Rising star plays in Grand Final at St Andrews


A ten-year-old school girl from Ashtead joined Britain’s finest young golfers at the HSBC Wee Wonders Grand Final


ASHTEAD rising star Claire Olney enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime as she locked horns with Britain’s finest young golfers at the HSBC Wee Wonders Grand Final at St Andrews.

The ten-year-old St Peter’s Catholic Primary School pupil, who beat off competition from a record 4,000 competitors to qualify for Scotland, just missed out on a podium finish at the home of golf – finishing fifth.

And after coping well with the ultra windy St Andrews fairways, Olney – who plays at Tyrrells Wood Golf Club – has already set her sights on returning next year.

“I was second in the competition in 2007 and it was great to be at St Andrews again,” said Olney.

“It was really difficult on the first day because the wind made it really hard but I enjoyed the weekend and hopefully I can come back next year.

“I play lots of other sports like tennis, cricket, netball and swimming but I really love golf.”

Olney booked her spot in Scotland with second place at the regional qualifying round at Hever Castle Golf Club earlier this year.

And European Tour star Nick Dougherty – a protégé of six-time Major winner Nick Faldo – believes the competition is the perfect launch pad for the
youngsters’ senior careers.

“The standard at the final was absolutely phenomenal and the good thing is that the kids have got really great attitudes and they learn really great lessons from the tournament,” said Dougherty.

“The talent on show was absolutely fantastic and this experience will stand them all in really good stead for the future.”

HSBC is committed to growing golf at grassroots level. In the UK, HSBC supports a number of initiatives, including the HSBC Wee Wonders tournament; open to all young golfers aged between five and 12. For more information visit

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