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Southgate wins Amateur Championship
9:52am Wednesday 1st July 2009 in Golf news
Clacton Golf Club welcomed some of the county’s brightest talent when they staged the Essex Amateur Championships.
And it turned out to be one of the most exciting and dramatic championships for some time.
Thorpe Hall’s Matthew Southgate, who plays off a handicap of plus two, became the new champion after triumphing by just one shot over Chelmsford’s Jack Hiluta.
In near perfect conditions on Saturday morning, Southgate equalled the course record set only a few days before by Clacton’s Ben Herbert with a magnificent 65.
He followed this in the afternoon round with a one under par 70, to lead the field after the day on 135.
The Sunday morning start was delayed for half an hour because of misty conditions, which enabled players to take advantage of some extras putting practice.
Southgate completed his round with a creditable one over par 72 but Hiluta produced some excellent golf to close the gap on Southgate with a fine 67.
The final afternoon round saw some of the best golf played on the seaside course for many years.
Daniel Capps, from Ballards Gore, returned a 66 to finish on 286.
Southgate, playing some steady golf, was well in control until the 17th hole when he double bogied the short par three.
Hiluta, by this time, had completed his round, returning an excellent 69 to finish on 280.
That left Southgate needing a four on the 18th to take the title.
A well-positioned drive and an approach which finished right of the pin left Southgate with just two putts which he made with ease to become the new Essex champion.
Bob Foster, Clacton’s captain, who presented the prizes with Essex president Mike Thirkettle, said: “It was pleasure to host this prestigious event.
“The standard of play was, at times, exceptional and I particularly want to congratulate Matthew, firstly on becoming county champion and secondly for equalling our course record with a superb 65.”