Golf: Houlding his own in company of US stars

David Houlding
David Houlding
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Golf is in the blood for one Leeds family who have not only produced a pillar of the game in these parts, but also one of the city’s brightest hopes for success.

Bryon Hutchinson was one of the longest-serving golf club professionals in England, working at Moortown for nearly four decades before his recent retirement.

Now his grandson, David Houlding, is making significant strides in the United States.

The 21-year-old former Leeds junior and senior player has just finished his second year of a golf scholarship at William Woods University in Missouri.

It is a second year in which he has established himself as one of the brightest amateurs in the US.

Just recently, the Moortown member was ranked the No 1 golfer by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) , a status he achieved by finishing as runner-up at the national championships which took place in Daytona, Florida.

His eight-under-par total (72, 75, 66, 67) at Daytona was one of the many highlights of what turned out to be a very strong sophomore season.

Houlding won five tournaments across America during the year, from just 11 events played. Only once was his name not in the top 10 of a tournament. The former Yorkshire union team player’s stroke average was 71.57.

That consistency and success earned him national recognition ‘across the pond’ as he was named to the NAIA PING All-America first-team by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) today.

Such an honour is the highest accolade a player can earn and something only nine golfers across the United States achieve all year.

Now back in Leeds and playing regularly at Moortown, Houlding has a busy summer ahead. He contests the British Amateur Championship at Carnoustie and Panmuir on Monday week, then seven days later returns to his home course to try and qualify for the Open. He also plays the English Amateur from July 27.