Doidge makes light of the difficult conditions to win on his birthday
FILTON'S Jonny Doidge made it an 18th birthday to remember when he won the Gloucestershire Junior county championship at sunny Cirencester on Sunday.
The four handicapper has progressed through the county's junior sides over the past four years, but winning the Tait Cup is his greatest triumph. He opened with two-over-par 72 then followed with the day's best round of 67 to total 139.
Last year's Filton junior club captain lives at Stoke Gifford and he is just finishing his second year at Filton College. His next challenge is his club championship when he will be playing off a lower handicap of three.
Talented Forest Hills player Jamie Dick (73, 72) and promising Long Ashton player Noah Hessey (70, 75) were six shots behind. Chipping Sodbury's scratch player Josh Denley was fourth (76, 71) followed by Haider Hussain (Kendleshire, 72, 75).
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Junior organiser Mark Powell said: "Jonny's scores suggest he will be a star of the future.
"He did particularly well in the afternoon for conditions were not that easy as it was breezy all day."
County secretary Ian Watkins said: "The standard of play was truly exceptional and the scores reflected how well our young players are progressing this year."
Bradley Crossan, aged 13, from Cotswold Hills, playing off a handicap of ten, won the net after grossing 73 and 71.
Jack Cope (Minchinhampton), another 13-year-old, matched the total with rounds of 76 and 74 off a 13 handicap. Kendleshire pair Alex Ault (71 61) and Joe Hillard (69 66) took the third and fourth places
Five handicapper Tim Harris (Isle of Wedmore) beat David Phillips (Saltford), who plays off eight, in a four-hole play-off to take the Somerset seniors championship at Mendip Spring.
Both players carded 78, one better than Dave Rowland (Weston-super-Mare) with Richard Streeter (The Mendip) fourth on 81.
An early bogey from Phillips in the play-off handed the advantage to Harris who clinched a two-shot win with a three on the 18th.
Sam Day (Mendip Spring) finished second in the Southern qualifier for the Brabazon Trophy on a thundery day at Rochester and Cobham.
The 2011 Somerset county champion had totalled four-under-par 40 when play was curtailed to 11 holes. He will be joined in the main event at Walton Heath on June 28 by George Morgan (The Mendip) and Ellis Cook (Burnham and Berrow) who were sixth on 43 and county captain Phil White (Wells), who shot 44 and survived a play-off for the final places.
Craig Adams (Farrington) is exempt after finishing 11th at Burnham in last year's event. No Gloucestershire players managed to qualify.
Somerset's new county champion Tom Small (Farrington) continued his remarkable season by winning the Enmore Stag at Enmore Park by seven shots. He carded a six-under-par 138 over 36 holes.
Having opened the season with a victory in the Burnham Salver, he has now won all three Somerset order of merit events
Although county seniors captain Richard Boulding (Henbury) returned the best score of the morning with a one over par score of 70 in the county Seniors Scratch Cup over his home course, he was beaten on countback by clubmate John Chilvers.
There was some doubt whether the 36-hole tournament would be completed because of heavy rain, but conditions improved and Chivers scored 75 to Boulding's 76 in the afternoon.
Stuart Masson (Minchinhampton) took the best net prize on 145.