Golf Pros Blog – 18th August 2011

Greetings from Gary    Thursday, 18 August 2011

Harrison Greenberry – British Boys’ Champion 2011
How good does that sound? What a wonderful achievement! Harrison Greenberry on Sunday, became ‘British Boys’ Champion’.
This year’s event was played at Burnham and Berrow Golf Club, along with Enmore Park being used as a qualifying course. Harrison opened his campaign with a 78 in very windy conditions at Burnham and on day two finished birdie, birdie to score a level par round at Enmore. This meant he qualified for the top 64 with a shot to spare!

The matchplay stages were all played at Burnham. I am also delighted to report that three other Devon boys qualified for this stage including Sam Edwards, Jimmy Mullen and Ryan Pope. Both Jimmy and Ryan fell in round two and Sam lost 4 and 3 in the fourth round, to the eventual runner-up, Patrick Kelly. Ryan put his disappointment aside and caddied for Harrison for the rest of the tournament – a tribute to young Ryan’s character!

Harrison had convincing wins in the early rounds and in the quarter final came up against Oliver Carr, England Boy International, who only last week scored 5.5 points from 6 at the Home Internationals. This did not detract Harri from the task in hand and he defeated his opponent 3 and 2. His opponent in the semi-final was Jeremy Paul (Germany). It was a privilege to watch this game as the golf was of the highest standard. The scoring was low – a birdie 2 at the ninth was only good enough for a half – but it was a game that our new Devon star took charge of and was three up with three to play, only to lose the sixteenth. Both players hit the seventeenth green with their tee shots and moments later the German opponent rolled in a putt of about 40 feet. My heart sank for a moment! Cool and collected, Harri rolled his 20 foot putt in, to halve the hole in two and win his semi-final 2 and 1! What a finish!

The Final!
Patrick Kelly from Lincolnshire – another England International – was the other finalist and, in windy conditions, the match reached the turn in the morning all square, however, a birdie at the tenth and a mistake by his opponent at the twelfth saw Harri take a 2 up lead into lunch.

The golf was a little scrappy at the start of the afternoon round with the wind getting stronger – this meant mistakes being made by both sides early on. After 23 holes, the match was back to all square and remained that way until Harrison took charge around the turn, winning three consecutive holes. His opponent won the 12th with a birdie and the par 5 13th with an eagle, only to lose the next to a par 3 at 14, after Harri made a great up and down. Kelly won the 15th and 17th for the match to be back to all square. The 18th was halved in pars and so we went into sudden death!

The 37th was tough – playing straight into the wind. Both players found the fairway with their tee shots. Harri’s second shot rolled off the right side of the green, only for his opponent to miss the green left from where Kelly played a good approach to about 15 feet. The door had been left slightly open and the Devon support was not disappointed as Harrison played a great approach shot to about three and a half feet. Kelly was a little shy with his putt and so the stage was set! Harrison held his nerve and rolled the winning putt into the heart of the hole and took his place in history!

Our Exeter Golf and Country Club and Devon County player became British Boys’ Champion 2011! Congratulations, Harrison! An amazing achievement!

Under 18 English County Finals
After this recent exciting week for Harri and Ryan, next week (23rd-25th) they are both representing Devon in the National Finals to be held at Luffenham Heath near Leicester. As Head County Coach, I will be at the Finals preparing all the boys for the event and mapping out the course. This is the first time Devon have qualified for this event in its 25 year history!

As I reported in my previous newsletter, they played exceptionally well at the South West Championships at Ferndown to qualify. This shows the depth of young talent in Devon at the moment. In the Finals, they will compete against Lincolnshire, Surrey and Yorkshire. Follow their progress on the EGU website. I am sure you will all join me in wishing the boys all the very best next week in representing our County. It would be great for Devon to have the British Boys’ Champion and to be County Champions all in the same year! What an honour that would be for Devon!

Have a good week,
Gary