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Ashworth retains Harold Ryden Trophy
CLITHEROE’S Mark Ashworth has become the first person to successfully defend golf’s Harold Ryden Trophy title in 31 years after beating Chris Nuttall in tonight’s final at Accrington.
The 44-year-old former Lancashire golfer endured a tough battle against Accrington’s Nuttall but prevailed over his younger rival with a one-up victory on the final hole.
By clinching back-to-back titles, Ashworth became the first person to retain ELGA’s prestigious Harold Ryden Trophy since five-time winner Gary Hindle achieved the feat in 1981.
“It’s been a very long week!” said a drained Ashworth after his victory. “I don’t think I will play any golf for the rest of the week.
“But I’m over the moon to win it for a second year running. It’s the premier amateur golf competition in East Lancashire and everyone wants to win it.
“To win it once was great, to win it again is fantastic.”
In a closely fought match, 24-year-old Nuttall, on his home patch, took the lead on the opening hole, but there was very little splitting the two players before Ashworth clinched victory on the 18th green.
Ashworth added: “There was a lot of pressure out there for both of us. Chris is a very good player and he gave me a tough match.”
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