Pontefract golfer Hough is new junior champion

Pontefract's Tom Hough watches a shot carefully on his way to beating Tom North in the Leeds and District Union's junior indiviidual fiinal at Low Laithes  Picture: Chris Stratford.
Pontefract's Tom Hough watches a shot carefully on his way to beating Tom North in the Leeds and District Union's junior indiviidual fiinal at Low Laithes Picture: Chris Stratford.

Pontefract and District Golf Club’s Tom Hough beat Tom North (Howley Hall) in the junior individual final at the Leeds and District Union inter-club finals day at Low Laithes Golf Club on Sunday.

Darren Walton and Andy Wiltshire won the foursomes final.

The Pontefract pair triumped on the 16th 3 and 2 against Scarcroft’s Steve Cain and Lee Sharpe, the former Leeds United player.

The Mid-Yorkshire (Darrington) team of Darren Greene, Todd Hughes and Jason Newton lost to Howley Hall’s Steve Redhead, Scott Hartley and Ben Hutchinson 5-1 in the scratch final.

Hough and North have enjoyed a fruitful summer as team-mates in the Leeds Union’s junior side.

The pair were part of a squad which enjoyed victory not only in the Yorkshire Inter District Union Junior League but also in the county’s six-man junior team championship.

However, they became rivals for the day at Low Laithes.

Hough lifted the title with a 2 and 1 victory after a struggle which see-sawed over the front nine, only one hole being halved.

Hough struck the first blow when North’s opening tee shot into trees saw him unable to match his opponent’s par.

The second saw roles reversed as North squared matters with a par and the third – a 390-yard par-4 – was the only outward hole to be shared.

North slipped behind again when he dropped a shot at the 162-yard par-3 fourth hole, but made immediate amends with a birdie three to win the next.

It was Hough’s turn next to birdie, his perfectly-weighted effort lingering on the edge of the cup before dropping in for a three. But he gave back the shot – and his lead – at the next, the seventh, when he bogeyed and North led for the first time after a confident putt from 10ft earned him a birdie 2 on eight.

The pattern which had been broken only by the third hole continued as North pulled his tee shot into trees, made five and the match was all square.

The 10th hole was shared in par-4s, but North began to find his approach play and putting, normally so sound, going a little awry. Hough, by contrast, made birdies at holes 11 and 13, sandwiching a half at the 12th, and he had a two-hole advantage.

North gave immediate notice that he was not going down without a fight by birdying the 14th to halve the deficit, and hole 15 was shared in par.

Hough hit a tree with his drive on the 16th and needed three shots to make the green but North failed to get down in two from the edge of the putting surface and the hole was halved with bogey fives.

When Hough parred 17 it left North needing to birdie to prolong the match and his putt just slid by, making Hough the champion.