Dermot McElroy has won The Cubefunder Championship at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa by two shots after a stunning final round of 64 (-8) to claim the title and a start at The B-NL Trophy on the Challenge Tour thanks to Trinifold Sports along with the £12,500 first prize.
McElroy of Ballymena Golf Club went into the final day at six under par, four strokes off the lead but he was soon right amongst it going four under through four eventually going out in 30 before continuing the good form on the back nine with a further three birdies to his name.
With McElroy out in one of the earlier groups, it was clear from the outset what the rest of the field would have to do to stand any chance of getting in the way of the Northern Irishman and the trophy.
McElroy: “I am absolutely delighted to win, I’ve proved to myself that my game is holding well under pressure and that gives me a lot off confidence to get over the line. I would say I’m quietly confident playing any event at the moment, I know what it takes to compete at the Challange Tour and European Tour level. I want to obviously be playing on the European Tour and a couple of weeks ago, I very much liked and was comfortable with how those events are run (Fourth at the Irish Challenge and Top 20 at ISPS HANDA World Invitational).”
On playing at Clandeboye next week: “I like Clandeboye as a golf course and club. It’s always in great shape and the members are good fun as well. I am really looking forward to teeing it up there.”
Overnight leaders Mitch Waite, Jeff Wright, Josh Hilleard, and Sam Locke knew they’d have to go deep to keep pace.
Waite hit the turn one back before a birdie on 11 put him tied for the lead. The Filton Golf Club golfer then hit his first problem at 13, where a bogey put him one shy of the lead and by the time he was at 17, he was two back after a second bogey of the back nine on 16. A miracle was needed on the 18th to put Waite in another playoff but it wasn’t to be having to settle for a share of second.
Hilleard meanwhile battled hard signing for a round of 70 (-2) to take a tied second with Waite, and Dan Brown. Brown of Romanby Golf Club had worked his way into the mix after a second day 65 but a bogey-free final day wasn’t enough for victory.
Locke (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre) was under par on the final day but only adding one to his final score. The Scotsman may be rueing missed chances though with four bogies on the final card of the week.
Amateur Olly Huggins (Golfing4Life) has impressed all week and that continued with a round of 67 including four birdies and an eagle on the front nine meaning it was enough to share sixth with Jamie Rutherford, Leon Fricker, and Tom Sloman.
Rutherford (Knebworth Golf Club) had moved tied for the lead at one stage during the day but a double-bogey at the Par 3, 13th meant his efforts came unstuck. Fricker recorded his best finish of the season to date but also came unstuck on the same hold as Rutherford which measures at 271 yards. Sloman (Trinifold Sports) kept up his good vein of form with another top ten finish with rounds of 71, 64, and 71.