Juniors won’t be fazed on inter-insular debut
JAYDEN TUCKNOTT celebrated his call-up to the Guernsey men’s team this week with a hole-in-one.
The Channel Islands junior champion aced the 143-yard seventh hole at Royal Winchester with an eight iron on Wednesday, the day after he had been named in Dave Jeffery’s side for next month’s Challenge Trophy Inter-Insular at La Moye.
It was the 16-year-old’s fifth hole-in-one.
Tucknott is one of three junior debutants in the Guernsey team along with the McKenna brothers, Conor and Rory, with non-playing captain Jeffery admitting that the two youngest had picked themselves with their outstanding seasons.
‘They were typical juniors when I phoned them to tell them the good news, you just get a quick “OK, cheers” in reply, but I honestly cannot believe that Conor or Jayden did not expect to get the call. Rory might have thought he was on the fringes,’ he said.
‘Jayden reached the final in the Island Men’s Championship, he is the CI junior champion and he has played a lot of golf away from home this season and had some really good results.
‘Conor is now close to a plus-three handicap, if he’s not already there, and he is beating everyone who is put in front of him at the moment.
‘In previous years, you would maybe wonder about how juniors would cope with the pressure of an inter-insular, but these guys have been integrated into the Scratch League, Conor and Rory won our Elite Men’s Foursomes this year, they go off to Hampshire to be involved with county squads, they play in UK events and they are regularly surrounding themselves with players who are off scratch or plus-handicaps, so they are not going to feel fazed by it.
‘We just hope they go there and play like juniors – enjoy themselves with no fear.’
Jeffery added that another junior, Tanner Austin, also came ‘very close’ to making the final cut. He was named as first reserve.
‘When selecting the team you do have an eye on experience and an eye on potential partnerships,’ said the Guernsey captain.
‘The juniors have come on in leaps and bounds, it’s just a case of trying to find that balance. You are picking on merit, but also having enough experience knowing that you are going away trying to defend the trophy in Jersey.’
Overall, half the team is different from that which regained the silverware at L’Ancresse last year.
Daniel Griggs was unavailable this time around, as was the injured Ollie Chedhomme, while Andy Eggo and CJ Elmy have not played as much golf this summer. Arthur Evans is a reserve.
Multiple Island caps Danny Bisson and Steve Mahy return to the side for the match on 9-10 September, with the 10 completed by the successful Island Games quarter of Danny Blondel, Jamie Blondel, Jeremy Nicolle and Tom Pattimore as well as Island champion Tom Le Huray.