Golf / Laetitia Beck Places Second Behind British Open Champ

Teenage golfer Laetitia Beck demonstrated once again last week that she can compete with the very highest level of under-18 players in the world.

The 17-year old Israeli finished in second place overall at the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at the Dundonald links in Scotland, losing by just one stroke to Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand.

Beck played consistently throughout the three rounds, shoting 71, 74, and 74 on a par-72 championship links course. Trailing Jutanugarn, the 2008 British Open Junior Champion, she kept her cool, managing par, par and birdie on the final three holes. The final birdie also ensured her at least second place.

After a well-placed drive of some 250 yards off the final tee, Beck was left with almost 235 yards to the green protected by a water hazard in the front. Without any hesitation she confidently chose her 3-wood and hit the ball almost pin high on the left of the green.

A chip and a putt was all she needed, and she did so with perfection, as the large crowd around the 18th green, which included the duke himself, applauded her. Afterwards she received runner up prize from Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Beck's meeting a real Duke should go down well at the school she has committed to attend after graduating in 2010 - Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Asaf Cohen, 15, played well in his own right and scored 82, 79 and 79 - a solid performance considering that it is only the second time ever that he has played on a links golf course, and that he was in the company of 36 of some the best male junior golfers in the world.