Opens: Duncan Putter

BREAKTHROUGH WIN: Duncan Putter champion George Ash

George stretches away in impressive style

OPENS: Tuesday Sept 28th

FORMAT: 72-hole strokeplay

Yorkshire’s George Ash led from the front as he claimed his first major 72-hole strokeplay title in South Wales.

The Duncan Putter, which is traditionally played at the start of the season, has developed into big deal with leading amateurs looking for competitive golf in early April.

This year Covid-related issues pushed it to the end of September but there was still a strong British field for the Wales Order of Merit contest at Southerdown with the Hallowes teenager putting in an excellent display of front running to get the job done by four shots from Gloucestershire’s Milan Reed (Long Ashton) and Caerphilly’s James Sharpe.

The gap was three going into the final round and the 19-year-old Yorkshire and Sheffield Union player managed the situation brilliantly. Across all four rounds he avoided taking a double bogey.

“I was just trying to keep mistakes off my card coming down the stretch,” said George.

“And to be fair I kept my ball in play well.”

Even when he did find trouble off the tee he did an excellent job of minimising the damage. That was especially true at his penultimate hole. Not certain of his lead, he drove into a gorse bush and had to take a drop. With 200 in he just missed the target but managed to make and up and down for a bogey. He then parred the last to finish five over par overall.

In round one he hit 16 greens in regulation but struggled with the putter and shared the lead with three others.

At halfway his lead was one (over Sharpe) even though he wasn’t happy again with how he performed on the greens.

“I couldn’t hole anything and, particularly in the second round, left a lot of shots out there,” added George.

Playing alongside his nearest challenger for the final 36 holes, the Yorkshireman shot a 72 while Sharpe’s 74 meant the gap widened further and the leader kept him, and the rest of the field, at arm’s length in round four.

Top 10 (par 70)
1) George Ash (Hallowes) 71, 70, 72, 72, 285 (+5)
2= Milan Reed (Long Ashton) 79, 69, 70, 71, 289 (+9) 
2= James Sharpe (Caerphilly) 71, 71, 74, 73, 289 (+9)
4= Lewis Beer (Exeter) 73, 75, 75, 69, 292 (+12)
4= Caolan Burford (Rhuddlan) 73, 73, 73, 73, 292 (+12)
4= Connor Jones (Aberdovey) 75, 74, 74, 69, 292 (+12)
4= Llewellyn Matthews (Southerdown) 71, 74, 72, 75, 292 (+12)
4= Joe Sykes (Golf at Goodwood) 73, 75, 72, 72, 292 (+12)
9= Harry Malin (Bognor Regis) 73, 74, 73, 73, 293 (+13)
9= Jake Sowden (The Oaks) 73, 74, 71, 75, 293 (+13)
9= Owain Taylor (Llanishen) 73, 75, 70, 75, 293 (+13)
For all the scores click here