YORKSHIRE began their attempt to claim the English Men’s County Championship title at Aldeburgh with a convincing 6.5-2.5 win over Lincolnshire.
Captain Darryl Berry’s men took a 2-1 lead in the morning foursomes and then claimed four wins and a half in the afternoon singles.
Half of their team – Lindrick’s Bailey Gill, Rotherham’s Lewis Hollingworth and Hallowes’ Sam Bairstow – won in both sessions, while county champion Sam Rook, also of Lindrick, returned a win and a half.
Lincolnshire’s players work and play golf in their spare time, while only one of the Yorkshire players has a full-time job in Hollingworth, who is a PE teacher at Maltby Academy, Rotherham.
Hollingworth, playing in his first County Finals, teamed up with Bairstow to help give Yorkshire their 2-1 lunchtime lead.
They were pegged back after winning the first hole, but made a decisive move when they parred the 17th to go one up and then held on to win when the 18th was halved.
The team’s other foursomes point was provided by Rook and Gill, who also won one up.
In the afternoon Gill and his fellow England international David Hague (Malton & Norton) quickly added to the White Rose points tally, each winning 6&4 at the top of the order.
It subsequently fell to Hollingworth to gain the point that ensured overall victory with his 5&4 win.
“[Team captain] Darryl said on the 13th tee that we were looking all right, but that if I could get over the line it would be good,” said Hollingworth, who executed his captain’s instructions with the aid of successive pars.
Berry said: “We have a lot of players who would be big scalps for other teams, but I’m always confident they will win.
“It helps for us to have those players because the whole team bounce off each other.”
In the day’s other match Berks, Bucks & Oxon – who will face Yorkshire today – were edged 5-4 by Gloucestershire, for whom English mid-amateur champion Nick Day had a hole-in-one in the foursomes.