Caolan and Gracie grab Wales Golf Boys and Girls titles
Caolan Burford completed a historic double by adding the Welsh Boys title to the Welsh Men’s Open he won earlier in the year, the first player to win both in the same season for 54 years.
While Royal Porthcawl’s Gracie Mayo capped a breakthrough season by winning the Welsh Girls title, following on from being part of the Wales team who qualified for the top flight at the European Ladies Team Championships in Conwy for the first time in 25 years.
Rhuddlan’s Burford, aged 17, also had the benefit of his home club support as he emulated the achievement of Jimmy Buckley in 1968 as the only Welsh player to win both the Men’s Open and Boys titles in the same season.
With the Welsh Men’s and Women’s Amateur coming up in Pennard next week Burford would dearly love to carry on emulating Rhos-on-Sea player Buckley, who also lifted that trophy to complete a remarkable treble that season.
This season’s Welsh Boys and Girls Championships, in Rhuddlan, saw Burford beat Isle of Purbeck’s Tom Bastow 5 and 3, while Mayo beat Mold’s Annabel Collis 2 and 1 in the final.
“It feels a bit weird to have won both titles, but also feels really good,” said Burford. “I played really well this afternoon and being at my home club helped.
“I had great support in the final, around 50 people watching, so that was good. It meant there was a bit of pressure towards the end, but it was good to perform under pressure as well.
“It was a good game against Tom, a few weeks ago we were playing together in the Europeans so I know him pretty well.
“Going into the Welsh Men’s Amateur I will be keeping my expectations low, but if I play like I did in the final today then I probably have a good chance. Winning that would cap the season off, it really would be the icing on the cake.”
Mayo too will be hoping to take her form into the Welsh Women’s Amateur in Pennard next week, benefitting from years of competing at girls level and gradually working her way up to the title.
“Winning this is great,” said the 17-year-old, who is heading to the University of Oklahoma next month. “I have been coming to this event since I was aged 13, in 2017, and it was always a great experience playing the top end players, it brought my game on so much.
“It was a good final, I just made some really good putts. I have had a really busy season, my last in junior golf, so I was just trying to make the most of it.
“The goal is to get another win next week, I would love to win both, but I need to take it shot by shot and go from there.”
Wales Golf Tournament Director Sophie Madsen added, “Congratulations to Caolan and Gracie, there was an exceptionally high standard of golf played all week.
“Thanks to all the staff and volunteers at Rhuddlan who did so much to make the event a success, while the course provided and excellent challenge for the best young golfers in Wales.”
Burford beat Charley Simpson of Rhos-on-Sea in the semi final, while Bastow saw off the challenge of Oswestry’s Isaac Jones.
Mayo beat Celtic Manor’s Jessica Atwell in the semis, while Collis beat runaway Stroke Play winner Harriet Lockley, of Burnham and Berrow, in the other semi-final.