ONE of Lancashire’s up and coming young golfers is looking forward to a dream date with a legend of the sport.
Luke Bartram has won through to the final of the Faldo Series – which means a place in the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi and a meeting with Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six Major titles in a glittering career.
The Rossendale Golf Club golfer emerged triumphant in the U18 Faldo Series Northern Championship at Moortown Golf Club, which hosted the first Ryder Cup match held on British soil in 1929, to secure his final spot.
After a slow start to the three-day competition, an eagle on the first hole in the final round set up Luke’s winning score. His opening 75 was followed by a pair of 71s to earn a place in the final for the first time, at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club (AESGC).
“I am really looking forward to meeting Sir Nick and excited to see where my golf can take me,” said the 18-years-old who plays off scratch.
Luke has represented Lancashire at all levels after being invited along to the Lancashire Golf Union winter training at the age of 13, helping the Red Rose boys team to twice win the Four Counties trophy while on an individual level, he was runner-up in the county championship at both U14 and U18.
“I was fortunate to benefit from some top-quality coaching, both individually and within a group, and was selected for the Lancashire teams at all age groups, something I’m really proud of,” added Luke, who started playing as an 11-years-old after being taken to a Tri Golf session at Rossendale.
“From the first session I was hooked and I spent all the summer holidays practising and playing in junior competitions,” recalls Luke. “Rossendale GC has a very supportive and proactive Junior Golf Committee; it was a great place to start.”
Luke cut his competitive teeth on the ELGA (East Lancashire Golf Association) Junior Golf Tour, winning both the nett and later the gross competitions.
“It was here that I developed a love for competition golf and seeing my name move up the leaderboard,” says The Myerscough College student, who has just completed an extended BTec Diploma in Golf Studies.
“Over the last seven years I’ve been lucky to have played some fantastic golf courses, had some amazing golf experiences and to have been a part of the England U16 North West Regional Training Squad.”
Highlights include being invited along to The Ian Poulter Junior Invitational after winning the Kenilworth Junior Masters, qualifying for and playing in The European Junior Open in Spain, scoring five under in the Lancashire Men’s Amateur at Lancaster GC and earlier this season scoring six under St Andrews GC on The Torrance Course, five under at Fleetwood GC and helping Myerscough College to become National AoC Champions.
Luke added: “I would like to thank everyone within the Lancashire County set up who has coached, encouraged and supported me. I hope my progress and successes over the last few years are a testimony to the many hours that have been invested in me.
“Derek Cropper, the Rossendale Junior Team Manager, has also supported and encouraged me on my journey through Junior golf; my coach Craig Lea at Myerscough College continues to guide and support me even after I have graduated from college. And, of course, a huge ‘Thank You’ to Team Mum and Dad, Mike and Jayne Bartram.”
The Faldo Series features40 tournaments in 30-plus countries worldwide, reaching thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy.