A ten-year-old Solihull Junior School pupil is teeing up to be a world-class golfer after winning the European Championship.
Stefan Gynla beat off competition from 50 of the world’s top boy players to clinch the first-ever US Kids Golf European Under-10 title at a three-day event at Gullane in Scotland.
The individual champion then joined the second-placed European boy in his age group from the same competition, who also happened to be from the UK, in what amounted to a mini-Ryder Cup contest.
Together they played the top two International players, who were both from the USA, with Europe beating the Internationals 8-2.
Stefan followed his success in Scotland by finishing second in the annual US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst, USA after beating the three-times current world champion in a field of 1,500 girls and boys from around the world. He finished 17th in the same event last year.
Stefan’s father Andy, who is also his caddy, said: “Each of the International events, run by US Kids Golf, was held over three days and involved three rounds played over shortened 18-hole courses.
“Stefan scored one over par through three rounds over 4,400 yards at Gullane, and six over par through three rounds over 4,800 yards in the USA.
He added: “The format of the US Kids Golf is right for children as the course length is adjusted so that, as in the professional game, it is achievable to play to par and not adult distances.”
A member of Shirley Golf Club, Stefan began the season by winning the Under-12 Warwickshire Masters title, despite being three years younger than other competitors.
He took up golf at the age of six after watching his older brothers Alex and Robert enjoy the game.