Adam Charlton produced a gritty performance to win the Durham County Strokeplay Championship at Durham City.
Adam, 18, recently landed a golfing scholarship at St Andrews University and won his first county championship with rounds of 67, 67, 76 and 68 for a six under-par total and a two-shot victory over Will Skipp (Eaglescliffe) and Gavin Nesbit (Boldon).
Ramside-based Adam posted back-to-back 67s to open the event before slipping back with a third-round 76.
With 2019 winner and 2020 runner-up Jack Ainscough (71), county matchplay winner Gavin Nesbit (70), defending champion James Glenn (68), Will Skipp (70) and Thomas Harbord (73) all closing in, victory was by no means guaranteed for Adam. However, an eagle two at the 420-yard third sparked a surge to the turn in 31 and then birdies at 11 and 12 took him to five under-par. He could afford to drop shots at the 13th and 18th to post a closing 68 and lead the elite field by two shots.
Adam – who had his dad Charles on the bag – admitted to some nerves as he closed in on the title. “It was just a bit of struggle in the third round,” he said. “After nine holes I was six over-par and I really didn’t see any way back.
“But I just dug in and had my dad on the bag, which helped. I didn’t know what the scores were, but I knew I was up there towards the end. I didn’t hit that bad a shot at the 18th, it just came up a bit short and caught the bunker, but it wasn’t too bad really.
“I’ve had a bit of a tendency to finish runner-up and can’t remember the last time I won any real silverware, so I was just taking it one shot at a time, and it’s paid off.”
Adam is now looking forward to starting his education at St Andrews. He added: “It’s a four-year degree course with a pretty full-on schedule and I’m looking forward to starting in August. I’ll see how each year goes and I don’t have to make any decisions yet as regards a career in golf – there’s plenty of time to decide on that.”