Play-off joy for Spain’s Ignacio Puente

Ignacio Puente

Spain’s Ignacio Puente birdied the first hole of a three-way play-off to win the McGregor Trophy at Wallasey, Cheshire.

He beat England U16 internationals Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall) and Charlie Strickland (Ham Manor) after all three tied on one-under par after 72 holes. It was his third win in a play-off.

The 15-year-old describes his victory in the English U16 open boys’ championship as the best of his career so far. Speaking through an interpreter he said: “I didn’t know I was going to win because I started the last day far away from the lead. So I’m really happy.”

At the half stage of the championship Puente (image © Leaderboard Photography) was tied 12th on three-over, while Strickland led the event on seven-under and Briggs was on four under.

In today’s final two rounds Puente shot level par 72 and 68 – with four birdies and an eagle – while the leaders both dropped shots.  Strickland scored 77 73, while Briggs returned 75 72.

Puente, who also won the English U15 title, said: “I love links golf because these courses are always in really good condition. It’s another game, you have to play another way. It’s beautiful and I enjoy playing these courses.”

However, Strickland and Briggs, together with Jake Benson (Beeston Fields) had the satisfaction of winning the Nations Cup for England. Their best two scores counted over each of the first two days and they finished on 14-under, 17 shots clear of second placed Ireland.

The round of the final day came from Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) who shot six-under 66, with seven birdies and just one bogey. It helped him into fifth place, one shot behind another Hallamshire member, Barclay Brown.

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