Thursday, July 09, 2009

Grant Forrest sits proudly with the Scottish Under-16 boys' championship trophy at Largs today (image by courtesy of Rob Eyton-Jones). Click to enlarge.

Lothians 1-2 and Scotland 1-2-3 in

FirstpointUSA U-16 championship

Lothians lads Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) and West Linton's Fraser Thain finished 1-2 in the Scottish Under-16 boys' championship at Largs Golf Club today.
Overnight leader Forrest held on to his advantage with a closing round of level par 70 for a one-under-par total of 209. He had enough in hand of the field to be able to afford to bogey the 15th and 18th and still win by two shots from Thain.
Earlier Forrest had birdies the second, third and sixth in reaching the turn in 33. His fourth and last birdie came at the 12th.
Thain ruined his chance with a double bogey at the 15th and a bogey at the 17th, with a birdie at the 16th sandwiched between, as he finished with a 71 for 211.
Nick Ward (Redbourn), one shot off the pace at the start of the day, faded with a 75 to 215.
Despite a strong English "invasion" and several Continental entries, Scotland provided the first three finishers. Eamon Bradley (Mount Ellen) came third on 212 with a final round of 71.
Best last-day effort was a three-under-par 67 by Ben Franklin (Rochford Hundred). He finished on 213 and tied with Ewan Scott (St Andrews) for fourth place.

Grant Forrest from Craigielaw claimed the First Point USA Scottish U16’s Stroke Play Championship hosted at Largs this afternoon.
After taking the narrowest of leads into the third and final round today on the Ayrshire course, the national U16 squad member held his nerve to win his first national title, and said afterwards that he was ‘absolutely delighted’.
The 16 year old Lothians player added a level par 70 to his earlier rounds of 70 and 69 for a three round total of 209 (1 under) to finish two shots ahead of fellow SGU Academy player Fraser Thain from West Linton.
Commencing his final outing with a one shot margin, Forrest got off to a good start with a brace of birdies at the 2nd and 3rd hole, “I was pretty nervous at the start after finishing yesterday’s round as the leader and I was certainly feeling the pressure today. My early birdies helped settle me down and I just tried to play my own game. “
Two further birdies, one at the 6th and his last at the par 5 12th helped to alleviate his four bogeys and secured the Stewart’s Melville College student his biggest ever individual win.
Forrest added, “I have had a really good season so far, being part of the winning U16 Quadrangular side earlier this year was great but this is definitely the highlight for me and I have waited a while for this.”
Selected to represent Scotland at the European Masters later this month, Forrest concluded, “Being in the SGU national squad and Academy has really helped my golf this last year and I have dropped 2 maybe 3 shots from my handicap, so the support has really helped me improve and I hope this continues.”
15 year old Fraser Thain carded a third round one over par 71 to make it a Lothians 1 – 2 finish. Thain, who is coached by Colin Brooks said, “I played steady golf and was pleased to recover from a bad double bogey at 15th with a birdie three at the next which helped my score today. However it wasn’t quite enough, but fair play to Grant he has played consistently throughout the year and really deserved this win.”
Eamon Bradley from Mount Ellen claimed the bronze medal with a three round aggregate of 212, one shot ahead of England’s Ben Franklin and 13 year old Ewan Scott from St Andrews who finished tied for 4th place.
Current U14 Stroke Play Champion Nick Ward from Redbourn who was just one shot off the lead last night slipped off the pace today to finish in 6th place, whilst former U14 Champion Harry Whittle (Woburn) took a share of 7th place tied with the lowest handicapper in the field, Tanapol Vattanapisit from Thailand.
Brendan Fraser, Sports Consultant with event sponsors First Point USA said after the presentations, “Grant Forrest was a very worthy winner today and there was great scoring from a number of contenders for the title on a course which was in fantastic condition. I would like to pay tribute to the players which demonstrated a great competitive spirit in this 54 hole tournament and as sponsors we are delighted to be associated with the SGU and this championship.”

Par 210 (3x70). CSS 71 71 71.
209 Grant Forrest (Craigielaw) 70 68 70.
211 Fraser Thain (West Linton) 70 70 71.
212 Eamon Bradley (Mount Ellen) 71 70 71.
213 Ben Franklin (Rochford Hundred) 73 73 67, Ewan Scott (St Andrews) 70 71 72.
215 Nick Ward (Redbourn) 71 69 75.
216 Tanapol Vattanapisit (Thailand) 76 73 67, Harry Whittle (Woburn) 73 73 70.
217 Lee Morgan (Newbattle) 76 73 68, Liam Johnston (Dumfries & Co) 76 70 71, Will Chambers (Mid Herts) 71 70 76.
218 Bertrand Mommaerts (Belgium) 76 73 69, Jamie Bower (Meltham) 71 72 75.
219 Thomas Rowland (Prudhoe) 76 72 71.
220 Jamie Savage (Cawder) 69 77 74.
221 Andrew Whyte (St Andrews New) 75 75 71, Lawrence Allan (Alva) 73 75 73, Tom Harris (Castletown) 75 72 74, Nicholas Smits (Australia) 70 75 76.
223 Moritz Hausweiler (Germany) 76 75 72, Craig Ross (Kirkhill) 73 75 75, Scott Wearing (Bishopbriggs) 74 73 76.
224 Tangi Merckx (Belgium) 76 73 75, Ewen Donaldson (Craigielaw0 70 76 78, Daniel McConnachie (Dumfries & Co) 73 73 78.
225 Greig Stewart (Crieff) 75 75 75, Gary Chalmers (Dollar 78 71 76, Danny Hawksworth (Hollins Hall) 76 72 77.
226 Ross Gillan (Torrance House) 73 78 75, Neil Beattie (St Andrews) 75 75 76, Shaun Connor (Ralston) 76 73 77, Alasdair McDougall (Elderslie) 77 72 77,
227 Blair Dodd (Greenburn) 77 71 79, Tom Bacon (Mellor & Townscliffe) 74 73 80, Thomas Goodair (Woodsome Hall) 70 73 84.
228 Connor Campblel (Inchmarlo) 75 76 77, Jordan Milne (Elg)n 76 74 78, Joshua Jamieson (St Andrews New) 72 75 81.
228 Luca Olivotto (Belgium) 74 76 79, Tom Heggarty (Royal Liverpool) 72 78 79, Gary Daoust (Belgium) 75 74 80.
230 Freddie Brown (Nairn Dunbar).



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