Golf-mad lad gets hands on Open trophy in after-school surprise

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A golf-mad boy was left “speechless” after the Open Championship trophy was put in his room for a surprise after school.

Parents of Joshua Marshall, Andy and Laura, had redecorated his room in the theme of the tournament after the 11-year-old visited Carnoustie this year.

His mother put out a post on social media which was picked up by Open organisers the R&A, who said they would like to bring the Claret Jug round to their home in Dundee.

Mr Marshall, a teacher at Forfar Academy, said: “To say we were blown over is an understatement, to be honest.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him as dumbfounded and speechless – he’s always got something to say about anything – he couldn’t believe what was unfolding in front of him.

“You always love to see a smile on your children’s faces, it’s something so special to them.

“There’s not many people in the world who can say they’ve had the Open Championship trophy under their own roof.

“Even a big masculine man like myself welled up a bit.”

Joshua played on the famous Carnoustie course in the weeks before the Open.

He then visited the tournament – won by Francesco Molinari – trying to get as many signatures as possible on a course flag he had been given.

It triggered the young schoolboy to request a more “grown up” decor in his bedroom, something in the theme of the Open.

Colleagues of his dad helped with some designs for the wall and his golfing memorabilia was hung up.

Posts of the revamp caught the eye of the tournament organisers, who said they would like to contribute something but would also like to bring the trophy round their house as a surprise.

An R&A spokesman said: “One of our key priorities is to attract more children to attend The Open through our Kids go Free initiative and we were really struck by Joshua’s passion for the championship.

“It was nice to be able to recognise that in a small way and hopefully it will inspire many more youngsters to come along and see the world’s best golfers in action.”

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