Rhys leaves a class field trailing in his wake
FORMAT: 72-hole strokeplay
Opens: Friday, July 23th
There was a stunning, record-breaking effort from Cheshire’s Rhys Nevin at the Walton Heath Trophy.
Rounds of 67, 68, 69 and 66 secured a six-shot victory with a record low score (-18). The Sandiway player had never previously won a four-round tournament put he that right in style, playing his final nine holes in five under to leave Royal Ashdown Forest’s Joe Sullivan at the head of the chasing pack (-12). Wakefield’s Dan Bradbury was a shot further back in third.
“It is definitely a week I am never going to forget,” said Rhys this afternoon, on his way back from having his clubs “adjusted” at the Titleist Performance Centre at Woburn.
The University of Tennessee All-American graduate is a big fan of the prestigious Surrey venue. Two years ago he was in contention on the final day before eventually finishing seventh but this time around was in a different class.
He started the final round four clear and with nine to play his lead was cut by one but a massive moment at 10th settled his nerves. Having just missed the green with his approach, he holed from 50 feet.
Rhys added: “The front nine was good but it was a bit of a scramble. An ugly front nine you could call it.
“So holing that putt on ten really settled me down and I think, had I missed and struggled with the one back, it would have added to that feeling that I was continually have to scramble.
“I didn’t want to play defensively because I knew eagles were out there for people coming in and it was great that both me and Dan (Bradbury) were five under for the back nine. We were able to put on a bit of a show.”
Remarkably the 23-year-old was two over for his first three holes in round one and “showed a lot of mental toughness” to respond with seven birdies and no bogeys during the remaining 15 holes.
That left him one back of Spalding’s Hugo Kedzlie and level with Matt Gauntlett (West Herts) and Matt Downes (Ingestre Park).
Unfortunately for the Lincolnshire player he back up his opening 66 with a 79 while Rhys took the halfway lead on nine under thanks to a 68, Yorkshireman Bradbury matching that score to move second (-6).
The leader consolidated with a 69 that contained just one bogey and then was one under for his front nine in the round four. After landing that bomb on ten, he also birdied 13, 14, 16 and 18 to round of in style and give him huge confidence ahead of next week’s English Amateur at Headingley and Moortown (July 27-August 1).
Leading scores (par 72)
1) Rhys Nevin (Sandiway) 67, 68, 69, 66, 270 (-18)
2) Joe Sullivan (Royal Ashdown Forest) 71, 69, 69, 67, 276 (-12)
3) Dan Bradbury (Wakefield) 70, 68, 70, 69, 277 (-11)
4) Stuart Easton (The Irvine) 71, 70, 68, 69, 278 (-10)
5) Olly Huggins (Frilford) 68, 72, 69, 72, 281 (-7)
6= Harrison Arnold (Castle Royle) 70, 74, 71, 67, 282 (-6)
6= Ben Quick (Beaconsfield) 69, 72, 71, 70, 282 (-6)
6= George Mason (Wath) 70, 69, 68, 75, 282 (-6)
9) Arron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) 71, 68, 70, 74, 283 (-5)
10= Freddie Macarthur (Ullesthorpe Court) 70, 75, 71, 68, 284 (-4)
10= Harvey Byers (Walton Heath) 68, 74, 66, 76, 284 (-4)
10= Stephen Roger (Peebles, Sco) 71, 71, 74, 68, 284 (-4)
For all the scores click here