One of Carus Green golf club’s elite junior players has helped Europe to an outstanding clean sweep in the Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in Hong Kong.
15-year-old Kirkbie Kendal schoolgirl, Caitlin Whitehead, who plays off a handicap of +2, has won both the girl’s individual competition and the team event, with Finnish teammate, Sakke Siltala, in a truly international field.
The first day’s individual event saw Caitlin, who is also a member of the England Golf girls’ squad, shoot a 6-under-par 64 to win by four strokes, despite windy conditions affecting the back nine.
The following two days were a foursome and four-ball-better-ball format, with Caitlin and Sakke playing well together to secure finishes of 69, 61 and a final score of 263, winning by eight strokes.
Heat touching 30 degrees and 95% humidity didn’t put Caitlin off her game, as she explains, "overcoming jet lag from such a long flight, the heat and stormy conditions made play challenging, but I’m delighted with my performance and being given the opportunity to play on one of the best golf courses in the world."
"Sakke and I played really well and following two practice rounds together, were familiar with each other’s strengths."
"On the final round, and being a long driver, Sakke tried to score birdies on the par fives and I tried to maintain par. This seemed to be a good strategy," Whitehead continued.
In the second team, Northern Ireland’s Beth Coulter joined Germany’s Luc Breuer. Breuer shot the low round of the European Young Masters and took the bronze medal while Coulter was fourth in the girls’ section. They finished 12th in Hong Kong.
The teams were captained by Jenny Henderson, the England Golf Women’s Performance Manager.
This is the fourth year of the championship and the two European teams took on the best junior players from across the Asia Pacific region.
Whitehead and the three other Europeans were selected from their finishing positions in the European Young Masters. Whitehead won the girls' competition while Siltala took the boys’ silver medal after losing out in a playoff.
Caitlin returns home to the UK this weekend, with two winning shields and an invite to a professional tournament in Korea in 2019.
Image credit: Hong Kong Golf Association
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