England international Jack Singh Brar held off a determined charge by Jake Burnage to win the Hampshire Salver by a stroke.
The trophy is awarded to the player with the best total from the 72 holes played during the Selborne Salver at Blackmoor Golf Club and the Hampshire Hog at North Hants.
Singh Brar, from Remedy Oak, Dorset, was five under for the two events, winning the Selborne Salver in a play-off and taking second place in the Hog, where he holed a vital and testing 7ft putt on the last.
It kept him just in front of Burnage, an England A squad member from Saunton, Devon, who swept up the leaderboard in the Hog with a score of seven-under par and a five shot win. He had been 18th and three-over par after the Selborne Salver.
“I had no idea of the scores but I had a putt of about 7ft on the last and I knew it would be pretty important,” said Singh Brar. “I didn’t think anyone could shoot seven-under for the two rounds. That was really impressive from Jake.”
This was Singh Brar’s first UK tournament of the season and he commented: “It was nice to get the win. I played really solid throughout the whole competition. I didn’t do anything spectacular, but I didn’t do anything to hinder myself either.”
His campaign began slowly, with two bogeys at the start of his first round at Blackmoor, but he was soon in the thick of it. Three consecutive birdies set him on course for a score of three-under 66 and in the afternoon he added level par 69, crucially holing a 30-ft birdie putt on the last to force a play-off with Matt Kippen (Enmore Park, Somerset). Singh Brar won at the first extra hole, the 10th, setting up his par with an excellent drive round the corner of the dog leg.
In the Hampshire Hog, the 20-year-old continued his steady progress with rounds of level par 70 and 68, to give him his first win of the season – and to underline a string of impressive results.
He toured Australia in the early season, taking second place in the prestigious Avondale Amateur, reaching the last 16 in the Australian amateur and the quarter finals of the New South Wales amateur. Back in Europe he reached the match play stages of the Spanish amateur.
Meanwhile, the Hampshire Hog turned into a showcase for Burnage, who scored the third lowest aggregate in the 61 year history of the event – and one better than Olympic champion Justin Rose achieved when he won the title at his home club in 1995.
“I drove the ball well, hit some quality iron shots and holed a lot of good putts,” summed up Burnage. He had six birdies in each round, including three in a row from the sixth in the morning, where his longest putt was just 3ft.
“I feel I’ve been knocking on the door for a little while and it’s nice to get the breakthrough. Hopefully I can now push on from here,” added Burnage, who was fourth in the recent Duncan Putter.
Click here for the Selborne Salver scores
Click here for the Hampshire Hog and Hampshire Salver scores
Caption: Jack Singh Brar (left) with the Hampshire Salver and Jake Burnage with the Hampshire Hog. (Image courtesy Mark Sandom)