County kings step in for injured duo as Hampshire prepare for Dorset opener

Hampshire kick off their South East League campaign against Dorset on Sunday without two of their regulars.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 6:00 pm
Rowlands Castle's Billy McKenzie. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Rowlands Castle’s Tom Robson has been ordered to rest after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst in his armpit, while captain Colin Roope, who has been struggling with a shoulder injury for the past month, has opted to sit out the first game, writes Andrew Griffin.

But the Blackmoor man is more than confident in the county’s depth of golfing talent after calling up the last two players who have won the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship to complete his eight-strong team.

With Stoneham’s Alex Talbot unavailable, club-mate Owen Grimes and Shanklin and Sandown’s Jordan Sundborg have been given the nod to fill the two spaces from the eight that beat the Channel Islands at Brokenhurst Manor two weeks ago – the same venue for the Dorset clash.

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Sam Parsons. Picture: Andrew Griffin

Roope, who has picked last year’s Spanish Amateur Champion Billy McKenzie and Rowlands club-mate Darren Wright, said: ‘Tom was told to rest for two weeks, so without any time to have any practice or even a round, it’s best for him to miss the first game.

‘To be able to name a team that still contains Darren Wright, who has won both the English Men’s and Boys Strokeplay, and England’s Billy McKenzie, plus our old captain, Martin Young, who is a former English Mid-Amateur Champion and playing at his home club, is a decent start.

‘Alex has been offered a chance to visit where he is hoping to go to college on a golf scholarship in the States later this year. So to be able to call in the county champions for 2018 and 2017 in their place shows how much strength in-depth the county still has.

‘Hayling’s Toby Burden has been a member of the team for a decade – apart from his spell as a pro and won both his games at Brokenhurst – he knows what is expected in these games.’

The other recent addition to the first team squad is Blackmoor’s Sam Parsons, who lives in Portsmouth and was a junior at Waterlooville when Scott Gregory played there.

He has picked up four points out of six in matches so far this season.