Seb Cave won the 61st Birmingham Trophy after shooting a five-under-total 0f 208 in three rounds at Berkhamsted Golf Club.
The 17-year-old Coxmoor cleared three shots from Harley Smith from Essex’s The Raleigh Club in a tournament affected by rain, snow and strong winds, which cut Saturday’s 36-hole finish in one round and delayed the start of the game after heavy snowfall.
The England boys team mates were equally broken in an event where the weather tested hard on 108 contestants, including – for the first time in 63 years – a number of female golfers following the decision of the Berkhamsted Golf Club to open the traditional UK season – the elite men’s tournaments for both sexes.
Cave, who was one of the first of the worst weather of the week for the first round, had two key elements in his game plan that ultimately paved the way for his victory. “I knew the conditions of the game would be very difficult, so I got myself in the right mood from the very beginning,” he said. “I knew I’d hit the ground running halfway through the weather.”
He has also surpassed the international arena by creating a special tee shot to tackle the famous complex, bunker-free challenge at Berkhamsted. “Most of the players were hitting iron longer than the tee to stay at the fairway, but I practiced a knockdown low-powered tee shot with the driver that kept the ball under the air and that meant I was hitting more wedges on the greens than anyone else. Otherwise. “
In the final round, Cave, who was born in a great five-iron to five-foot Blackburn on the 14th for Birdie, who was playing in the final group, smelled of victory and learned about his three-shot lead as he walked. Until the 17th. After two hard purses, he finished with the last 68 and picked up the Berkhamstead Trophy in celebration of winning the biggest tournament of his young career.
“It’s a great feeling to win, and the greens of Birminghamst have been the best I’ve played so far this year,” said Cave, who has a college place at the University of Alabama Birmingham in the fall of 2023. “You can’t control your normal spin from the danger around the greens because there are no bunkers, but my short game was caught – and it had to be done, because I know how little Harley Smith can shoot!”
Runner-up Smith, 16, whose last day was 67 rounds less than a week, said: “Birkhamsted makes you think, especially outside of T. I had to play aggressively because I knew how good Apple was, and it almost paid off. The golf course was in great shape for the rest of the year, and the greens were amazingly good. “
England boys head coach Rob Watts, who selected Guha for the England boys squad in 2021, was impressed but was not surprised by his strong victory. “Apple has a strong personality, an impressive work rate and is always perfectly prepared. As well as being a big hitter, he is also very good at green vegetables, which makes him a very strong competitor. ”
For the Berkhamstead Trophy, there is no doubt about the importance of Watts. “The season starts with Berkhamsted, no doubt about it,” he said. “This event is a spot-on pitch. It’s hugely useful because it gives elite golfers a perfect start to the season and sets the tone for a great golf course – year. “
Olivia Lee of Gerard’s Cross, who became the first female golfer to play in the tournament, said: “The level of competition in men’s golf is very high, and the event was a good experience. This is the first time I’ve ever played a golf course without a bunker, which is harder than you expected, but Berkhamstead was in great shape. “
Howard Craft, manager of the Birkhamsted Golf Club, said: “The trophy will be remembered year after year, for the weather and the arrival of female competitors like Olivia Lee. He also played great, surpassing dozens of top male golfers in the top three on the field after the first round. Olivia Williams of Worcestershire eventually became less feminine, and with Olivia Lee, Ciara Rashmer and Grace Rigby, she is now an integral part of the history of girls golf.
“Despite the weather, Gerald Bruce and the Greenkeeping team put the golf course at its best ever for this year’s trophy, and we were delighted to see the response from the public. The work we’ve done over the last three years on irrigation, and subsequently paid dividends to our golf course consultant Turfgrass. After a two-year coveted delay, the Berkhamstead Trophy is back where it deserves and our congratulations go to Apple Cave – a worthy winner and a very bright prospect for the future. “
To see the full results from the 61st Barkhamstead Trophy, click here.