England’s top junior talent can’t catch French teenager Linel who wins Reid Trophy

JOSEPH Linel became the fourth Frenchman to lift the Reid Trophy denying Worcestershire’s Hugh Adams chance to become the first player to win the English Boys’ Under 14 Open Strokeplay Championship, back to back in its 25-year history.

The big-hitting 13-year-old, from Biarritz, posted a six-under par 54-hole aggregate of six-under despite a closing two-over par 74 at Stoke-on-Trent’s Trentham Golf Club.

Linel was made to fight all the way by Adams, from Hagley Golf Club, who closed with a four-under par 68 to get within three shots of catching the tall Frenchman.

It also proved to be a good final day for Harry Malin, from Bognor Regis, who fired four birdies over his last nine holes to card a 70 and finish tied for third place alongside Doncaster’s Joshua Berry on two-under.

Essex’s Harley Smith, from the Rayleigh Golf Club, performed well in both the McGregor Trophy and Carris Trophy in what is his first season playing in national junior events.

And Smith did it again by finishing with a 68 to share fifth place with Huddersfield’s Dylan Shaw-Radford on level-par.

Italy’s Lorenzo Lombardozzi also shot a 68 to finish in a share of seventh place alongside compatriot Luca Memeo and Prestbury’s Frank Kennedy two shots further behind.

Linel started the final day with a five-shot lead after opening rounds of 66 and 70, but bogeyed the first hole on his way to carding his highest score of the championship.

“I didn’t play as well today but my chipping was good which helped me,” Linel said. “I’m very happy. This is the biggest tournament I have ever won.”

The previous French winners of the Reid Trophy were Stanislas Gautier (2007) Antoine Kuoch (2013) and Alexandre Lasalarie (2015).

Past winners also include Friford Heath’s Eddie Pepperell, Toby Tree, Bradley Moore, Oscar Sharpe and Kent’s Jonathan Bell.

Final scores can be found here.

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