James Hopgood won the 15th Lancashire International Open Golf Championship (5 & 6 April)
James Hopgood becomes Hoopgod up north.
Only 16 players this year faced Manchester's iffy weather (sun/rain/sun/rain..) this early in the season, but what a sixteen! A World Champion, couple of Kiwi's plus another couple of Internationals from Wales & Scotland, finally a CA Council member augmented the field.
As is now traditional for this event, the players were split into two blocks (all play all) with the top four from each group qualifying for the Knock Out (Bo3) title run.
But before a ball was struck, all Hcp cards were inspected and the new indexes were imposed following the winter changes by the CA.
This year the block games were contested to 19 points with the Bo3 KO reverting to normal 13 point contest for the Sunday, this worked really well with all games finishing about an hour before twilight on the first day - although quite a few tired legs were admitted to on Sunday morning.
Seven of the seeds were true to form & broke out of the blocks, and then the top four achieved the Semis. Rachel Rowe (Ranked 1) was the only player to force her match into the third game in the KO, all other matches took two straight games to maintain progress into the next round.
The effort of being a finalist yet again must have taken it's toll on Paddy Chapman, since James only needed two in the final to lift this year's title but some of his shots in that final surpassed Egypt's finest using his new technique.
The Consolation Singles title was won by Brian Storey.