IN A series of columns penned by some of Burton’s hottest sporting talents, we will hear about their prizes and pitfalls, the anecdotes and achievements – in their own words.
AFTER an up and down season – but more up than down – I am currently looking forward to my final events of the golfing year.
The Derbyshire Matchplay Championships take place in Ashbourne next weekend, where I am already through to the semi-final and am hoping to make the final.
I have also been selected for the England ASEs, which is basically a training squad for under-18s.
I’ve been in the under-16s training squad and this is the next step as I turned 17 two weeks ago.
I’ll be doing winter training with them and also working towards some NVQs, which can only help.
I’ll be doing that until I’m old enough to get my PGA next year.
After my winter preparation went really well last year, my first competition was the Peter McEvoy Trophy held at Copt Heath Golf Club.
I had a good first round, but conditions made the next round very difficult and I didn’t make the cut.
My season was then put on hold for 10 weeks after I suffered a broken hand, but I worked hard on my physical fitness with my coach James Watley and physio Andy Caldwell at Branston Gym.
That injury, combined with the fact that I was revising for my exams, meant that my golf was a bit on edge when I came back.
However, I played well at the Midland Boys Championships and finished in the top half of the 60-strong field at Birstall Golf Club, which was a respectable position for my first competition back.
The next competition for me was the English Boys under-18 Open Stroke Play – the Carris Trophy – held at West Lancashire Golf Club.
This was contested by the best amateurs from England and Europe, and I hit a good second round of 74, but the weather took a turn for the worst on the last day.
I continued to play for Derbyshire at under-18 and senior level, and then won the Derbyshire Boys Amateur competition at Alfreton Golf Club, winning by three shots and also breaking the course record.
That result put me through to the Midland Champion of Champions contest, where I finished eighth, and to the National Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa, where I finished 11th.
The national event was really tough, against the best players from around the country.
I had a good first round, but Woodhall – it’s a superb course, but very tough.
Some of the bunkers are 12 to 13 feet deep and I got into one of them and lost three shots.
I could have finished fourth or fifth, but at that level, if you lose three shots, you’re out of it because it’s so tight.
I also won the Branston and Broughton Heath Club Championships, both by six shots which was pleasing because both those clubs have helped me so much over the years,
I am continuing to work hard with my physio to help my posture for my swing, and studying for my sports science qualification at Burton College.
As told to David Broome.