Southall crowned Walden club champion in drama

Saffron Walden Golf Club's Graham Jones, Kevin Hayes, Spencer Burlingham, Justine Voss, Richard Sout

Saffron Walden Golf Club's Graham Jones, Kevin Hayes, Spencer Burlingham, Justine Voss, Richard Southall and Katy Stevens - Credit: Archant

The destination of the men’s club championship at Saffron Walden came down to the final putt of the day in a thrilling finish.

And Richard Southall was crowned champion after Olly Tuck missed his attempt on the 18th green, with Spencer Burlingham taking the runners-up spot on countback.

Tuck was the first round leader on two-over par, with Southall six shots back after a disappointing eight-over par round of 80.

But Southall bounced back to card a gross, two-under par 70, before his anxious wait to learn his fate.

Tuck needed a birdie on the last for an outright win or par to force a play-off, but his tee shot flew over the green and his short chip back and missed putt left Southall to celebrate.

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Burlingham also carried off the Summer Cup for the best nett score of the Championship with a nett 143.

The ladies championship also produced a very competitive battle between current captain Justine Voss and Jaine Fieldhouse.

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Voss was two ahead of her rival after the first day, having carded a gross 84 to Fieldhouse’s 86.

And playing together on the Sunday, the two were neck and neck as Fieldhouse birdied the fifth to close the gap to one shot.

Voss made par on the 16th, but Fieldhouse saw a putt slide by the hole to card a double-bogey six, which proved decisive.

With both players managing par on the 18th, Voss retained the crown she had won in 2017.

A highlight of the club championships was the fantastic performance of Katy Stevens, in her last year as a junior.

Starting on the Saturday with a handicap of 27, Stevens shot two rounds of nett 69, recovering from a shaky start to find her length and direction.

After finding the green on the par five 10th in two, Stevens went on to claim the Betty Thompson Trophy for the best nett score and the Bronze Trophy for the best gross score for ladies with handicaps of 21 and above.

Kevin Hayes was a delighted winner of the seniors title for the first time, playing one under his handicap to end with a gross 76. John Roberts was runner-up with 77.

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