The annual competition is played between Hampshire U18 Juniors and Hampshire PGA Professional Trainees in memory of the late Paul Hurring. Hurring was a professional golfer from Sussex who died with his fiancée from carbon monoxide poisoning back in 1992. His parents set-up the Paul Hurring Memorial Fund in 1995 to provide financial support for young amateur and professional golfers in Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Hampshire decided to use this support to start a yearly match between the Pros and Amateurs, first played in 1995. This year it was played at Test Valley, where it has been held since the year 2000.
The format of the competition is 4 foursomes in the morning and 8 singles in the afternoon. The Hampshire Juniors were made up of team of members of the Under 18 and Under 16 squads. Nick, the youngest player in the team, was partnered with Sam West of Liphook Golf Club in the foursomes – both youngsters being team mates in the U16 South East League Championship winning team and members of the England U18 Regional Squad.
The duo were up against professionals Josh Stock of South Winchester and Dan Wilkinson of Royal Winchester. The pair got off to an indifferent start being 3 down after 4 but fought back, but eventually losing 4&3 on the 15th.
The Hampshire Juniors lost all 4 foursomes matches, so had a tall order in the afternoon.
In the afternoon Nick was against Ben Wilkinson again, the game being all square at the halfway point. Ben took a lead winning 2 holes on the spin but Nick, renowned as a resilient match play specialist, fought back immediately to get back to 1 down. Time ran out on the 17th where he lost 2&1.
The final result was PGA Professionals 9.5, Hampshire Juniors 2.5. It is always going to be tough for the boys playing against such quality players who have a number of years of competition play under their belts, but they fought hard and never gave up. The 2 teams enjoyed dinner together, with the presentation afterwards.
Keith Greenfield, Wightlink CEO, says:
“Nick is a hugely talented young golfer who we are delighted to support with cross-Solent travel through the council’s Talented Athlete scheme.”
Nick, who attends Ryde School, plays off a handicap of 3 and has been on the Isle of Wight talented athlete scheme for 5 years.