning effort was trimmed to 71, but that still yielded him victory by one stroke over six-time York amateur champion Martin Brown, the Pike Hills GC ace who also has four Open crowns to his credit.
Said Taylor: “I played really well, really solid, especially after being two over after the first four holes in the morning. But I was four under on the back nine and everything just flowed well.”
Though disgruntled at being pulled up for slow play – notified only after the second round to put his chances in jeopardy before the final players came in – Taylor was thrilled when his eventual conquest was confirmed.
“It’s one of the best York tournaments you can win with it being open to professionals as well as the leading amateurs in and around the city,” said the new champion.
“Conditions were great and the greens at Forest Park were some of the best I have played all year.”
That last statement is high praise given how Taylor has sampled some of the most manicured courses to be found in America’s Midwest during his studies for an engineering and mathematics degree.
So impressive was he during his rookie year on the American college circuit that he was awarded the Phil Mickelson prize as the outstanding freshman golfer. “It was about as good as it could get for me in my first year,” said Taylor, who next week returns to Missouri.
“Playing in America has definitely improved my game. The biggest factor is the weather. You can play virtually all year round and that has enabled me to practice my short game.”
Taylor’s ideal scenario would be to finish his studies, bag his degree and get his handicap down to either plus three, or four, which he believed would give him the best chance to maximising any future decision to turn professional.
For someone who started out playing at Wheldrake’s par-three course with his dad Dave and uncle Peter, Taylor is now well on the express route to success in Missouri, nicknamed the Show Me State.