Durham’s Richard Aisbitt finished six shots clear of the field to complete an impressive wire-to-wire victory in the Logan Trophy at Northumberland Golf Club.
Aisbitt (image © Leaderboard Photography) scored two-under 70 today, finishing the 54-hole English men’s open mid-amateur championship at six-under par. The runner-up was his playing partner and friend, the host club’s Andrew Minnikin, who in turn was one clear of Yorkshire’s Stephen East.
“I am delighted, chuffed to bits” said Aisbitt, (Brancepeth Castle) who is also the Durham champion. “This is what you want, to have the chance of winning on a Sunday.”
He went on: “Andy and I said earlier in the year that the next time we played it would be in the last group at the Logan and it worked out that way.
“It’s a great one-two for the North East and we will have to invade the south next year!” The championship will be held at Brokenhurst Manor in Hampshire in 2016 and both players are already planning to play.
Minnikin who scored 73 today for a level par total, added: “This is my first year of playing the mid-amateur and it gives you the bit between your teeth to know you can compete.”
Aisbitt set out on the final round with a three shot lead over Minnikin and quickly extended it with a birdie on the first.
The lead widened again when Minnikin three-putted from close range on the second and by the time the pair turned for home Aisbitt was six-under for the tournament. A level par back nine completed the runaway win.
His play from tee to green was controlled and impressive, however he put himself under pressure with his putting, leaving himself with rather too many five-footers for par. He managed to hole all but one, but as he commented: “It made it hard work.”
Aisbitt was unphased by leading throughout the event. “I had a dodgy spell yesterday, just after the turn, when I had four bogeys in a row, but I got off to a nice start today,” he remarked.
Minnikin meanwhile triumphed in the tight battle for second place. At one stage he was briefly overtaken by Stephen East (Moortown), who has won this title three times and who charged to the turn in four-under par, before dropping two on the way in.
But Minnikin’s steady, par play over the back nine brought him home as runner up, despite failing to hole any significant putts. “I’m pleased overall because it’s quite hard to play at home,” said the Northumberland county captain. “But I just didn’t hole a putt – that’s my story of the three days, but it’s just one of those things.”
Phil Hubball (Whittington Heath) also made strides and his 69 – equalling the low score of the day – moved him into fourth place, alongside Hampshire’s Martin Young (Brokenhust Manor). Both completed the event in two over par.
The championship was attended on all three days by George Logan, a past President of both England and Northumberland, who presented the trophy in 1988. Richard Aisbitt’s father took part in one of the earliest championships and was on hand today to watch his son’s success.
Richard Aisbitt is pictured (below) playing his tee shot on the short 14th hole.