A rising north Northumberland golf star has teed up his biggest victory to date, after winning a prestigious competition.
Jake Storey, from Alnwick, who plays out of the Alnmouth (Foxton) Club, clinched the renowned McGregor Trophy (English Boys’ U16 Championship) at Trevose in Cornwall.
Previous winners include Justin Rose and Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm.
And the 16-year-old, who has also been selected for a three-man England Boys’ team to play in the Nations Cup in Italy, was pinching himself after landing the prestigious piece of silverware.
“This hasn’t sunk in yet. Hopefully this will get my golfing career started,” he said.
Storey showed true character to come out on top in an event which was dogged by stiff winds and driving rain throughout most of the competition.
He improved as the contest progressed, with rounds of 73 and 72, before posting final day scores of 71 and 69, for a one-over-par total of 285.
It gave him a four-shot victory over Ewan Ferguson from Scotland and was seven clear of third-placed Klaus Ganter from Spain, both of whom finished with rounds of 73.
Storey sunk an eagle and two birdies in his closing, two-under-par 69 – the only sub-70 return in a difficult week.
His victory means the English Boys’ U16 Championship has gone to a northern-based player four times in the past five years. Storey succeeds Jack Hermeston from Newcastle as champion.
Reflecting on his last-day heroics, Storey, who is a pupil at Alnwick’s Duchess’s Community High School, said: “I felt confident.
“Coming into the week I felt I had a good chance as I had been hitting the ball well for weeks.”
No-one was more delighted with his latest success than his father, Jim Storey, head greenkeeper at Foxton, who followed his progress from start to finish, walking all 72 holes.
“It was absolutely fantastic and opens a lot of doors for him,” said Jim.
Members of his home club were equally jubilant.
“It was a massive win for Jake in a national event,” said club manager and secretary Peter Simpson.
North region coaching manager Kendal McWade, who has looked after Storey for four years and witnessed his triumph, said: “He is extremely driven and I believe I am the first Scotsman to coach an English winner.”
“Jake’s game has a long way to go but he’s getting there.”
Despite the weather, it has been a terrific year for the youngster who had previously won the Northumberland U16 and U21 strokeplay and U18 matchplay titles.
This week his travels took him to Kent where he is engaged in the Carras Trophy, another important amateur tournament.