Yorkshire golf: White Rose Boys head for England Golf final as Northern Counties champions

Yorkshire Boys, the new Northern Counties champions, with team manager Phil Woodcock.
Yorkshire Boys, the new Northern Counties champions, with team manager Phil Woodcock.
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YORKSHIRE will compete in the England Golf County Boys' Championship at Cumberwell Park, Wiltshire, in August after lifting the Northern Counties title at Lindrick.

Resident professional John King, Yorkshire Boys' coach, had prepped the side well the day before, and Yorkshire's players, generally, coped well with the front nine, but found the final holes very demanding and shots were lost there.

The White Rose's best score in the morning came from Sam Bairstow (Hallowes) with a 70 that would have been better but for a couple of mistakes on the last two holes.

Team manager Phil Woodcock was nonetheless delighted with their performance before lunch, saying: “They had stuck with their team orders and although two shots behind the leaders, Durham, we were still in a good position for the afternoon play."

Woodcock offered words of encouragement over lunch that the deficit was not unbreachable and after nine afternoon holes things were improving with no White Rose player being worse than four over par, with a couple under par.

It was clear the destiny of the championship would be decided over the closing demanding holes, where positional play off the tee was key.

Tom North (Howley Hall) had a calamitous morning round, but showed his resilience in the afternoon when his good golf was rewarded with a fine 72.

Fulford's Charlie Thornton and Charlie Daughtrey (Rotherham) also played well to add two further scores of 72.

Hallowes' Sam Bairstow came to the last, a 210-yard par-3, at one over. His tee shot finished in the right-hand bunker against the face and, being left-handed, he had to stand outside the bunker. Crouching down, he played a superb shot to within 20ft of the hole and sank the putt for a par and a 71.

This took Yorkshire from two shots behind Durham at halfway to two in front with both players having one player left on the course.

Yorkshire's competitor was recent Sheffield Plate winner Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire), who played good golf all day and - although he dropped a shot on 17 - he, too, finished with a 71.

Durham’s last man was Ryan Dixon, who had shot a 69 in the morning, but he could only manage a second-round 74, confirming Yorkshire Boys as champions.

They won by five shots from Durham, who had been looking to win the event for the third year in succession.

Woodcock praised his team's excellent team spirit and determination and thanked the side's captain, Matty Raybould (Bridlington), and also King, who played a crucial part in the preparation of the team in the practice sessions.