MALTON & NORTON’S David Hague dashed local hopes with a final-hole birdie to win the prestigious Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham Golf Club.
The England squad player was in the mix for a Walker Cup place later this month, but struggled with a virus at the start of the season that seriously curtailed his golf.
However, he bounced back in dramatic fashion to pip local hero and Rotherham member Lewis Hollingsworth.
Spurred on by family, friends and Rotherham members, Hollingsworth was bidding to become the second home winner in consecutive years following Ben Schmidt’s victory last year and had a one-shot lead over the field playing the 72nd and final hole.
But his drive found the trees to the right of the fairway leaving him with no shot to the green on the long par-4.
Hague saw his opportunity and hit an arrow-like long iron to the heart of the green leaving a tap-in for birdie and the championship.
Hague said: “I played steadily from tee to green all week, but struggled on the greens,” which, he said, were the best he had encountered all season. “It has been a tough week for everybody with the wind being so gusty.”
Hague’s timely win lifted a cloud on a difficult year.
“I hadn’t played competitive golf until May and this was only my fifth WAGR event all year. But I’m fully fit again now and very happy to have won this event,” he said.
Losing on the last was a bitter pill for Hollingworth who had performed well all week in very difficult conditions that saw none of the players in the field of 108 finish the World Amateur Golf Ranking event under par.
Westwood’s mum, Trish, presented the prizes as Hague joined an illustrious list of winners that includes the names of European Tour player David Horsey, Walker Cup legend Gary Wolstenholme, Rotherham’s Sam Haywood and Wath’s Nick Poppleton.
n Wath’s Nick Poppleton was unable to hold on to a two-shot lead and eventually finished third in the HotelPlanner.com Championship at Frilford Heath Golf Club.
Poppleton was in great form at the start of the week with rounds of 65 and 67, but closed with a 72 following a disappointing back nine and ended up three shots behind Bradley Moore from Kedleston Park, which earned him a cheque for £3,000.
It was Moore’s first win as a professional, and in an emotional post round interview he said: “I thought it was going to be a grind. Me and Nick (Poppleton) had a two- and three-shot lead most of the round so it was just one of them where, if I kept doing what I was doing all week, I was in a good position to do that more easier than Nick possibly. I almost snuck in the backdoor really in the last six holes there.”
n Rockliffe Hall’s Chief Executive, Eamonn Elliott, recently successfully completed an Olympic triathlon at Castle Howard, the first stage of his bid to raise £5,000 for the family of a former colleague who died in March.
Next, Eamonn will host a special golf day at the five-star resort on Tuesday, September 3, to raise further funds for the family of Laura Cafferty.
Eamonn worked with Laura at two other hotels during his career, most recently at The Grand Jersey Hotel, where Laura was Spa Manager. In 2017, at the age of just 34, doctors found a cancerous tumour on Laura’s leg and she was later diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Leiomyosarcoma.
Laura travelled from her home on Jersey to Southampton for intensive chemotherapy and continued to search for alternative treatments abroad, including Mexico. Sadly, the treatment didn’t work and the cancer metastasised to her pelvis and back. Laura died on March 25 this year, leaving her husband, Karl, and their two-year-old daughter, Maya.