England Golf’s Talent Development and AASE (Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence) Manager Gareth Jenkins was a special guest at the latest round of the Dandara-sponsored Junior Order of Merit.
He was on hand to see some of the Isle of Man’s most promising young golfers in action in the penultimate round of the five-event series. The Junior Order of Merit was launched with assistance from England Golf in 2014 with the aim of encouraging youngsters to get involved in the sport and to develop a pathway to becoming better players and continuing with golf as a sport for life.
Despite many regular players being away on holiday, almost 30 juniors turned out at Douglas Golf Club and, despite strong winds, there was some fantastic scoring.
Local knowledge of the course helped the recently crowned Under 18 Boys’ Champion Tommy Fenlon take first place in the U18 section with a round of 72 gross/68 nett from Peel’s Kayleigh Dawson on 80 gross/73 adjusted nett (the girls’ scores are adjusted to account for the difference in male and female standard scratch).
In the Under 14 event it was newly-crowned Girls’ Champion Emma Noon, with a great round of gross 94/adjusted nett 69, who pipped up-and-coming Matthew Bell from Ramsey, who shot 93 gross/73 nett.
Dean Bettridge from Peel who took the honours in the 9-hole competition, with 17 points, ahead of local player Owen Dooley, who finished second on 15 points. In the 6-hole competition two Mount Murray players shared the honours; Callum Hunter, who started this year in the Flag Competition, is now showing promise at the next level and took first place, with 14 points, from Nathaniel Denton, whose 12 points earned him second spot.
The Flag Competition, held on the new Douglas 4-hole Mini Course, saw two King Edward Bay players take first and second. Ben Ramsey made it to the 8th fairway to take top spot with Kesha Dooley coming in second by reaching the 6th.
Mr Jenkins handed out the prizes during the presentation ceremony and said he was impressed to see how the young players were progressing through the levels of the Order of Merit, praising the commitment to the future of the game of the sponsor, homebuilder Dandara, organisers and clubs.
Isle of Man Golf President Dee Lewis said: ‘It was a very competitive day with some truly amazing scores – I played during the adult event earlier in the day and my score was well beaten by several of the junior competitors! We were pleased to welcome Gareth Jenkins to watch this round of the Dandara Junior Order of Merit; it was an opportunity for him to see the exceptional standard of golf played at the junior level and how we are developing the game through programmes like the Order of Merit, which was developed in conjunction with England Golf.
‘Offering younger players the opportunity to develop their game is only possible thanks to the commitment of sponsors like Dandara, which supports both the Junior Order of Merit and the annual Junior Golf Championships, so I would like to thank them for their continued backing.’
The fifth and final round of the 2017 Dandara Junior Order of Merit will be held at Mount Murray on Sunday 17th September. Entries can be made through club junior organisers and information will be displayed at all clubs.
For more information visit www.isleofmangolf.im or the Golf Isle of Man page on Facebook.
Photo - Some of the prize winners from the latest round of the Dandara Order of Merit are pictured with organiser Vicky Noon, England Golf's Gareth Jenkins and Isle of Man Golf President Dee Lewis.