This was our 7th scholarship presentation evening with 110 in attendance and following on from the successful 2015 and 2016 presentations, with the Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley and European Tour’s Anthony Wall, was always going to be tough to do. Fortunately, with the help of Mizuno and Alex Thorn, we were able to secure the services of the BMW PGA Champion and Ryder Cup star, Chris Wood, who kindly accepted the invitation to award the prizes and take part in a Q&A session afterwards.
Scholarship prizes were awarded to Junior golfers for their continued dedication to golf and competitive success within the annual order of merit event – The Academy Cup. Scholarships are awarded to the 1st and 2nd placed Juniors in Division’s 1 and 2 with trophies awarded to first and second place in the Club Handicap Division 3. To encourage those outside of the prizes the Junior golfer who has made the biggest improvement throughout the year also collects a trophy to reward their efforts. Here are the Junior honourees from this year:
Div.3 Runner-up – Ellen Yates
Div.3 Winner – Ralph Coates
Most Improved from 2015-2016 – Sarah Mardani
Div.2 Runner-up – Chris Floater
Div.2 Winner – Joe Silcock
Div.1 tied Winners – Cavan Mallon – Aidan Millham
Academy Cup Winner – Joe Silcock
Scholarships are also handed out on the evening to 3 girls who show sufficient dedication to the Academy Professionals, this is designed to encourage more girls to stay in golf. As a result of this, Windlesham GC has been able to enter an all girls team into the Surrey Rookie League, the first time that this has happened within Surrey.
This year’s girls scholars are:
Alex Phelps – Issey Wood-Smith – Ellen Yates
Chris Wood was the low amateur in the 2008 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and tied for third in the following year’s tournament held at Turnberry.
Chris’ 2016 season started with a third place at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. In May, he won the 2016 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club; the win lifted him to the 22nd place of the Official World Golf Ranking and guaranteed him an automatic selection for the 2016 Ryder Cup.
Wood paired up with Justin Rose in his career debut at the Ryder Cup for a 1-up victory against Jimmy Walker and Zach Johnson in Saturday’s foursomes.
The evening was a huge success with Chris giving a star performance fielding questions from the keen audience for 20 minutes. For the first time ever, we also broadcasted the presentation via Facebook Live with over 2700 views worldwide (click here to view the broadcast).