14-year-old Mckenzie storms to first county title
LINCS: Tuesday, June 1st
Fourteen-year-old Mckenzie Lewis gave notice of his prodigious talent with a dominant display in the Lincolnshire Junior Championships at Market Rasen GC.
Despite giving many of those in a strong field plenty of years and experience, the Kenwick Park youngster won by 11 shots and finished under par for his two rounds.
It was his first county title and the manner in which he did suggests bigger wins won’t be too long in coming. His main targets this year are the Midland Boys Championship and the McGregor Trophy (England U-16s).
Mckenzie, who only started played in the spring of 2017 and also has memberships at Waltham Windmill and Elsham, carded rounds of 71 and 70 to win in both the U16s and U-18s categories while Jack Emery (Woodhall Spa), who finished third overall, was well clear in the U-14s. Sleaford’s Michael Baines was the overall runner-up.
For the champion some heroics in saving pars proved more memorable than his seven birdies, highlighted with an outrageous par three at the 12th in his first round. He pulled his tee shot way left behind a giant bush but he managed to somehow get the ball to ten feet – the pin was tight to the left – before holing out.
In the afternoon there was a standout birdie at the 14th. Having bogeyed three of the previous four holes, the plus one handicapper struck a knock down shot to 15 feet and claimed the two to get himself back under par before he parred in. At the short 18th another superb chip to 12 inches guaranteed a three.
In the girls event, 16-year-old Ellise Rymer (Lincoln) won the tightest of victories over Spalding’s Tilly Garfoot. The teenagers could not be separated after 36 holes (gross 147) and also had the same back nine in their second round but Ellise edged it thanks to a better back six.