It was touch and go whether the Junior Channel league finals day at St Mellon”s GC would go ahead on the 14th Oct. If you checked the Golf Club web site at 8.30am it indicated that the course was closed as a result of the heavy rain that had been falling all night.
After a course inspection at 9.00am it was decided to go ahead with the 5 competing teams from Gwent, Glamorgan, Gloucester, Wiltshire and Somerset due for the 1st tee at 11.00am in the traditional end of season 18 hole medal for 6 players from each county.
Unfortunately the rain persisted and major thanks must go to the Golf club and its green keeping staff for keeping the course open and playable. All bunkers were full of water and treated as GUR . The majority of the players were pleased it was a non qualifier!
The competition was hard fought with 5 from 6 scores to count. Scoring was generally high and given the conditions that wasn’t surprising.
Somerset were represented by four Under 18s : Liam O’Mara (Captain for the day) Dylan Xanh, Huxley Howell and Louis Archer and two U16’s ; Ollie Brimfield and Bailey Langford.
The front nine holes played by all in heavy rain proved to be the toughest with no players from the field breaking par and the majority being at least 5 over. The back nine provided some good birdie opportunities before a couple of tough closing holes.
It was good to see the positive attitude of the players despite the conditions.
Dylan Xanh scored an impressive gross 73 to win the individual title for the lowest gross score , repeating his success from 2017 at Cottrell Park.
Scores of 78 from Huxley and 80 from the remaining counting scores for Somerset proved to be the winning total by just 2 strokes on 391 from Glamorgan (393) with Gwent and Gloucester tied for third on 398.
So team Somerset repeated their success from 2017 and ended the season on a high.
Wiltshire accepted the U18 Channel league trophy from St Mellon’s Club Captain. The U16 title is still to be decided.
My thanks go to all at St Mellon’s GC and most importantly to Graham Harris from Gwent for organising the day.
I thank the parents who attended and provided support and those who braved the M5 and M4 in very poor driving conditions. I am proud of the players who represented the County both at St Mellon’s and throughout the season. I wish those leaving the U18 squad every success in the future whether they are moving on to further education or the exciting world of work. Hopefully the majority will continue with their golfing development and aspire to represent the County with the Development squad and 1st team.
Junior Organiser and Under 18 Team Manager