Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strong Finish Earns Trophy for Skelton

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Strong Finish Earns Trophy for Skelton

Article excerpt

Byline: Barry King

Michael Skelton warmed up for next weekend's Walker Cup challenge with victory in the 2003 Teesside Trophy.

Skelton lines up for the Great Britain and Ireland side to face the USA at Ganton on September 6-7, but took time out from his intense practicing to battle it out with the cream of North-east amateur golf at Teesside Golf Club.

The Middlesbrough player eventually won the title after a sudden death play off with Tony Mclure, from Whickham Golf Club.

Mclure was one of three players to fire a four under par 68 in the morning round, a group which included home player Russell Allen, while Skelton had to settle for a 72.

But in the afternoon round Skelton, after turning in 35 came home in 31 with an eagle at the par five 11th followed by birdies at 12, 16 and 17, for a six under 66 for a 138 total and a place in the play off with Mclure who carded a second round 70.

Playing the first hole in the sudden death play off, both players hit decent drives and matched each other by hitting their approach shots through the green.

Mclure chipped back to 4ft, but Skelton chipped his ball one foot closer, before Mclure missed his putt and Skelton tapped in for par and the title.

Skelton has had a fantastic first season in men's golf and can crown it with victory in the Walker Cup.

"I have played really well in the second half of the season, but I must admit that I'm not surprised by that," he said.

"Boys golf, which I'm used to playing in, goes from June to August/September and that is what I've been used to gearing up for.

"So I'm not surprised that my better golf this season has come in the second half.

"But to be honest I never expected it to be so good.

"Victory in the Welsh Amateur strokeplay and a place in the final of the English Amateur show what a great season it has been for me. …

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