The three-man team from Workington carried off the English Champion Club Tournament when most of their rivals failed to mount a challenge on the second and final day of the event at North Hants (picture © Tom Ward).
After finishing runners-up a year ago at The Wiltshire, the Workington lads were determined to go a stage better and they did just that to take the title to Cumbria for the first time. The Workington trio of William Bowe, Seb Crookall-Nixon and Mark Cowan finished on 428, eight over par, five strokes ahead of City of Newcastle from Northumberland with Hayling from Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Channel Islands third on 441.
On a day that turned distinctly autumnal, the outcome was clear halfway through the day as no team managed to threaten Workington’s position.
“We are thrilled to bits,” said Cowan, who with Bowe played in last year’s competition. “We came here with a strong team and after yesterday we were in a good position. This adds to what has been a great year for Cumbria. We’ve won the Northern Counties League, qualified for the County Finals, Seb is the English Under 16 Champion again and John Longcake won the Mid Amateur. We’re back on the map.”
For Crookall-Nixon it was another victory in what is turning out to be highly successful for the 16 year old.
“Yes, it’s been a great year for me,” he said. “Winning the McGregor Trophy again and being a member of the winning teams in the Boys Home Internationals and the Jacques Leglise Trophy has been superb.”
The Cumbrian Champions began the day four clear of Porters Park from Hertfordshire and Surrey representatives Wentworth with The Kendleshire six shots back in fourth place.
It was the City of Newcastle who made the first move, posting a second round aggregate of 213 for 433, Nicky Maddison returning 67.
“I didn’t make the best start with bogeys at the first two holes,” he said. “But I picked up three shots over the next two holes with a birdie and an eagle-two at the fourth where I hit my drive to three feet. I got it to five under but managed to finish bogey-bogey-par. The pins were a bit fairer today but the weather was a bit harder. However, I’d have taken that at the start.”
Yet the target fell well within Workington’s reach. Out early, Bowe reached the turn in 34 with a couple of birdies on his way to 71, while Crookall-Nixon signed for 72. That meant if Cowan could shoot better than 78 they would hit the top of the leaderboard. He did just that, signing for 73 for an aggregate of 216 and 428.
Hayling, who were late starters, clinched third place late in the day when under 16 cap Colin Walsh came in with 69 and Toby Burden added 70 in an aggregate of 218.
But the best return of the day came from Cosby’s David Gibson with a six-birdie 66 for the lowest individual tally of 137, three under par.
Scores for all matches, championship commentary and news updates are available on the Championships Section of the EGU website, www.englishgolfunion.org.
EGU Media Release