It’s advantage Yorkshire in title chase

Ben Brewster and Will Whiteoak

It’s advantage Yorkshire in the title race at the English Men’s County Championship after they won this morning’s foursomes against Hampshire by 2.5-0.5 at Sandwell Park in Staffordshire.

Yorkshire captain Darryl Berry commented: “They all did well to give us a two-point cushion going into the singles. That’s all I could ask for and now we’ll go out and try and get the top three matches out there.”

The dramatic game of the morning was the top clash between Yorkshire’s Kealan Lowe and Bailey Gill and Warwickshire’s Mark Burgess and Tom Robson.

It goes down on the scoresheet as a half but behind that lies some astonishing scoring. Yorkshire started with six consecutive birdies, while Hampshire stayed in touch with the help of eagles on the 3rd, where Robson holed a four-iron, and another on the 5th, where Burgess rolled in a 4ft putt. “So we were five-under and one down through six!” said Robson.

Hampshire got all square on the 7th, but lost the 8th before eagling the 10th, where Burgess hooked a three-iron around the trees and Robson holed a 40-footer from the back of the green. All square again.

Hampshire went one up on 12, but Yorkshire won the 16th and 17th where Gill and Lowe pulled off a magical up and down to go down the last 1up.

Robson found his own touch of magic on the 18th green, holing a downhill 10-footer across the slope which he set off at 90 degrees to the hole. The birdie squared the game and Robson remarked: “That’s the best match I’ve ever played.”

In the other games, English champion Dan Brown and Steve Robins set Yorkshire on their way, winning the first point 5/3 and completing the season as an unbeaten pairing.

Will Whiteoak and Ben Brewster (pictured top © Leaderboard Photography) were involved in another battle which went to the 18th before they emerged as 1up winners. They too amassed birdies and an eagle on 10 as they worked their way to dormie two up. Hampshire birdied the 17th to take the game the full distance but the 18th was halved in par and Yorkshire took the point.

In the third-place play-off Warwickshire also lead Cornwall 2.5-0.5 after the foursomes.

Warwickshire’s Max Martin and Liam Phipps took the first point with their comfortable 5/4 win, before Matt Cryer and Ian Winstanley won the 18th to finish 1up. Gareth Jenkins and Tom Ibbertson completed the team’s scoring with their half.

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