Malin's magic wins Purley prize - Cowdray Park reach county semi-finals

Harry Malin receives the Purley Trophy from Bognor club captain Sean Maginnis
Harry Malin receives the Purley Trophy from Bognor club captain Sean Maginnis

The Purley Trophy was played in hot and testing conditions. The Purley Trophy dates back to 1970 when then captain Charlie Purley put up the silver salver for this low-handicap amateur event.

This year it attracted a field of 33 stretching from Dorset to Kent, with previous winner Tim Cooper travelling from Bolton. The course was in excellent condition, with the greens running fast and the rough with just enough bite.

The morning round saw a succession of mid-range 70s until Harry Malin came in with a magnificent 67 gross to lead the field by three shots, with Jake Stoneham and Jordan Vincent a further two shots back.

Malin has just turned 14 and although he is a two handicapper, playing in some of the most prestigious amateur events in the country, he would have been nervous going out for the afternoon round.

Joshua Sturt from Rowlands Castle shot an excellent 72 gross to add to his 70 in the morning to set a demanding total of 142. Malin, to his credit after a shaky start, came in with 74 gross in the afternoon for a total of 141, to become the youngest winner of the Purley Trophy.

This is a fantastic achievement, and members will follow with interest his climb up the amateur rankings.

Olly Longlands, Jake Stoneham, Jordan Vincent and Mark Ostrom, all Bognor members, finished sixth, fifth, fourth and third.

It was a good day to be a Bognor member - the feedback from the players regarding the condition of the course, catering and hospitality was very positive.

COWDRAY PARK

Cowdray Park’s scratch team won in the quarter-finals of the Sussex County Scratch Team Cup.

Having reached this far last year the team were focused on going one better – as a club they had not reached the semis for 26 years.

They hosted last year’s finalists Royal Ashdown Forest, a notariously strong team.

The morning foursomes was looking very dominant for the away team as their top pair in group one displayed some fantastic golf to claim the first point. Despite Cowdray being up in the next two games the away team showed why they were in the final last year and took both matches to the last hole with the second match, finishing all square and the third match going to the away team.

The final match was looking strong for the home team and in real need of a point Steve Mitchell and Shaun Clarke held off their opponets to win one up.

Royal Ashdown were leading 2.5-1.5 and as the away team they only needed a total of six points to win the match and were looking firm favourites.

In the afternoon singles Cowdray took the first three matches with Kevin Raishbrook winning 3&2, then Steve Mitchell and Todd White taking out Royal Ashdown’s top two players.

Royal Ashdown hit back with their first win of the afternoon but that was followed by an emphatic 6&5 win for Cowdray’s Dave Turner meaning the home team needed one more win from the remaining three games.

Royal Ashdown were leading in two of the three games, but former club champion Mark Jasper showed his class by winning his match 4&3 to give Cowdray the win. The final two matches went in favour of Royal Ashdown for a final score of 6.5-5.5.

Team captain Ben Marley said: “We are over the moon to reach the semi-finals – this is the first time in 26 years the club have reached this far.

“We have beaten som very tough opposition and know we have played teams who on paper are better than us but you’d be pushed to find a team who have better spirit and try harder than we do. The support we had on the course was fantastic and we’re so thankful to the members for making the effort to come and support us.”

The semi finals will be played on July 27.