Yorkshire double

East and Thornton top order of merits

Stephen East is England’s top senior golfer for the second time – and Charlie Thornton has made it a Yorkshire double by heading the national junior order of merit.

Meanwhile, Cath Rawthore, from Sale in Cheshire topped the England Golf Women’s Senior Order of Merit for the second time – she and East were both winners in 2014.

East’s victory in the Scottish Senior Championship was an exciting affair as he played the final 10 holes in five under-par to speed past his rivals. “To win is always satisfying, but to go up there and win was special,” said East, who was also runner-up in the Welsh Senior Championship.

The Senior Home Internationals, where he scored 5.5 points from six games, was another of his highlights. “Winning the Home Internationals was a great thrill,” said East.

“It was a wonderful team effort which turned out to be a dominant performance.”

His verdict on the year? “Having missed two counting events I was delighted at topping the Order of Merit, it’s most satisfying and one of the highlights of my year.

“Looking to 2017, I’m excited about representing Wike Ridge Golf Club. My goals are simple – to enjoy my golf and keep playing and competing at the highest level possible, playing as many championships as I can.”

Fulford’s 17-year-old Thornton reached the quarter-finals of the British Boys’ Championship at Muirfield in August and has represented Yorkshire at Under-16 level since his early teens.

Now off plus-one he will step up to open competitions next season.

Thornton’s best moment was reaching the quarter-final of the Boys’ Amateur Championship at Muirfield, where he was beaten by the eventual champion on the 18th green. Representing Yorkshire in the English Boys County Finals was another highlight for the teenager, who won all six of his games.

Other youngsters from the region also performed admirably over the year, continuing their development. Hexham’s Matty Lamb was placed eighth in the order of merit with Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick 11th and Hartlepool’s Jack Ainscough 13th.