Hayling youngsters lead the way on British Junior Golf Tour

British Junior Golf Tour winner Olly Searle is presented with his award by Steve Richardson
British Junior Golf Tour winner Olly Searle is presented with his award by Steve Richardson
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Home players enjoyed a clean sweep of the top prizes as the British Junior Golf Tour (BJGT) swung by Hayling Golf Club this week.

A field of 15 elite junior players – with some travelling from as far away as Devon – battled the tricky conditions on Hayling Island.

The competition was part of the Links Challenge Series – promoting competition among some of the most talented young golfers in the country.

But it was the extra bit of local knowledge that did the trick as Hayling duo Olly Searle and Harry Tebay posted the lowest scores of the day.

With both players shooting impressive six-over-par 77s – 16-year-old Searle lifted the top prize on countback after an enthralling tussle.

And the seven handicapper Searle just edged Tebay – a six handicapper – by virtue of a better back nine to receive his award from former Ryder Cup star Steve Richardson.

There was further success for the home contingent as 13-year-old talent Travis Yung-Hok fired a 79 for a nett 68 to take the handicap prize, pipping Seaford’s George Mills.

But after the recent spate of bad weather, Hayling stepped up to the challenge once again.

Hayling managing secretary Ian Walton said: ‘Home advantage came through at the end of the day.

‘I think it helped that most of our lads had been playing because the course has been open during the recent bad weather whereas a lot of other courses have been closed.

‘They were all due to play at Burnham & Berrow the day before but that was cancelled, so we were delighted when ours went ahead.’

Hayling clearly have a decent new crop of youngsters coming through the ranks to follow in the footsteps of some fine players.

Walton said: ‘The junior section is really buzzing and we’ve got a few good players coming through.

‘We’ve got some good crowds going out regularly and there is some good interest.’

The BJGT provides junior golfers with tour events throughout the UK.

It caters for junior golfers of all ages and ability with outstanding opportunities to experience great competitions, on some top-class venues.

Lee Westwood is among the high-profile backers for the tour as it attempts to attract more youngsters into the sport.

Walton said: ‘It was our first year hosting the British Junior Golf Tour.

‘We were approached last year and agreed.

‘We’ll certainly do it again next year.

‘These things can be slow to start with but hopefully we will get a few more people playing in it next year.’