HAMPSHIRE booked their place in the English County Finals with a third successive win in the South East Qualifier.
Martin Young’s side finished top of the pile at Sheringham, Norfolk, despite the absence of Harry Ellis and Scott Gregory, who are competing in the European Amateur Team Championships in Austria.
Their six-man team total of 844 (four over par) for two rounds was two shots better than runners-up Hertfordshire, with Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire 11 shots adrift in third.
In total, 11 teams competed for the South East title.
Rowlands Castle’s Billy McKenzie (70 and 68) and Meon Valley’s George Saunders (also 70 and 68) led the way for Young’s troops, with both players finishing on two under for the day.
Shanklin & Sandown’s Jordan Sundborg, who is the newly-crowned Hampshire Amateur champion, finished level par after a pair of 70s.
Meanwhile, team-mate Ryan Harmer finished on two over (69 and 73), despite shooting the team’s best score in round one.
Rowlands Castle’s county colts manager, Tom Robson, added a 73 to his first-round 70 (three over par).
Young finished three over after posting rounds of 71 and 72.
So far, Somerset and Staffordshire have claimed the South West and Midlands titles respectively, with last year’s English champions, Yorkshire, defending their Northern Counties title at Seascale on August 9.
The final will be contested in Trevose, north Cornwall, in late September.
– ANDREW GRIFFIN