England boy international Charlie Strickland is the hot player of the moment with two big wins in the space of just four days.
The 17-year-old from Ham Manor in Sussex won the Duncan Putter in Wales at the weekend and has just followed up with a three-shot victory in the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath, where he was eight under par.
They’re his first major successes and they mark a complete turnaround in form. “I went to the Portuguese and Spanish championships, missed both cuts and lost a lot of confidence,” said Strickland as he recalled his start to the season. “So I went back to my coach and restarted everything.”
He put special effort into his short game and began to reap the rewards when he came second in the Darwin Salver at Rye three weeks ago.
“I got the ball rolling at the Darwin and then finally it happened and I’ve won twice in a row. It’s just the best feeling,” added Strickland, who was delighted that his father, John, watched both wins.
In the Duncan Putter at Southerndown, Strickland left the field trailing. He was under par in each of the four rounds, finished on six under – and was six shots ahead of the joint runners up, England A squad player Josh McMahon (Wallasey) and Ben Chamberlain of Wales.
Moving on to the McEvoy, the first two rounds were played in cold and windy weather and his aim was to stay in touch and give himself every chance as the conditions improved. He was level par after 36 holes, with scores of 70, 72.
This morning, he was round in three-under 68, helped by an eagle three on the 15th where he holed a long putt from the front edge of the green. That was unexpected!” he laughed. It left him one shot behind the joint leaders and he overtook them in the final round when he shot six-under 66.
“This afternoon I tried to keep it around two or three under and then I realised that wasn’t going to be good enough. I decided to try and attack and birdied the 15th, which was a massive break. Then I birdied 17 and 18 which was an absolute bonus, it was just nice to see the putts go in,” he added.
The runner-up on five-under was Jannik de Bruyn of Germany, while Carris Trophy winner Angus Flanagan (St George’s Hill) was third on four under. Ben Jones (Northamptonshire County) was fourth on two-under
Strickland was a member of England’s winning team at last year’s boys’ Home Internationals.
Click here for Peter McEvoy Trophy scores.
Caption: Charlie Strickland receives the trophy from Peter McEvoy (image © Mark Eley)