Jenson Forrester became the first ever winner of the brand new event, finishing at 11-under-par to claim the English Under 18's Championship
Jenson Forrester Wins English Under 18’s Championship
The new event featured a mixed-gender format, bringing 66 boys and 66 girls to Farnham Golf Club in Surrey.
With the 132 strong field playing 18 holes on the Friday and 18 on Saturday, a cut was made, with 44 making it through to the final day on Sunday (35 boys & 9 girls).
Unfortunately, due to the threat of thunder and lightning that was forecast for the afternoon, the decision was made to shorten the final round to just 10 holes, meaning players were faced with 28 holes of regulation play on the final day.
Starting the third round, it was Farnham’s own, Lottie Woad, who led with two rounds of 68 putting her one shot ahead of Forrester.
But it was Forrester who would make the biggest move, with the 17-year-old producing some simply sensational putting to move into the lead going into the final round.
The Walsall-based golfer, who had made four consecutive birdies at the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th in his third round, was showing no signs of nerves as he made yet another birdie at the first hole in his final round.
With the rain falling heavily, the 17-year-old would plot his way meticulously round the Farnham course, calling on his stunning short game only a handful of times.
Sitting four shots ahead playing the last hole, Forrester would put yet another chip to near gimme range, tapping in for birdie and the biggest win of his young amateur career so far.
“My putting and chipping absolutely saved me. I was unreal around the greens today. Yesterday was probably the best I’ve ever played and today it was just down to my short game that kept me in it.
“To win such a big event like this is amazing, and this event especially. It’s a really good event that can hopefully be run for many, many years.” said Forrester.
Despite her third round 74, Woad would eagle the final hole in the final round to snatch the position of leading girl from her friend and England team-mate Maggie Whitehead.
Speaking after her round, the 17-year-old said: “Obviously I’m disappointed, I had a one shot lead at the start of the day, but that eagle got me to outright second by myself which was nice.
“I thought the event was great and the tees were pretty fair, we were all challenging each other and we were hitting similar clubs into most greens and it was nice to just play with different people.”
There was yet more good news for Forrester and Woad, with Forrester receiving an invitation to an upcoming Challenge Tour event, and Woad a place at a future Ladies European Tour tournament.
These invitations came courtesy of Niall Horan’s Modest! Golf Management, a supporter and promoter of the event.
Not only did Forrester earn an invite to an upcoming Challenge Tour event, but also received honorary membership from Farnham Golf Club.
With such a strong debut event, the tournament looks to have a bright future.