Hirst wins first Free Press Open

Stephen Hirst with the Free Press Open trophy.
Stephen Hirst with the Free Press Open trophy.

LOCAL knowledge proved crucial as junior Stephen Hirst won the first Bridlington Free Press Open Golf Championships.

Hirst, who hit his first hole-in-one at Flamborough Head earlier this month, continued his good form with a remarkable round at the weekend.

Playing off a handicap of seven, he carded a level-par 71, for a nett score of 64.

“I just kept it down the middle and managed to make a few putts,” said the 17-year-old.

“I think it is the lowest gross I have shot in a competition. I didn’t drop many shots and I was only a foot away from another hole-in-one on the fifth.”

His round included three birdies and could have been even better, but for two late bogies on 16 and 17.

Hirst, a former junior captain at Flamborough Head, is hoping to head off to Durham University to study geophysics later this year.

Veteran Rod Marwood, the host club’s junior organiser, had been the early clubhouse leader with a nett 69, playing off 14.

But it was clear Hirst was the man to beat - and he actually produced the best gross and best nett scores.

There was a late challenge from Jack Rogers from Boothferry GC, who had been one of the last golfers to set out and was only pipped to the title by one shot.

Full results and pictures in Thursday’s Free Press.