Hayling Island’s Toby Burden creates history by becoming first Hampshire golfer to win a trophy treble
Hayling’s Toby Burden became the first player ever to claim the treble by winning the Courage Trophy, Cole Scuttle and the Hampshire Order of Merit in one go.
Victory by a shot over Rowlands Castle’s Darren Wright and Stoneham’s Ryan Moody – denying the latter the Cullen Quaich in the process – rounded off a very consistent season for the former EuroPro Tour player, writes ANDREW GRIFFIN.
Burden, who has played in five finals of the county championship since 2006 – including the last three to match the feat of Richard Bland in the 1990s – had never got his hands on the Hampshire strokeplay championship before.
The 34-year-old recruitment consultant became the fifth Hayling player to lift the trophy first introduced for club champions in 1963.
And he is now his club’s third member to complete the double of winning the Hampshire matchplay and strokeplay titles in their amateur career – after Matt Blackey and Mark Thistleton.
The 59th Courage Trophy went down to the wire as Burden approached the 18th tee on the 330-yard hole on the New Forest course at Brokenhurst.
Many players are tempted to try to drive the green, with the front bunker a popular bail out, although danger lurks left and right.
But Burden saw county team-mate Wright celebrate after sinking a 20-foot biride putt up on the green.
In fact, Wright made a three to complete his second round of 67, to post six- under and take the clubhouse lead, however briefly.
Burden, who was on seven-under coming off the 17th green, said: ‘I had been taking two-irons off the tee for most of the day – the course was really running fast after the recent warm weather.
‘That allowed me to have the normal distances into the green I am used to at Brok – I only hit driver a few times on the two par fives and a couple of longer par fours.
‘I knew that I had to make four at worst on 18 as something was clearly happening ahead of me when I saw Darren pumping his fist like that.
‘I hit my tee shot in the fairway bunker and was right up in the face. I got it out to 40 yards from the green and then put my wedge to six feet.
‘The putt had a bit of break on it, so it was good to see it go in for my four. It was real clutch stuff.”
Wright, a former EuroPro Tour winner before returning to the amateur ranks nearly four years ago, had to settle for third behind Moody on countback in his best performance of the season.
Burden’s two-over par total from qualifying at June’s Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Championship, at North Hants, gave him a five-under total in the Cole Scuttle thanks to his Courage heroics.
That was three better than Moody, who would have needed to win the Courage and then see Burden finish third or worse – to have any chance of completing his own treble.
With only the best seven scores during the season counting, Burden’s final winning margin in the Order of Merit was 12 points, having started the final day 9.75 points ahead of Moody.
*Toby Burden admitted not playing in the same group as his nearest rival made the task of winning his first county treble much harder.
Burden was aware that Moody, who was playing on the other side of the course after starting his second round on the ninth, had ‘got it going’ having been three behind him at lunch.
‘It was only when I came off the 18th and got to the clubhouse steps that I learned Darren and Ryan had tied on six-under that I knew I had won.
‘I had set out to win the Courage knowing that would then give me the Cole Scuttle, leaving the Order of Merit to take care of itself.
‘I had heard from other players through the trees that Ryan had got it going after lunch.
‘It was not ideal that we were not playing in the same group as the leaders in the Order of Merit.’
Moody came within a whisker of not only defending the Courage crown he won on his own course 12 months ago, but also had his own chance of claiming a clean sweep of all three trophies at stake.
The 30-year-old former mini-pro tour player made four birdies in his first seven holes to tie Burden at the top on five-under, after the latter had made a four at the par-five second having chipped his third close.
They were all-square after 11 holes as Burden bounced back from a bogey four at the 10th, hitting a seven-iron and sinking a 20-footer for his three at the 11th .
But Moody lead briefly after he made a birdie four at the long second.
A three at the 14th after hitting his 70-yard pitch to four feet for another birdie, saw Burden tied at the top again.
But back-to-back bogeys for Moody at five and six suddenly saw some daylight between the leaders, and a two-putt birdie on the second par-five at the 16th stretched Burden’s lead to three with two to play.
However, Moody bounced back brilliantly with two threes on his final two holes – the seventh and eighth – to shoot an excellent 65, the lowest round of the day.
And Moody’s strong finish meant that any slip-up on Burden’s last hole would have resulted in a three-way play-off, the first since Colin Roope’s win in 2017.