A week of bombs and great escapes for Henry
FALDO SERIES: Friday, July 15th
There were plenty of fireworks from Henry Daly at Brocket Hall this week as the Wentworth junior led the way at the opening Faldo Series event.
The plus two handicapper showed a great deal of imagination and ‘grit’ to finish top overall in the England South qualifier, which also meant he carried off the U-18s prize.
Victory means the 17-year-old takes his place at the European Grand Final in Abu Dhabi along with U-18s runner-up Nathan Woodham (West Hill). There are ten more qualifying events.
Henry finished the 54-hole strokeplay competition on seven under, recording two eagles on his way to a closing 71 (-1) and his biggest victory.
“It’s definitely the best tournament I’ve won,” said the Eton pupil. “Beforehand it would have been something like a junior club championship so it’s very special.
“Throughout the week I held a lot of par putts and was pleased I was able to stay patient.”
The Surrey golfer equalled his best-ever tournament round to kick things off – a six under par 67 on the Palmerston course. After an excellent start he started to struggle physically on the back nine but got the perfect tonic at the par five 13th.
After hitting his second shot into the trees, Henry invoked the spirit of Seve to devise an effective exit strategy, banana-hooking a wedge out and somehow leaving himself with an eight-foot birdie putt, which he holed.
On day two the winds got up and some “insane scrambling” kept bogeys off the card until his eighth (17th) on the Melbourne course.
“I was just trying to stay in it and just about managed it,” he added. “I was able to get through my front nine and get a few birdies on the back nine which was great.”
He closed with a level par 72 to stay one ahead of Woodham, who posted his second consecutive 70 to reach five under.
The two leaders were paired for the deciding round – again on the Melbourne – and both struggled at the first but that was quickly forgotten thanks to some extraordinary scenes on the third green. The West Hill teenager landed a 70-foot bomb for eagle and Henry followed him in from 50 feet for a three.
As they turned for home they were level on five under but the Wentworth junior landed a huge blow on the tenth thanks to another stunning recovery shot. After a poor drive he managed to club his way on to the putting surface and then rolled it in for a second eagle from 40 feet. He did bogey the next but a birdie on 17 gave him some breathing space with Nathan having also bogeyed 11.
Henry’s seven under total was also enough to eclipse the efforts of U-21s winner Justin Chan. The Malaysian posted rounds of 68, 71 and 72 to finish six under.