Surrey U18 Boys travelled the long road to the Royal Norwich Golf Club in Norfolk to contest the South East Group Junior Foursomes playing against the other Counties in the SE Group. Best 3 scores from 4 in both rounds would decide the winner.
Following a throrough preparation round and over night stay the players set off in miserable conditions with constant rain falling during most of the morning rounds.
This didn’t seem to deter our boys with our lead off pair, U16s Barnes Wallis of The Addington & Ben Kelly of Addington Palace heading the early groups to finish on 72 (+2).
Debutants at U18 level, Bailey Osborne of Walton Heath & Tommy Noel of Camberley Heath, also U16s, battled hard for 76, whilst the experienced David Gurr of Burhill & Killian McGinley of Sunningdale birdied the 16th & 17th to finish alongside the lead pair on 72.
Early news of the anchor pair U16 Champion Harry Crockett of Addington Palace & Epsom’s Ben Partridge was good. Three birdies in the early holes were then given back with a wobble around the turn. However a birdie on the 15th saw them return a score of 70 which was the best of the morning rounds.
Surrey led Kent by 5 and Essex by 11 at the break.
The rain returned with a vengeance after lunch and an early finish looked likely as some of the greens were beginning to hold water. Thankfully the rain stopped just in time and we were able to complete the full 36 holes.
Conditions were still difficult and scoring appeared higher until the early scores showed Essex making a comeback with their first two pairs returning 70 & 71.
Like the morning round our boys battled bravely, Ben & Barnes returning a creditable 74 including Barnes driving the 325yd 13th hole for an easy birdie.
In behind Bailey & Tommy struck back with a birdie on 15 to help soften the blow of a triple bogey 7 on the previous hole and carded an important 75.
Killian & David were knocking the door all the way round and when Killian holed from 50ft for an eagle 3 on the 17th following an excellent shot from David, we felt we had just nudged in front of Essex.
A few tense moments were still to come when Ben uncharacteristicly hooked his tee shot on 18 in bushes unplayable. A double bogey 6 ensued for 76 but news from up front was that Essex, although their last past birdied the 18th, had finished on +16 for the day and Surrey were +15 regardless of what the final pair did so Surrey won the trophy for the first time since 2009.
Huge thanks to players Dads Simon Crockett & Darren Noel for transporting the team around as well as being our “eyes & ears” on the course.
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Alan Page (U18 Boys Manager) & John Noble (Head Coach)
Killian McGinley with the Club Captain