Lincolnshire: Men’s County Championship

BACK ON SONG: Simon Richardson (Spalding), who has won the Lincolnshire County Championship six times in the last nine years

Simon battles back to notch sixth county title

LINCS: Wednesday June 23rd

Earlier this year Simon Richardson’s game was in a bit of a mess after addressing some physical issues but on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa on Sunday enough of it was back, allowing him to win the Lincolnshire County Championship for the sixth time in nine years.

Simon, who finished second at the Brabazon in 2010, decided to address some lower back and hip problems during the first lockdown last year but complications over his new fitness regime meant he wasn’t able to swing a club in January, February and March of this year and when he did start hitting balls again, it didn’t go very well.

He still wasn’t in a great place by the end of May but in the last few weeks things have started to come together and at the weekend he played his first individual competition rounds of the year to superb effect.

With his mum Val caddying for him, a pair of two-under-par 70s gave the Spalding ace a three-shot win over Thonock Park’s Adam Wainwright and the Woodhall Spa senior Paul Wharton, who last year reached the quarter-finals of the English Amateur.

“I feel like a massive corner has been turned,” said the newly-turned 35-year-old, which means he can enter the the Logan Trophy (English Mid-Am Open).

“It wasn’t that long ago I was having a really tough time and I felt like sticking the clubs in the garage and having a couple of months of.

“Lots of people were giving me advice and telling me I needed to get back out on the course but I feel entirely justified doing what I did after winning this.

“I wanted to make sure my swing was as good as it could be and on Sunday I just kept the ball in play. I hit a lot of two irons and hit 31 of 36 greens and only made three bogeys all day.”

His efforts were instrumental in also helping Spalding qualify for EG Champion Club final. Alongside Hugo Kedzlie and James Crampton, they finished five clear of Elsham.

In the morning Simon started on the tenth tee and got to four under par after 15 holes before a couple of late bogeys dragged him back towards the rest of the field and at halfway he was one ahead of Wharton and Crampton.

After 27 holes the veteran had drawn level having gone out in two under par but he double bogeyed five (his 14th) and then bogeyed seven to drop out of contention.

Meanwhile Simon birdied both par fives on the back nine to ease clear. 

In the U-21s event, Elsham’s Jonathan Kittle, who was fourth overall, finished top after the best round of the day (69) and he collected the Mike Lee Salver.

Top 10 scores (par 72)
1) Simon Richardson (Spalding) 70, 70, 140 (-4)
2) Adam Wainwright (Thonock Park) 73, 70, 143 (-1)
3) Paul Wharton (Woodhall Spa) 71, 72, 143 (-1)
4) Jonathan Kittle (Elsham) 76, 69, 145 (+1)
5) William Saville (Holme Hall) 72, 75, 147 (+3)
6) James Crampton (Spalding) 71, 76, 147 (+3)
7) Adam Barnard (Holme Hall) 78, 70, 148 (+4)
8) Michael Baines (Sleaford) 76, 72, 148 (+4)
9) Hugo Kedzlie (Spalding) 76, 72, 148 (+4)
10) McKenzie Lewis (Kenwick Park) 74, 74, 148 (+4)
For all the scores click here
Top five club scores
1) Spalding 283 (-5)
2) Elsham 288 (level)
3) Kenwick Park 296 (+8)
4) Sleaford 298 (+10)
5) Woodhall Spa (+11)
For all the team scores click here