Corhampton golfer Jamie Markwick puts American hard knocks behind him to win the Hampshire Colts Championship

For the past 12 months, Jamie Markwick’s golf dream has been rudely awakened by the hard knocks life at a top American university can inflict.

By Andrew Griffin
Friday, 3rd June 2022, 10:55 am
Corhampton’s Jamie Markwick won the Hampshire U21s Championship at Stoneham. Picture by Andrew Griffin
Corhampton’s Jamie Markwick won the Hampshire U21s Championship at Stoneham. Picture by Andrew Griffin

The Miami-based former South East Junior Boys Champion hopes to follow in the footsteps of Corhampton’s two Walker Cup stars Neil Raymond and former Amateur champion Scott Gregory.

But he has been forced to spend the last year in the second of his four-year golf scholarship sat on the sidelines with no game time.

So his face was all smiles as he claimed the Hampshire Colts Championship with a fine score of 67 in the second round of qualifying at the 117th Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship, at Stoneham GC.

The Hampshire Colts player shot a two-under par 70 in the morning round and found himself four shots behind lunchtime leader Joe Buenfeld, a fellow US college player, who was named Conference Player of the Year after reaching the NCAA Finals last month.

In contrast, Markwick has found competition very tough with three of his team-mates inside the top 30 in the NCAA rankings.

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The US college system has produced Major winners Collin Morikawa, who claimed last year’s Open at Royal St George’s, and current Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, as well as big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau, in the last seven years.

But for Markwick – even when he has performed well in the weekly qualifying competitions that are any college player’s bread and butter – he has rarely got the nod from his coach for their busy conference schedule.

So he went out with plenty to prove in the second round – plus there was the small matter of catching Buenfeld and winning the Pechell Salver, which his father Tim, a former Hampshire first-teamer, won back in 1993.

Having picked up three birdies on the back nine after starting with a bogey on the 10 th in the morning, Markwick played the front nine in level-par, with just one dropped shot.

But after lunch, his game caught fire with birdies at the first and third. And after a double bogey at the par-three eighth, he bounced back with a birdie at the driveable par-four ninth.

Another bogey at the 10th tested his mental resolve, but he fired off one of the best back nines of the day, shooting four- under.

He made five more birdies, making it eight in the round, including a run of three-in-a-row from the 12th .

That 67 was only bettered by Buenfeld’s 66 as Markwick jumped up from a share of fourth place to sit just one behind Stoneham’s Ryan Moody, who claimed the Pechell Salver with rounds of 67 and 69.

And a 74 from Buenfeld gave Markwick the U21s title as he dropped down to fifth overall, with Stoneham’s James Freeman, the U21 winner in 2020, five shots behind him.

The plus-two handicapper’s nett total of three-under also gave him the Green Cup for the best handicap score.