Wednesday 31st July 2019
Uddin champion at Barton-on-Sea
Aman Uddin won the 2019 Boys County Championship at Barton-on-Sea Golf Club on Friday 9th August.
The Championship was reduced to 18 holes after strong winds and rain showers caused play to be abandoned for the day.
Alan Drayton (President, Hampshire Golf) with Aman Uddin and Campbell Laird. Also pictured Charlie Forster with the Weddell Trophy.
Andrew Griffin reports from Barton-on-Sea....
AMAN Uddin erased the heartache of losing last year’s Hampshire Junior Championship in a play-off by storming to victory at windswept Barton-on-Sea GC.
Having lost out against James Freeman, at Alresford 12 months ago despite a four-under par second round, his round of 73 gave the Itchen College student from Fareham, the prestigious trophy as he beat the defending champion from Stoneham by a shot.
And he now has his name alongside the likes of Justin Rose, Harry Ellis and Jack Singh-Brar, who all won the trophy and went on to represent Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup against the USA.
The 18-year-old, who is a member at Lee-on-the-Solent GC, is off to Dixie University, close to Las Vegas in September.
Uddin gambled on going for broke as the weather closed in on the New Forest seaside course last Friday, as the U18 championship was eventually reduced to 18 holes instead of 36.
With the nine holes of the Needles course exposed to the Soelnt winds, Uddin made an inauspicious start on the more sheltered Becton Course, with the nine holes on the Forest side of the layout.
But the wind was still hitting 30mph as the plus-one handicapper teed off, as he got off to the worst possible start with two bogey fives.
Uddin realised he needed to act fast and produced a remarkable run from the sixth hole – picking up successive birdies at the back-to-back par fives.
The first was into the wind and saw his five-iron from 190 yards go over the pin to set up a 25-foot eagle, which came up a foot short for a tap in.
At the next, his five-iron was again arrowed at the flag, resting 25 feet again beyond the hole, which he lagged up close for another four.
A wedge to six feet set up birdie number three at the eighth but things got even better as he took advantage of the wind on the 369-yard ninth.
His drive came to rest 30 feet from the pin and he rolled his putt across the tier from right to left and into the cup for magnificent eagle two.
But as he moved out on to the Needles course, the stormy waters of the western Solent, were a warning that conditions were going to get steadily worse with the wind speed increasing.
A double bogey six at the 10th was proof if needed, as his bold play to drive the green resulted in a lost ball.
And three more bogeys in three holes threatened to undo all Aman’s good work as the wind twice cost him shots as he could not reach the green in three at the 13th despite a big drive.
He then made a biride on the par five 15th, two putting from 15 feet after finding the green again in two.
That fourth birdie of the round got him to within a shot of par but the final par five – the 513-yard 17th – would not yield a fourth four of the day.
As the organisers waited at lunch, hoping to catch a break in the weather, the heavens opened and the decision was taken to reduce the championship to one round – for the first time since it was switched from its April date to try to ensure better playing conditions for the cream of the county crop.
Shanklin & Sandown’s Campbell Laird, who plays off eight, carded a nett 71 to win the Willard Trophy for the best handicap score, as well as the John Rush Trophy for the best U18 nett total.
The Isle of Wight teenager made five birdies on his handicap in his round of 79.
That was one better than North Hants’ Charlie Forster, who picked up the Hampshire U16 title, as well as third place in the Junior Championship, after carding a 74, which lost out to Freeman on countback.
Two-handicapper Forster shot a round of 74 gross, which included three birdies in a row from the fifth, and five bogeys on the back nine, as the winds whipped across the Needles course.
Bramshaw’s Joe Buenfeld, who also plays off two, was third in the handicap prizes with a nett 73 and fourth overall.
Corhampton’s Jamie Markwick – last year’s South East Junior Champion – could not add the Hampshire title in his final year as a junior, finishing fifth with a 76.
Junior Championship at Barton-on-Sea GC, on Friday 9th August.
COMPETITORS UPDATE.....The weather forecast has improved with rain clearing by 08.00am.
The Championship will therefore go ahead as planned.
There will be a four and a half hour gap between start times for the 1st and 2nd round.
Practice rounds (£20.00) should be booked with the Professionals Shop.