A NORTH Wales youngster is celebrating a prestigious double victory after he won his age group category at a European junior event in Portugal and then returned home to win a big British event too.
Eight-year-old Charlie McKinney, from Abergele, won the nine and under category in the recent Oceanico World Kids Golf tournament when he beat a field of fellow youngsters from all over Europe. He then won the US Kids British Championships at Woodhall Spa last month.
Charlie, a member at Abergele Golf Club since the age of five, is coached by Stuart Runcie. He has played golf since being tiny (with plastic clubs).
For one so young he already has experience of playing in big international events. He played in the Callaway World Junior Golf tournament in San Diego in 2013 and in the US Kids Worlds Golf tournament in Pinehurst in 2014.
He also played in the US Kids European Championships in Scotland in May 2014 and 2015.
His victory in Portugal came during a three-round nine-hole Stableford event over the beautiful O’Connor Course. The Bodelwyddan Junior and Rhyl FC Academy footballer fired gross scores of 18, 16 and 17 points for a 51-point total that beat Scotland’s Fergus Brown by three. In the nett category the 28-handicapper also won by three from Ireland’s Finn Rohdich.
Charlie, who is also a sprint champion, won a medal, a watch, a golf top and matching golf shorts as the winner.
At Woodhall Spa he beat another international field when he fired a nett 66 to win by four.
Mum Liz, who was in Portugal with husband Neil and other son Jack, 10, said: “We are all really proud of his achievement. He loves golf so we are pleased for him that he has been rewarded.
“Jack’s also a really good golfer and he has qualified for a Wee Wonders event in St Andrews with Charlie too.
“It would be lovely if they could both go on to future successes that we can all enjoy together.”