sport news Big swings on the course and the leaderboard as over 250 rising stars compete ... trends now

sport news Big swings on the course and the leaderboard as over 250 rising stars compete ... trends now
sport news Big swings on the course and the leaderboard as over 250 rising stars compete ... trends now

sport news Big swings on the course and the leaderboard as over 250 rising stars compete ... trends now

As the sun set over this stretch of paradise nestled in the Costa Del Sol hills, there remained a palpable sense that this was the start of some careers that will illuminate golf for years to come.

More than 250 of the game's brightest young stars travelled from all corners of the globe hoping to get their hands on the Daily Mail World Junior Golf Championship crown.

Some of the competitors were not much bigger than their golf bag. Yet they stood strong on the courses of the Villa Padierna golf course in Marbella - which was every bit as challenging as it was beautiful - to produce three thrilling days of action.

There were thrills and spills. Big swings on the course but even greater ones on the leaderboard. Around every corner there was a story to tell; even in the world of competitive junior golf, no two journeys are the same.

Take Fraser Walters, who finished eight shots ahead of the field on six under par in the 12-13 Boys competition.

The beautiful Villa Padierna resort in Marbella provided the stunning backdrop as over 250 talented juniors competed for the Daily Mail World Junior Golf Championship crown

The beautiful Villa Padierna resort in Marbella provided the stunning backdrop as over 250 talented juniors competed for the Daily Mail World Junior Golf Championship crown

Fraser Walters finished eight shots ahead of the field to win the 12-13 Boys competition

Fraser Walters finished eight shots ahead of the field to win the 12-13 Boys competition

The young Scot, who defeated golf legend Tiger Woods' son, Charlie, in a tournament three weeks ago, celebrated the successful defence of his title, which he won in Portugal a year ago.

A serial winner the 13-year-old may already be, but the week wasn't as plain-sailing for Walters as you might expect when looking at the leaderboard.

'People think you just turn up to competitions and do well. But we were in hospital when we first arrived here,' explained his mother, Christina.

'Fraser has got severe allergies so only a few days ago he was in hospital on a drip. He ate something and reacted badly. He couldn't breathe. 

\We were thinking 'Would he be able to compete?' and next minute he was playing really well.'

Stephen, Fraser's father, added: 'The day before the practice round we were in hospital all night, we didn't leave till 6am in the morning.'

Golf is a sport which runs through this family from Gullane, East Lothian, on the east coast of Scotland.

Stephen remains a capable recreational player while you were left with the suspicion that Christina is also a dab hand out on the course, despite her attempts to downplay her ability. 'I just fake it till I make it, I've got the chat,' she jokes.

There was stunning scenery and sunshine to enjoy beneath the Costa Del Sol hills

There was stunning scenery and sunshine to enjoy beneath the Costa Del Sol hills 

Danish player Christian Photin (pictured) beat his best mate Noah Lundskaer to claim victory

Danish player Christian Photin (pictured) beat his best mate Noah Lundskaer to claim victory

Also sat on the table toasting Frazer's success is 11-year-old sister Stella, who finished third in the 10-11 Girls competition.

Though victory escaped her grasp this time, a beaming smile soon returns when Mail Sport asks if she one day plans on usurping her brother.

'They are ridiculously competitive… violently competitive! But they support each other,' said Christina. 'When it goes wrong for one, they help each other because they know it sucks.'

That sense of camaraderie out on the course was no exclusive to siblings.

15-year-old Dane Christian Photin found himself locked in a playoff with 'best buddy' Noah Lundskaer after the pair both finished 13 over par.

In a dramatic twist, Lundskaer sent his four-foot putt narrowly wide on the first to hand Photin a maiden tournament victory outside his homeland. He admitted, rather graciously, that the win was tinged with disappointment for his friend.

'We were talking about it (a playoff) yesterday because I was leading by four shots and on the first tee he said, 'It could be fun on a playoff',' recalled Photin.

'It's the second time I have been in a playoff so the adrenaline wasn't going as much. I knew how to handle it a bit more.

'I didn't see it coming, it was a four-footer so I just thought we'll just get to the second hole. I could hear him slap his legs and say 'No!' and I was like 'Damn, he missed'. It was hard to see him miss a four-footer on the last.'

Photin, who has also played in the European Young Masters, a competition won by both Sergio Garcia and Rada Cabrera-Bello which led them to great heights in the professional game,

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