Hampshire County Golf Union

Toby wins County Championship

Friday 7th June 2019

Andrew Griffin reports from Army GC.

Alan Drayton, Toby Burden and Kevin White

Tom Vaughan, Ben Lobacz, Colin Roope (County Captain), Alan Drayton (President, Hampshire Golf), Toby Burden, Kevin White (Captain, Army GC), Pete Fletcher & Brett Money

Andrew Griffin reports on Toby Burden's victory at Army Golf Club.

Hayling’s Toby Burden is the new Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Champion after beating Blackmoor’s Colin Roope 6&5 in the final at Army GC 

Burden marked the 125th anniversary of the county’s first amateur championship by winning the Sloane Stanley Challenge Cup at the Aldershot Golf Club where Freddie Tait – the first-ever winner back in 1894 at Winchester GC – was a member. 

It was Burden’s third appearance in the final in the past 14 years – he lost at his home club in 2006 and three years later at Liphook but denied Roope, the Hampshire county captain of a rare double, having won the Surrey crown in 2006. 

Since then both players have had spells as professionals playing on the PGA EuroPro Tour before regaining their amateur status. 

Burden beat Blackmoor’s Ben Lobacz, who works as a postman, in the semi-finals while Roope ended the dream of Hampshire Colts player Tom Vaughan, from Bishopswood, a 25-year-old lifeguard, who works at Tadley Leisure Centre, of his first major victory in men’s golf.  

Victory means Burden became the ninth Hayling player to win the title and takes the club total number of county championship wins to 15 – six behind Southampton’s Stoneham, the most successful club over the past 125 years. 

Owen Grimes, Stoneham’s defending champion, was knocked out in the first round by Lee-on-the-Solent’s Aman Uddin, who is heading to Utah in September after leaving Itchen College for a four-year golf scholarship at Dixie University, not far from the bright lights of Las Vegas. 

Uddin, the only junior to make it into the weekend’s matchplay from Friday’s 36-hole qualifier, lost to Vaughan in the quarter-finals on the last hole. 

Shanklin and Sandown’s Conor Richards, who helped Miami’s Barry University reach the NCAA Finals in the States last month, took the Pechell Salver for the best score in qualifying after two 69s to head the leaderboad on four-under. 

But ex-Saints defender Paul Telfer, who plays off one at Hockley, caused the shock of the championship by beating Richards 3&1 in the first round, only to lose 4&2 to Burden in the quarter-finals.  

Roope’s route to the final saw him beat Barton-on-Sea’s Finbar Kane 7&6 before he ended Shanklin and Sandown’s Jordan Sundborg’s hopes of regaining the Sloane Stanley Cup he won in 2017 at Royal Jersey. 

Roope, whose season has been hampered by the shoulder injury he picked up at the Selborne Salver at his Blackmoor club in April, was grateful to finish his semi-final on the 13th to conseve energy. 

But the quality of Burden’s golf in the final left Roope with no complaints as the Hayling man fired off four birdies, including a tap in at the 366-yard 10th after his approach missed the hole for an eagle by inches.

Toby will now represent Hampshire Golf at the England Golf Champion of Champions at Frilford Heath on Sunday 15th September.

Shanklin & Sandown won the Team Championship and will go forward to represent Hampshire Golf in the England Golf Champion Club Tournament at Romford GC in September.

Click here for full Match-play Draw.

Click here for all the scores from County Championship weekend at Army Golf Club.

Click here for results of the Team Championship.

Click here for a list of the prize winners.



Freddie Tait was a soldier in the Black Watch stationed at Aldershot in the early 1890s – in 1896 he was back in Edinburgh and won the Amateur Championship, a feat he would repeat in 1898. He came close to winning the Open Championship in 1896 but was sadly killed in the Second Boer War in 1900.

The Freddie Tait Cup is awarded annually to the leading amateur at the South African Open, an event on the European Tour, and the seventh oldest golf championship in the world.


Sunday 9th June

Andrew Griffin reports on quarter-final action at Army Golf Club and previews semi-final matches..............

TOBY Burden probably feels the county championships owes him a few decent breaks.

County team-mates Tom Robson and Martin Young have featured in eight finals between them since Toby lost the 2009 final to the former at LIphook in 2009.

That was the Hayling player's second final appearance in four years after he lost to Stuart Archibald in 2006 when playing on his home course should have been a distinct advantage.

Truth was, he was totally exhausted after four rounds in two days plus the Sunday morning semi-final - he had been up since the crack of dawn that morning working on setting up the course.

In those days Burden was a member of the greenkeeping team at Hayling and had to carry out his normal duties before setting about a 36-hole test before he could be crowned the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Champion.

Fate meant it was not to be his day and three years later he cruelly lost again at the second extra hole as Robson used his experience of his first year at Alabama's Jacksonville State University to conquer Liphook's lightning quick greens.

Burden also had another close shave in 2007 when he reached the semi-finals at Royal Guernsey and reached the last eight at Stoneham a year later.

