Herts golfers set for Brazil trip
GOLF by Alan Booth: AFTER his victory in the Italian Open, Tom Shadbolt is set for another overseas challenge as one of six young Herts players – five boys and a girl – who will be flying down to Rio at the end of this month for a golfing contest in Brazi
GOLF by Alan Booth: AFTER his victory in the Italian Open, Tom Shadbolt is set for another overseas challenge as one of six young Herts players - five boys and a girl - who will be flying down to Rio at the end of this month for a golfing contest in Brazil.
They are to compete in the Grand Final of the Nick Faldo Series, having earned their places by winning through at qualifying events during the summer.
As well as Shadbolt from Mid Herts, the others in the group are Tom Lewis (Welwyn Garden City), James Watts (East Herts), Matthew Wallace (Batchworth Park), Sam Towler (Letchworth) and Lucy Williams (Mid Herts).
It will be the first time that six Herts players will be in the grand final, the venue this year being the Itanhanga Golf Club, Rio de Janeiro, from October 28-30, with a field of more than 80 worldwide players competing in their own age group categories.
They will be welcomed by six times major champion Sir Nick Faldo, who launched the series to promote junior golf worldwide, and he will be watching the progress of all the players during the 54-hole event.
For one of the Herts group it will be a return visit, for James Watts won through to the Brazil final last year, at one time leading, but not maintaining his challenge. This time he qualified at Royal Ashdown Forest, finishing tied for first place in the under-21 group.
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Tom Lewis, winner this year of the British Boys Championship and English Stroke Play title, and Tom Shadbolt tied with seven under par 137 totals over 36 holes at Walton Heath to win the under-18 and under-21 groups respectively, Shadbolt taking overall first place with a second round 68.
Matthew Wallace won the under-21 group at Brocket Hall and Sam Towler won the under-16 group at Walton Heath, while former Herts ladies champion Lucy Williams won the under-21 title at Vale of Glamorgan.
As well as the Herts players, Chris James, Herts Golf Union Juniors Manager, will be making his sixth visit as tournament director to a Faldo Series Grand Final, his second in Brazil.
"With their performances this season, Tom Lewis, Tom Shadbolt and James Watts are capable of making a real challenge for the title," he said.
Hannah Burke returned for her fourth and final year at Baylor University in Texas to go straight into college golf, being their top scorer in an inter-collegiate tournament in Colorado.
After sharing the lead after rounds of 72 71, the Mid Herts player followed with 75 to take third place. It was her ninth top five finish and her 16th top ten in college golf, ranking second in her university's career list.