GOLFING starlet Joe Dean stands on the brink of every young golfer’s dream - a place at the Open Championship.
Should he upset the odds and make it, his biggest supporters - mum and dad - will be there to see it. Or not see it more likely!
For when Joe, who is 17 on Friday, played one of the rounds of his young life to finish top of the leaderboard in the Open Regional Qualifier at Lindrick on Monday, mum Pauline admits she dare not watch. And dad Bob was only doing so from a discreet distance.
Joe, from Killamarsh and representing Renishaw Park GC, stunned the rest of the field with a two under par 69, the only golfer to break 70.
It means he moves on to the Final Qualifying round next week at one of the Kent courses neighbouring Royal St.George’s which will host the Open on July 14.
Pauline and Bob will travel down to Kent to see if he can achieve a golfing miracle and get through to the Open but mum says she really won’t be able to watch him in action.
“I went to Lindrick but I can’t watch him, not in competition. It’s near enough four hours of purgatory for me while he’s out there,” she chuckled. “His dad always keeps his distance too; you don’t want parents on top of him adding to the pressure. He did remarkably well on Monday and he was in a bit of a daze later, I think he was shell-shocked.
“It’s great to be going into the final qualifying stage but we’re under no illusions how difficult it is to get through next week. But we’re so proud he’s going to be there.”
Joe, who has been golfing since he was 10, was the youngest Sheffield Men’s Open Champion when he won the title aged 16 last August.
The trip to Kent next week means the Eckington School student will have to miss the National Schools Golf Championship Finals, on Monday, for which he had qualified.
Three other local golfers also came through the Lindrick event, one of 12 regional qualifiers staged on Monday.
They were Dan Wasteney of Bondhay and Hallowes GC pair Stefan Priest and Scott Campbell, all three shooting 72 to earn Final Qualifying places.
Kevin Crossland, of Worksop GC, made it through the Pannal GC qualifier with a 70.