James Wilson completed a gruelling week of golf with victory in the Northumberland County Championship final at Newcastle United Golf Club.
James, a member of Close House, beat 2013 and 2018 champion Andrew Minnikin 1up in the event’s final after returning to the North East the night before following a tied-15th finish in the Brabazon Trophy at Sherwood Forest Golf Club in Nottinghamshire. James had reached the county championship final seven days earlier by beating Christian Brown and Mark Wharton in back-to-back matches.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a Northumberland county champion. Winning the final was a great way to finish off a really tough week.
“I was lucky to just make it into the top eight, having not played my best golf in the first two rounds of the strokeplay at Dunstanburgh. From there, I played some really good golf in the first two matchplay rounds – beating two top players in Christian and Mark.”
In the final, James reached 3up quickly and narrowly missed chances to extend his lead before Andrew began clawing back his advantage. James then regained his lead with four consecutive birdies from the eighth. The momentum then swung to Andrew again with an eagle at the par five 13th before he birdied 17 to head down the last 1dn. With both players in the fairway, James’ approach found the left bunker as Andrew missed the green right. With Andrew facing a short putt for par, James completed victory with an 8ft putt across the final green.
“The final against Andrew was a great game and it was back and forth throughout. The putt on the 18th green was the best putt I hit all day, and it was a fantastic way to complete the win.”
The top eight from the first 36 holes of Northumberland’s Strokeplay Championship qualified for this year’s County Championship. While James reached the final with victory over Mark Wharton, Andrew beat strokeplay champion Joseph Robson in his semi-final.