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Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club’s Martin Young loses out to Ryan Henley at Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship

BROCKENHURST Manor’s Martin Young is not giving up on climbing higher on the all-time list of winners of the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship.

But the three-time winner had to watch as his regular county foursomes partner got the better of him in a repeat of the 2005 final as the event celebrated its 130th anniversary, writes Andrew Griffin.

Young played in his very first final against Stoneham’s Ryan Henley 19 years ago at Blackmoor, generally regarded as the toughest test on the county championship rota.

Brokenhurst Manor’s Martin Young on the ninth hole in the second round (Photo: Andrew Griffin/AMG Pictures)
Brokenhurst Manor’s Martin Young on the ninth hole in the second round (Photo: Andrew Griffin/AMG Pictures)

So it was appropriate the 54-year-old, who will be eligible to play in his first British Seniors Amateur Championship next summer, should end up facing his longtime county partner and team-mate, having played nearly 25 years together for Hampshire.

But while they met in the 2005 final – and again in the 2011 final at Aldershot’s Army GC when Young claimed the Sloane-Stanley Challenge Cup for the first time – Henley again put the kibosh on Martin winning the trophy for a fourth time.

He enjoyed a one-hole win on the last in the first round of the matchplay knockout on Saturday, having had to pull out all the stops as Young raced to the turn with a four-hole lead.

Henley was bidding to reach his eighth final since 2000. And after his win at Hockley 12 months ago over former EuroPro Tour player Darren Walkley, from Liphook, he was also looking to become the first player to successfully defend the county crown since then Hampshire captain Brian Winteridge back in 1982.

Pars were enough for Young to win holes one, four, and five, as Henley seemed to suffer a hangover after the 36-hole qualifier on Friday.

Young – the only player to complete the Hampshire Slam of all four men’s titles in one season – then got his putter warmed up.

He holed birdie putts at the par-five eighth and the short ninth to double his lead after losing the seventh to Henley’s first birdie of the day.

But as they entered the back nine, it was Young’s turn to hit the bogey trail, giving up shots at the tough dog-leg 10th and 11th. He could only make five as Henley birdied Blackmoor’s only other par-five at the 13th to reduce Young’s lead to one.

The Southampton ace then made a par at the long par-three 15th to get back to all-square, with three to play.

Another par on the last of Blackmoor’s tough par-threes edged Henley in front, and when Young could only par the last, he was reaching out to shake his friend’s hand.

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