THE hills of Robin Hood Country were invaded last week by 252 of the world’s best under 18 golfers in the 86th Boys Amateur Championship held at The Notts Golf Club and Coxmoor Golf Club.
With all the players playing 18 holes over both courses of the two qualifying days of stroke play, only two of the five locals made it through to the Match Play stage, which started on Thursday.
Sherwood Forest’s Liam Taylor carded steady rounds of 75 at Notts and 73 at Coxmoor to make the last 64.
Coxmoor’s Joseph Hague needed to score well in his second round at Coxmoor after a disappointing 79 in his opening round at Hollinwell.
And with three birdies in his last four holes he did what was needed, finishing with a joint best of the day 3 under par 69 to reach the knock out stages.
Coxmoor’s Ashley Johnson missed out at 10 over par as did Notts Golf Club’s Isaac Walker, (20 over) and Jack Sallis, this year Midland Boys Champion, (19 over). Midland Youths Champion Taylor won his opening match keeping Kedleston Park’s Bradley Moore at bay for a 2 and 1 victory but 16-year-old Hague was out gunned by James Rooney of West Lancashire going down 6 and 5.
“Its the biggest competition I have played so far and I’m proud to be playing in Notts on two courses that I know well. It’s a big step up, and I will gain experience this year for the next two years,” Hague said.
In the round of 32 Taylor game up against Germany’s Morten Schroetgens and soon went one up at the second.
And the wheels looked to have come of for the German when a wheel came of his trolley on the third but he managed a half at the hole, in spite of his problems, when Taylor failed to get up and down from a good position. From then on Schroetgens turned up the pressure, closing the match out 4 and 3.
The event was won by Hallamshire’s 17-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick who played quality golf to defeat Henry James 10 and 8 over 36 holes on Sunday.