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Lyndhurst youngster Henry Atkinson finishes in top 10 of IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego

A New Forest youngster finished in the world’s top 10 for his age group at a championship event in the US.

Henry Atkinson returned from the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, California, tied for seventh in the 7-8 age group after playing 54 holes across three days.

Narrowly missing out on a trophy, Henry competed against 50 of the best seven and eight-year-olds across the globe in the tournament previously won by Tiger Woods and Jason Day. It was Henry’s first global event after qualifying through the British Junior Golf Tour last September.

Henry Atkinson in San Diego
Henry Atkinson in San Diego

The Lyndhurst eight-year-old said: “I loved every minute of being in San Diego and taking part in such a big competition.

“It was great meeting other children from all over the world who love golf as much as I do, and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Henry, who is part of the Hampshire under-12 squad, shot three-under on his second round of the competition at Oak Glen Golf Course, starting the 18 holes with four birdies in a row.

He is now focusing his attention to his next global competition in Marbella next February, which will see him play a further three rounds alongside more than 250 junior players from around the world.

Henry’s coach and caddie at the event, Nathan Cook, said: “This competition was a truly great experience for Henry and me as his coach.

“It was fantastic for him to be involved in a world event and leave knowing he can play competitively with the very best.

“Henry’s hard work and training paid off, he played some fabulous golf and nothing phased him. It was a very proud coach moment and an experience we will remember forever.”

The next few months will see Henry compete for against both Surrey and Wiltshire whilst continuing to practice ahead of the World Junior Golf Championship in Spain next year.

Henry’s family will be working hard to secure sponsors to help support his dream of playing competitive golf all over the world.

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