City of Newcastle are champions after finding their rhythm to depose Lytham

The team from City of Newcastle Golf Club in Northumberland can look forward to a trip to France next month after storming through the field to win the English Men’s Champion Club tournament at Romford Golf Club in Essex.

The Northumbrian club will be England’s representatives at the European Men’s Club Trophy at Golf du Medoc on October 24-26 after claiming their national Club title for the second time in the last three years.

The victory also made up for the disappointment of narrowly missing out on defending the title last year when they finished runners-up to Castle Royal at Huddersfield.

The City of Newcastle team comprising Alex Dixon, Phil Ridden and Andrew Minnikin started the final round on two over par 215 and seven shots off the pace set by Royal Lytham & St Annes but they shaved nine shots off that score in the second round with Dixon carding a four under par 67, Ridden shooting a 68 and Minnikin contributing a level par 71.

That was enough to see them claim a four-shot victory over Chelmsford Golf Club in Essex on five under par 421 with Northamptonshire County one shot further back on level par 426.

“We’re really overjoyed,” said the winning team manager Simon Coultas. “It didn’t look likely after yesterday but we battled away and in the end it proved to be enough.

“This tournament has been very good to us over the last three years,” he added. “We’ve got three or four really good county players at the club and that’s held us in good stead.

“Alex and Phil were in the team that won in 2017 so they know what it’s like to represent England in Europe. We’re looking forwards to it already.”

“I think playing early today probably helped us,” said Dixon. “We were able to post and score and then sit back and let the others try and catch us. I’d always rather do that than have to do the chasing.

“We finished third in the team event in France two years ago so it would be great if we could do better than that,” he added. “Phil and I know what it’s all about so we will be able to give Andrew so pointers.”

The Chelmsford team comprising Arron Edwards-Hill, Shay McQueen and Brandon Meads were tied for second place with Northamptonshire County on three under par 210 after the opening day with their score helped in no small measure by a 64 from Arron Edwards-Hill and he went on to card a 69 in the second round while Meads shot a 70 and McQueen posted a 76.

Edward-Hill’s consolation for seeing his team lose out to City of Newcastle was that his nine-under par 133 total was enough to see him clinch a single shot victory over Northamptonshire County’s Callum Farr for the individual title with Tom Speyer from Harpenden Golf Club in Hertfordshire finishing third after carding two rounds of 68.

Farr shot a 65 and a 69 which helped his club finish third in the team event with his teammates Corey Neville and Charlie Salter closing with a 73 and a 74 to finish on level par 426.

The second day proved to be something of a disappointment for Royal Lytham & St Annes representatives Callan Barrow, Harry Talarczyk and Jamie Van Wyke who combined to shoot a five-under par 210 on the opening day but then drifted out of contention with a six over par 219 on the second day to finish fourth on 427.

For the second day in a row Barrow produced his club’s best score by adding a one over par 72 to his opening 68. Talarczyk carded a 73 while Van Wyke shot a 74.