Yorkshire Boys target English triumph after Northern Counties success

YORKSHIRE Boys' team manager Philip Woodcock has led the side through to the English county finals for the second year in succession.

Yorkshire Boys, pictured after their Northern Counties triumph with manager Philip Woodcock, left, and England Golf coach of the Year Steve Robinson, right.

And he will be hoping they can go one step further than last year when they came up just half a match point short of winning the title at Cumberwell Park.

Yorkshire Boys maintained their grip on the Northern Counties crown with victory at Warrington, which has earned them their tilt at the national title at Northamptonshire County GC from August 29 to 31.

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Woodcock turned the spotlight away from his management and onto England Golf coach of the year for 2016, Steve Robinson (Sandburn Hall), for the way he prepared Yorkshire ahead of the victory at Warrington.

And here Woodcock details the performances that saw Yorkshire triumph by nine shots over Durham in the Northern Counties championship.

"The boys had been well prepped by our coach, Steve Robinson, the day before, so it was over to them to deliver the golf.

"Alex Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire) led the team away. He got off to a steady start and was two under after 10. At the 14th he three-putted to drop a shot, but then proceeded to birdie the next three holes to go four under, finishing with a 67, a new course record - for all of two hours. Unfortunately the putts didn’t drop for him, he had 31; however, it still was a great round.

"Callum MacFie (Lindrick) was next out and was two over after six, but birdies at nine and 10 got him back to level, playing steady golf to come in with a level-par 71.

"Jack Leversidge (Abbeydale) has been playing some great golf of late and on some difficult courses, including St Georges, Princes and Burhill. He recently came fourth at Hallamshire in the Sheffield Plate with his handicap coming down over the last three months from 3.7 to 1.7.

"He played some great golf for his round with 32 putts, birdies at 15 and 17, to finish two under with a 69. This was a tremendous effort by Jack, our reserve, who replaced captain Dan Bradbury (Wakefield), who was unwell.

"James Swash (Middlesbrough) played some great golf. He was two under after five, but then dropped a shot to be one under after 10.

"Like his team-mate, Alex, he then had a birdie charge at 15, 16 and 17 to go four under and finish with a 67 too. James had 29 putts in his round, an excellent effort.

"Charlie Daughtrey (Rotherham) didn’t get off to a great start with a bogey in the early holes, followed by another after overshooting the par-5 fifth hole. Dan Bradbury stepped in to caddy for Charlie for a few holes and lift his spirits, which he did to finish with a level-par 71.

"Our last man was Michael Hay (Hunley Hall) who got off to a great start with a birdie at the first. He followed this with others at six and seven to be three under at the turn. Michael played some excellent golf with an eagle at 12, having bogeyed 11, then a birdie at 15 to be five under.

"A good drive down the par-5 17th set him up with a six-iron into the green, leaving him a successful 40ft putt for eagle. A par four at the last ensured he had a 64, a new course record, taking only 26 putts.

"The five best scores in the morning counted and we were 18 shots clear of our nearest rivals Durham with Cheshire one shot back of them.

"At lunch I said the boys could not be complacent, they needed to go out again and repeat their morning’s performance as the other teams would be out to get us.

"Alex led the way again and was one over after six, but soon got it back to level. He had a birdie at 12 then repeated his morning efforts with birdies at 15, 16 and 17. At the par-3 16th he nearly holed out leaving his tee shot 12 inches away. A final birdie at 17 set him up with another 67 and a 36 total of eight under.

"Callum was three over after three, but he managed to steady the ship and pulled his round back to finish with another 71.

"Jack was steady away, playing to par in the main and finishing with a par 71.

"James was unfortunately two over after six and with bogeys at 12 and 13 he went to five over. He managed a birdie at 15 to finish with a 75.

"Charlie had a spring in his step in the afternoon, his first birdie coming at hole five and with further birdies at 10 and 12 he was three under. Unfortunately he dropped a shot at the par-3 13th with a three-putt, but birdies at 15 and 17 gave him a total of 67.

"Michael birdied the first hole yet again in the afternoon, but missed a couple of four-foot putts to remain at one under. Dropping a shot due to a poor chip took him back to level. He struggled and went three over after 10, but birdies at 12, 13 and 14 pulled him back level only to bogey 16 and he carded a 72.

"Our afternoon scores to count were 67 67 71 71 72, with only one score above par, and we beat Durham by nine shots.

"Durham put up a tremendous fightback with scores of 66 67 67 69 70, just one shot worse than our morning score. Luke Kelly (Lancashire), playing with Alex, had a 63 in the afternoon to beat Michael’s also short-lived course record.

"The team, including the non-playing captain Dan Bradbury, showed fantastic team spirit over the three days and great determination in wanting to win.

"I am tremendously proud of my team. They are just wonderful to be around; we have fun, but ultimately they all know we have a job to do."