LANCASHIRE golfer Jack Senior prevailed in some of the most testing conditions experienced in the Lytham Trophy.
Senior, of Heysham Golf Club, won at wind-blown Royal Lytham and St Annes with a four-round tally of 299 to press his already strong claims for Walker Cup selection.
The 19-over-par total was the second highest winning score in the competition’s 46-year history – it was won with a score of 306 back in 1982.
A total of 36 holes were played on the final day after the halfway cut, and battling against the windy conditions was a real slog for the field that included international as well as home nations golfers.
There was a remarkable performance in the third round by Ben Westgate (Trevose), who shot a 70 in the morning round to become the only golfer to equal the par of 70. However, he could only shoot 84 in the afternoon.
There was also a major change to the leaderboard on the final day.
The lead prior to the fourth round was held by Tom Lewis, of Welwyn Garden City.
He started his final round with a two, at which point he was six strokes ahead of his nearest pursuer, but he then lost his way.
His woes started with a lost ball at the fifth and his once-impressive lead was gradually whittled back, with Lewis eventually having to settle for fourth place.
Senior had a major setback by carding 82 in the second round, but he came back with a vengeance – he hit a third-round 72 and a fourth round 74, steady golf in tough circumstances.
He ended in style too, firing a tee shot on the 18th to the edge of the green, two-putting for a three to finish five shots clear of his nearest pursuer, Frenchman Julien Brun. Senior has enjoyed a tremendous run – his Lytham Trophy win augments his successes in the New South Wales Championship, the Hampshire Hog and the Egyptian Amateur Championship.
n It wasn’t just at Royal Lytham that the wind took its toll.
The Fairhaven Trophy competitions, which took place at the same time, were also hit by the wind, and there were dramatic finishes in both the boys’ and girls’ events.
The boys’ event could hardly have been more exciting.
Tom Harris, from Castletown on the Isle Of Man, pipped Curtis Griffiths (Wentworth) after winning an exciting four-hole play-off.
It must have been particularly hard to swallow for Griffiths, who had been the leader since day one.
The play-off, contested over holes one, two, 17 and 18, saw Harris take a two-stroke lead after an excellent birdie on the difficult 17th.
However, Griffiths nearly levelled the scores with a fine approach pitch into the par five 18th, which saw his ball lip out for an eagle-three.
Harris then holed a brave, three-foot return putt to secure victory by the narrowest of margins.
Max Orrin (North Foreland GC) finished in third place with a score of 302, closely followed by Oliver Carr (Heswall GC) and Harry Casey (Enfield GC) on a total of 306, with sixth place going to Thomas Rowland (Prudhoe GC) with a score of 308.
The girls’ championship was won by Amber Ratcliffe (Royal Cromer GC) with a score of 315, after beating Elizabeth Stebbings (Wilpshire GC) by one shot.
Teeing off on the 18th hole – a long par five with a strong wind blowing from left to right – 15-year-old Ratcliffe, one shot behind Stebbings, hit two terrific shots on to the green and then holed an eight-yard eagle putt to secure victory by one shot.
Her winning total of 315 was an outstanding effort in testing conditions, with winds averaging over 20 miles per hour and gusting up to 40mph