The Devon Boys' Championship turned into one of the most extraordinary competitions of the year after overall winner Joel Warne (2-Stover Golf Club) broke the course record by 2 shots at Bigbury Golf Club.

What made the achievement all the more remarkable was the 16-year-old had never previously broken par before he produced an 8-under-par 62 in the first of two stroke play rounds. Club professional Sam Edwards’ 64 had been the record holder for the last 13 years.

Course Record Breaker
Joel Warne (2) - Stover Golf Club


Joel's Card
A new Bigbury Golf 
Club Course Record by 2 shots


Warne also came within millimetres of achieving something virtually unique in golf. At the 18th his birdie attempt just shaved the hole. Had it dropped it would have been his ninth consecutive 3. A closing par 4 meant he came home in 28 and he also went bogey free.

“I still can’t quite believe it,” said the 2 handicapper from Stover Golf Club. “So many times I have been a couple under par early in a round, only to let it slip and end up over par.”

Warne went into the competition buoyed by a 1 over par round in the British Junior Golf Tour at Belton Woods the previous day.

And he had a dream start, birdieing the first two holes. His 4 iron to 10 feet at the opener was just the boost before he drained a 30-footer up the hill at the second.

He then reeled off 7 consecutive pars although came very close to a birdie at the fifth when his putt was left in the jaws.

Warne added: “When I got to 2-under I kept trying to make pars and not do anything too heroic. I played it as safe as it could.”

His run of pars was ended in dramatic style at the 11th where he chipped in for eagle from 40 yards, having navigated a bunker and a precarious-looking dry lie in stunning fashion.

Joel went out in 34 and came home in just 28 - a stunning round!

He then had a prophetic chat with his playing partner Stanley White (Saunton) as they walked up the 12th.

“I said to Stanley I might be able to get to 8-under and he said: ‘I don’t think you will do that’.

“After that, that became my target.”

With a run of short par fours to come, Warne kept his driver in the bag and used his 3 wood off the tee to brilliant effect.

At the 12th he chipped to 5 feet and knocked in the birdie putt to get to 5 under and, at the next, drove close to the green before chipping to a foot.

A third birdie in a row followed at 14 where he almost holed out for eagle and two holes later got to the magic 8 under. The Stover junior went straight over the out of bounds and his bravery was rewarded with a 2-putt birdie from the fringe.

At the 17th he made a solid par before pulling his approach at the last, the ball finishing pin high but there would be no remarkable finish to a remarkable round.

His 62 left him 10 clear of his playing partner at halfway but Stanley White (Saunton) clearly took inspiration from what he had witnessed in the morning to race to 5 under through the front 9 after lunch.

With Warne 4 over at the turn the gap was down to 1 - but the new course record holder played the back 9 in 1 under, which included a birdie at the last after he stuck a wedge to 6 inches.

The final margin was 3 shots and the hero of the hour’s 5-under overall total also meant he won the U-16s prize.

Thanks to golfnews24 

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