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Home sweet home for Hutch

Home club member Ben Hutchinson enjoyed an early birthday present when he won the Yorkshire Open at Howley Hall Golf Club.

But England squad member Hutchinson, who turned 25 the following week, needed a three hole play off against Abbeydale professional Gareth Davies to get over the line, after blowing a big lead in his second and final round.

The pair had tied on -4 and were the only players under par in a field which comprised 48 of the best professional and amateurs in the county. Hutchinson also retained the Howley Hall Scratch Trophy which is played in tandem with the event.

Cookridge Hall amateur Tom Broxup was next best placed on one over par.

In the three-hole play off over 16, 17 and 18, Hutchinson immediately seized the advantage with a birdie at the par 5 opening hole and two pars were good enough to see off Sheffield born Davies – who won twice on the Challenge Tour in the mid 2000’s – as he was unable to make a par over the extra holes.

‘Hutch’ admitted he was eyeing Marcus Armitage’s course record of 64 when he got it to five under par after nine holes in his second round.

He bogeyed the 10th but immediately hit back with a birdie on the following hole before missing from five feet on 12 for yet another birdie.

But he made a double bogey on 13 and dropped a shot on the next hole before spurning opportunities to pick up further shots on 16 and 17.

“I definitely thought Marcus’s course record was on,” said Hutchinson who will head to the European Tour Qualifying School this autumn.

“But it all went downhill after 13. I was freewheeling a bit because I was so tired from playing so much golf in a short space of time, including 36 holes the day before in the Open Final Qualifying at St Anne’s Old Links.

“That was a gruelling day,” he said.

He admitted that playing the two rounds with his ‘boss’ Howley Hall professional Ryan Rastall made for a fun day as Hutchinson works two days a week in Rastall’s shop.

“It was all dead relaxed but I have to admit I struggled to get going again for the play-off after sitting in the clubhouse for two hours waiting for the last players to come in.”

The event also saw a return to tournament action for former European Tour player Iain Pyman who is now part of the hospitality team on the Endeavour in Whitby, a replica of the ship Captain James Cook used to sail to Australia and New Zealand.

He carded rounds of 75 and 76 to finish in a tie for 17th place after a long lay-off from playing the game.

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