This is an annual junior stroke play team event between the counties of Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland and South of Scotland and incorporates a 36 hole individual championship. It was played this year on Monday 1 August at Penrith Golf Club on a lovely summer’s day on a course in superb condition and the seven South players went full of hope and determination to do well.
Ross Whyte (D&G) got the South team off to a good start with a score of 73. He was out in 38, four over par and then played very steadily on the back nine with one birdie and one bogey to be home in level par 35. Next out was William Squires (Kirkcudbright) who started badly with a double bogey 6 before recovering and completing his outward nine in 39. His second nine holes was a display of excellent shot making for his score of two under par 33 with birdies at 15 and 18 and a total of 72.
Another Kirkcudbright member, Nathan Watson, had a bad day at the office being out in 39 and home in 40 for a total of 79. Next out was Cameron Gray (Kirkcudbright) who had an excellent front nine of 37 but fell away on the back nine with 43 due to some bad decision making, for his total of 80.
Angus Bendall (Castle Douglas) was totally focussed and played very steadily to return another good score for the team of 73. He had one birdie in his first nine of 37 and two in his second nine of 36. Fifteen year old Callum McMillan (Kirkcudbright) and fourteen year old David Sharp (D&C) had a nervous start to their rounds and only showed their true potential in patches. Callum had a birdie at the 4th and David finished with a smile on his face with a birdie at the last. He was also the only South player to get a par at the 5th.
Northumberland led at lunch with a team total of 439 closely followed by Cumbria on 441. South were third on 460 and Durham fourth on 471.
In the afternoon a disappointed Ross Whyte could not repeat his heroics of the morning and finished with a score of 79. William Squires, despite an 8 at the fifth came home in one under par for 73. He certainly enjoyed playing the inward nine holes. Nathan Watson, who played well all day still could not find a way to get the ball in the hole in par, battled on to a disappointing 80.
Cameron Gray got his brain in gear for his second round and shot a marvellous one over par 70, including three birdies and three putting the last. He also hit the pin with his second shot at the 1st and at the short 10th and missed both birdie putts. This was the best round of the day by a South player. Angus Bendall continued his steady play of the morning with halves of 35 and 37 for an excellent 72. The feature of his play was his superb course management and the accuracy and consistency of his 2 iron from the tee.
Callum McMillan, disappointed with his first round, went out in 36, two over par but his mental and physical powers tired over the last 9 holes and he finished with a 76. Likewise, David Sharp succumbed to the mental and physical exertion of playing 36 holes on a hilly course and returned an 89.
The CSS was 70 in the morning and afternoon. Three of the South boys had scores in the morning which beat their handicap or were within the buffer zone and four in the afternoon.
With the experience of playing in events like this, the three youngsters David, Callum and Cameron will get more consistent and improve as they get older. They all tried extremely hard, never gave up and after 36 holes still had a smile on their faces. Three great prospects for the future.
Both Cumbria and Northumberland tied on a team total of 881 and Cumbria were declared Champions on count-back. South were third with 910 and Durham fourth on 948.
In the individual event three players finished on 144. Will Postlethwaite was the winner on account of his better second round of 67. Two South boys, William Squires and Angus Bendall, had a total of 145 – so near and yet so far.
The photograph shows the South team. From the left Nathan Watson, William Squires, Angus Bendall, Ross Whyte, David Sharp, Callum McMillan and Cameron Gray.