So Sunday will be his fourth semi-final appearance when he plays against Blackmoor's Ben Lobacz, who caused a huge upset six years ago, knocking out Martin Young in the quarter-finals before eventually coming unstuck against Ryan Henley in the final.

Ironically Lobacz, who beat Stoneham's Alex Talbot in Saturday's quarter-final to set up the clash with Burden, first qualified for the matchplay in 2011 - the last time Aldershot's Army Golf Club hosted the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship.

Lobacz believes he is playing the best golf of his career - the former Petersfield GC member was a late blossomer, having been a promising footballer in his teenage years

In that time he took up a job in the pro shop at Petersfield in a bid to create more time to practice and work on his game.

Ironically he found the long hours were actually doing the opposite so he quit to become a postman - being up with the larks meant he was free by 3pm most days as he tried to stamp his mark on the amateur game in Hampshire.

While he has been willing to answer any last-minute call from the county captain since making his league debut for Hampshire in 2013, Ben has often had to sit out when the international and USA-based players have been free to don the light blue shirts.

But right now, he believes he has never hit the ball better - but the bare lies that have hit the host club since last summer's very dry conditions killed a lot of the grass between the tees and green on the course nestling on the Surrey/Hampshire heathland belt, have left his problematic chipping facing some severe tests.

His opponent Talbot, playing in his second quarter-final in three years, having lost to Young at the fourth extra hole at Royal Jersey in 2017, found his distance control in the strong breeze as big a problem as he overshot a number of greens.

Lobacz had charged into the lead in the first round going five up after eight against La Moye's Joe Hacker on his way to a 5&4 win.

And he was three up after five against the 2016 Hampshire Boys Champion - holing two putts from 15 feet at the second and fifth sandwiching Talbot's bogey at the fourth.

Talbot got one back at the sixth and reduced the gap to just one at the 10th as his 10-foot putt dropped after Lobacz missed the the green with his five-iron and and could not get up and down.

The par five 12th saw both players make mistakes but they escaped with pars and Talbot need to make his four from eight feet at the 13th to avoid going back to two down and made another from 12 feet at the next to make par.

Lobacz won the 15th to double his lead at a crucial moment in the match and Talbot found tree trouble on the dog-leg 16th which left him having to chip out.

His opponent then found a poor lie near the greenside trap leaving Talbot to hit his third to 20 feet, before taking two putts for a five. That left Lobacz needing two putts to match that after fatting his chip to some 18 feet from the pin.

Talbot had to go for broke on the long par three and Lobacz opened the door when his six-iron held up in the wind and came up 10 yards short.

The former Hartpury College student was some 30 feet to the right of the pin and chose the wrong time to leave his birdie putt short.

Lobacz rolled his second to five feet and made the putt to book his place in the last four.

In the bottom match Shanklin & Sandown's Jordan Sundborg was looking to erase the memory of his quarter-final defeat against Owen Grimes, who would go on to lift the Sloane Stanley Challenge Cup, beating Robson in the final.

But Roope, who had beaten Barton-on-Sea's 7&6 in the first round, was one up after making a birdie four at the par five first.

Sundborg took advantage of a mistake by the county captain at the sixth to draw all square and then took the ninth and 10th to move in front after the turn - he made his three at the ninth from four feet but was gifted the next with a par.

But from two up with seven to play, just as he did 12 months ago against Grime, he could not close the match out.

Roope won the par five 12th with a par and a four was enough to get back to all square at the 13th.

It was becoming a scrappy affair with Roope - who won the Surrey Amateur Championship in 2006 - making a bogey to give Sundborg the lead again.

A birdie from four feet at the 15th levelled the match for a third time and Roope's gamble to hit driver off the deck after a weak three-wood paid off despite the 37-year-old felt his energy levels desert him.

Sundborg, who became the first Isle of Wight golfer to win the Sloane Stanley Challenge Trophy in 78 years in the Channel Islands two years ago, could not make his par at the 15th to fall behind again.

Roope then missed the green at the 18th, after the penultimate hole was halved in threes, giving Sundborg a potential get out of jail card.

Roope's chip ran away from short right to the back left as the Stirling University ace, who won the British Universities and Colleges Sport's Order of Merit in March, rolled it up to a foot short from the front right of the green to take the match into sudden death as Roope missed his par putt.

Both players made biridie fours at the first but Sundborg's luck run out again in the last eight as he found the greenside trap at the second and could not get up and down as Roope made par from 30 feet to book his place in the last four.

Roope will play Bishopswood's Hampshire Colts player Tom Vaughan, who saw off Lee-on-the-Solent's Aman Uddin.

Vaughan won the fifth but was pegged back at the eighth only to win the ninth in the see-saw match.

Both players knew it was a chance to record their biggest success in men's golf to date and even though Vaughan lost the 10th, he won the 15th and took the last to give him a two-hole victory and reach his first-ever semi-final, having been knocked out in the quarter-finals a year ago.


