THEY’RE calling Howley Hall the comeback kids after they clawed back a five-point deficit going into the final round of the inaugural Yorkshire Am-Am Series to triumph. Miles Foster, Bob Carr, Jimmy Appleyard and Paul Blackshaw amassed a superb 14-under-par tally of 86 points in the final round at Alwoodley to go from five behind to winning by a clear six points.
Appleyard was in fine form throughout the event, which saw the first two rounds played at Fulford and Moortown in this exciting addition to the Yorkshire golf scene. Now 48, but a scratch player for more than 20 years, he made 13 birdies over the three days, crucially making gross birdies at both of his shot holes at Alwoodley. Carr got the team off to a fast start with a birdie at the opening hole, but was then something of a bystander as his team-mates got into top gear.
Foster added a birdie on the third, but the wheels threatened to come off when only Appleyard could salvage a solitary point on the fifth in the two from four to count format. “We thought we had blown the tournament on the fifth with only one point from all four of us, but we vowed not to give in as it’s a very tough course and you never know what can happen in this game,” said five-handicapper Foster.
Blackshaw, who also plays off five, then hit back with a gross eagle and when he and Appleyard both birdied the 12th for nett eagles the eight points that went down on the scorecard brought a momentum they rode for more birdies through to the challenging last hole where Foster and Appleyard both made solid pars.
An interested spectator was Howley Hall club mate Ben Hutchinson, who had played in an England squad day at the course a few weeks earlier and walked the final round with the winners as part of his final preparations for the Brabazon Trophy. They might sound like a 30s music hall act, but Appleyard and Foster are making a name for themselves in the big Yorkshire events, having won the Yorkshire Challenge over Ganton, Lindrick and Moortown in 2017. They will be hot favourites to make it a hat-trick when they tee it up in the Heathland Classic later this month.