Peebles' Howie Wins Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters
Paul Lawrie Foundation Scottish Boys winner Craig Howie today continued his superb season after becoming the first-ever Scot to claim victory in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, a prestigious Uunder-18 international event.
Bradley Neil also won the Under-16s section to ensure a Scottish clean sweep at Nizels Golf Club in Kent.
Howie, the Peebles player who triumphed in the Boys’ match play at Murcar Links in April, has maintained his form this summer, particularly south of the border.
After a share of 11th place at the Peter McEvoy trophy and a tie for ninth at the Fairhaven Trophy, Howie has entered the winners’ enclosure once more thanks to his five-shot success today.
In an event reduced to 54 holes due to overnight rain and further showers this morning, Howie carded a superb final round seven-under-par 65 to reach a 12-under total and finish five ahead of Max Orrin (North Foreland). He was a wire-to-wire winner after earlier rounds of 69 and 70.
Howie, who collected a trophy and £275 worth of vouchers for his victory, joins an impressive roll of honour, which includes the likes of Zane Scotland, Joost Luiten, Tom Lewis and Toby Tree.
Previous competitors in the event, which carries high world ranking points, also include European Tour winners Rhys Davies, Oliver Fisher, David Horsey and Chris Wood.
“I’m over the moon,” said Howie, who was also runner-up in the Scottish Hydro Junior Tour Event 3 to Lawrence Allan last weekend at Rowallan Castle. “It’s been a brilliant week and continues a great year for me.”
“It was tough in the conditions so I’m delighted to win another big event,” added the 17-year-old, who is in the third year of the Scottish Golf Academy and is coached by Colin Brooks.
Blairgowrie’s Neil, meanwhile, continued his ever-impressive season. Highlights have included a runner-up finish in the Golf Data Lab Scottish Youths Championship at Ladybank and helping Perth & Kinross to Moneygate Society Scottish Area Team Championship glory at his home club.
Neil, aged 16, closed with a 68 in Kent for a four-under total and a share of third place overall with Josh Hayes (East Sussex), good enough to take the Under-16 honours. Neil, a member of the SGU Boys' National Squad and in the fourth year of the Scottish Golf Academy, is coached by National Under-16s coach Kevin Hale.
Scott Knowles, the Scottish team manager, said: “It’s been a great week, a clean sweep for the Scots.
“Craig is also the first Scottish player to win the event, which is great. There were a host of top international players here, from the likes of England, Ireland, Denmark, Swirzerland, Sweden and Portugal.
“Craig was faultless today for his 65 and it was great for Bradley to win his category too.”
The Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters has been contested since 1998. It lives on as a permanent memorial to the esteemed former English, Commonwealth and European heavyweight boxing champion and was set up to help talented young golfers achieve their ambitions.