Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Whiteoak makes plain sailing of Monmouthshire course to romp home

A sterling performance from Bingley’s William Whiteoak ensured the Welsh Open Youths’ Championship left Wales for the ninth time in 12 years.

It was a stroll in the park for the West Country youngster, who took the Monmouthshire course at Abergavenny apart with a brilliant weekend exhibition to storm to an amazing nine-stroke victory.

His 72-hole total of 264 - 16 under par - included a sensational 62 in his third round, and dominant performances on the front nine throughout the weekend.

William Whiteoak following his exceptional performance in South Wales.

Defending champion Nick Marsh of Huddersfield was second on 273, one stroke in front of Marlborough’s Ben Amor.

Home-grown golfer Owen Edwards snatched fifth place. Rounds of 68, 70, 73 and 69 saw him finish on par with a gross 280, 16 strokes behind Whiteoak and one ahead of Welsh Boys’ champion Henry James of Kidderminster.

It meant he picked up the Ben Enoch Memorial Award as the highest-placed Welshman at the event, despite only returning to Wales from a year out in Australia the previous weekend and having just one week to practice after "barely playing" in the past five months.

Owen Edwards was the best performing Welshman at his home club.

The 21-year-old International Business student at Birmingham University said: “I took a year out in Australia to gain some work experience and I played a lot in the first five months, but then moved in with a friend and as we didn't have a car I didn't really play.

“I had a month left on my visa but as this was my last chance to play in the Welsh Youths and it was at my home club I decided to compete. Obviously a week was enough practice time!”

His fourth round saw him eagle the par five eighth, but four bogeys along the back nine threatened to bring a subdued finish to his weekend before a brilliant eagle on the par five 18th saw Edwards finish on a high.

The Vale’s Ben Robinson was the next-best Welsh golfer behind James after another fantastic final round score of 66. His gross 282 saw him secure eighth spot on the leaderboard, with a competent back nine on his last circuit seeing him finish well.

A four over par final round of 74 saw Otto Mand drop from fourth to ninth in the leaderboard with a gross 284. A third round 67, with a particularly impressive front nine, seemed to have thrown the Welsh international in to the mix for the top positions, but he was not alone in letting his performance slip at the death.

Fellow Gwent County star Julian Sansom couldn’t quite match the 69 carded on both his second and third journeys around the course. The Newport star’s fourth attempt may have seen him score a 73, but he rounded off the Top 10 and will be pleased to have finished among the top positions.


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