SAM HAYWOOD has made the most of having a week off from caddying on the European Tour by winning the Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham GC.
Haywood grew up playing the course and local knowledge paid as he edged to a one-shot victory over Yorkshire champion Julian Taylor (York) and Bondhay’s Daniel Wasteney.
The new champion is caddie to European Tour professional Peter Uihlein and a short break in the tour’s schedule allowed him to play.
He said: “I’m caddying back in Denmark on Monday, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to play here. I’m not playing much, but in practice this week I was in good shape and I managed to carry it over into the Westwood.
“I probably won’t get the chance to play again for a couple of months so I’m delighted.
“I wasn’t expected to win so the pressure was off,” added the player who had a spell as a professional himself before regaining his amateur status in 2013.
His rounds of 67 69 70 70 gave him a total of three under par.
Leading by three strokes over The Oaks’ James Walker as the final round began, he was looking in good shape for victory until York’s Taylor shot through the pack with a final round 65 and a total of two under to apply pressure.
Haywood showed his mettle with a steady one-over 70. A long putt on the 17th earned him a birdie and a two-shot cushion that he used to his advantage, finishing with a bogey to lift the trophy.
Tied fourth with a total of 280, three behind Haywood, were Pike Hills’ Martin Brown, Patrick Duff, from Sutton Coldfield, and Moortown’s David Houlding.
The Westwood Trophy is one of the North’s premier amateur events. This year the World Ranking competition featured golfers from Sweden, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jersey and France.