Rye golfer clinches county title

Sussex Amateur Champion 2015, Edward Richardson. Picture courtesy Sussex County Golf Union
Sussex Amateur Champion 2015, Edward Richardson. Picture courtesy Sussex County Golf Union
  • Edward Richardson wins Sussex Amateur Championship
  • Rye Golf Club member beats Tom Bailey 3&2 in final
  • 46-year-old holes a pitch shot to clinch title at West Sussex GC
  • Richardson wins four games in matchplay knockout phase
  • Fast starts key to +4 handicapper’s success
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A Rye Golf Club member has won a prestigious county competition.

Edward Richardson was a convincing winner of the Sussex Amateur Championship at West Sussex Golf Club, near Pulborough.

I’m about to be 47 and I think every person I played was at least half my age and sometimes 30 years younger!

Edward Richardson

He said: “I thought I had a good chance of winning, but when it comes to matchplay and good players, anything can happen.

“You’ve just got to pay attention to the basics: hitting fairways, hitting greens and hopefully a few putts go in along the way.”

The event began with more than 50 of the county’s leading amateurs playing 36 holes of strokeplay with the leading 16 advancing to the matchplay knockout phase.

Richardson putted nicely and didn’t make many mistakes in shooting 71 and 69 to comfortably make it through.

He then won 3&2 in the first round against West Sussex member Jamie Donaldson, who was quite well fancied to win the event.

Richardson again played nicely in the quarter-finals to triumph 4&3 against David Tulley, the man who led the way in the strokeplay section.

He then played extremely well to trounce Nathan Longley 7&5 in a one-sided semi-final before seeing off Tom Bailey 3&2 in the final.

Richardson carved out a healthy 3 up lead by the turn, and although Bailey cut his deficit to one, Richardson won the 14th and 16th to clinch the title.

He sealed victory in true champion style by holing a pitch shot from around 35 yards.

“It’s a situation where I almost got more pleasure out of the relief of winning,” continued Richardson. “It didn’t come as a surprise, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if I had got beaten early on.

“The start is so critical and I got up quickly in all the games. I think I was 2 up through six in almost every match and then didn’t really make any mistakes. I think I was about two or three under in every match.

“I’m about to be 47 and I think every person I played was at least half my age and sometimes 30 years younger!”

Richardson, now based in Tenterden having previously lived in Ewhurst Green, has historically been a Kent player and won the Kent Amateur Championship in 2006.

He hasn’t played in many county events during recent years, but decided to have a crack at the Sussex Amateur largely due to the calibre of the host course.

Richardson, who plays off a handicap of +4, won the Sussex Open Championship in 2013, has represented England at amateur level and has played in professional European Tour events.

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