Fourth win makes Hilleard the man of the moment

Josh Hilleard

England A squad player Josh Hilleard is the man of the moment with four wins in the space of just 22 days.

He claimed his latest title at the weekend with a comprehensive, eight-shot victory in the West of England Championship at Royal North Devon.

The 21-year-old from Farrington Park in Somerset adds it to his other April successes: the Berkhamsted Trophy, the Faldo Series Wales Championship and the Hampshire Salver.

“It’s going well at the moment,” he remarked with a degree of understatement, after beating par in all four rounds at Royal North Devon and finishing on 10-under (70 68 71 69).

“I feel as though there’s a target on my back! All the guys get on well and we’re really friendly, but you know they can all turn up and shoot 65 as easily as the next person. So, I’m just enjoying it and taking nothing for granted.”

Hilleard’s all-round game in in very good shape, but he was particularly pleased with his putting at the weekend, which helped him to 13 birdies and two eagles.

He’s benefitting from the confidence and belief that comes with winning and he said: “I’ve found a way of relaxing and playing my best in this scenario, it’s just understanding myself.”

The championship was played in demanding conditions, with wind and rain on the first day and chilly temperatures for the next three rounds.

Hilleard was in the mix from the start and after the second round he held or shared the lead. He was five clear going into the final round, but with England international Paul Kinnear moving up the leaderboard with a third round 69, he said: “You had to think the gap wasn’t as big as it sounded.”

However, Hilleard continued to move away from the field in his final round, with the boost of an eagle three on the 9th, where holed a 35-footer. “That helped massively,” he said.

The runner-up was Cameron Long (Burton on Trent) who scored four-under 68 in the last round to finish on two-under. James Newton (Prestbury) was third on one under.

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