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Dodds lifts County Champions title on countback
24th September 2012

Sam Dodds (image © Tom Ward)

Sam Dodds became the fourth Warwickshire player to win the County Champions Tournament and the Presidents Bowl after a three-way tie over the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa.

Dodds (image © Tom Ward) finished on level par 146 alongside David Gibson from Leicestershire & Rutland and Mark Young from Lancashire but took the title on a card countback, his 73 gaining the verdict against Young's 74 and Gibson's 75.

"It's nice to win any event but this is a national title," said Dodds. "I must admit I'm a bit surprised but I fancied my chances because I've been playing nicely.

"Even so, I didn't think I would win with 73. I thought someone would shoot better, that someone would come out of the pack and surge through. Fortunately they didn't."

Not that the field of 31 had the best of conditions. The weather turned distinctly cold in the afternoon, a prelude to the rain sweeping in to make it thorough miserable. But Dodds, Young and Gibson didn't allow it to affect their desire to secure this title and to see the trio finish tied was a credit to their skills on a difficult course.

In the end Dodds prevailed although he was not happy with his form on the greens.

"But my putting was not good. I don't know if it was misreads or the pace but it was one of those days when the putts wouldn't go in no matter what I tried."

Dodds, 23, from Coventry also returned a level-par 73 in the morning to lie joint fourth, two strokes behind Gibson while Young and Max Orrin, the Kent champion, signed for 72.

But Dodds' remained consistent after lunch, while his rivals fell behind and although it wasn't the best second round return, it was good enough to see him home.

Dodds, who has also won the Warwickshire Open and Match Play Championship as well as the county title, went out in 35 with three birdies and had two more in a homeward 38.

Young, who lines up with his Lancashire colleagues in next week's County Championship Final at Beau Desert, was out in 35 but fell away a little on the back nine.

"I tugged my drive left on the 11 th and it cost me a double bogey," he said. "Then I did the same off the 15 th tee and dropped another shot." He also had four birdies but those dropped shots proved crucial.

Gibson, who has represented Leicestershire & Rutland several times in this event, was the epitome of consistency. Despite not finding a single birdie, his card showed 16 pars and just two bogeys in his 75.

The last Warwickshire player to secure the title was Steve Webster, who won the championship at Lindrick in 1995.

For full results visit the Championships section of the England Golf website .

 

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