The headline on the official Wiltshire Golf website put it in a nutshell: “Brilliant Ben Magnificent at Marlborough”. But his second win in the County Championship came despite some pretty intense sibling rivalry – Ben’s younger brother Jamie came in close behind him in second place.
As Ben told the Marlborough Golf Clubs online journal, Thistle: ” I could feel Jamie breathing down my neck after the first round when I struck the ball really well and Jake Boulton [from nearby and rival club Ogbourne Downs] was four under after 27 holes. Actually I didn’t play my best in the second round.”
Jamie Amor shot a second round 69 to push Jake Boulton into third place – in a field of 71 of the county’s best players.
After Ben had seen off brother Jamie, the question arose as to which member of the Amor family was the youngest winner of the County Championship. Simon Amor – the Marlborough club’s professional – won it in 1985 when he was 19.
When Ben first won it he was 18.
Earlier in the month Marlborough’s Jamie Amor and Jez Tomlinson won the 2016 Wiltshire County Foursomes competition at Bowood – but only after a tense three-hole and three-way play-off in the encircling gloom.
And talking about young players: there used to be a steady flow of younger players wanting to join the club. But times change and sporting interests change too. So Marlborough Golf Club is on the offensive to attract young players.
They are linking up with local schools and have begun a series of free lessons for students from St John’s Academy. Simon Amor and club volunteers are coaching the students once a week and twenty-eight are signed up for two five-week courses.
At then end of the courses they get to test6 their skills on the Boardman Hill short course. And next on the agenda are some visits to local junior and primary schools.
The disputed saying “Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man” may need re-writing: “Give a child a putter at seven, and he or she will soon be driving onto the green like a man or women.” Well, nearly…