Saturday 8th June

Click here for updated Match-play draw (as of 16.05 Saturday)

Click here for County Championship qualifying scores.

Andrew Griffin reports...

Lee on Solent's Aman Uddin knocked out defending champion Owen Grimes in one of the first big shocks at the county championship.

Uddin, who is set for the bright lights of Las Vegas in August to begin a golf scholarship at Dixie University, took a three hole lead on the front nine at Aldershot's Army Golf in the first round of the matchplay.

And despite a brief rally from the left-hander from Stoneham, who caused his own big shock by landing the Sloane Stanley Challenge Cup at Liphook last year, Uddin held on to close out a 3&2 victory to set up a quarter-final clash with Bishopswood's Tom Vaughan.

Uddin birdied the fourth and sixth aided by Grimes' giving up the fifth but the 20-year-old who won the Delhi Cup at Hockley for the second time in three years in May, came back with all guns blazing around the turn.

Just 24 hours after the nation celebrated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasions in France, it was appropriate that the 114th Hampshire Isleof Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship should be staged at the third oldest golf club in the county, dating back to 1883.

Most of the holes at the Laffins Road club in Aldershot, the home of the British Army, are named after a miltary battle.

Uddin knew he was in for the fight of his life when Grimes won the ninth and 10th holes after he made his first bogeys of the day.

The nerves were showing equally for the defending champion, who returned home early from his golf scholarship at Murray State before Christmas, and has been playing golf full-time as an amateur since.

Grimes made five matched by Uddin at the 11th and the 12th - named Mountbatten in honour of the WWII military leader, whose family estate is at Romsey, was parred by both.

Uddin then hit a two iron on the 326-yard 13th and pitched to around 18-inches to set up birdie number three to extend his lead back to two.

With five to play the saying goes, Uddin should have ended up on the losing side, but a great up and down for par at the 15th gave him the confidence to see the match out and after Grimes found bunker trouble by the green on 16, Uddin, who played as a junior at Cams Hall, took his two putts to seal a 3&2 win.

Former Southampton footballer Paul Telfer produced an equally big shock, knocking out No. 1 seed Conor Richards from the Isle of Wight in the top match out.

Richards had claimed the Pechell Salver as the leading qualifier after 36-holes in Friday, as the 57-strong field battled through the morning rain and dodged some showers late in the afternoon to post a four-under total after two 69s.

The Barry University ace, who flew back to the UK from Miami a week ago after helping his team to fifth place in the NCAA Div II finals, having been the leaders for 54 holes, should have been odds-on to book his place in the last eight.

But Telfer, who played nearly 600 games for the Saints, the Cherrries, Coventry, Celtic, Leeds and Luton, shot down the Shanklin and Sandown high flyer with a gritty 3&1 win.

In one of the best matches in recent county championship history, Telfer took the lead at the second with a birdie three, but Richards hit back to win the third with a par

And it remained all-square until the sixth when Telford, who is a member at Hockley, edged into the lead with another biridie three.

The defender, who earned one cap for Scotland, doubled that lead at the eighth to put all the pressure on Richards, who won the Hampshire Boys Championship at Hockley, in 2015, before heading to Leander University in South Carolina, three years ago.

He got one back at the ninth but Telfer, who is now 47, was giving no quarter to the 21-year-old Hampshire first-teamer and hit a brilliant recovery shot through the trees on the 11th to find the green to keep his lead.

Telfer's third birdie of the day at short 13th doubled the lead again but even though he found trouble at Rae's Creek - the 14th - a par was enough to win Waterloo - the 16th - to be two up with two to play.

Alamein followed and Richards was forced to go for broke at the 202-yard par three and made four to hand a 3&1 win to the Scot, who played at St Mary's from 2001-2005.

In the other matches, Hayling's Toby Burden got the better of former England international Darren Wright, winning 2&1 having been two down after eight holes.

Burden, who lost in the final at Hayling to Stuart Archibald in 2006, won the ninth and 11th before taking the 12th and 14th to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Stoneham's Alex Talbot, another former Hampshire Boys Champion, marched into the last eight at military speed blitkrieging Osborne's Darren Masterton 7&6.

Bishopswood's Tom Vaughan the No. 3 seed, beat Shanklin and Sandown's Nat Riddett 4&3 while the latter's clubmate Jordan Sundborg - the 2017 county champion - beat North Hants' James Atkins 4&2.

County captain Colin Roope, who has won the Bren Cup - Army's 36-hole Open, which is part of the Hampshire Order of Merit, in 2016 and 2017, blew his way past Barton-on-Sea's former Hampshire Boys team member Finbar Kane, winning 7&6.

Fellow Blackmoor member Ben Lobacz, the losing finalist in 2013, was equally emphatically pulling out the big guns to blast La Moye's Joe Hacker out of the championship, winning 5&4 to set up a clash with Talbot.

Roope, who was runner-up in qualifying to Richards with a two-under total, will play Sundborg while Burden will face Telfer.

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