English Golf Courses

Edwards shines in Hampshire

Edwards wins as heavy rain forces North Hants’ event to be shortened

For the first time in its 58-year history, the Hampshire Hog fell foul of the weather at North Hants over Easter – but, for Sam Edwards, the conditions were a welcome bonus.

The 21-year-old from Devon posted a morning three-under-par 67, which proved to be the winning score when the afternoon round was abandoned after heavy rain flooded parts of the course.

It was the biggest win of Edwards’ career and he was delighted to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Sir Michael Bonallack, Peter McEvoy, Sandy Lyle and Justin Rose, previous winners of the Hog.

“It’s an honour to have my name alongside those players and I’ll certainly try to follow in their footsteps,” he said.

Edwards, a former England U16 international, started his morning round from the tenth tee and went out in level par. But four back nine birdies, bringing his total tally to five, proved the foundation for his 67.

“I’m glad I registered that score in the morning when I holed a lot of putts,” he added. “Now I will try to push on and get another win over the summer. I’m looking for a successful year and to get back into an England squad.”

Whether Edwards would have won if the second round hadn’t been abandoned is anyone’s guess but he’s not dwelling on its impact.

He was three over par through 12 holes when play was abandoned but such were conditions in the late afternoon with heavy rain, a blustery wind and gather darkness that few of the field would have been under par.

Edwards finished a stroke ahead of Jamie Bower and two clear of Daniel Brown, both England ‘A’ squad members, while England international Paul Howard, winner of the South American Amateur earlier this year, was among a group on level-par 70.

On the previous day, in more favourable conditions, another England cap Jordan Smith won the Selborne Salver with two rounds of 68.

He finished a shot ahead of fellow caps Ashley Chesters and Ryan Evans with Simon Richardson and Berkhamsted Trophy winner Luke Johnson on 138.

Jordan Smith, a member of last year’s Walker Cup team and the 2013 winner of the Hog, won the Hampshire Salver for the lowest aggregate over the Selborne Salver and Hampshire Hog.

© Mark Sandom

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