With the continued support of adidas golf, 2018 saw the Wee Wonders Championship enter its 24th year and it was another one to remember! This year had more events than ever before, with 59 Regional Qualifiers and 9 Regional Finals taking place throughout Great Britain and Ireland, culminating in the Wee Wonders Grand Final that took place at St Andrews on the 25th and 26th of August.
Wee Wonders 2018 kicked off in April, with the first Regional Qualifying event being held at Lincoln Golf Centre. Three players from each age group automatically progressed from Regional Qualifying onto the Regional Finals, and the top 3 at the Regional Finals from each age group qualified for the 2018 Grand Final.
Our Grand Final was once again played across two of St Andrews Links Trust outstanding courses, with our juniors playing on either the Strathtyrum or the Balgove course. The Grand Final preparations got underway on the Friday with our juniors heading to the course for a practice round, getting in some last minute preparation and getting ready for the big two days ahead.
The Strathtyrum course was the site for our 11-12 Boys, 11-12 Girls and 9-10 Boys, with our juniors playing 2 rounds of 18 holes across the weekend. In the 11-12 Boys group, Frank Kennedy played some fantastic golf, mixing 2 birdies with 1 bogey to post a 1-under 68 on round 1. In the 11-12 Girls group, 3x Wee Wonder champion Grace Crawford began her quest for title number 4 with an opening round of 70, whilst the 9-10 Boys group saw Dion Regan open up a 4-shot lead after a first round 68!
The Balgove course saw 3 rounds of 9 holes being played by our juniors in the 9-10 Girls, 7-8 Boys, 5-8 Girls & 5-6 Boys age groups and the standard of golf across all ages was of the highest level. In the 9-10 Girls Category, Roisin Scanlan and Olivia Costello got off to fast starts, both shooting rounds of 32 and 31 on the Saturday to be sitting at the top of the leaderboard. In the Boys 7-8 group, Haydon Sarfo and Jaxson Perry were the pacesetters, finishing the day at level par for the tournament.
As Sunday arrived, it brought with it the rain and the wind, giving our talented juniors something else to contend with. Whilst conditions worsened, the quality of golf did not and across all age groups, our juniors continued to play some fantastic golf in tricky conditions. In particular, Zara Naughton in the 11-12 Girls played magnificently, posting a 3-under 65 and the best score of the week.
After a brilliant two days of golf from everyone involved, here is who emerged victorious and became 2018 Wee Wonders Champions:
Boys 11-12 Frank Kennedy 68, 69 (137) Prestbury Golf Club, Cheshire
Girls 11-12 Zara Naughton 73, 65 (138) Matfen Hall Golf Club, Northumberland
Boys 9-10 Dion Regan 68, 74 (142) Cilgwyn Golf Club, Ceredigion
Girls 9-10 Roisin Scanlan 32, 31, 32 (95) Woburn Golf Club, Buckinghamshire
Boys 7-8 Jaxson Perry 31, 29, 30 (90) Kendleshire Golf Club, Avon
Girls 5-8 Arianna Virik 34, 35 33 (102) Kenilworth Golf Club, Warwickshire
Boys 5-6 Parker Bonnes 34, 37, 35 (106) Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Essex