Artigolle Clinches UK National Title
Yannick Artigolle, Hong Kong Amateur Champion and Faldo Series Hong Kong Champion, shot a final round 75 for a total of 219 to take the victory and become the 2017 Intercollegiate Tour Players’ Champion in the UK.
Following a very competitive season of qualifying in the North region of the Intercollegiate Tour, Loretto Golf Academy pupils, Yannick Artigolle and Lou Tan, both are 17 years old and from Hong Kong, qualified for the National Finals at the historic Moortown Golf Club near Leeds.
Day one proved to be a test of both skill and endurance as the players completed two rounds in warm and breezy conditions. Yannick got off to good starts by shooting level par in the first round to be placed second in the boys’ category.
The afternoon saw the wind pick up making scoring conditions tougher. However, Yannick followed up with a round of 73 to maintain his position. At the close of day one, Yannick was one shot behind the lead in the boys’ event with a two-round total of 144.
The final round was played in bright conditions with the wind picking up through the day to challenge the players on the back nine. Lou Tan improved on his day one performance with a score of 73 - one of the best scores of the day - to help him climb the leaderboard.
Starting one shot behind the lead, Yannick birdied his opening hole to take a one-shot lead after a bogey at the first hole for the lead. He played steady golf through the front nine, maintaining his lead and narrowly missing a birdie chance on 12 to double his lead. A birdie on 13 saw Yannick back tied for the lead, but a well-played 14th saw him regain his one-shot advantage with four holes remaining in what was going to be a nervy finish. Another par on 15 maintained Yannick’s one shot lead, but a hooked approach from the fairway on 16 resulted in a penalty drop and a double bogey, brought him back into a tie at the top. However, a good tee shot on 17 to the heart of the green and a well-played two-putt, earned him a one-shot lead playing the last. After a good drive and his approach finding the middle of the green, Yannick had two putts for victory which he was able to do in style.
The Intercollegiate Tour was established to provide a high-quality golf competition for student golfers and college golf teams at the growing number of colleges running golf academies in the UK. An important part of the educational programmes (e.g. AASE) run by these golf colleges includes tournament preparation. It is therefore an essential component of the education of these golfers to have golf competitions that all the student golfers can access their courses.
Top: Intercollegiate Tour Players’ Champion 2017, Yannick Artigolle from Loretto Golf Academy; Above: Yannick sinks the final putt to clinch victory