Home International glory for Milton Golf Club’s young marvels
Milton Golf Club’s juniors dazzled in front of the TV cameras to lift the 2020-21 Junior Home Nations Championships at the fabled Forest Pines course near Scunthorpe.
It was a stunning achievement by the Milton youngsters who entered the seven-team event as English champions having won their national title last October.
Milton led the way in qualifying - a 27-hole strokeplay format over three nine-hole courses - before beating Scottish opponents Dumfries 5.5-2.5 in their semi-final.
Charlie Pearce and Ollie Clark recorded wide-margin victories while there were also comfortable successes for Euan Herson, Shivani Karthikeyan and Kai Raymond.
Karthikeyan, a four-handicapper, was one of only two girls competing on Finals Day, while Herson had to fight back from an early two-hole deficit.
Semi-final scores: Jacob Williams halved, Rylan Thomas lost 6 & 4, Euan Herson won 2 & 1, Shivani Karthikeyan won 3 & 1, Ollie Clark won 6 & 5, Charlie Pearce won 7 & 6, Kai Raymond won 4 & 2, Matty Mills lost 3 & 2.
The Warren Golf Club from Essex provided the opposition for the final with singles matchplay again the format.
Milton had beaten these opponents in the English final last year, but fell behind in the early stages before rallying to claim a famous 6-2 win.
Scratch player Jacob Williams led from the front with a 5 & 3 win as Milton sealed four matches and forced halves in the other four games to lift the trophy.
Herson came from three down with three to play to claim his half, while Karthikeyan, who also won the ‘Paul Casey Trophy’ for the best gross scores on stroke playday, and Raymond picked up their second victories of the day. Mid-handicapper Matty Mills also shone to confirm his status as the team’s ‘secret weapon.’
Final scores: Jacob Williams won 5 & 3, Rylan Thomas halved, Euan Herson halved, Shivani Karthikeyan won 4 & 3, Ollie Clark halved, Charlie Pearce halved, Kai Raymond won 1 up, Matty Mills won 3 & 2.
The action was filmed by Sky Sports for broadcast later this year.
Milton Junior organisers Derek Mankelow and Charles Gunn were naturally thrilled with national success.
They issued a joint statement saying: “This is an incredible achievement and we are all so proud of everything our juniors have achieved over the past 12 months. County champions, then regional winners, then the England title, and finally winning the 2021 Home Nations Championship!
“It would not have been possible without our professional team, our supportive parents and our fantastic team spirit. Thanks also to club members who have helped to fund junior golf at Milton and to Nuix Ltd, and Northants Golf for all their sponsorship.”