Youngsters under spotlight in a busy week at Piltdown

The Daily Telegraph Junior Open at Piltdown Golf Club last Thursday drew 25 entrants and the scratch prize was won by Matthew Kirkpatrick of Nizels GC with a gross score of 74.

He was followed by Hayden Taylor (Worthing) with 78 and Ben Clarke (Royal Eastbourne) with 79.

The handicap stableford prizes went to Elliott Guest (Foxhills) with 41pts from Oliver Smith (Royal Ashdown) 38 on countback from Tom Gosbee (Nizels).

Best Under 14 player not in the other prizes was Alex Crickmore (Nevill) 33pts, while nearest the pin was Ross Budgen (Piltdown).

Oliver Smith is also a member of Piltdown and has real golfing pedigree. He is the son of Andrew Smith, the current Sussex amateur champion, and considering Oliver is a mere 11-years-old and was playing off the white tees, his gross 84 was a remarkable achievement.

The previous day Piltdown staged the regional final of the Douglas Bader Cup, said to be the biggest mixed greensome tournament in Europe.

The winners were the mother-and-son pairing of Sue and Tom Richardson of Lewes GC, who will go on to the grand final in Portugal.

The club’s ladies’ stableford last week was won by Roop Talwar with 38pts, from Moira Taylor and Sue Hopkins, who both had 32. Division 2 winner was Sue Lay.

Winner of the men’s midweek stableford off the yellow tees was Nigel Collard with 37pts, from David Hopkins and Mike Mason who both had 36. Nigel and David have had a stroke cut from their handicaps.

The Blue Tee event on the same day was won by debutant John Robson (36pts) in a formidable field of seven octogenarians.

The Saturday Stableford (white tees) on Saturday was won by Richard Webster, another up-and-coming golfer, with 37pts. He too has been cut, from 25 to 23.

A major junior event, also on Saturday, was the Brown Bowl, an annual foursomes stableford for juniors paired with adults – usually but not necessarily fathers and sons.

This year the Montford-Bebb family with three sons claimed the services of the professional Jason Partridge and the junior organiser Nigel Williams. Louis M-B carried Jason and the day with a creditable 41 pts, followed by Jay and Tsol Keoshgerian with 37.

The Piltdown Juniors have done well in the John Bury Plate, beating Eastbourne Downs and Bognor Regis (last year’s winners) in exciting sudden-death play-offs. That puts them into the semi-finals which will be played at West Hove on the afternoon of September 8.