European champion

A group of the region’s brightest young stars headed north to East Lothian for Europe’s largest junior golf event – The US Kids Golf European Championship – where Wynyard’s Ben Cordwell-Smith came away with a European title.

The tournament is the largest of its kind across the continent and sees the next generation of golf stars and their families come together for three days of fierce competition across 16 age groups. 

Wynyard-based Ben was the leading player from the North East as he led the field in the Boys 15-18 event with rounds of 74, 70 and 71 for a one under-par total and a one-shot victory over Jason Chan. With the win, he earned a place in the US Kids Golf World Championship at Pinehurst in 2023.

Among the other top finishers from our region were Millie Hixon (Wearside), who finished in fourth place in the Girls 12 category; Amy Burton (Wynyard), who finished in a tie for 10th place in the Girls 13-14 category; Alex Boyes (Wynyard), who was T12 in the Boys 13 event; and Callum Brown (Bishop Auckland) who was T7 in the Boys 15-18 event.

Following the tournaments – Millie, Ben and Callum also qualified to play in the annual Van Horn Cup – an additional team competition which takes place after the individual events.

The 2022 European Championship was the first in three years due to Covid and saw more than 500 golfers aged 5-18 from some 46 countries compete over Craigielaw, Glen Golf Club, Longnidrry, Royal Musselburgh, and The Musselburgh.