Day of glory for King’s Lynn trio

King's Lynn teenagers Bradley Harris, Kit Holmes and Luke Johnson have brought national glory to Norfolk by winning the English Junior Champion Club Tournament.

King's Lynn teenagers Bradley Harris, Kit Holmes and Luke Johnson have brought national glory to Norfolk by winning the English Junior Champion Club Tournament.

On a glorious sunny day at Spalding in Lincolnshire the King's Lynn lads came up on the rails to steal the title from a trio of Suffolk rivals.

They compiled a 36-hole aggregate of 154 stableford points to win by three from Stoke by Nayland and by five from overnight leaders Welwyn Garden City, from Hertfordshire.

“I'm very proud of my team,” said Chris Johnson, the King's Lynn junior organiser. “I didn't think players with low handicaps would win this event because if you look at the result from the last five years it's been the mid and high handicappers that have come through.” Luke Johnson and Holmes were both playing off two, while Harris was a seven-handicapper.

Johnson went on: “But when we were only two points behind overnight I fancied our chances because I was confident of the boys' abilities.

“I also felt this splendid course suited us with its raised greens that made chipping and putting tricky.

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“This win will be a big boost to the club and keeps it going in the right direction.

“We have a strong junior base as well as a strong girls' base and it shows how much good work has been put in.”

King's Lynn were two points behind after the first round, when Johnson scored 31, Harris 37 and Holmes 39. Their team score of 76 (the best two scores from three) put them in joint second place overnight.

On the second day, the King's Lynn youngsters were out in the last three groups on the course, following Welwyn who added another 71 for 149; and Stoke by Nayland who set the target at 151. But the fight was far from over.

Luke Johnson, the East Region U16 champion, came in with another 31 and Holmes added 38 to give a hint of the success to come.

At that stage King's Lynn were six points off the target and Harris, their last man out in the final game on the course, needed to score at least 38 points to see his side to the title.

Reports from the course said he was under par but it wasn't until be produced his card with 40 magnificent points from a gross 74 that King's Lynn knew they were home and dry.

“I didn't have a clue what we needed but I knew it was going to be close,” said the 15-year-old.

In the end it wasn't that close but the Norfolk boys could begin to celebrate.

King's Lynn had qualified to represent Norfolk in the tournament when their team won the county's Kenneth Smith Trophy for the a record sixth time.