Dylan Shaw-Radford shows his strength of character to defy Murcar Links ‘hooley’ and elite junior field
SCOTLAND: Sunday, April 10th
FORMAT: 54-hole strokeplay
It was worth all the pain of playing 36 holes in some of the worst spring weather imaginable for Yorkshire’s Dylan Shaw-Radford as he won the Scottish Boys Open (U-18s) at Murcar Links on Friday.
‘Persistent heavy rain and strong winds’ ’forced organisers to push round two into the final day, when conditions weren’t much better. 20mph winds in the morning were replaced by an even stronger breeze after lunch and the field also had to contend with repeated hail showers as they completed 36 holes.
The Huddersfield junior, who is still only 16, displayed all his ‘Yorkshire grit’ to edge out Wales international Joe Jones by one with U-16s pair Charlie Croker (Thorndon Park) and Connor Graham (Blairgowrie) a shot further back.
“I feel great,” the Yorkshire Boys champion told Scottish Golf. “It was hard, especially with the wind and I made an early double-bogey so I wasn’t sure if I was in front or behind, but I managed to keep it together. I just tried to keep it in play, low tee shots, keep it on the fairway.
“It means a lot to start the season off well. I put a lot of work in this winter, so it’s great to see it pay off.”
Honing his game in the always-bleak West Yorkshire winter certainly stood him in good stead for the conditions at the Aberdeenshire venue.
Shaw-Radford started the final day five behind Scottish Boys star Graham but made huge ground on the field thanks to a two-under-par 69, which included a remarkable front nine. The first eight holes read as follows: birdie, birdie, bogey, bogey, birdie, birdie, bogey, bogey. At the par four sixth he bagged a stunning three. With 205 yards in for his second, he “punched” a three wood to four feet into the teeth of the gale.
Two more birdies followed on the back nine and he would start the final round two clear of Jones and Graham. No other player broke par on Friday.
With the wind strengthening after lunch it definitely became a case of survival of the fittest but the Huddersfield golfer gave himself some critical breathing space with a brilliant birdie on the 16th as he holed out from 18 feet.
“I knew I was struggling but thought I might not be the only one,” added Shaw-Radford.
The victory was also critical for the Yorkshire teenager as he looks to make the step up to elite-level national events.
“Also it is great to get a WAGR point,” added the English Boys Champion of Champions – a title he won in September. “Next season it gives me a much better chance of getting into events like the Lytham Trophy.”