Ace start for Brilliant Ben at Hellidon Lakes

Bedfordshire's Ben Loveard celebrates his hole-in-one on the Shires Junior Tour. Picture (c) The Sports Journalist
Bedfordshire's Ben Loveard celebrates his hole-in-one on the Shires Junior Tour. Picture (c) The Sports Journalist

The 2016 Shires Junior Golf Tour season got off to a flying start as Bedfordshire hot-shot Ben Loveard bagged a fantastic hole-in-one in the opening event at Hellidon Lakes in Northamptonshire on Sunday.

The 12-year-old’s moment of perfection came on the short 13th hole as the Woburn member pitched his tee shot six feet beyond the flag and spun it back into the cup.

On a day when the Shires Junior Golf Tour set a new record of 121 players competing in one event, the ace was the second in Tour history after Oliver Saunders, from Bedford and County, holed out on the 12th hole at Kettering last year.

Fellow local golfer Jack Manley (Bedford and County) carded an impressive 36 points to finish runner-up in the Gold Division, while Dillon Basi and Connor Tallentire (both The Bedford) enjoyed high finishes in the nine-hole Copper category.

Debutante Robin Scanlon (Bedfordshire) grabbed fifth spot in the Diamond section as the youngster made a promising start to his Shires Tour career.

At a cost of just £15 to play 18 holes and £10 for nine holes, including food, there are 11 more events scheduled in Bedfordshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, before the season comes to a climax with the hotly contested Grand Final in October.

The champion golfer in the 18-hole competition will win a family holiday to the world-renowned La Manga Club in Spain, while a family holiday to Trevose Golf Club in Cornwall and a family break at a QHotels Resort will also be up for grabs.

An Order of Merit will be running during the season when the most consistent player in the Gold, Silver, Bronze, Copper and Diamond Divisions will win a custom-fitted set of Ping, Infiniti or US Kids golf clubs, provided by Beadlow Manor-based Custom Lab Golf.

With the second event taking place at The Bedford on Monday, March 28, for more details of how to compete on Shires Junior Golf Tour, please contact Paul Bull on 07824 666480.

Alternaltively, email Paul at paul@shiresjuniorgolftour.co.uk or visit www.shiresjuniorgolftour.co.uk.