Gloucestershire golf players in fine form at Royal North Devon
GLOUCESTERSHIRE county captain Mike Darby was thrilled by the display of three members of his team in the rain-ravaged West of England Amateur Strokeplay championship at Royal North Devon.
After battling through the gales for three rounds, the organisers of the first national event of the year called off the final round and settled the outcome on 54 holes because of further stormy weather on Sunday afternoon.
Charlie McLean, the young Brickhampton Court player who burst on to the county scene last year, was placed second on countback after rounds of 72, 76 and 75. His back-nine of 40 shots on Sunday morning was two more than Josh White (Chipstead), but five better than Mathew Daley (Mainsworth Park), who also totalled 223.
County champion Tom Workman (Stinchcombe Hill) shot 70, 78 and 76 to finish one shot behind. Laurie Potter (Minchinhampton) completed a good day for the county by carding 225, one further shot further back, to share ninth.
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Darby has responded by recalling Potter to the team for the Channel League match against Wiltshire at Bowood on Sunday. The vacancy arose when Knowle's David Lake withdrew as he is preparing for his wedding.
The rest of the team is Nick Day (Henbury), Jake Phillips (Brickhampton), Tyler Hogarty (Rodway Hill), Andy Rudge (Bristol and Clifton), Sam Morgan (Knowle), David Wood and Andy Hale (Chipping Sodbury).
Darby believes the success of the young players is due to the vibrant coaching policy adopted by the county. "To have three players in he top ten of the WASP is outstanding. We haven't enjoyed that kind of success since the days of Ed Butler (a past winner from Lansdown).
"Hopefully we have now turned the corner and our development strategy is paying off, so we can move forward in a positive manner."
Gloucestershire lost their opening match 9.5-5.5 to Devon at Yelverton in horrific conditions.
The county seniors' trials take place at Henbury on Wednesday. The new seniors' captain is Richard Boulding, who has succeeded Tony Gough (Lansdown).
Worlebury captain Pete Nuttall started his year with his captain's day on a blustery but dry day. The event raised £550 for Weston Hospice Care.