The closest of all the Divisions, this really did come down to the wire, as just four points separated Joel Warne and Ben Benetar going into the Tour Championship.
Ben had a superb final day to take the title and top the table at the critical point, securing the Tour Champion title, to give him a season total of 510. Nerves were always going to be a factor after a long season and so few points between them, but this is what the BJGT is all about, preparing players to deal with the emotions that come from being in contention for a major title.
Joel missed out on the overall title by the narrowest of margins, but with 445 points he held off a late charge from Freddie Raven to finish the season in the runner-up position. Joel was another who was utterly determined to win his first BJGT Tour Champion title, even playing through the pain barrier for the final few weeks with a neck injury.
Freddie Raven unfortunately had to withdraw from the Tour Championship due to testing positive for Covid-19, but he had a standout second half of the season where he really hit some form, taking a number of titles, including the Players Championship, which gave him third place on the Order of Merit going into the Tour Championship but only by two points from Oliver Brightman. Oliver couldn’t quite get the points required on the final day at the Tour Championship to take third place, so Freddie held on with a total of 406 points.
We must give a special mention to Amelia McGinty, who finished as the leading girl on the Junior Open Net Division table and 5th overall with 376 points – a great achievement! Amelia always has a smile on her face and obviously loves her golf, so we look forward to seeing how she does on the new dedicated Girls’ OOM next year.
Junior Open Gross Division – Champion – Micah Blowers
Micah Blowers becomes the first player to claim back-to-back titles in the Junior Open division by again showing his class to top the table with 634 points, and given the level of player on the BJGT, this is some achievement! To make it even more impressive, he did so with one event to spare, as he only needed points from 9 events to give him an unassailable lead. Micah has had some fantastic battles throughout the year against top quality opposition, so can justifiably rank himself as one of the best players in the country. Can he make it a three-peat next season?!
James Brash finished the season with a flurry, having wins in the final two majors of the year, The Rai Challenge and The Boys Players Championship, to make the Tour Championship at his home club of Foxhills. He subsequently finished third in the season-ending event to leave him tied with Joel Warne on 512 points for the season.
An incredible result that required a ‘countback’ decision based on the number of wins throughout the season, which James edged 3-1, showing that he is one of the best players out there and we fully expect him to contend again next season having played just 8 events to claim second place.
Joel Warne claimed a fantastic double haul of 2021 Order of Merit trophies, as he added the third place Gross Division prize to his Net Division runner-up.
Special mention must also go to Ellie Lichtenhein, who finished as the leading girl on the Junior Open Gross Division table, and 4th overall with 458 points, as her season ended with the Girls’ titles at the Tour Championship and an overall win in the Players Championship. Ellie always sets herself the highest of standards and expectations, so we know that she will be going all out for the inaugural Girls’ Junior Open title in 2022.
We again broke the 200 barrier, as 201 different players competed in the Junior Open Division in 2021. This is always going to be the most popular, competitive, and hotly contested division, with players from all over the country competing, as we continue to see the best players coming through our system.