Hampshire’s last hole birdie snatches the lead

Billy McKenzie

Hampshire’s Billy McKenzie and Tom Robson kept their team ahead in the title chase at the English Men’s County Finals with a superb 18th hole birdie at Trevose, Cornwall.

The Hampshire pair had been two down with four to play but clawed their way back to all square after 17. On the last, McKenzie hit his approach from the semi-rough to within 18in of the hole, setting up a birdie and a 1up win over their Staffordshire opponents.

Their result snatched a 2-1 lead for Hampshire after the morning foursomes. Earlier, team captain Martin Young and partner Matt Wilcox had made short work of their match, storming to a 7/6 win. They were three-under par for the 13 holes, despite the grim conditions of wind and rain.

Staffordshire won the other foursomes 2/1 with Lewis Pearce and Gian-Marco Petrozzi withstanding a Hampshire fightback over the closing holes. The Staffordshire pair had forged ahead, winning four holes in a row from the 11th, but Hampshire won the next three before their momentum ran out on the 17th.  Hampshire need to win or halve today to win this championship for the first time since 1996 and now need 2.5 points from the six singles.

In the other match Somerset also lead Northumberland 2-1 after two comfortable wins. Tom Sloman and Thomas Plumb had five birdies in the first six holes on their way to their 7/5 win. Will Poole and Matt Turner also went on a birdie fest, amassing six on their way to their 4/3 win.

The third game was won by Northumberland’s Phil Ridden and Andy Minnikin, who were three-under after five holes and two up. They stayed ahead throughout the match, although they were taken to the 18th before recording their 1up win.

Image copyright Leaderboard Photography