The Kenilworth Junior Masters is one of six events across the country which is generously supported by the Golf Society of Great Britain. All events in this series are unique as they cater for boys and girls of all levels of ability. Many of those who have taken part in these events as juniors in the past are now enjoying life on the European Tour. These include familiar names such as Chris Wood, Oliver Fisher, Chris Lloyd and Tommy Fleetwood.
A record field of 61 boys and girls aged 13 or under gathered at Kenilworth Golf Club on Wednesday 20thApril 2011 for the third running of the Kenilworth Junior Masters. Competitors were blessed with particularly fine weather and it was apparent from the moment the very first group completed their round that the scoring was going to be good. In fact, as more groups started to return their scorecards it was evident that the scoring wasn't just good but truly exceptional with more than one third of the field scoring 40 or more stableford points!
The title of the Kenilworth Junior Master is earned by the boy or girl returning the best gross score. When Matthew Myers of Northants County returned a 5 over par gross score of 76 it looked likely that the title would be his but lurking in the fifth group out was Jack Bishop from Patshull Park. Having played his first nine in 39 shots, 4 over par, Jack had dropped just one further shot to be five over par in total standing on the 18th tee, a testing par 3 at the best of times. Jack was, however, up to the challenge and produced a superb birdie on the 18thhole for an excellent gross score of 75 - not bad considering Jack's handicap at the start of the day was 13. Matthew Myers was left with the consolation of the runners-up trophy, whilst in third place was Thomas Godfrey from Fulford Heath, who produced a very fine gross 77.
In the handicap competition the scoring was every bit as hot as the weather! Kenilworth's Cem Yildiz, playing in his very first competition, lead the field with a massive 50 points (14 under par) to win by two clear shots. More excellent scoring meant that a countback was required to decide 2nd and 3rdplaces after Artur Koyama from Oundle and Tom Cleaton from Rugby finished tied with 48 points. Ultimately, Artur prevailed to claim the runner-up position in the handicap competition leaving Tom in 3rd place.
One of the youngest competitors, William Hill of Rufford Park, at just seven years of age took the honours in the 8 and under category with 42 points scored. In the under 10 group, Kenilworth's own Arnie James recorded a birdie on the 13thhole after he holed out from 145 yards with his third shot to help him on the way to a magnificent total of 46 points. Rhys Wallace of Handsworth, playing in his second Kenilworth Junior Masters, used his knowledge of the course to claim the under 12 age group with 46 points. In the final category, under 14's, Kenilworth's Luke Northwood showed that he has lost none of his form over the winter with a winning score of 42 points.
As an added bonus, the winners received their prizes from Ryder Cup player and European Tour winner Paul Broadhurst. Paul was kind enough to give up his time to act as escort to one of the groups and shared his thoughts during the presentation on the importance of encouraging young juniors to take part in events such as the Kenilworth Junior Masters to develop their own games.