Amateur golfer James Cawkell from Liphook Golf Club saw off 10,000 golfers to be crowned Srixon Amateur Champion, justifying his decision to cut short a holiday to Portugal to play in the grand final at Rockliffe Hall.
Cawkell, joined 21 other amateurs, at the stunning County Durham venue, to contest the final and just pipped John Berry from Brampton Golf Club on countback after shooting 33 Stableford points.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to have won,” said Cawkell. “I really thought I’d blown it as I failed to score on the final hole, so to hear my name read out was amazing. It was tough out there, the wind was blowing and the rain coming and going.
“I’ve been away for the last six days in Portugal playing golf, so have had some good practice and came back specially to play to this event flying in late the night before.”
The Amateur Championship is staged in conjunction with the TGI Golf Partnership, golf’s leading retail services group. The group’s PGA Professional Partners staged qualifying events across the UK & Ireland, with Srixon supplying Partners with prizes including Carry Bag, AD333/UltiSoft golf balls and a shoe bag for first, second and third places respectively.
The winner of each event was placed onto a national leaderboard, with the top 20 amateurs, along with last year’s winner, qualifying for the grand final, staged at the beautiful Rockliffe Hall, where all competitors were also given overnight accommodation.
Ian Mowbray, Cawkell’s PGA Professional at Liphook, added: “I said to him before we played that if he scored 36 points he’d have a good chance of winning, but when he didn’t score on the last I really thought he’d blown it.
“The Srixon Amateur Championship is a great event, it gives some added value to our members when we host the qualifying medal and is a great day out if your amateur qualifies, superbly organised and always at a first-class venue.”
There was some consolation for runner-up Berry who won the team event with his TGI Golf PGA Professional Phil Waugh, after shooting a combined score of 67 points to beat the home club pairing of amateur Neil Raine and his TGI Golf PGA Pro Jonathan Stacey by two.
Adele McLean, TGI Golf Group Services Manager, added: “It is always a pleasure to stage this event in partnership with Srixon as it means so much to the amateur golfer and gives our Partners real added value to be able to treat their customers to such a great day out.
“This is the ninth year we’ve run this event and have staged it at some amazing venues such as Wentworth and Celtic Manor and this year at the hidden gem that is Rockliffe Hall. The venue is excellent in every aspect – we were looked after extremely well, the facilities are first class and the golf courses provided an excellent test for competitors.”
Dean Cracknell, Marketing Manager at Srixon Sports Europe, said: “We have been involved in sponsoring this great event for a number of years, and its reputation among Partners and amateur golfers alike continues to gain momentum, so naturally, there is great synergy in taking our key products to a key audience.
“We remain continually indebted to TGI Golf for organising such a fantastic tournament and helping to supported our brands in the way only they can.”
TGI Golf https://tgigolf.com/
Srixon Sports Europe www.srixon.co.uk/