Alex James Leads Welsh Clean Sweep In Porthmadog As He Makes Winning Return From US College

Alex James Leads Welsh Clean Sweep In Porthmadog As He Makes Winning Return From US College

By Hamish Stuart

Welsh golfers made it a clean sweep of the major prizes in a strong field at the Welsh Open Youths (Mixed) at Porthmadog.

Alex James, Royal Lytham and St Anne’s, won the event as part of an all-Welsh top three, while Wales international Izzy Hopkins, Bristol and Clifton, finished as the top female.

Iestyn McEvoy, Glynhir, and Caolan Burford, Rhuddlan, were tied second in a field which saw a strong entry from England, along with players from Ireland, Scotland and continental Europe in the Under 21 age category.

James, aged 20, a second year student at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, came into the event on the back of some good results on the American college circuit.

He won by five shots from McEvoy and Burford, the only three players to finish under par round the North Wales layout. Hopkins was tied fourteenth overall in the mixed event.

James is a second year student at LMU in the United States.

“I have never won a tournament of this size before, so it was a nice way to start the season in my first event back in the UK this summer,” said James, whose father is from South Wales.

“I have only ever once really been in contention to win before and learned the lessons from that disappointment, which helped me figure out what to do this time.

“It felt good to close it out with two rounds in the 60s and I was really pleased that I stuck to what I had planned rather than getting defensive.”
James is studying finance at LMU and credited the work put in there from the start of the year for his strong form.

“I played really well, kept the ball in play and putted well,” he said. “I felt I had been hitting the ball well, playing in eight 54 hole events since the start of the year and getting a couple of strong finishes.

“I have been working hard, so I put this down to that time spent practicing with the coaches and staff at LMU.”

Wales Golf Championship Manager David Wilson added, “Congratulations to Alex for what was a dominant performance in a strong field with many of the best Under 21 players from the Home Nations and further afield.

Izzy Hopkins on the course in Porthmadog

“Seeing an all Welsh 1, 2, 3, in the mixed event was great, with Issy Hopkins finishing as the best female adding the icing on the cake.

“The scores showed that Porthmadog set a tough but fair test, while the work of the staff and members there in supporting the event helped make it a great success both on and off the course.”

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