CAITLIN AND LUKE BOUNCE BACK TO TAKE WELSH TITLES


July 29, 2017

The new Welsh Boys and Welsh Girls champions both bounced back from adversity to claim their first national titles in tough conditions at Bull Bay in Anglesey.

Yelverton's Caitlin Evans-Brand finished her first stroke play round with a nine and eight, but learned the lessons in the match play stages, while for Tenby's Luke Harries it was third time lucky after losing twice in the Welsh Boys final in previous years.

Both are looking to use the victories as a springboard to pursue their golf in the United States, Harries heading for Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee in two weeks while Evans-Brand is planning to take a year out before applying for a place at American universities.

It was also an early birthday present for Harries, who turns 18 next week. “This is my last year in juniors so this win feels really, really good,” he admitted, after beating Harry Frazer of Pennard at the first extra hole.

“It was my third final and I finally got the job done this year. I lost in the quarters last year, but the two years before that I was in the final but I had a bit of a rough ride both times.

“This year I felt ready, obviously I was younger before and playing against boys three years older, this time I felt that if I stuck at it then that would be good enough.

“It was windy and then the rain came in as we were going up the 16th, so it was certainly challenging.

“I turn 18 next week, we have the Home Internationals, then the British Boys and then two days later I head off to Tennessee so it is a busy time.”

Evans-Brand beat Darcey Harry of the Vale Resort three and two in the final, after surviving a scare in the stroke play stages and then beating stroke play winner Erin Toft of Northop on her way to the final.

“It feels amazing to win and slightly surreal,” admitted 18-year-old Evans-Brand, who plays at Yelverton near Plymouth, qualifies for Wales through her mother from Bridgend, and who won the British Schools and Colleges title last year.

“I got off to a bit of a ropey start when I finished my first round with a nine and an eight, so my mind was not really in the best place, but I got through in the end.

“I proved to myself that if I could come back from a nine and an eight then I could come back from anything, that helped me in the final when I lost three holes in a row. It was a massive learning curve, but I proved to myself I could do it.

“I hope to carry this form into the Home Internationals in two weeks. I will take a year out to concentrate on golf and but then I am planning to go to America on a golf scholarship.”

Ashton Bradbury, Golf Union of Wales chairman of championships and rules, added, “Congratulations to Luke and Caitlin for coming through some tight and impressive competition to claim the titles.

“Holding the Girls and the Boys Championships together again worked really well and Bull Bay was a top venue to challenge the players.

“The weather made it interesting so thanks to everyone at the Bull Bay club for helping to put on such a successful event.”

Posted on 31 July 2017 at 12:00

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