Matthew Downes of Ingestre Park Golf Club has just had a great couple of great weeks of golf culminating in him being crowned the new Staffordshire Amateur Men’s Champion for 2016!
Having started playing golf at the ripe old age of 9 Matt has played SUGC County junior golf at U14, U16 & U18 level and was granted the honour of being the U16 & U18 Boys Captain in his final year.
In 2014 he won his first major county title by winning the Staffordshire U18 Match play championship with a convincing 8&7 win in the final and at club level in 2015 Matt had his best year yet clearing up on all the major individual trophies winning the Junior Club Championship, Men’s Club Championship (71-69 =140 level par), Men’s Scratch Knockout Championship & the Bailey Cup!
This season he played in some of his first national events and at the West of England Amateur Championship at Royal North Devon GC in a particularly strong field of players he narrowly missed the cut by just a shot and also playing the Brabazon Trophy qualifier at Fulford GC. He then went on to play the Trentham Punchbowl scoring level par 72 in the morning round and following it up with a 75 in the afternoon to finish tied for 1st place on 3 over 147 with George Clarke also of Staffordshire and Thomas Kerr from Shropshire.
After 5 holes of a sudden death play-off with both having putts to win Thomas managed to birdie the 5th hole to win the championship and just close out Matt. On to the Staffordshire Amateur Championship held at Ingestre Park GC for the first time in its history and in near perfect conditions he scored a one under par 69 with 5 others trailing Jack Gaunt on 66 (4 under tying the amateur course record) and Robert Maxwell 68 (new CEO of the PGA) and Lewis Pearce. In the afternoon round as the wind came up he went out in 3 under par 32 and finished with a very respectful level par 70 for a 139 (1 under par) winning total, beating Henry Sheridan-Mills and Simon Bright by one shot. All this on his 19th birthday as well!!!
Now nearing the end of his gap year Matt is preparing to go down to Plymouth University in Devon doing a BS. Hons Degree in TGC (Tournament Golf College) where he will be based at the St. Mellion International resort in Cornwall from September-December and then after the Christmas break he will be based at the Amondoira Resort on the Algarve from January to 31st March each year. He had 5 offers of Golf Scholarships in the USA but after careful consideration and a few skype conversations with US coaches decided that the TGC was his preferred option of choice. He would like to thank his family and Ingestre Park officials and members for their support while he has being a member at the club.