The winners of the remaining American Golf Grand Final events were crowned over a grueling two days on the iconic Brabazon course
The iconic Brabazon course at the Belfry, host of the biennial Ryder Cup four times through the years, was the venue for the finale of the American Golf Grand Final, adding more golfers’ names to the honours list following the completion of the Junior Championship and Long Drive championship in recent months.
After an exciting two days play, the winners of the Seniors, Ladies and 9-hole championships were decided. In the Seniors competition it was Ian Hendry and Martin Leo who were crowned champions. After two rounds of high quality golf in testing conditions, the low handicap pairing totalled a hugely impressive 78 points to take the title by six points. In second place from Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club were pairing Andrew Threlkeld and Nigel Wells who edged out Alan Simpson and Alan Drew on countback with 72.
Maggie Hopkins and Sarah Cooper Olsen from Worthing were crowned as the first ever Ladies Champions, coming together to score an impressive 63 points and taking the title from Charlotte Hinge and Céline Graciet of Brighton & Hove G.C, with whom they played in the final round.
The last event to be concluded at the Belfry was the 9-hole championship. Irish duo Kevin Commins and Thomas Muldoon from Ardee and Cloverhill Golf Club respectively, fell at the semi-final stage in 2015 and were determined to get the job done this time round.
Up against father and son pairing Steve and James Hodgson, Kevin and Tom were 1 up and with one hole to play and managed to find the green on the treacherous 18th hole and two putt for a 1 hole victory.
The names will be added to those already crowned American Golf champions in 2016, including Long Drive Champion Lucas Dornan, who now goes on to represent American Golf and Garmin at the World Long Drive Championship along with Ladies winner Rebecca McGinley and Over 45s winner Anton Reader.
14-year old Kyle Honer was crowned national Junior Champion for 2016 at Gainsborough Golf Club. Kyle, a member at Roganstown Golf Club, Co. Dublin, beat over 500 junior golfers that took part in this year’s championships, battling it out for a place in the final in a series of qualifying events across U.K. & Ireland. He took the overall title by three shots from Yorkshire junior Dylan Shaw-Radford.
Stirlingshire junior golfer Lachlan Reynolds eventually secured victory in the best gross category with a birdie at the last for a fantastic round of 72. The Girls title went to 13 year old Shire Golf Club member Elle Gibson who played the round of her life to score an incredible net 63 playing off 16.
Two special awards were contested on finals day, marking out the PING Star of the Future in under and over 8s categories. Golfers in this category had progressed from qualifying by being the golfer who best embodied the spirit and character of the game of golf. In the Over 8 category Sean Keeling of Roganstown came out on top with a very strong score of 40 while in the under 8s Sam McIntyre of Oulton Hall Golf Club triumphed with an impressive gross 47.
The Seniors and 9 Hole Championships have been hugely successful and will return alongside the Junior, Ladies and Long Drive Championships in 2017. American Golf is also introducing five new free tournaments next year: The Family Cup, Pitch & Putt Championship, Adventure Golf Championship, Scratch and Individual Championships will sit alongside the existing events and are aimed at getting more people playing more golf more often.
For more information on how to enter these events for free next year, visit www.americangolf.co.uk
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Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 3.2.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: Ping i230 4-UW
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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