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Biggest career win for Wallasey hot-shot

CHESHIRE golfer Joshua McMahon claimed the biggest title of his career at the prestigious Lytham Trophy after a dramatic long-range birdie on the final hole.

The 22-year-old had an international field on his heels but produced a battling performance to win by just a single shot over the windswept links at Royal Lytham and St Annes, which will stage the Seniors Open later this summer.

McMahon, from Wallasey Golf Club, started the final day five shots off the pace, but picked up birdies on 16 and 18 over his closing holes, including holing out from 40 feet on the last, to edge ahead of the pack.

His return of 71-73-73-71 for an eight-over total was enough to hold off the opposition.

Austria’s Gerold Folk returned a final-round 69 to climb into second, helped by a birdie on the final hole. He was joined by England’s Jack Brooks and Harry Goddard.

“That finish was unbelievable,” said McMahon, after enduring an anxious wait while the remaining players on the course tried to better his total.

“I gave myself a lot to do when I bogeyed 14 and then double bogeyed 15, but the birdie on 16 settled me back down and the birdie on 18 was the icing on the cake.

“That putt on the last was certainly the most important 40-footer I have ever holed in my life. This is such a big tournament and hopefully the win will open a few doors for me. I will certainly remember it for a long time to come.”

McMahon, who keeps the trophy in Cheshire hands following the 2018 win of Royal Liverpool’s Matthew Jordan, added: “I’m exhausted. This is such a tough course and it drains you playing it. You are always under pressure.

“You have just got to try to keep hitting the fairways and greens and try not to run up big numbers. But that is a lot easier said than done.”

But if McMahon’s finish was spectacular, then Goddard’s was deeply disappointing. Having been in contention throughout the tournament, he produced a fantastic recovery from the bunker on 18 to set-up a play-off with the Wirral golfer, only to miss his putt from three feet.

Brooks, from Mere Golf and Country Club in Cheshire, had not played in the Lytham Trophy for several years but closed out with rounds of 71 and 72 to climb 15 places up the leaderboard and into the tie for second.