Andy Waple’s Golf Column: Nathan Fell edges out Mick McGuinness to take title

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With the golf season drawing to a close, last weekend saw the penultimate major event of the Sheffield amateur golf calendar with the senior and junior matchplay semi finals and finals being held at Lindrick GC.

They proved to be the customary thrilling affairs with tight finishes, particularly in the seniors’ match where Nathan Fell edged out Mick McGuinness on the second extra hole to secure victory after a long day on the course.

Fell, playing at his home club, needed a birdie to clinch the match after a spirited assault from his Phoenix GC rival.

The 18-year-old was 2-down after 11 but he managed to win four consecutive holes to put him within striking distance of victory.

McGuinness put up a great fight with a birdie at 16 and a remarkable half with a sand save on the next to set up a tense finale.

But the match was over when Fell’s approach dropped five feet from the pin and his birdie ended a great effort by McGuinness.

Meanwhile, Rotherham’s Aaron Nairn won the junior matchplay title with a 2 & 1 victory over Sitwell Park’s Daniel Cox. He was one down after 14 holes but three consecutive birdies from the 15th were enough for him to win the John Jarman Trophy.

Nairn reached his final beating J Wilson (Hallowes) one up.

The season ended as it started for Wath’s Nick Poppleton, who retained his crown of Sheffield Golfer of the Year and won the Tee Up Trophy for the second time.

Presented by the Sheffield Telegraph to the Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs, the trophy is awarded annually to the player who accumulates most points in the competitions, matches and other events organised by the Union.

This year Nick amassed a total 37 points over nine matches, beating fellow Wath player Gary Fullwood who scored three fewer. In third place was Abbeydale’s Tim Brind, with 33 points.

Sheffield Union - which represents 41 clubs in the region, stretching from North Nottinghamshire to Doncaster - has had a great year. The senior scratch team achieved the double, winning the Yorkshire Inter District League and the county team championship.

In addition, there have been a number of fantastic achievements from individuals.

Hallamshire pair Alex Fitzpatrick and Barclay Brown are part of a team of 10 selected to play for England against Scotland at Dalmahoy in this weekend’s U16 boys’ international, and against Ireland on October 10-11.

Brown, aged 14, was fourth in the English U16 boys’ championship and fifth in the North of England U16 stroke play. Fitzpatrick, 16, was third in the Italian U16 international and fifth at the McGregor Trophy after equalling the course record at Wallasey in his final round, with six-under 66.

He tied ninth in the North of England U16s, tied 17th in the McGregor Trophy and 21st in the Scottish U16s.

Meanwhile, Rotherham and Lindrick’s Jonathan Thomson has been selected for the four man England team to play in the Spirit International Amateur Championship at Whispering Pines Golf Club, Texas, from October 12-14.