Sawford’s stunning Hampshire Tour Championship win down to his local knowledge

Mark Sawford (left) receives his trophy from Gordon Johnston, chief executive of sponsors HJS Solutions
Mark Sawford (left) receives his trophy from Gordon Johnston, chief executive of sponsors HJS Solutions
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Mark Sawford has revealed his stunning five-shot victory in the PGA in Hampshire Tour Championship at Rowlands Castle was down to intimate local knowledge.

The top 30 pros in the Order of Merit assembled at the one of the county’s top courses as the “Race to Rowlands” - sponsored by HJS Solutions - reached a highly-anticipated climax.

Sawford had chalked up a couple of second place finishes in his debut season after becoming a fully qualified pro 13 months ago.

It was a decent return but only his close friends would have given him a chance of outscoring an elite field, knowing he had played at Rowlands Castle for many years.

But not only did the Portsmouth Golf Centre rookie achieve his maiden victory as a pro, he won the championship at a canter with a five under par total of 139.

Sawford said: ‘It was great to win at my old home course against the strongest field of the season.

‘I became a member at Rowlands when I was nine and stayed there for 15 years, so I know every blade of grass pretty much.’

Sawford, who also plays hockey for Havant in his spare time, added: ‘It was quite windy and chilly later in the day.

‘I knew from past experience the key was to try and keep the ball in play and I was very pleased with the way I finished.’

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