Midlands: Youths Championship (U-21s)

DOUBLE SUCCESS: Finn Nelson (Kedleston Park/ Sherwood Forest) with the Midlands Youths and U-18s trophies

Pair of eagles sets up fabulous finale for Finn

MIDLANDS: Monday July 5th

A stunning, final round 64 secured Finn Nelson the biggest victory of his young life in the Midlands Youths (U-21s) at Stoke Rochford.

The 17-year-old, who is a member at Kedleston Park in Derbyshire and Sherwood Forest in Notts, bagged two eagles in closing out a six-shot victory over Essex’s Harley Smith. He also won the U-18s prize (Bob Howell Cup).

The former England Schools U-16s champion goes into tomorrow’s Midlands Boys Championship at Sandwell Park in the form of his life after finishing 11 under in the 72-hole strokeplay event.

“I’ve had one seven under before and a couple of six unders but that was my best round, under pressure in competition, by a long way,” said Finn, who is due to start college in America at Hutchinson (Kansas) this August.

He began the fourth round one behind Overstone Park’s Mark Stockdale and level with Smith, who roared into contention on the final day with a brilliant third-round 65.

And it didn’t start well for the Derbyshire-based teenager as he bogeyed the first, only to chip in for eagle at the next.

A stunning three at the stroke index one, long par fourth was followed by five successive pars. He then birdied ten and again reeled off five pars in a row.

At 16 he had missed a four-foot putt in the morning and a few hours later found himself in exactly the same position having drilled in his four iron from 224 yards.

As he waited to take his shot at eagle, he noticed his Essex challenger was getting hugs from his dad by the side of the 18th green and, with no live scoring in operation, was not sure if it was a consoling or congratulatory cuddle.

“I knew I was beating my playing partners but we couldn’t work out if it was good news or not,” added Finn. “In my mind I was thinking he (Harley) could have shot 62 so thought I needed a big finish to win it.”

The Rayleigh Club player had in fact just carded a level-par 70 to finish on five under so as Finn holed his eagle putt the gap at the top was five and that was further extended at the next. He fired his 8 iron to 12 feet on the par three and made a two before parring the last.

Top 10 scores (par 70)
1) Finn Nelson (Kedleston Park) 72, 65, 68, 64, 269 (-11)
2) Harley Smith (The Rayleigh Club) 71, 69, 65, 70, 275 (-5)
3= Jack Ward (Rudding Park) 69, 70, 68, 69, 276 (-4)
3= George Ash (Hallowes) 68, 70, 67, 71, 276 (-4)
3= Mark Stockdale (Overstone Park) 70, 66, 68, 72, 276 (-4)
6= Corey Neville (Northamptonshire Co) 68, 71, 72, 68, 279 (-1)
6= William Hopkins (Belton Park) 70, 71, 68, 70, 279 (-1)
8) Jack Maxey (Hornsea) 71, 71, 69, 72, 283 (+3)
9= Jake Ball (Woodhall Spa) 69, 70, 75, 70, 284  (+4)
9= Frazer Jones (Kirby Muxloe) 72, 70, 71, 71, 284 (+4)
9= Callum Bruce (Elsham) 68, 73, 70, 73, 284 (+4)
9= Oliver Caton (Crosland Heath) 68, 73, 68, 75 (+4)
For all the scores click here