England international Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O) posted a closing round of 67 to comfortably win the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship at Prestatyn.
The 23 year old (image © Tom Ward) was the only player to finish under par when he posted a 72-hole total of seven under 281, finishing seven strokes ahead of New Zealander Vaughan McCall and eight clear of Scotland’s Sam Binning.
It is the third successive year that an English international has won the title, Hinton following in the footsteps of Eddie Pepperell in 2010 and Darren Wright last year.
Hinton found himself two strokes off the lead held by Luke Jackson (Misterton, Nottinghamshire) after the opening round and his second day 75 left him in joint third place, four shots off the pace.
However, a third round 70 sent Hinton into the final circuit sharing the lead with Jackson on 214. But while the latter slipped down the field with a closing 78 to finish tied seventh, Hinton raced away with his 67 to claim his first major title.
There was little suggestion of such a wide winning margin as he reached the turn in one-under-par 36. But a run of three successive birdies from the 11th plus another at 15 saw him home in 31, easily his best nine of the event.
Paul Kinnear (Formby, Lancashire) closed with 74 for 296 for joint tenth place, the same score as England Golf’s new Director of Coaching Nigel Edwards.
Leading final scores:
281 C Hinton (The Oxfordshire) 69 75 70 67
288 V McCall (New Zealand) 72 75 70 71
289 S Binning (Ranfurly Castle) 74 74 70 71
290 S Crichton (Aberdour) 70 76 72 72, R Enoch (Truro) 73 72 72 73