We got the 2018 competition under way at Yeovil and with no rain forecast we were all set for a great days golf. As usual the course was in tip top condition and presented a great challenge for a full field of 61 players all hoping by tomorrow evening to be crowned the South England Boys Champion.
Scoring proved hard in the first round with only four players breaking par and four others on par. The best round of the morning went to Worthing’s Billy Groom who had a fine 67 one better than Daniel Nicholls from Colchester and two better than Stoneham’s James Freeman and Jacob Roberts Hollingbury Park. The best Dorset lad was Boys Champion Harvey Randall on 73.
Scoring in the second round was good with some 11 players breaking par which included South Winchesters Rick Zhou who in his 70 had a Hole in One at the long fifteenth which was also into the wind. Billy groom could only manage par but kept his lead on four under for the two rounds. Best round went to Jack Maxey Hornsea with a 67. Tom Kollberg had a great 69 as did Henry Warnock-Thompson, Sam West, Matt Millar and Oscar Fowler. So it was now over to Sherborne for the final two rounds.
So with the start sheet flipped so the better scores go out in the latter third round got under way at Sherborne and once more the rain was forecast not to appear even though it was a little more winder and overcast at times. It once more proved to be a good challenge to all the players with some making their way up the leader board and others slipping down and all finding the twelfth a challenge our thanks to the ball spotters there. Daniel Nicholls had the best third round with a 68 with Jack Maxey on 69 taking the overall lead from Billy who had one over par 73 as did Dorset’s Tom Kollberg. It was going to prove a very interesting last round with several players in the mix to become this year’s Champion. Our own Tom Kollberg had a great 3 under 69 to move him in to contention on 288 for the championship finally finishing fourth. Billy Groom fought hard to claw back his disappointing third round but Jack Maxey having got his nose in front kept up the pressure and finished with a great 69 to stand on 279 7 under for the Championship. Dan Nicholls had a disappointing afternoon with a 74 leaving him in third with a 283 total 3 under. Billy could not find any birdies on his back nine to force a play-off or take the championship finishing with a 70 two under for a total of 281 for the championship two behind our new South England Boys Champion Jack Maxey. Billy took the U16 Champion spot.
Congratulations to Jack the 2018 South England Boys Open Champion, also all the players are to be congratulated for making it a great championship, both clubs did the players proud with courses presented to the highest standard and we look forward to returning next year.
Thanks to the referees John White, Brian Clarke and our welsh wizard Roy Williams for their great efforts in keeping the pace of play going and in ensuring the correct decisions were taken by all. Our thanks to starters John and Lindsay for sending them all out on both days with little trouble and also the ball spotters who kept up with the spotting well.
Our thanks to both Yeovil and Sherborne for allowing the event to take place at their course and to all members and staff for making this year's event such a success.