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Short game helps Will Whiteoak walk tall
Will Whiteoak’s short game has been a key factor behind him winning the 2012 Karl Curran Golfer of the Year trophy.
Whiteoak became only the fourth golfer to win the Bradford Amateur and Bradford Open Championships in the same summer.
And that double went a long way to securing him the player of the year crown – renamed in honour of 2008 winner Curran after his death from skin cancer.
In his final season as a junior, Whiteoak finished 24 points clear of Brushwood, who said: “Will is similar to the rest – but from 100 yards, he is awesome.
“I have been his foursomes partner and he might make a few mistakes from long range but from 100 yards in, he has been exceptional.”
With points being awarded across all the major competitions involving the Bradford Union, the former Oakbank School pupil was also a high scorer in Yorkshire Inter-District matches and led St Ives to the Bradford Team Championship title with a best 36-hole gross score.
Further triumphs included winning a Yorkshire Order of Merit title – the Bingley St Ives Salver on his home course – and claiming the best gross score in the Yorkshire Amateur Championship qualifying stages at Lindrick.
Whiteoak’s achievements saw him called up for the Yorkshire Boys team, who won the English County Championship in August, and Brushwood believes he can progress further through the ranks.
He said: “Will is good enough to make it into the men’s team. When you have the game from 100 yards in, you can always compete at a high level and Will certainly has that.”
Having spent time as a professional on the Europro Tour, Brushwood’s advice to Whiteoak – who is also a member at Branshaw – is to continue learning on the amateur circuit for the foreseeable future before thinking about joining the paid ranks.
He said: “Turning pro is not just about skill and talent. It’s about finance and having a safe passage. It can be very difficult on tour, with all the travelling down south. A lot depends on if you have the time and the backing.”
Brushwood cites the example of fellow St Ives player Andy Town, who played for England as a young amateur but turning professional didn’t work out for him.
He said: “It has to be a quick learning curve on tour. If you go down the amateur route, you can still play at the top level and test yourself against top internationals.”
Having become a father, family commitments have taken priority over golf for Brushwood this season but clinching the final Bradford Union title – the amateur matchplay crown – still saw him claim second spot in the golfer of the year standings.
After just missing out by a shot to Whiteoak in the Amateur Strokeplay, he got his revenge with a 4&2 success in the final at West Bradford, having been six under par when the players shook hands.
Bracken Ghyll pair Jack Lampkin and Peter Rishworth won the foursomes matchplay title, beating Cleckheaton’s Martin Gaffney and Daniel Hall in the final.