Junior Wales Open champion crowned at Celtic Manor

Posted at 03:08 on 23 August 2012

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Josh Davies was crowned the 2012 Principality Junior Wales Open champion after a superb round of 76 on the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor.

The 16-year-old from Undy, near Newport, overcame a shaky start when he bogeyed the opening hole to triumph by two strokes from Joey Lamb in the grand final played on the course which hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup.

Davies plays regularly at Celtic Manor but his triumph will see him upgrade his membership from the Roman Road and Montgomerie courses to the Twenty Ten Club, where he wins a year of golf.

“Although this is my home club, I’d only played the Twenty Ten Course four times before so I did not have too much home advantage,” revealed the Wales junior international.

“This is by far the biggest tournament I’ve ever won and I’m really pleased with the way I finished. I think the nerves set in when I had another double bogey on the 16th hole but I held myself together with two pars to finish.”

Davies had kick-started his campaign with his first hole-in-one in competition play at Builth Wells, the host venue for one of five regional qualifying events for the grand final during the Easter holidays.

The new champion was rocking the Rickie Fowler look with his colourful clothing on the first tee but all 50 finalists had another hero to look up to as European Tour star Rhys Davies spent the day encouraging the junior competitors and handing out prizes.

“It was great for the development of my game to play in big junior tournaments like this one,” said Davies, who holds the course record at Celtic Manor with his final round of 62 to finish second in the 2010 Wales Open.

“When you get to play on a course which you’ve seen on television in an event like the Ryder Cup with the world’s top players battling it out, it really inspires you. I’m sure all the youngsters competing here will gain from their experience and want to achieve more.”

As well as the overall champion, gross and nett prizes were awarded to boys and girls in Under-18 and Under-15 age groups while the Under-13 stableford competition saw presentations to both winners and runners-up. All 12 category winners received a flight bag and holdall supplied by Welsh golf merchandise company Asbri.

St Pierre boasted two winners on the day in John Maguire (Under-18 boys’ nett) and Megan Smith (Under-15 girls’ gross) while the all-Wales reach of the tournament was underlined by the Under-18 girls’ winners, Emily Boyman from Pwllheli and Holyhead’s Bethan Williams.

Graeme Yorston, Chief Operating Officer of Principality Building Society, said: “We’re delighted to sponsor this competition and support the Celtic Manor Resort in developing the next generation of Welsh golfing talent. Just last year, we had Amy Boulden as the Principality Junior Wales Open girls’ champion and this summer she was part of the Great Britain and Ireland which won the Curtis Cup.

“Another recent winner, Rhys Pugh, was a part of the winning Walker Cup team last year and just last week became the European Amateur Champion, so the example is there for these young players to aspire to.”

Principality Junior Wales Open winners

Under-18 boys: Gross: Josh Davies (Celtic Manor) 76, Nett: John Maguire (St Pierre) 86-9-77 

Under-18 girls: Gross: Emily Boyman (Pwllheli) 80, Nett: Bethan Williams (Holyhead) 84-5-79 

Under-15 boys: Gross: Thomas Davies (Penrhos) 78, Nett: Luke Colwill (Neath) 86-11-75 

Under-15 girls: Gross: Megan Smith (St Pierre) 90, Nett: Anna Russell (Cotswold Hills) 93-12-81 

Under-13 boys: Stableford winner: Aled Greville (Ashburnham) 31 pts, Runner-up: Sean Davies (Machynlleth) 30 pts 

Under-13 girls: Stableford winner: Lucy Jones (Wrexham) 32 pts, Runner-up: Ffion Tynan (Pontypridd) 30 pts

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