Partridge flying high after win in Boys’ Champion of Champions at Frilford Heath

Epsom Golf Club’s Ben Patridge winner of the 2019 English Boys’ County Champion of Champions title
Surrey’s Ben Partridge, from Epsom GC, claimed the English Boys’ County Champion of Champions at Frilford Heath. Picture by LEADERBOARD PHOTOGRAPHY

SURREY’S Ben Partridge withstood a late charge from Devon’s Matt Millar to win the English Boys’ County Champion of Champions played over the Red course at Oxfordshire’s Frilford Heath.

Partridge, a member at Epsom GC, held a two-shot lead after an opening three-under par 69.

But the teenager was in danger of being caught by Millar’s closing six-under 66 – before carding birdies on the 16th and 17th to claim a narrow one-shot victory after posting five-under.

The Surrey Junior Champion became the first player from Surrey to clinch the title since 2011 when Greg Payne tied for first place with Yorkshire’s Matt Fitzpatrick, Rutland’s Jewatt Parmer and Hampshire’s Jack Singh Brar, at Woodhall Spa.

Partridge also succeeds Rotherham’s Ben Schmidt as champion – the Yorkshire teenager became the youngest of the four players to have ever won the Brabazon and Carris Trophies in the same season back in July, earning him a call up as reserve for last weekend’s Walker Cup match against the USA at Hoylake.

Schmidt played for the winning English team at the Men’s Home Internationals at Lahinch, before flying to Frilford from Ireland on Friday night.

And like Schmidt 12 months ago, Patritidge will now receive an exemption into the 2020 Brabazon Trophy.

Millar, from Dainton Park GC, had been five shots off the pace after an opening 74.

But the West Country boy jumped six places up the leaderboard with a 66 which included a four-under inward half of 32.

His four-under total was enough to see him finish one shot ahead of Suffolk’s George Fricker (Woodbridge GC) and two in front of Derbyshire’s Sam Potter (Marriott Breadsall Priory GC) and Notinghamshire’s Samuel Allen (Hollinwell) who all closed with 71s.

Norfolk’s Ben Willis, from Swaffham GC, also fired a last round 71 to share sixth place with Cheshire’s Jake Hibbert (Delamere Forest GC) on 147.

The competition was set up in 2009 – the men’s equivalent has been running since 1962.

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