Teenage international Ashton Turner pulled off a unique double when he scored an impressive four-shot win in the Darwin Salver at Rye.
Turner, from Kenwick Park in Lincolnshire, is the only player to have two wins in the South of England Youths’ Championship, following his previous success in 2013.
“I’m honoured by that,” said Turner, who celebrates his 19th birthday next Wednesday. “Hopefully it will be three next year!
“This win means a great deal to me. It’s a really nice course and it gets the year off to a good start.”
Turner finished four shots clear of fellow international Ben Amor of Wiltshire, while Oliver Farrell of Worcestershire was third. The round of the tournament came from Kent’s Freddie Price who carded 63 in the second round, equalling Tom Lewis’ course record, set in Open Championship qualifying in 2011. He shared fourth place.
Turner had scores of 66 68 71 and 66 – and took great pride in his final round. “I played well in the first three rounds but in the last round I really struggled off the tee, but I saved myself with my short game.
“The highlight was probably on the 15th, where I blocked my drive miles right onto the 18th green. I dropped on the fringe, but the fringes at Rye are really good and I didn’t want to damage it, so I thinned the ball and got it to about 8ft and holed for a birdie!”
Turner’s short game was so good that he had just one bogey in the round and three birdies. “I was really pleased with the way I scrambled and everything came together on the greens and I holed all the putts,” he said.
At the halfway stage of the event Turner was two shots off the pace, set by Kent’s Mark Collins, the winner of last year’s English County Champion of Champions Tournament. Turner took the lead after the third round, edging a stroke ahead of another international, Harry Hall of Cornwall, before securing the title with his final round 66. Meanwhile Ben Amor shot up the leaderboard with a last round 65 to snatch second place.
Turner and Amor, a past winner of the English U18 boys’ Carris Trophy, are both members of the England Golf men’s A squad.
Turner has another reason to find the Darwin Salver memorable. Last year he scored a hole-in-one on the 9th – which was his 18th hole – on his 18th birthday.
Leading final scores
Par 68 CSS 71 71 72 72
271 Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park) 66 68 71 66
275 Ben Amor (Marlborough) 68 75 67 65
277 Oliver Farrell (Evesham) 69 69 74 65
279 David Ramsay (Mold) 68 68 72 71; Freddie Price (Royal Blackheath) 71 63 74 71
Click here for more information about the Darwin Salver