39 boys and girls aged 3 – 12 took part on Saturday 14 April in the first Sussex Junior Player Series event of 2018. Burgess Hill Golf Centre was the host venue for the first of 11 events that will be running this summer and in glorious sunshine the children arrived full of excitement to get out and play on the golf course. There were four boys in the oldest age group for children in school years 6+ and Kochi Cooper was the star performer who went round the 9 holes in an excellent 37 shots to claim victory which also included Shot of the Day in this age group which is a new feature for the events this year.
This came on the sixth hole where his tee off shot saw his drive go almost 200 yards straight on to the green and landed about 5 foot from the pin. Second and third place was close with just one shot separating Arpan Patel (45) and Henry Olby (46) with Thomas Rumsey finishing a further four shots behind in fourth place with a round of 50.
The largest group was in the school year 3-5 age category which saw 20 boys and girls take part. There were some fantastic shots played by all the players but it was Aston Downey’s tee shot on the ninth hole that landed four feet from the pin that saw him awarded Shot of the Day. Aston managed to sink the four foot putt to give him a birdie on his way to scoring 43 for his 9 holes however six players managed to better this score with Kade Fullarton and Sullivan Hatcher finishing on 38 shots to claim equal third. Two players managed to finish a shot better on 37 with Beau Mills-Bennison and Dylan Lingard being awarded joint first place.
In the final age group to tee off there were 15 boys and girls aged three to seven that were eager to get started with some of them having the opportunity to play on a proper golf course for the first time. Half of the children went round and played for fun without worrying about scoring which is one of the reasons why the Sussex Junior Player Series was set up. These events allow beginner players access to a wide range of golf courses across Sussex and enable them to play golf in a fun and relaxed environment.
Shot of the Day went to William Denyer who hit a magnificent fairway wood from the tee on the sixth hole that went about 70 yards and was nice and straight. In a repeat of the year 3-5 age group, four players were separated by just one shot which demonstrated how even the players were. Etienne Mills-Bennison almost matched his older brother’s victory but had to be content with finishing in equal third place with April Tian after scoring 33 shots from his six holes. April was the youngest competitor last year at just 4 years old but now she is 5 she can almost claim to be a seasoned professional as there were three and four year old players taking part on Saturday. Tom Collingwood and Isaac Scott both shot scores of 32 to finish as joint winners.
Every player that took part was presented with a participation certificate to take away as a reminder of their involvement in this junior golf event.
The second Sussex Junior Player Series event takes place on Saturday 12th May at Rustington Golf Centre and anyone interested in playing should contact Paul Taylor on 01403 215637 or email firstname.lastname@example.org