Jessica's a wee wonder

LITTLE Jessica Hall played the round of her short life only to miss out on a dream trip to St Andrew's by only one shot.

LITTLE Jessica Hall played the round of her short life only to miss out on a dream trip to St Andrew's by only one shot.

Held at Leeds Golf Centre, Jessica was playing in the North of England HSBC Wee Wonders regional final having qualified in the 9-10 year age bracket from a local qualifying competition staged at Crook Golf Club.

On the day and playing with 10-year old Megan Clarke, a 27-handicapper from the Leeds area, she stunned everybody watching by making it all the way to her 36th shot - her drive at the 11th hole.

Megan had only one further shot left resulting in her winning and qualifying to play in the National Finals at St Andrews.

Playing on par 3 golf courses in "flag format", boys and girls aged five to twelve get the chance to see how they score against others their age.

The players start at the first tee and have 36 shots to get as far round the course as possible, placing a flag where the 36th shot finishes - if they get further than others their age, they've won.

Dad Graham said: "It was unbelievable; we only took her there for the experience. Jessica matched her playing partner Megan Clarke shot for shot all the way to the 11th tee. Megan had a local professional caddying for her and he couldn't believe what he was witnessing.

"We had a fantastic day and it was one of the best days she has had on a golf course - we were over the moon with the way she performed."

Jessica started playing golf five years ago and has been a member at Bishop Auckland Golf Club since March 2008.

And because of her size of 4ft 5in, she has been allocated a local handicap of 54. She plays two or three times a week with her dad and older brother George, who are also members at the County Durham club.

Graham added: "On the big courses, Jessica struggles on the longer holes, especially the par 5s but she does well on the par 3s. The 12-hole par 3 course at Leeds was ideal for her - both myself and my wife Carolynne are both very proud parents."

Currently a pupil a Witton-le-Wear Primary School, Jessica regularly receives golf tuition from professionals David Skiffington at Bishop Auckland and Stressholme's Ralph Givens.

In the boys' 7-8 category, William Skipp, who also qualified from Crook, won his section and a place in the National Finals.


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