Golf: West Briton county round-up
TOURING professional Rhys Enoch, from Truro, will be lining up alongside a stellar cast of the world's top golfers who have assembled for the Asian Tour's Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club, Chonburi, near Bangkok, this week.
Among the top names appearing in the US$1,000,000 event, which gets under way today, are four Major winners – Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel and John Daly.
Also in the field are World No 3 Henrik Stenson, Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler, Japanese ace Ryo Ishikawa and home favourite Thongchai Jaidee.
Enoch, who has been warm weather training in Spain since the end of last season's tournament programme, flew out to Thailand at short notice on Sunday, to prepare for his encounter with the good and the great of current world golf.
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Two young Duchy College golfers have flown the flag for the county with much distinction after finishing in the top ten in the prestigious Andalucia Junior European Open in Spain last week.
Tom Valentine, of Carlyon Bay, and new county junior captain Connor Jenkins, of Bude and North Cornwall, who are both studying tournament golf at Stoke Climsland, claimed highly creditable sixth and tenth spots respectively at the famous event.
Having both safely negotiated the cut, Valentine shot 81, a brilliant 72 and a closing 84 to clinch his sixth place position, while Jenkins's figures for the final three rounds of 76, 78 and 84 were equally impressive.
The tournament, which is now in its 21st year, provides one of the toughest tests in junior golf with players competing over five rounds on three of Europe's top courses, including Finca Cortesin, the venue for the Volvo World Matchplay for five years.
After the event Valentine said: "It feels pretty good to come away from this tournament in joint sixth position. I went into it with no expectations at all and some of the players we were up against were much better than their handicap."
On day 4 of the testing tournament, Valentine's 72 was the round of the day. "It just came together for me, but the conditions were challenging, with winds gusting up to 40mph.
"Last month I had the privilege of playing a round with Bradley Dredge, a former winner on the European Tour. He gave me a few tips and that has helped me to improve my handicap."
Duchy College sports lecturer Andrew Milton said: "I am delighted with the performance of both Thomas and Connor in this European final. This event, first staged in 1993, had Luke Donald in its first final, but he could only finish third.
"A year later, 14-year-old Justin Rose was favourite, but found the West Course at Wentworth too tough, again finishing third. This shows the high standard that both these young players are at and the hard work they have put into their golf games during their time at Duchy College."
China Fleet amateur Jack Perkins partnered Trevose assistant pro Grant Slater to victory in the pairs event at the latest meeting of the Cornwall County Professional Golfers' Alliance at Perranporth last week.
They carded a fine 41 Stableford points, but still needed countback to pip the partnerships of Killiow pro Richard Sadler and Will Sumner (Carlyon Bay) and Bowood Park amateurs Nigel Connolly and Rob Cook.
Sadler had a good day, also winning the individual professionals' prize with a two under par round for 38 points, two ahead of China Fleet's Dominic Rehaag on 36.
The next Alliance meeting, which is already fully subscribed, is at St Enodoc on Wednesday, December 18.
Full results. Pairs – Grant Slater (Trevose) & Jack Perkins (China Fleet) 41 pts; 2, Richard Sadler (Killiow) & Will Sumner (Carlyon Bay) 41; 3, Nigel Connolly & Rob Cook (Bowood Park) 41; 4, Dominic Rehaag & John Sanders (China Fleet) 40; 5, Scott Richards & Gary Andrew (Truro) 40. Individual professionals – Richard Sadler 38 pts; 2, Dominic Rehaag 36; 3, Scott Richards 35; =4, Antony Nash (St Enodoc), Katie Rule (Tehidy Park) 34.
St Enodoc's Steve Chapman will be hoping to build on his clear lead at the top of the Cornwall Winter Golf Series Order of Merit when the third event of the 2013/14 season is played at West Cornwall this Sunday.
Chapman won the opening event at Perranporth and followed up with a second place finish at his home course earlier this month. These two results have put him nine and a half points clear of his nearest challenger.
The winner at St Enodoc was three times OoM winner Josh Greenaway, of Bowood Park, who is currently lying joint third in the rankings with Perranporth's Adam Taylor. They are both just two and a half points behind Carl Burley, of Merlin, in second place.
There was a good attendance for the Cornwall Ladies County Golf Association's (CLCGA) annual meeting at Killiow GC last week when Sonia Harvey relinquished her post as president to Margaret Oliver (Trevose). Pearl Carne (Carlyon Bay) also took over as competition secretary.
As usual the draw for next season's Gammon Trophy was made at the meeting. Seventeen clubs have entered this time, so there will be just one first round match, the winners of which will go through to the second round on Sunday, June 1.
Full draw. First round (to be played on Sunday, May 4): Launceston v Killiow. Second round (to be played on Sunday, June 1): Tehidy Park v West Cornwall: St Mellion v Looe; Perranporth v Bude & N Cornwall; Falmouth v St Enodoc; Carlyon Bay v Launceston or Killiow; Mullion v St Austell; Trevose v China Fleet; Newquay v Truro.