Urry proves he’s up to scratch

New Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club champion Ben Urry
New Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club champion Ben Urry
Scott Gregory. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Gregory misses out

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The future looks bright at Gosport & Stokes Bay Golf Club after teenager Ben Urry became their youngest-ever club champion.

But the Brune Park student is not the only talented teenager coming through the ranks, after he edged out fellow youthful talent Dan Ritchie in a sudden-death play-off.

Eight-handicapper Urry became the youngest, at the age of 14, to triumph in the club’s top scratch competition.

He fended off the challenge from Ritchie, with fellow youngster Oakley Evans third in a nail-biting climax.

Urry led home the qualifiers in the 18-hole competition with an impressive six-over par 77 to get him into the 36-hole final.

And he followed that up with a brilliant round of 76 – despite a quadruple bogey seven on the 18th – before digging in for a 79 in the second round.

That saw him tied with Ritchie at the top of the leaderboard.

Then, with a large following gathered for the play-off, Urry secured victory with a birdie at the first as he drove to the fringe of the green and calmly two-putted for the title.

Urry said: ‘It was great to win.

‘I felt a bit nervous for the second round and then my hands were shaking in the play-off.

‘I hit a good first putt and then I only had a two-footer to win, but it was still really nerve-wracking.

‘I was really pleased that I managed to finish it off under that pressure.

‘There were a lot of people watching and I knew I would be the youngest-ever winner if I could do it.’

The club, which experienced some major financial worries relatively recently, clearly has a good crop of young players coming through to steer it into the future, with a trio of teenagers all leading home the rest of the field.

Urry said: ‘There were three juniors in the top three and it shows that we have some good young players at the club.

‘We’re all competitive but we get on well and we’re all looking to improve as much as we can.’

Gosport & Stokes Bay, meanwhile, are hosting their pro-am on June 29 and still have places available.

There are plenty of prizes and incentives – none more so than two barrels of beer for nearest to the pin.

And should anyone grab a hole in one, a Goodwood experience is on offer with a flight, a day’s racing and some golf.

For more information, telephone (023) 9252 7941 or visit gosportandstokesbaygolfclub.co.uk