Fitz has a mountain high

Hallamshire's Matthew Fitzpatrick won a play-off against Lucas Bjerregaard to retain his OMega European Masters title – the first man in 40 years to successfully defend, following in the shoes of Seve Ballesteros. Fitz began the final round four shots ahead of Bjerregaard but the Dane signed for a brilliant 63 to set the target at 17 under and the Tyke had to birdie the 72nd hole to take it to sudden death. Fitzpatrick, 24, then put his approach to 12 feet on the first trip back up the 18th and sank the birdie putt to go back-to-back at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club. Sunday had developed into an three-way battle between Fitzpatrick, Bjerregaard and Mike Lorenzo-Vera, with the Frenchman right i

Huge thanks to Keith

THE final day of the Yorkshire amateur at his beloved Ganton marked the retirement of Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs secretary Keith Dowswell after 27 years in the role. He has witnessed a lot of change during his tenure including affiliating 50 new clubs. He has also seen the rise of the county to the very top of amateur golf, and much of this success has come from his foresight in establishing a structured coaching system using the finest teachers. As a former head of PE at Abbeydale Grammar School in Sheffield, he came well qualified. Not one to blow his own trumpet, this son of the steel city acknowledges that if he is to have a legacy in the folklore of the Yorkshire Union it would his r

Teen Ben is Westwood star

TEENAGER Ben Schmidt entered Yorkshire golfing folklore when he snatched victory in the Lee Westwood Trophy at the second sudden-death extra hole. Aged just 16, he became the youngest player to win the 72-hole tournament when his 10ft birdie putt dropped in front of a rapturous following at his home club Rotherham. It capped an afternoon of high drama that also included a new course record of eight-under-par 62 set by another local lad, Sam Rook, of Lindrick. Schmidt started the final round three strokes ahead of his nearest rival Alex Ireland, from Brickhampton Court, thanks to three flawless opening rounds of 65, 66 and 70. His 65 included five back-to-back birdies from the start of the in

Ladies spoon up the prize

YORKSHIRE golfers Jane Butler and Carole Morris scored a runaway win in the national final of the Australian Spoons at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire. The pair from Doncaster Golf Club defied torrential rain to score 36 points in the foursomes competition, which was run as part of England Golf Week – and they won the trophy by seven points. It’s a dream come true,” said Jane, who plays off 23 handicap. Carole, a 28-handicapper, added: “We are over the moon, really, really excited that we have won. We just kept saying, ‘We can, we will’ and now we have!” Jane had proved herself something of a foursomes specialist over two days. The previous day, with a different partner, she took sec

Nick is up for Challenge

WATH’S Nick Poppleton is relishing the opportunity to test his game against some of the most promising young players in Europe when he tees it up in the Bridgestone Challenge. He is one of four amateur golfers to receive an invitation from England Golf to the European Challenge Tour event at Luton Hoo from September 6-9. Poppleton, 24, is eyeing a place in the paid ranks and said: “This should be a great benchmark for me to assess where my game is against some of the best players on the Challenge Tour. “It should also provide some great insight on what I need to improve and move my game to the next level. Poppleton, who won the Brabazon Trophy in May, will be joined by fellow England interna

Young Tom's a winner at 8!

EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Tom Hartshorne outshone more than 100 competitors to win the Grassholme Goblet at Rockliffe Hall. Tom, who plays off 20, first picked up a golf club just weeks after he started walking. He now regularly plays in competitions and with his dad, Ally, who plays off three and is Rockliffe Hall’s current Player of the Year. Tom said: “I love golf and really wanted to show everyone how good I am, so I’m so happy that I won.” One hundred and twelve Rockliffe Hall members set out on the first round and the best 40 made the cut for the second round in the afternoon. At this stage Tom was in fourth place, two shots off the lead. He played perfectly in round two and beat off stiff compet

Young Tykes on England duty

HALLAMSHIRE’S Barclay Brown and Sheffield-born Joe Pagdin proved to be a sharp combination as England won the Boys’ Home Internationals for the third consecutive year. The Sheffield steelers were undefeated from three games in the foursomes as England achieved a 100% record at Royal Dornoch with a final day 8-7 win over Ireland. Earlier in the round robin event England defeated a Scottish team that included Wakefield’s George Heath 10-5 and followed that up with an easy 11-4 win over Wales. England have now won the under-18 team event 17 times since 1996. Ireland were left to settle for runner-up spot while Scotland finished in third place after beating Wales 11-4. Stephen Burnett, England’s

Oh brother, so close for Alex

ALEX FITZPATRICK’S fairytale run in the US Amateur finally came to end in the quarter-finals at the hands of a man called Hammer. The Hallamshire golfer was trying to complete a historic family double by lifting the trophy just five years after brother Matt had become the first English winner since Harold Hilton in 1911. In 2013 Alex went the full eight rounds on the bag for older brother Matt, now a professional with four European Tour victories to his credit. Matt won that year at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts where Alex, then 14, told jokes to calm his brother on the final hole of the championship match and offered his opinion sparingly. “His level of golf was excellent, a

Rook is king of the castle

IN-FORM Sam Rook won the Yorkshire Amateur Championship at Ganton, closing with a superb 68 in the most testing of conditions. Rook’s last round was a master class in the art of holing out, and he needed all his powers of recovery to fend of Sam Bairstow from Hallowes as the two fought out what effectively became a matchplay situation as they were so far ahead of the field. Bairstow’s final round of 70 was one of just seven scores under par recorded during the 72 holes of the championship and he pushed Rook all the way, closing to within one shot with just three holes to play. Two solid pars saw Rook triumph by three shots after Bairstow found greenside bunkers on both closing holes, but it

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