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Forrester makes history with three-shot victory at English Under 18 Championship

Jenson Forrester has created his own little piece of history by becoming the first winner of the English Under 18 Championship for boys and girls.

Now the 17-year-old has something extra to take back to Thomas Telford school in Walsall on Monday along with a mindful of memories – the silverware following three days of sparkling golf.

An additional prize for Forrester is an invitation to an upcoming Challenge Tour event – a reward thanks to Modest Golf Management’s support of the championship.

Hosts Farnham Golf Club also recognised Forrester's achievement by presenting the golfer with honorary membership.

Cheered on by mum Kath, dad Andy and brother Finley, Forrester’s winning total of 11 under par allowed him to claim victory by three shots from home favourite Lottie Woad.

England boys’ squad player Jack Bigham took third spot on seven under par.

Maggie Whitehead from the England girls’ squad was in fourth place on six-under par.

The championship has broken the mould in terms of junior amateur golf in England – the first time a 132-strong field was split evenly between boys and girls with one trophy up for grabs.

The three days of competition proved to be a huge success – as was shown by the breakdown of the top four and the quality of golf on show from all participants.

After 18 holes of stroke play on each of the first two days, 36 holes were scheduled for the final day.

However, with heavy rain and electrical activity forecast for late afternoon the sensible decision was taken midway through the third round to curtail the fourth round to 10 holes.

After the morning play, Forrester had climbed to top spot after overhauling halfway leader Woad.

A morning round of 70 (-2) gave the Staffordshire golfer a two-shot lead over Bigham with West Herts’ Zach Little, Woad and Whitehead also in the mix.

In the end, Forrester was able to play the 10 holes of the fourth round in two-under par, signing off with another birdie to secure an emotional win.

Clutching the trophy, he said: “Hopefully, I can take this into school.

"Actually, I’m hoping to get the day off, but it depends on whether or not my mum lets me!

“It feels amazing – I’m so happy.

“I started off good today. I had 150 yards on the fifth hole and put it to a foot and that settled the nerves. I made a seven on the eighth – just from being a bit of a muppet.

“But I kept it together and then made four birdies in a row which is good.

“My family are my biggest supporters and they support me in everything I do. I can’t thank them enough.

“It was a good event – in these times we (boys and girls) should play with each other and be more involved in championships.

“Every England Golf event is really well run and exciting to play in.”

The victory was also special for Forrester’s grandfather, Derek, who was back home in the Midlands watching England Golf and Content Live’s coverage of the championship on YouTube.

Having introduced his grandson to the game as an eight-year-old it was fitting that the 85-year-old was able to share in Forrester’s moment of glory.

Woad's best efforts were not enough to secure her a win on her home patch. A third round 75 left her with too much to do in the space of ten holes.

However, the 17-year-old responded superbly to the pressure of the week and a closing eagle on the final hole of the championship, not only earned her second spot, but also spoke volumes for her character and spirit.

By pipping England team-mate and friend Whitehead to the position to leading girl, Woad now secures a place at a forthcoming LET event courtesy of Modest Golf Management.

England Golf president elect Les Wilson praised the efforts of Farnham in staging the event.

He said: “The staff and volunteers at Farnham have been fantastic all week and we are indebted to them for the way they have helped us run this championship.

“It’s been so good to see the boys and girls competing for the one trophy and the standard of golf on show has been amazing.”

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