There were celebrations for two talented local golfers last week as Royal Portrush junior members, Jamie Knipe and Peter Kerr, were both winners at the Leinster Boys under 18 golf championships.
This prestigious annual tournament was held over three days at Kilkenny Golf Club (1st-3rd July).
The par 71 course was particularly difficult for all the players due to the very hard, fast and undulating greens – in fact, the greens were running at between 11 and 12 on the stimpmeter!
150 of the top boy golfers from all over Ireland competed in the 72 hole event. After two rounds played over two days, there was a ‘cut’ leaving the top 50 players to battle it out over a further 36 holes all played on the final day.
The cut was made at 13 over par with Portrush’s Peter Kerr coming in as the lead qualifier with scores of 73 and 69.
17 year-old, Jamie Knipe was the overall winner of the tournament with scores of 73,71,71,74 over the 72 holes winning the event by 2 shots. Jamie showed great composure over the closing holes to hold off the challenge from his two nearest rivals who both faltered on the 17th and 18th holes.
16 year-old, Peter Kerr won the award for the top qualifier with scores of 73 & 69 over the opening 36 holes. Unfortunately a back injury sustained on the second day restricted Peter’s ability to drive the ball on the final day’s play.
As a result he finished with scores of 79 & 78 to finish in a creditable 11th place for the tournament.
Royal Portrush Captain, Simon Rankin, congratulated the boys: “I am personally delighted for Jamie and Peter who are both talented and committed members of our club. Royal Portrush has a very active and well-organised junior section with a great depth of talent across many year groups.
“Both Jamie and Peter are active members who represent the Club both on teams and as individuals and they are great ambassadors for Royal Portrush.
“I have no doubt that these wins will be the first of many for both players.”