A brilliant fightback on the second day of the Wee Wonders golf tournament at St Andrews ensured seven-year-old Max Brompton will return to Scotland for next year’s European Championships.
Max, who plays at Bridlington Golf Club, finished 15th in his age group, which was high enough on the leaderboard to book his place at next year’s prestigious tournament at Gullane Golf Club.
Despite being one of the youngest players in the 7-8 years category at the British Grand Final, he was undaunted by a difficult opening round and bounced back well over the final 18 holes.
Dad Chris followed him around the course and said: “I’m so proud of what he has achieved. He looked a little bit nervous in his first round, but he had his name called out as he went up to the first tee and everyone was clapping. But the more he got into it, the more he realised it was no different to any other round of golf.
“The rules said that because of his age, I had to accompany him round the course, but I wasn’t allowed to touch his bag. He had to carry it and he had to make all his own decisions about which club to choose.”
The nine-hole par-30 Balgove course featured a number of treacherous bunkers which Max found on his first round, and twice he disappeared completely from view due to the depth and severity of the sand traps.
That contributed to a first round of 48, and although he carded a much-improved second round of 40, he was bottom of the leaderboard after day one.
Max had the support of mum Kim, brother Harrison and his grandparents, and he was determined to reward them with a good second day.
“He said he had been nervous and he was disappointed with his first round but he wanted to finish as high as he possibly could,” said Chris.
“His chipping and putting was spot on but some of his opponents were almost two years older than him and you could see the difference when it came to driving.”
Despite the odds seemingly being stacked against him, Max’s final round was a 39, which propelled him eight places up the leaderboard and earned him a qualifying spot for the European Championships next May.
Bridlington Golf Club professional Anthony Howarth accompanied the family on their trip and said: “It was a fantastic experience for Max andalthough he didn’t win, he was a credit to Bridlington Golf Club, not only for his golfing achievement but also in his impeccable golfing manners and his dress.
“His achievement in getting this far and managing to gain qualification into the European event next year is testament to his dedicated approach to golf.
“The standard of golf at the finals from all the youngsters was quite remarkable and hopefully over the next few years we will get more Bridlington youngsters making the same trip as Max up to the home of golf.”