1,700 mile round trip for victory

WINNERS: All the placed-finishers in the various age categories of the Stonham Junior Players Championship 2017
WINNERS: All the placed-finishers in the various age categories of the Stonham Junior Players Championship 2017

A 13-year-old — who travelled more than 800 miles to take part in an annual golf tournament near Stowmarket — was rewarded with victory.

Alexandra Rock travelled from Prague to take part in the Stonham Barns Junior Players’ Championship, winning by three shots to retain the title she won in 2016.

Rock, who lives in Prague and is a member of Podebrady Golf Club, has a handicap of five.

Her score of par 29 was the best score in recent years and is only bettered by Alastair Hall’s score of 27, recorded in 2003.

In second place was the 2015 winner, 11-year-old Charlie Goodridge from Bury St Edmunds who scored 32).

The Stonham Barns Players Championship started at Stonham Barns in 2001 and has been played every year since.

Over 500 juniors have played in the event over the years, with some previous winners going on to become county players and even England internationals.

Stonham Barns spokesman Tony Dobson said: “In addition to rewarding the winners, one of the main aims of these events is to encourage players of all standards to come along, have fun and enjoy playing some competitive golf.

“Although this event was played on a bright and sunny day, the winds were bitterly cold and well done to all the players for completing the nine holes.”

There were four age categories and the winner of the Under 8 was Beatrice Meadows who scored 45.

The Under 10’s was won by Kieran Lewin with a score of 43 while the Under 12’s was won by Charlie Goodridge with a score of 32.

The Under 15’s was, of course, won by the overall winner Alexandra Rock.

The event was played using Big HOLE Golf — a scheme developed by Murray Blair in Australia to increase participation in the game.

It makes use of larger 8 inch golf holes, rather than the standard 4.25 inches, to make putting simpler.

Dobson added: “Stonham Barns was the first course in the UK to convert to Big Hole Golf.

“The feedback from all the players has been great, many saying how much they enjoyed the new format.”

More details of all Stonham Barns junior events for 2018 can be found on their website: www.stonhambarnsgolf.co.uk/junior-tournaments