England Golf: Boys U-14s

MOMENT TO REFLECT: England U-14s champion Kris Kim (Walton Heath). Picture courtesy of Leaderboard Golf

The Surrey sensation who can’t stop winning

EG: Thursday, August 5th

FORMAT: 54-hole strokeplay

The unstoppable march of Surrey teenager Kris Kim gathered pace this afternoon as the 13-year-old put in an another exceptional effort to win the England U-14s.

His seven-shot victory capped a remarkable few weeks for the Walton Heath player. Since the beginning of July he has been victorious in the Surrey U-16s, U-15s, U-14s and U-13s plus the coveted Douglas Johns Trophy (Boys U-15s Open) at Harewood Downs. At the Carris he finished joint 28th.

Today it was Porters Park in Hertfordshire succumbing to the considerable talents of the plus three prodigy. He started the final round eight shots clear and despite playing the front nine in three over, he responded magnificently to keep his sole chaser at bay – Thorndon Park’s Charlie Croker. Spencer Davies (Wallasey) was 14 shots behind him in third.

“My game’s been really positive,” said Kris, who went bogey free in shooting 65 in the second round of the Douglas Johns on his way to a two-shot win last week and repeated that feat yesterday to build up that massive 36-hole lead.

“Even when I didn’t start that well today I kept trying to play confident shots rather than reach shots.”

A brilliant approach into the par five tenth set up a two-putt birdie and help put Kris’s third round back on an even keel. It kept him five clear of Charlie but three holes later the lead was seven as the Surrey teenager holed a 40-footer on 11 and then took advantage of the par five at 13.

He bogeyed 18 but by then the outcome was all over and he closed with a one over par 71 to finish seven under.

Yesterday he had the round of his life, all set up by a remarkable run of pars on the front nine. He holed from 50 feet at the fifth after finding trouble off the tee and then sunk one from 15 feet at the next before dumping his approach into sand at the seventh before getting up and down.

With his father Ki Yong and uncle Ji Jun watching every shot, he birdied 14 thru 16 to get to five under for his round and leave the rest trailing in his wake.

Kris, who is coached my his mum Ji Hyun Suh – a former LPGA professional who is now based at Horton Park Golf School – was one ahead after round one. His opening 67 included six birdies – that included a chip-in at the par three 12th – while eventual runner-up Charlie was one shot back after a strong finish.

The new champion hopes to continue his hot streak at the PGA europro tour Trinifold Sports Management Championship at Luton Hoo Hotel (August 11-13) although the invitation to test himself against pros means he has withdrawn from playing in the Northern Brabazon qualifier at The Oaks (August 12th).

Leading scores (par 70)
1) Kris Kim (Walton Heath) 67, 65, 71, 203 (-7)
2) Charlie Croker (Thorndon Park) 68, 72, 70, 210 (Level)
3) Spencer Davies (Wallasey) 75, 73, 69, 217 (+7)
4) Ronnie Groves (Enville) 72, 74, 71, 217 (+7)
5) Ayden Knight (Tidworth) 73, 67, 77, 217 (+7)
6) Oscar Lent (Walton Heath)  70, 78, 70, 218 (+8)
7) Cameron Mukherjee (Loretto Golf Academy, Sco) 71, 71, 77, 219 (+9)
8) Toby Clark (Cumberwell) 70, 76, 74, 220 (+10)
9) Joshua Stephens (Moortown) 75, 72, 74, 221 (+11)
10) Nairn Barclay (Hexham) 72, 75, 74, 221 (+11)
For all the scores click here