LINDRICK'S Bailey Gill will make his senior Yorkshire debut on Saturday just six days after winning his first national title.
Nineteen-year-old Gill, who triumphed in the Welsh Open Youths’ Championship, will look to help Darryl Berry's side take another step towards defending their Northern Counties League title when they take on Cheshire at Sandiway.
Yorkshire captain Berry has fostered a strong camaraderie in his team, but Gill had to go it alone last Sunday at Whitchurch where he carded rounds of 68 69 69 73 to win by three shots.
Gill was paired in the final group with his closest rival going into the last round, Ogbourne Downs' Jake Bolton, who had a handful of friends watching and supporting him.
"I just tried to play a bit of a match play against him," said Gill. "It wasn't easy with him having four or five friends supporting him. I was on my own, caddying for myself.
"You've just got to deal with the situation and get on with it."
He admits that nerves played a part in his first poor play of the week as the players headed into the back nine, leading to a pair of ugly double bogeys.
But his superb play through the first 63 holes - and a birdie at his penultimate hole - meant he had plenty in hand to complete a thoroughly deserved win.
"Both double bogeys came from poor tee shots into trees," he recalled. "It can happen, especially on that course, which isn't very long, but it is tree-lined, very tight off the tee.
"It is only about 6,300 yards, but there are quite a few demanding tee shots.
"Lindrick is not a very long course and I've grown up there so I have a fair bit of experience on that type of course.
"It's not new to me, but it will be to some amateurs [not being able to just stand on every tee and smash a driver]. You have to play your way round. Winning this title is a great confidence booster."
Gill's father Rob, a national newspaper journalist, got his son into the game even though he does not play it himself.
"My dad's good friends with an assistant at Lindrick, Steve Rose, so he sent me up for a couple of lessons when I was younger and I just got going from there," said Gill, a left-hander.
"I probably started taking golf seriously about six and a half, seven years ago when I was 12.
"I had a couple of lessons when I was 10, but left golf for a while to play football, then I came back to golf."
And the reason Gill left football for golf? "Just the fact that I was getting substituted," he laughed.
Clearly he made the right choice and his plan is to pursue a career as a tournament player on the European Tour, following in the footsteps of fellow Lindrick members Danny Willett, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood.
"I'm probably going to stay amateur for one or two more years then try and get on the EuroPro Tour," he said.
"I'll go to Qualifying School [for the European Tour], but I'll probably get on the EuroPro and try to work my way up from there.
“My dad has given me the opportunity to play golf full-time, which is something I will be forever grateful for."
Yorkshire's full team for Saturday is: Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall), Kealan Lowe (Wheatley), Bailey Gill (Lndrick), David Hague (Malton & Norton), Luke Robinson (Hornsea), David Houlding (Moortown), Charlie Thornton (Fulford), Martin Brown (Pike Hills), Nick Poppleton (Wath), Charlie Daughtrey (Rotherham), Craig Smith (Fulford) and Jamie Harrison (Rotherham).