Trio lead Hayling into Europe

Kevin Hickman, Toby Burden and Richard Harris Picture: Leaderboard Photography
Kevin Hickman, Toby Burden and Richard Harris Picture: Leaderboard Photography
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Hayling’s three-man team of Toby Burden, Richard Harris and Kevin Hickman staged a tremendous late charge to win the English Champion Club title at Stoke by Nayland Golf Club.

The trio will now go on to represent England at the European Men’s Club Trophy at Aroeira Golf Club in Portugal next month (October 20-22).

They secured the prestigious title by a two-shot margin – despite a 19-over-par total after round one, which saw them sit 19th and 14 strokes behind halfway leaders Woburn.

In the second round, Hayling remained on 19 over par after 27 holes.

But they zipped through the final nine in a team total of eight-under par and rocketed to the top of the leaderboard.

Burden and Hickman both went round in four-under 67, while Harris added a level par 71 for a winning total of 11-over par.

The trio finished two clear of Worksop, Nottinghamshire and Woburn, who tied on 13-over par.

Spalding, Lincolnshire, Henbury and Gloucestershire were a further shot back.

Celebrating Hayling’s first win in the event, Harris said: ‘Everyone at the club is really happy and excited.

‘For me, I’m still asking if it’s really happened because we were so far behind after the first round – and now we’ll be representing England.’

Burden was first to stake their claim, and his 67 improved on his opening round by 11 shots.

With Friday’s practice round washed out by rain, he had initially struggled to adapt to the hilly, tree-lined course.

‘But I got used to it and went at everything in the second round. Why not,’ said Burden.

‘We had nothing to lose.

‘We knew we’d have to improve by eight shots.’

Hickman added: ‘I didn’t really know what my team-mates were doing, I just focused on my own game and did what I could to see if we could come first.

‘I played solid and didn’t make any mistakes.’