National champion after just a year playing golf

Madaleine Smith, American Golf Junior Championship winner.
PHOTO: Mark Newcombe/visionsingolf.com
Madaleine Smith, American Golf Junior Championship winner. PHOTO: Mark Newcombe/visionsingolf.com

A youngster is celebrating a national title a year after starting to play golf.

Madeleine Smith, 12, defeated qualifiers from all over the UK and Ireland to win the American Golf Junior Championship.

She plays at Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Mansfield, and won the girls’ handicap over 18 holes at Gainsborough Golf Club, home of golf manufacturer PING.

Madeleine, who attends the Minster School, Southwell, said: “I love playing golf, but I’ve only been playing properly for a year so I really didn’t expect to do as well as I did.

“It wasn’t until I got a nett eagle on 16 that I realised just how well I was doing.

“I am so happy to win the American Golf Junior title and to share such a great day with so many good players. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Madeleine played some fantastic golf to return a score of 39 points, beating Slough- based Grace Rigby-Walden and Lili-Rose Hunt, of Telford, by three points.

Daniel Gathercole, of American Golf, added: “The golf, sportsmanship and camaraderie on show has been first class.”

The Junior Championship, which will be shown on Sky Sports in October, is part of American Golf’s drive to get more people playing golf.