THE potential of youth was underlined once again at the Principality Junior Wales Open when the overall title was won by Abertillery's Lewis Jones who, at the age of 15, beat boys three years his senior to claim the overall trophy.
Competing in the Under-15 age group, Jones shot a superb round of 75, four over par, to win by two shots from Tom Duncalf and claim a year’s honorary membership of the Twenty Ten Course where the final was played.
A Welsh academy player with a handicap of three, the Monmouthshire club member said it was the biggest tournament win of his young golfing career.
“I’ve only been playing golf for about five years,” he said. “This feels like a great achievement to win this tournament on a Ryder Cup course against players three years older than me.
“I come to the Golf Academy here quite often with the Welsh squad but I had only played the Twenty Ten Course once before. I just kept it going out there because I knew everybody else would be struggling in the wind.
“I’m looking forward to coming back regularly now to use my membership. It’s a fantastic golf course.”
As well as his Celtic Manor club membership, Jones and all 10 age category winners won prizes from Welsh golf merchandise company Asbri.
Aimee Field crossed the border from Hagley Golf Club in the West Midlands to claim the girls’ title with a stableford score of 32 points, just one ahead of Ashley Croft who took second place.
Pyle & Kenfig’s Samuel Peet claimed the Under-13 Boys prize with 36 points, three more than runner-up Iestyn McAvoy from Carmarthen.
Jordan Pearson, of the Clays club near Wrexham, returned the best Under-18 gross score of 80 and Marriott St Pierre’s Alex Thomas won the nett prize with a 75.
Title sponsor Principality Building Society and the Celtic Manor Resort are proud to be building on the legacy of Wales’ first Ryder Cup with a competition which hopes to foster future champions to follow in the footsteps of Welsh Ryder Cup heroes like Phil Price and Ian Woosnam, and Solheim Cup star Becky Brewerton.
In all, nearly 400 junior golfers entered five qualifying competitions which took place during the Easter holidays at Vale of Llangollen, Radyr, Langland Bay, Builth Wells and Celtic Manor’s Roman Road course.
U18 Boys: Gross: Jordan Pearson (Clays) 80, Nett: Alex Thomas (Marriott St Pierre) 85-10-75
U15 Boys: Gross (and Overall Champion): Lewis Jones (Monmouthshire) 75. Nett: Tom Duncalf (Sandiway) 77-3-74.
U13 Boys: Stableford: 1 Samuel Peet (Pyle & Kenfig) 36pts, 2 Iestyn Mcavoy (Carmarthen) 33pts.
Girls: Stableford: 1 Aimee Field (Hagley) 32pts, 2 Ashley Croft (Stockbrook Manor) 31pts, 3 Victoria Wakely-Jones (Minchinhampton) 30pts, 4 Sophie Johnson (Telford) 30pts