Pride of Rossendale delivers final-round masterclass
LANCASHIRE: Monday June 7th
A couple of Lancashire’s stellar prospects emphasised their abilities by finishing in the top two places at the county championship at Childwall.
Rossendale’s Harry Lord (19 years old) triumphed thanks to a bogey-free final round to win the 72-hole strokeplay event by two shots from Lancashire Boys champion Andrew Haswell. The Ormskirk player will not turn 18 until next month.
The win also marks a special moment for Rossendale GC. In a county with a membership of nearly 150 clubs, the East Lancashire course has provided two of the last three county championship winners with Luke Bartram claiming the crown in 2019 at Formby.
Harry, who closed with a five-under par 67, has enjoyed a fine run of form at his American university – Lincoln Memorial in Tennessee – since a change in mindset was triggered by a pre-tournament chat with a friend.
He said: “He would always say to me: ‘Hope you play well’. I would say: ‘Ill try’. Then one day I responded with ‘I will’. And since then I have been performing better.”
In the States he reeled off a second, a third and two other top 15 finishes and carried that form into the three-day championship at Childwall.
However Harry, at his very first hole, went out of bounds and opened with a double bogey but got it back to three under after 14 before finishing with a one under par 71.
Andrew Haswell and Royal Lytham’s Alex James were the only players to break 70 on Friday.
On day two only one managed it – Manchester’s Aiden Hoosen – while Harry went bogey free until 17 on his way to a 70, which left him just one back of the Lytham player.
Last year’s winner John Carroll (Huyton & Prescott) got himself back in with a chance of winning the event for the fourth time with a superb third-round 68, a score matched by the Manchester player and 17-year-old from Ormskirk, who led after 54 holes by one from the reigning champion with the soon-to-be champion a shot further back.
On Sunday afternoon the Rossendale teenager had to stay “patient” having parred the first seven but then the putts started to drop around the turn.
“I hadn’t been playing particularly great,” said Harry. “I wasn’t hitting the ball that well but I stayed patient and I started holing a few. I missed a three-foot putt for birdie on 11 and that killed my momentum a bit. I had to regroup but holing from 18 feet on 13 got things going again.”
He grabbed birdies at eight, nine, ten, 13 and 14 to put himself clear of the pack but there was just one major obstacle left between himself and victory having been told he had a two-shot lead on the 16th tee.
He added: “Walking down 17 it was in the back of my mind that I had my only bogey here in round two and this time I made a really good up and down to stay bogey free.”
A par at the last secured the biggest win of his career and he will take his place at the British Amateur at Nairn (starting on June 14) along with 143 of Europe’s finest amateurs.