David Hague capped a superb season by taking the North of England Amateur Strokeplay Championship at The Alwoodley Golf Club, Leeds.
The Malton&Norton member was a model of consistency in carding rounds of 71, 71, 69 and 74 to win by two shots from Darlington’s Andrew Wilson. Early leader Nick Poppleton (Wath) tied for third a shot further back with Harry Goddard (Hanbury Manor) who equalled Poppleton’s opening 68 in his last round to haul himself up the leaderboard.
George Bloor (Cavendish) tied fifth on six over par despite a best of the tournament 65 on day three.
Pre-tournament favourite Alex Fitzpatrick from Hallamshire never really got going and finished twelve shots behind Hague.
On a very blustery day, when the course CSS rocketed to 77, Poppleton made a terrific start to this championship, recording a three under par round of 68. He led by two shots from fellow Yorkshireman James Cass (Fulford GC) who was the only other player under par after the first day’s play.
Hague’s 71 left him well positioned in third just ahead of Phil Tomkinson (Otley GC) and Michael Henson (Bishop Auckland GC) who both scored 72.
A stiff wind and persistent rain showers made scoring equally difficult on day two and a battling 73 from Poppleton saw him retain the lead by one from Hague who had his second consecutive round of 71
One shot further back on 143 was Otley’s Phil Tomkinson after a 71 with Callan Barrow of (Royal Lytham&St Annes) , with home player Will Shucksmith using his course knowledge to stay in touch following a round of 70.
The cut fell at 151 with three players making the last two rounds on that score but with six others also on 151 having to make their way home, leaving 32 to fight out the finish.
Round 3 belonged to Bloor who had an eagle and four birdies in the first 10 holes, and he recovered from a back nine bogey with yet another birdie for a sublime 65 which put him right in the mix.
But with leader Poppleton shooting a solid level par round of 71, it was Hague who seized the initiative to take the third round lead after recording a 69. His 54 hole total of 211 was just one shot ahead of the Wath golfer on 212 with Bloor (65) and Barrow (68) on 213. Also in the hunt were Wilson (70) and Tomkinson (74) on 217, followed by Shucksmith (71) on 218.
In the last round Poppleton, Bloor, Barrow and Shucksmith all faded and leader David Hague managed to keep his nose ahead and record a three over par round of 74 for a 72 hole total of 285 on a very testing course, played in some of the most challenging weather conditions imaginable.
As others fell away, Wilson saw his opportunity and posted his second 70 of the day to come through and finish runner-up on 287.
Hague and Poppleton also walked away with the County Plate for Yorkshire as the two golfers from the same county with the lowest aggregate score over 72 holes. For Hague it was another trophy to round off a year which saw him win the prestigious Lagonda Trophy and represent his country on home soil in the Home Internationals at Moortown.
Pic caption: David Hague with John and Gill Shaw, generous donators of the Championship Trophy.