Dobson Bounces Back To Claim Under-14 Success
Sean Dobson erased the memory of missing out on the Under-14 Lancashire county championship by claiming the title at the second attempt.
The 13-year-old was pipped on a card play-off 12 months ago by Jack Wallbank, but secured the title second time round with a one-shot victory at Blackley Golf Club.
Even a torrential downpour which interrupted play with the final groups four holes from home could not de-rail the victory drive of the Royal Birkdale and Dunscar member.
“I’d managed to keep my score respectable even though I wasn’t playing my best golf,” said Sean, who slipped to four over par after the tenth.
“I knew I had to drop no more shots from that point,” added the Bolton youngster. “I birdied 11 which gave me some much-needed confidence. I’d pulled my drive in to the trees, but punched an 8 iron under the branches to three feet.”
When the siren sounded for play to be suspended, Sean had hit a wedge to six feet from the pin at 14 – but had to wait an hour before the hard work of the Lancashire officials and Blackley volunteers managed to get the course playable again.
Sean maintained his composure to hole his birdie putt on 14 – but then suffered a setback on the 15th when he hit his second out of bounds.
“Knowing I was leading at two over and then hitting it OOB on 15 made me feel sick inside, especially after thinking I’d hit the shot perfectly,” said Sean, who left his fourth shot 30 feet shy of the pin. A good recovery salvaged a double bogey, but the teenager knew he could not afford any more mistakes.
Three straight pars left Sean in the driving seat to edge out Noah Cambridge (Royal Lytham and St Annes).
“I was so worried I’d lose out on CPO again but when the last group finished I realised I’d won by one,” he said. “I’d lived with the second place disappointment for 12 months so to deliver on the day was so satisfying.
“It was great to be presented with the trophy by Lancashire president Mike Lay, who used to play golf with my dad Peter at Dunscar many years ago. “
The title success marked a return to form for Dobson, after he had started the summer brightly with a superb two under par 70 off the white tees at Hesketh Golf Club in Southport to record the best gross and nett scores in a Lancashire Association team event against a field including players up to five years older than him.
He also returned a two under 70 at Royal Birkdale in his first men’s competition and will now play off for the club’s Jubilee Vase in September.
Further confidence was gained when he came from behind to win the last hole in his singles match against Yorkshire boys to gain a half. He has played for the county three times now.
“I became a member of Royal Birkdale in May this year and the wonderful course and facilities along with the fierce competition have certainly improved my golf,” said Sean, who is also a member at Dunscar Golf Club where he started playing the sport.
Sean finished third in the Bolton Golf Association junior championships and won Dunscar Golf Club’s junior championship.
He has been part of the Lancashire Elite Under 14s squad for the past two seasons under the supervision of ex-European Tour player Jim Payne. Sean’s regular coach is Philip Newnes from Chilli Dip Golf Academy.
Sean lives in Bolton and is a pupil at Bolton School and Captain of their golf team. He’s played football and cricket in the top divisions of the Bolton and District leagues, but is now focussed on golf.
He plays off 3.8 and would like to get this down to below 3.0 before the end of the season – with a target of getting as close to scratch as possible in 2019.
1st, Sean Dobson (Royal Birkdale) 75; 2nd, Noah Cambridge (Royal Lytham and St Annes) 76; 3rd, Charlie Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) 78; 4th, William McGhie (Lancaster) 78; 5th, Freddie Kelly (Ashton-under-Lyne) 78; 6th, Michael Kilgallon (St Annes Old Links) 79; 7th, Ben Barton (Wilpshire) 80; 8th, Zak Sturgeon (Nelson) 81; 9th, Thomas Davies (Rossendale) 81; 10th, Aidan Hartin (Heysham) 83