This week the Faldo Junior Tour headed to the south coast of England, with the Isle of Purbeck hosting its first Faldo Series competition.
Luke Metcalf managed to hold off a strong Junior Tour field, and conquer some treacherous conditions to take the victory.
The Isle of Purbeck GC was founded in 1892, among its past owners were Dr Darrell-Waters, a consultant of distinction and his wife Enid Blyton, the legendary writer of children’s books. In 1965, after 14 years in charge, Darrell-Waters sold the club to Mr Randolph, who was about to retire from his positions as Chairman and Managing Director of the family firm, The Wilkinson Sword Company.
A wonderfully traditional course set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. With spectacular views, looking out over Brownsea Island, Bournemouth and the Solent, the course provides a stunning challenge overlooking the Studland Nature Reserve. Undergoing a considered renovation, Isle of Purbeck is on its way to becoming a must play on the south coast.
Over 60 juniors took on the par 70 undulating layout in mixed conditions throughout the three days of competition. Day one provided blue skies and a steady breeze, and it was Lewy Hayward who started with a steady 2 under par 68 to take the round one lead ahead of Ava Bates one shot behind.
Day two provided the sternest test for all with torrential rain and wind all day. No escaping the weather, it was Luke Metcalf who held strong for an incredibly impressive level par round 70 and Jason Chan shooting a 71 to put themselves firmly in contention. A few playing and umbrella casualties proved the conditions got the best of the field on day two.
As the sun returned for the final round, it was all to play for in the Girls category. Ava Bates held a commanding lead, with the chasing pack contending for the remaining Europe Grand Final spot. A closing level par round for Bates secured her spot in Al Ain, and a clinical Chloe Haessler shot one under par to book her ticket to the UAE.
A three way tie for the 16&Under category heading in to the final round provided a head to head grouping for James Brash, Oliver Smith and Scott Frisby. Needing to avoid disaster, it was Brash who held on to take the victory despite bogeying the last hole and will be heading to the Al Ain.
Following his impressive opening level par rounds in the wettest of conditions, Metcalf got off to a strong start on his final round to extend his overall lead. The cushion proved decisive as a wavy four over back nine was enough to get over the line and take the victory. Following his victory he said, ‘I am really happy to get the win, I had to reset myself on the back nine a few times, keep calm and focus on the objective of winning, thankfully I managed to do just that. I’ve loved coming to the Faldo Series for many years now so to get a victory is extra special for me.’
Many thanks to the whole team at Isle Of Purbeck for their warm welcome, and for allowing us the opportunity to join them in their future vision, the course provided the perfect setting to test the Junior Tour players.
Next week’s Junior Tour double header at Conwy and Mount Juliet provide another opportunity for players to get through to the Europe Grand Final, held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, UAE this November.