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James claims notable win at Mundesley as he prepares for University challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:01 09 August 2018

James Lester won the Scratch Championship at Mundesley Golf Club in impressive fashion Picture: CLUB

James Lester won the Scratch Championship at Mundesley Golf Club in impressive fashion Picture: CLUB

Archant

A teenager with dreams of being a professional golfer has won his home club’s top trophy.

James Lester, 18, lifted Mundesley Golf Club’s scratch championship, six shots clear of his nearest challenger.

It comes just as the young Bacton man prepares to start a three-year Birmingham University course in applied golf management next month — which will qualify him as a PGA golf pro.

“It is a dream come true, because they only accept about 20 people a year. We learn coaching, sports science, training and management — all sorts of things useful for a club pro — but I would love to be a playing pro,” said the former North Walsham High School and Paston College student.

He started playing aged 10 — when his mum went to buy some cricket gear but the shop had run out so she bought golf clubs instead.

“I started playing and loved it, just the challenge of hitting the ball well.”

Club pro Ryan Pudney, who gave James his first lessons, said: “James’ has won the club’s Blue Riband event and his success is a deserved reward for the countless hours he spends here practising.”

James, who plays off a handicap of five, won with two gross scores of 69 and 77 on a weekend where rain and wind made conditions on the Sunday difficult. Norfolk county president Graham Turner was second.

The handicap championship was won by Bob Peaker from Aylsham, who played off 20, with net scores of 71 and 63. The retired teacher and lecturer has worked at high schools in Sheringham and North Walsham and was an England Schools rugby coach.

For both champions it was the first time they had landed the championship cups.

The previous weekend another teenager won a prestigious club trophy, with 15-year-old Finley Burnett-Kiernan from Hoveton lifting the George Watts trophy with stableford scores of 42 and 41 points.

Pudney said the success of the teenagers was an inspiration to other young golfers at a time when the club seeking to encourage more young members to try the game.

“They are real role models,” he added.

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