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Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 10:28 UK

Teenage golfer driven by success

Melissa Rudd
Blast Reporter, BBC Norfolk

Stuart Ballingall
Teenage golfer Stuart Ballingall won the Norfolk Open for the second time this year

Teenage golfer Stuart Ballingall has capped a memorable season after winning the Norfolk Open in a play-off for the second time.

The 18-year-old Scot of Dunston Hall Golf Club in Norfolk also made his international debut earlier this year.

He represented Scotland in the German Boys' Open and also featured in the Home Internationals.

"I am really pleased to have won a big tournament, it is a great way to finish the year" said Ballingall.

The Norfolk Open play-off win over Tom Varney is the latest in a string of successes for Ballingall, who first won the tournament in 2006.

He finished joint runner-up in the Norfolk Amateur Championship and clinched a hat-trick of wins at the Norfolk Boys Championship earlier in the season.

He also won the Under 18 Faldo Regional Final and as a result travels to Brazil in October to compete in the Grand Final.

"I have played in it for the last couple of years in Wales so it's not been quite as exotic - but this year is a bit different and I am really looking forward to it," said Ballingall.

Ballingall was eight when his family moved from Glasgow to Norfolk but often travels back to his homeland to play in tournaments.

He says this was a key factor in receiving the call-up for his country.

The standard at the German Boys Open was unbelievable

Stuart Ballingall

"To get in the Scotland team they wanted me to play in five tour events in the space of a couple of months, so I was back and forth every couple of weeks.

"I was quite busy but the standard up there is very good and the courses are great."

Despite many of the tournaments being held in Scotland, Ballingall insists he will continue to play his club golf in Norfolk.

"There are a lot more events there (in Scotland) than in England but I am definitely going to stay at Dunston Hall, it will always be my home club," he said.

Ballingall made his debut for Scotland in June this year at the German Boys Open.

"It was a great experience to see how good all the European boys are. It was the best-run junior tournament I have ever seen and the standard was unbelievable," he added.

Ballingall will qualify for the under-21 squad as of next year and is focused on keeping his place in the international set-up.

However a lack of fixtures in the age category means he will be vying for a place in the men's side.

"I'm going to have to have a really good year but I'll try and push my way into the men's team.

"I'll play under-21 events next year and a few men's events and see how it goes. Hopefully if I do well I might get another call-up," he added.




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