FILEY GC’S Adam Morris has become England’s handicap golfer of the year.
He crowned his first year’s membership of a golf club with a narrow victory in the Fuller’s London Pride Gold Medal.
The 24-year-old scored 37 points on the Red Course at Frilford Heath in Oxfordshire, edging out Cheshire’s Tony Sharp on countback.
Third place went to Hampshire’s Nick Holloway, 29, whose success sealed a remarkable recovery from a stroke he suffered a year ago. He beat David Allen (Hoebridge) on countback after they both scored 36 points.
The championship was played as part of England Golf’s first Golf Week which has celebrated the grass-roots game with a five-day festival of team and handicap events.
Much of the competition was played in a downpour and Morris, an 18-handicapper, commented: “I’m pleased, very pleased, especially with the conditions. It will make the four-hour drive home a bit better.”
He has enjoyed golf since he was a boy, but only began paying seriously when he and a group of friends joined Filey last year responding to an attractive membership offer.
His handicap has already dropped from 22 to 18 during his 16 months at Filey.
On Friday, he augmented a steady display with two gross birdies on the second and sixth holes, which were on his back nine.
“I had a friend walking round and caddying and it took a bit of pressure off. I just had to try to keep cool and calm – that was the hardest part, but it seemed to go all right.”
Sharp (Vicar’s Cross) is a 19-handicapper while Holloway (Basingstoke) played the most remarkable round of the day, revealing afterwards that he had a stroke last summer and was still in a wheelchair at Christmas.
He was told there was only a 15 per cent chance that he would walk again, but he has gradually recovered and says he now 97 per cent fit.