Laurens Schulze Doering, a junior member at Royal Malta Golf Club, has just won the Latvian Junior Open which was played over three rounds of 18 holes each at the Ozo Golf Club in Riga. At 13 years of age, this makes Laurens the youngest RMGC boy winner in international tournaments.
Eighty-nine players entered this tournament, the majority of which hailed either from the host club or from nearby Estonia. The players were segmented in seven different age categories and then split again according to gender.
Laurens’ even younger sister, Filippa, was also a winner in this tournament. Filippa won her division (under 12 girls) by 26 shots from second placed secured by a girl member of the host Club. Filippa’s win on international soil makes her the youngest girl even though her tournament meant 27 holes of stroke play.
Two even younger siblings, from the RMGC Junior Academy, participated in this Latvian Junior Open. Cherilyn and Thomas Christmas who at under ten years of age were experiencing their first major tournament. In this category, the children had to play two rounds of nine holes each. Both played to a +36 resulting in a joint sixth position for Cherilyn and a ninth position for Thomas.
But back to Laurens’ feat. With a first round of two birdies, ten pars, five bogeys and one double bogey for an overall +5 for the course, the boy led the leader board with five shots at the end of round one. With an even better +3 achieved through five birdies, five pars and eight bogeys, Laurens extended his lead to ten shots at the end of the second day’s play – a comfortable margin with only one round to play in most sports… but not in golf and not when you have only just reached your teens!
Playing with second placed Richard Teder in the final round, Laurens saw his lead reduced to six shots after the first nine through five pars, three bogeys and one double compared to Richard’s one birdie, six pars and two bogeys. Three holes late the lead was reduced by a further two shots as both players hit a birdie and a par each with Laurens hitting another double bogey to Richard’s par. The next three holes were played to equal strokes keeping Laurens four strokes ahead with three holes to play.
Laurens then hit a birdie on the par 5 sixteenth, made a par on the 17th and a bogey on the final hole to equal the three pars from Richard thus retaining the four strokes advantage to claim victory. Laurens eventual aggregate of +15 for the tournament was the best score from all the boy’s categories that played three rounds from 21 years and under.
The RMGC junior members are being accompanied in this trip by Henning Schulze Doering, the RMGC golf professional. Laurens is also a member of the Maltese Olympic Youth Elite Scheme through which his trip to this tournament has been facilitated.
PHOTO CAPTION: Left to right:
Filippa; Cherilyn; Thomas; Laurens