DANIEL Melling was crowned Lancashire schools’ Under-16s golf champion at Ashton & Lea Golf Club, Preston.
The 15-year-old, a Year 10 pupil at Crompton House School, recorded an impressive gross score of 73 in tough and testing conditions over the par 71 course to secure victory by one shot over Alex Wigley from Bolton Golf Club.
Daniel, who is the son of Saddleworth School PE teacher Gary Melling and grandson of former professional golfer David Melling, mixed two birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey on his scorecard.
At four over par through five holes, Daniel’s chances of victory looked slim but some prodigious hitting reduced the 500-yard ninth hole to just a drive and a wedge setting up a birdie and the start of a revival which gathered pace at the 13th hole when a strong following wind helped set up another birdie after a crushing 320-yard tee shot.
The three-handicap teenager from Shaw, a member at Crompton and Royton, fought off stiff opposition from across the county including from two scratch golfers who were favourites to duel for the prestigious trophy.
However, it was the Oldham-born player who emerged victorious to secure the biggest win of his playing career to date.
Daniel will now attempt to back up this victory at Haydock Park Golf Club in July when he will contest the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs Under-16s title against similar opponents in search of a momentous double.
The trophy was presented to Daniel by Lancashire Schools’ organiser Eric Wilson who has devoted years of voluntary service to facilitate schools’ golf in the county.
This is Eric’s last year in charge before he steps down from the role and, as a former teacher at Crompton House, it was fitting that the title was won by the one student representing Eric’s workplace out of the 72 players entered on the day.