Roope reels in Robson to regain Cullen Quaich

Colin Roope. Picture: Andrew Griffin
Colin Roope. Picture: Andrew Griffin
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Colin Roope’s persistence paid off as he claimed his second Hampshire Order of Merit title in three years – thanks to a double second place in the final strokeplay events of the season, writes Andrew Griffin.

The county captain, from Blackmoor, finished second in both the Courage Trophy and the Hampshire Mid-Amateur Championship (over-35s) at Basingstoke Golf Club.

His predecessor Martin Young won both events by three shots after reaching 10-under par with 66 and 65.

But Roope, who claimed the double at Aldershot’s Army Golf Club 12 months ago, did enough with a 134 total to overhaul Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson in the race for the Cullen Quaich in the Order of Merit.

Defending champion Robson had a 13-point lead before Roope clinched second places in Petersfield’s Wishart Trophy and the Blackmoor Bowl to lead by nine going into Sunday’s showdown.

And the 37-year-old Horndean golfer was delighted to complete the win.

Roope, who won the Hampshire Open at Hayling in July, said:  said: ‘I was determined to not think about anything else this weekend – either tournament or the Order of Merit.

‘I just focused on one shot at a time.

‘I played really great. I made three birdies from 10 feet, a couple from four feet plus a two-putt on the par five 18th.

‘I also made a six-footer for par on the 15th and had a couple of more chances inside 10 feet in the first 18

‘I am generally not great on low-scoring courses.

‘Most of my wins have been when level par gets it done.

‘I could have maybe got to eight or nine-under with a better start in the second round.

‘But 134 is my best 36-hole total in a long time, so I am very happy.’

Robson (71, 66) finished fourth but picked up the Cole Scuttle for the fourth time in eight years for the best aggregate at the county championship and the Courage. 

It was Young’s fifth Courage title in seven years but his first since 2014.

It was also his eighth county Mid-Am crown in 10 years.

He won the English Mid-Am at Hayling in 2006.