Golfer Ben continues to dazzle

IT IS becoming a struggle to conjure up new superlatives to describe the golfing feats of Ben Evans.

Rarely does an event go by without some form of title, lofty finish, stunning round or, at the very least, a positive performance to report.

The 17-year-old, who has won the European Boys' Championship and the Home Internationals Boys' Championship as part of the England team, is now believed to be among the 10 lowest handicappers of any age in the country following a remarkable performance in the Italian International Amateur Championship.

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The Staplecross-based ace, who is now playing off an exact handicap of +2.9, reached the quarter-finals of the high-class event which attracted a 120 strong field, around half of which were +handicapped players, representing 14 countries.

What's more, the Sedlescombe and Rye Golf Club member posted the second best score in the two medalplay rounds from which the top 32 players advanced to the matchplay section at former Italian Open venue Villa d'Est Golf Club, near Como. His 36 hole total of 135 included a staggering six-under-par round of 65 in round two which, according to father Glyn, "is up there with the best" rounds he's pieced together. He also beat German players 6&5 and 4&3 in the first two knock-out rounds.

Glyn continued: "It was top drawer. There were only five players under par for the two rounds and 27 over was the highest when the highest handicapper was off two."

Before Ben's very own Italian Job, he became Club Champion at Rye with a very creditable two-over-par total of 138 in dreadful weather conditions on the famous and notoriously difficult links which threw up a Competition Scratch Score of five-over-par 73, two higher than the Standard Scratch Score. Simon Stillwell was three shots back in second.

He also won three out of four matches when representing Sussex at full (men's) and colts' level against Dorset. Ben, who is sponsored by Mick Maplesden, rounds his season off with appearances in the Golf Illustrated Gold Vase at Dale Hill Golf Club, Ticehurst, and the Faldo Junior Series final at Burhill Golf Club, Surrey, next month.