The GolfFit Lothians Junior Championship is being held at the Braids once again this year. Qualifying will take place on the 30th of July with the matchplay taking place over the next week with the final on the 3rd August.
This is an event for boys who are under the age of 18 on 31st December in the year prior to the year of competition, it is open to players whose home club is affiliated to the Lothians Golf Association. Its roll of honour makes for impressive reading, the winners including Andrew Oldcorn (1977), Ian Young (1978) and David Inglis (1998).
The tournament will consist of an 18 hole stroke-play qualifying event on Sunday 30th July with the players with top 8 scratch scores going on to play match play, in the evenings, on the following week. The champion receives the Spiers Trophy. The leading qualifier will receive the Lindsay Trophy. The Speirs Trophy is the second oldest of the trophies held by the Lothians Golf Association, having been first contested in 1925.
The championship was, in fact, originally organised by Edinburgh Town Council. It ran the event until the mid-1960s, when it asked the Lothians Golf Association to take over that role. The event allows the Lothians Golf Association to work together with Edinburgh Leisure and the City of Edinburgh Council in their joint aim of promoting junior golf in the area.
Thanks to support from the Stephen Gallacher Foundation there are also trophies for the leading Under 16 and Under 14 players in the qualifying event. This is a good opportunity for the younger players to get familiar with the Braids course, win an age range trophy and set themselves up for the main championship in future years.
The history of the event and a list of the winners can be seen by clicking the 'History' heading at the bottom of the list at the left side of this page.
The final of the Boys Championship was a night to savour for young James Wood who took early command against Kiron Gribble of Dunbar. The Bathgate player took an early lead and was 2 up through the 4th. Another win at the 7th to go three up stood him in good stead at the turn. But Kiron never gave up and managed to claw one back at the 12th before Wood extended his lead with winning holes at 13th and 14th seeing himself dormie at that point. So down to the 15th and a halved hole saw James Wood win the Speirs Trophy as champion. Despite the result there was some excellent golf on show and the players best ball score would have been impressive. Kiron Gribble had the consolation of winning the Lindsay Trophy, as the leading qualifier, with an excellent score of 68 which was 5 ahead of Sean Gallacher (Prestonfield). He also won the U16 trophy. Fraser Walters (Craigielaw) retained the U14 trophy with a score of 79.
The loosing semi finalists were Sean Gallacher and Owen Melrose (Turnhouse)
This has been an impressive season for James after winning the Lothians Junior Champion of Champions in March, before he represented the Lothians Men's team against Northumberland. He has had some impressive runs in Scottish and SGF events with the cherry on the cake being in the winning Lothians Boys team in the Scottish Boys Area Team Championships.