Friday 16th August 2019
Andrew Griffin reports on last weekend's Solent Salver at Stoneham and Brokenhurst Manor.
Jordan Sundborg, Rick Randall (Captain, Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club) and Martin Young.
Andrew Griffin reports.........
ONLY five players have completed the Solent Slam in the same weekend over the past 26 years – but Martin Young had the chance to become the first to do it twice on Sunday.
And playing the Mike Smith Memorial Trophy on his home course at Brokenhurst Manor, the 49-year-old arrived on the 18th tee with a one-hole advantage.
But playing partner Jordan Sundborg – Shanklin & Sandown’s reigning European Universities Champion – had birdied the par five 16th – after eagling the short 14th with a two – and still had the honour.
Having led the county championship in qualifying four years ago and taken six on the same hole, he drove the green on the 334-yard 18th, forcing Young to take aim and not lay up.
The three-time Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Champion’s drive crucially went out of bounds.
And when he could not find the green with his fourth shot, Sundborg – who became the first player from the Isle of Wight to win the Sloane Stanley Challenge Trophy at the 2017 county championships in Jersey – was sitting pretty.
Young’s treble bogey seven meant Sundborg could afford to three-putt and still have a shot in hand to claim the trophy donated in memory of one of the county – and country’s – most talented teenagers.
Mike Smith was cruelly killed in a car accident two years after he won the 1989 Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship – at Shanklin & Sandown.
Young was everyone’s favourite to complete a second Solent Slam in one weekend – after his three victories in 2005, a feat matched a year ago by Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson – and claim his sixth Mike Smith Memorial in its 29-year history.
But Sundborg had other ideas, even though he was three shots behind surprise lunchtime leader Lewis Scott, from Lee-on-the-Solent.
The latter produced an excellent 69 to top the leaderboard on one-under.
After six bogeys and four birdies in an opening two-over par 72, Sundborg looked to have taken himself out of the tournament with a double bogey seven at the par five second.
But the winner of the 2019 British Universities and Colleges’ Order of Merit produced some stellar golf shooting five-under for his last 11 holes, as he chased down Young, who was a shot ahead of him at lunch.
Having got to the turn level after three birdies, a bogey and a double, Sundborg made two at the 12th
But a bogey at the 13 looked likely to be unlucky as he trailed Young by three shots after the host club ace had made two birdies on the front nine, only to drop two sbots around the turn.
The short 14th proved the turning point as Jordan drove the green of the 296-yard hole, and sunk his 30-foot putt for a two – to wipe out Young’s bounce-back birdies at 11 and 12, as he could only make four.
Sundborg applied the pressure with birdies at the driveable 15th and the par five 16th, but a three on the short hole had left Young one clear with three to play.
And it was ironic that the 18th – where Sundborg took six in the 2015 county championship when leading the strokeplay qualifier – that gave the 2017 Solent Salver winner the trophy to complete his own slam over four seasons.
He was the first Isle of Wight player to win the Stoneham Trophy in 2016 and the Solent Salver a year later.
Young’s seven and that three-shot swing on the last may have stung, but his one-over total still left him eight shots clear of his nearest challengers in the Solent Salver, which was introduced in 1994.
The former English Mid-Amateur Champion took the 72-hole prize for a fifth time in the last 20 years since his first win back in 2000 – and his first since 2013 – with a six-under total.
Scott, who eagled the 14th and picked up a birdie at the 16th, playing two groups ahead finished three shots back on two-over, after five bogeys and a double in eight holes earlier in his round.
He was edged out of third by an excellent 68 from Stoneham’s Ryan Henley – one of four players to have won the Mike Smith twice, along with former England Amateur Champions Harry Ellis and Kevin Weeks.
Scott was tied on two-over with Surrey’s David Corben in the Solent Salver.