FORMBY CLING ON TO TITLE AFTER THREE-WAY COUNTBACK
5th September 2011
For Immediate Publication
The lads from Formby successfully defended the English Champion Club Tournament, supported by PowaKaddy, after a three-team countback on a dramatic final day at Scarcroft near Leeds.
Formby, the Lancashire champions, Dartford from Kent and overnight leaders Wike Ridge, the Yorkshire champions from a few miles away, all finished with an aggregate of 424, two under par (picture © Tom Ward).
But Formby were declared winners thanks to their second round tally of 210 against Dartford’s 212 and Wike Ridge’s 215.
“We are delighted to win again and back-to-back wins is some achievement,” said James Bolton. “We felt we had a good chance when we arrived here because we had a strong team and although we lost Paul Kinnear from last year, Jack Shelley came in and he is off plus-one handicap.
“When we had a practice round we felt a low score would be required to win. After last year’s success we were recognised by the county and hopefully it will be twice the reaction this time.
Formby began the day in fifth place, five strokes behind Wike Ridge but they came storming through thanks to a course record-equalling 64 from Bolton, 72 from Mark Duncalf, both members of the 2010 winning side, and 74 from Jack Shelley.
Bolton’s 64 included an eagle and eight birdies and a back nine of 31. All this after he double-bogeyed the third hole and went through the fifth two over par.
“It wasn’t the greatest of starts,” added Bolton. “But the eagle at the sixth set the ball rolling and if I hadn’t three-putted the last for par I would have had the record.”
It was Dartford who set the target when Daniel Byrne went round in a bogey-free 66 with five birdies, backed by a level-par 71 from Kent Champion Michael Saunders and 75 from Darren Crabb.
Byrne also came home in 31 strokes and said: “Nothing dropped on the front nine but I hit it close on the back and holed a few putts.”
The Formby boys didn’t really fancy their chances but Bolton’s 64 proved to be the motivating factor for his team-mates to match Dartford’s tally.
Then everyone’s attention turned to Wike Ridge and with Shucksmith returning 69 and Sweet 71, they needed 74 or better. Disappointingly, Wright’s 75 proved to be a shot too far.
Formby are the third club to successfully defend the Champion Club title. Ealing from Middlesex were the first in 1990 and Leeds-based Sand Moor did the same in 1995.
Results and more information about the EGU Champion Club supported by PowaKaddy can be found on the Championship secion of the EGU website.