PAUL DUNNE was not the youngest golfer to succeed at Close House during British Masters week – just ask the 11-year-old who beat Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell.

Before Dunne, the 24-year-old Irishman who won the £500,000 prize on Sunday after finishing three shots clear of Rory McIlroy, had claimed his first Tour title, Andrew Griffiths had already shone on the Northumberland tee boxes.

Griffiths will never forget what happened at the plush venue after things just got better and better for him whenever he walked out onto the course.

Not only did Griffiths win his age category at the Junior British Masters played on the Filly Course at the beginning of the week, he then got to mix it with the stars and even beat one of them over the next few days.

After winning the Under-12s category and collecting a special edition Ping carry bag boasting a British flag, the Year 7 student then got to caddy for Lee Westwood during the Hero Challenge.

Griffiths, a Year 7 golf scholar at Ryton’s Thorp Academy where he has started to work with European Tour golfer Graeme Storm, was then asked to go and work with Nick Dougherty at the Sky Swing Zone in front of the cameras.

The experience didn’t stop there. The youngster, from Seaton Delaval, was then invited to take on McDowell in the Beat the Pro … and he sensationally managed to beat the former US Open champion.

Griffiths, who plays off 22, said: “It was just fantastic. Lee Westwood congratulated me when I won my category at the Junior Masters, then I got to carry his bag when he played alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez on the night in front of lots of people at the Hero Challenge. I was quite nervous and got a ball off him.

“I also got to meet Rory McIlroy on the Wednesday because my friend, Henry Joynson, won the overall category in the Junior Masters so he got to meet him at the Pro-Am. I was with him.

“Then I got to do the interview with Sky Sports and play with Graeme McDowell. I was really happy. It was a really nice experience.

“Graeme was a really nice man. He helped me to line up my putt and I beat him on that fifth hole, over the water, and there was plenty people watching. You can watch it on the internet. He didn’t need to do that, he was really nice.

“There was a lot of pressure when I was on the tee, but it felt good. It’s made me feel like I can handle things now. I want to be a professional golfer when I am older and this has made me want to do it even more.”