England’s Josh McMahon holed out from 40ft on the last to claim the biggest title of his career in the Lytham Trophy at a windswept Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The 22-year-old from Wallasey, Cheshire, had started the final day five shots out of the lead after opening rounds of 71 and 73. But, after adding another 73 in the third round, he finished with birdies on 16 and 18 for a final round 71.
It took him to eight-over par and, after an anxious wait, gave him a one-shot victory over Austria’s Gerold Folk, and Englishmen Jack Brooks and Harry Goddard.
“That finish was unbelievable,” McMahon said after watching his nearest rivals come up just short. “I gave myself a lot to do when I bogeyed 14 and then double bogeyed 15 but a birdie on 16 settled me back down and the birdie on 18 was the icing on the cake.
“That putt on the last was certainly the most important 40-footer I have ever holed in my life. This is such a big tournament and hopefully the win will open a few doors for me. I will certainly remember it for a long time to come.
“I’m exhausted,” he added. “This is such a tough course and it drains you playing it. You’re always under pressure. You’ve just got to try to keep hitting fairways and greens and try not to run up big numbers. But that is a lot easier said than done.”
His win keeps the trophy in Cheshire hands, following the 2018 success of Royal Liverpool’s Matthew Jordan.
The best golf of the last day came from Austrian international Folk who was nine shots off the pace after starting out with rounds of 73 and 75 but then posted a 72 and a 69 which also included a birdie on his final hole.
The final day ultimately proved to be a big disappointment for Goddard, from Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire. He was in or around the lead for much of the final two rounds and looked all set for a play-off with McMahon when he hit a glorious shot out of a bunker on the last. However he went on to miss from three-feet and had to settle for a 72 that left him one shot short.
Brooks, from Mere in Cheshire, has not played the Lytham Trophy for several years but that did not stop him closing with rounds of 71 and 72 to climb fifteen places up the leaderboard into the tie for second place. “It has been a good day irrespective of what happens,” he said while warming up in case he found himself in a play-off. “I’m delighted with the way I played.”
Yorkshire’s Bailey Gill (Lindrick) and Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall) finished sixth and eighth respectively.
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