GOLF: Marlborough's Ben is county king after play-off triumph

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Ben Amor receives the county championship trophy from Wiltshire president Barrie Reardon Smith (Photo: Wiltshire Golf Union) Ben Amor receives the county championship trophy from Wiltshire president Barrie Reardon Smith (Photo: Wiltshire Golf Union)

MARLBOROUGH'S Ben Amor clinched the County Championship after edging out clubmate Jez Tomlinson in a three-hole play-off at Bowood Golf & Country Club yesterday.

Former county captain Tomlinson led the morning scoring with a one-over-par round of 72, a shot clear of Henry Pallas (Hamptworth) with the host club's Simon Borley a further shot adrift.

Tomlinson then carded 75 in the afternoon to overtake five-handicapper Borley, who had added a 74.

England A squad member Amor had shot 77 in his opening round, but three successive birdies in his second-round back nine moved him up the leaderboard, only for dropped shots at the 15th and 17th to leave him a shot shy of overall victory after a 71.

The duo played the 10th, 11th and 18th in the play-off and Tomlinson dropped shots at the first two of those holes to hand Amor the initiative.

Tomlinson recovered from the rough to birdie the 18th, but English U18 strokeplay champion Amor safely parred out to lift the title and follow in the footsteps of father and now Marlborough professional Simon, who won the crown in 1985.

Marlborough dominated the day, the 148 aggregate scores of Amor and Tomlinson, plus Simon Futcher's 152 from seventh place handing their the Team Shield by a 23-stroke margin from High Post.

Marlborough will represent Wiltshire in the English Champion Club Tournament, at Trentham, in September.

The top 16 players in the county championships qualified for the Wiltshire Matchplay Championships to be held in September.

Meanwhile, county skipper Peter Bicknell (High Post) has selected his team for South West Week at Royal North Devon, which gets under way on June 7.

Wiltshire, national champion county in 2011 and 2012, failed to qualify for the nationals last year.

Wiltshire: Peter Bicknell (High Post, captain), Paul Green (Marlborough, vice-captain), Ben Amor (Marlborough), Ali James (Cumberwell Park), Garry Slade (Bowood), Yoshio Takeuchi (Broome Manor), Jack Charman (North Wilts), Henry Pallas (Hamptworth), Corey Sheppard (High Post), Simon Futcher (Marlborough), Ben Stow (Cumberwell Park), Luke Gorman (Bowood).

REACTION FROM THE WILTSHIRE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES

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