Haydn makes history at old Links

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Teenager Haydn McCullen, a recent recruit to St Annes Old Links, wrote a new chapter in the history of Lancashire amateur golf by becoming the first player to win both the county and boys’ championships in the same season.

The 17-year-old, a member of Old Links as well as Cheshire club Delamere Forest, carded a final round 70 at Hillside to prevail by two strokes with a six-over-par 72 hole aggregate.

Less than a month ago, he claimed the boys’ title at Ashton-on-Lea in a tournament reduced to one round because of bad weather.

And the player he beat then on a card play-off, 14-year-old Oliver Clarke from Formby, finished fourth in the main event, also with a closing 70.

On a day when the young guns called the shots, Bury’s Ciaran Doherty, leader at the halfway stage, had to settle for runners-up prize.

No-one in the big field could match his second round 70 over four rounds, aside from McCullen and Clarke.

McCullen, a member of the England Boys’ squad, showed no hint of nerves as he plotted his way round the narrow fairways and slick greens.

The mistakes he made in his opening 78 were soon forgotten as he stuck to his game plan to keep out of the bunkers at all cost. He contrived to achieve that feat by using a two iron off the tee rather than a driver on the longer holes.

“I never felt temped to do anything else and I only found the light rough three times,” he said, rolling in three birdies and erring only once with a bogey at the sixth.