Junior Golf Tournament Produces PR Results

by Stuart Milne

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Making every putt count on practice day of U.S. Kids Golf EuropeGREAT golfing conditions played a part in one of the most stylish U.S. Kids Golf European Championships yet as East Lothian saw some incredible shots grace its fairways and greens.

A field of 630 made the trip from as far afield as Australia, Mauritius and Chile to play on calm and sunny courses over the four days of competition.

The action came to a head on Friday when the European Van Horn Cup saw the top finishers from the Boys 10 and older and the Girls 11 and older compete in Western European and International teams for bragging rights in this Ryder Cup style event.

The closest fought cup in its history saw the International side retain their title for the fourth year running after a sudden death playoff.

Finishing 5-5 from ten four-ball matches on Luffness New Golf Club, the cup was taken to a playoff when Sigurdur Gardarsson playing with his partner Kjartan Gudmundsson, both Boys 14 competitors from Iceland, sank a pressurised eagle putt. The International side went on to edge the cup on the first playoff hole.

The pairing with the lowest round in the European Van Horn Cup were awarded the Morrison Medal, named in honour of the late Sir Garth Morrison, who was Lord Lieutenant for East Lothian, and his wife Lady Gill Morrison.

The boys winners were Shubham Jaglan, from India, and Alan Kournikova, from the U.S., who shot a 65, while Slovenia’s Pia Babnik and Ashley Stevenson, of France, carded a 63 for the girls, all playing for the International team.

In the individual events Europe enjoyed more success as East Lothian saw a number of new wins and title defences for young British golfers.

Amongst the winners was Jake Valentine who improved on sharing the Boys 7 category last year by taking the Boys 8 outright at Longniddry Golf Club, as well as Ffion Tynan, who headed up a UK first and second ahead of Millie Pratten, who was the only player to card an under-par round in the Girls 13-14 age group on the Gullane No. 3 course.

Dan Van Horn, President of U.S. Kids Golf Foundation said: “On behalf of U.S. Kids Golf and the 630 players and their families that took part in this year’s European Championship, I want to offer my deepest gratitude to the East Lothian community and everyone who served, volunteered, or helped in hundreds of different ways.

“The talent, the courses, the energy just seems to get better and better every year. We crowned some incredible champions and had the closest Van Horn Cup match in history.

“Most of all, I want to thank the many families I had the privilege to meet. They embody the U.S. Kids Golf mission so well.”US KIDS GOLF 2016_EDIT

Elsewhere in the field Britain was able to claim the lion’s share of the wins as five titles were claimed by home players, more than any other country.

Eight other nationalities completed the roll of honour as the U.S. enjoyed three wins while Spain took two categories. There were also individual winners from India, Sweden, Italy, France, South Africa and Slovenia, cementing the international status of the event with four continents sharing the spoils.

The Championship – played over five famous golf courses on Scotland’s Golf Coast; Gullane No.3, Craigielaw Golf Club, Luffness New Golf Club, Longniddry Golf Club and The Glen Golf Club – is organised by the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation which is dedicated to promoting golf to young players and their families the world over.

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation was launched in 2001 to provide opportunities for children across the world to learn and play golf and to forge new friendships. Since holding its first tournament in 2000, U.S. Kids Golf Foundation now runs over 1,000 events each year including the prestigious World Championship at Pinehurst.

The Foundation is the charitable branch of U.S. Kids Golf – the world’s largest producer of junior golf equipment. The firm has pioneered the development of golf clubs for young people, eliminating the problem of kids using heavier, cut-down adult clubs, which often hurts developing swings and discourages budding players.

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