Handy birdies his way to national title

Christopher Handy

Durham’s Christopher Handy signed off with a birdie to underline a three-shot victory in the English Boys’ County Champion of Champions tournament at Woodhall Spa.

The 18-year-old from South Moor – who had 10 birdies during the day – was one over par for 36 holes on the Hotchkin course. He finished three clear of Conor White, from Shropshire & Herefordshire, and Jack Dyer from Essex.

“I definitely wanted to win this,” said Handy (image © Leaderboard Photography). “It caps off a nice season.” It also made a very good birthday present for his mother, Anne, who spent her day watching her son.

Handy made his intentions clear from the start when he returned the low score of the day with a first round of one-under 72. He started and ended the round with a birdie and held a two-shot lead over Dyer at the halfway stage.

In fact, he played so well that it gave him problems with his putting. “I got off to a good start and hit to about 3ft four times and I didn’t really have a putt for ages,” said Handy, who reckoned he three-putted on five occasions during the day.

In the second round he was also under par for the front nine, but came home in three-over, signing off with another 18th hole birdie.

“I played well on the front nine in both rounds, but missed fairways on the back and if you do that on this course it makes it hard. The wind switched this afternoon and made the tough holes a bit longer.”

However, he enjoyed the luxury of knowing that he had a very comfortable cushion as he played the closing holes: “So I just tried to hit it down the fairway!”

Handy, who represented England at U16 level, has just taken his A Levels, achieving A* in maths and Bs in further maths and business. He’s planning a gap year and then hopes to get a golf scholarship to study in the USA.

Conor White (Bridgnorth) took second place on countback, thanks to his second round of level par 73, which he added to an opening 77. He played very steadily in the afternoon with one bogey and a double balanced by three birdies.

Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred), who opened with 74, had a second round of 76, which included a double and a triple bogey on the back nine. He played the other 16 holes in two-under par.

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