Marcus Armitage Claims Latest 2020protour Title
Popular European Tour star Marcus Armitage produced a stunning back-nine at Oulton Hall to claim a narrow one stroke victory at the latest 2020protour event, a series that is providing gender-equal tournaments.
Held on Oulton Hall’s spectacular 18-hole championship-standard Caverley Course, which is renowned as a beautifully designed test for golfers of all abilities, Armitage impressed with a five-under-par round of 65 to take the top prize.
Armitage was one over through six but picked up birdies at eight, 10 and 11, before an eagle on the par-five 13th, followed by another birdie on the penultimate hole helped the 32-year-old professional golfer to the winner’s purse of £1,660.
The 2020protour is open to both amateurs and professionals and the prize fund works like a ‘kitty’, as it is made up of all the players’ entry fees, minus the green fees, so they are effectively playing for their own money, with 20 per cent of the field getting paid out and 25 per cent going to the winner.
The tour, which takes place across the north of England, is one of a kind with its “equitable policy” allowing both women and men to play for an equal pay pot, with nine women competing in the field of 113 at Oulton Hall.
The revolutionary tournament was launched by European Tour professionals Chris Hanson and Adam Walker to give women an equal footing with men in a golf tournament – playing for the same prize money, under the same rules and terms of competition, with the only difference being the placement of the tees.
One of the most notable names on the tee sheet was former Ryder Cup winner Jamie Donaldson who showed why he has competed at 20 major championships by shooting a three-under-par 67 to finish in a tie for third.
Amy Boulden travelled up from Wales to post the best score by a female – and therefore claim a share of the prize money – a one-under-par 69, just four shy of Armitage.
Zara Naughton, a 14-year-old amateur schoolgirl and England Under-16s player, also deserves a special mention and looks on track for a bright future in the game after posting an outstanding score of 70.
Tournament organiser, Adam Walker, said: “Everyone was impressed with Oulton Hall’s professional handling of the tournament in such difficult circumstances. To host an event of this size, while ensuring social distancing and its golf play safe hygiene measures are being met, is not an easy task and we would like to thank them all on behalf of the players and everyone involved.”
Oulton Hall’s director of golf, Jon Pilkington, said: “We were very proud to host an event of this nature at our hotel at a time when we have our Golf Play Safe guidelines in place. We are a big advocate of gender-equal events and, although it’s a strange time to be hosting a tournament, we were delighted to welcome everyone and hope they enjoyed our fantastic course conditions.
“Some of the golf on show was a pleasure to watch – from both the strong field of amateurs and, of course, the European Tour players who proved why they are playing at that level.”
Oulton Hall features 27 holes designed by leading golf course architect Dave Thomas and outstanding practice facilities, boasting the north of England’s leading golf performance centre.
Along with Oulton Hall’s renowned golf academy, the top venue offers a range of other facilities aimed at fine-tuning your swing, while the Claret Jug course restaurant is the ideal place to re-energise after a long day on the course. Its unique 18th-century former family mansion is the perfect choice for a hotel, with landscaped gardens, sweeping spiral staircases and a state-of-the-art spa.
For more information on Oulton Hall, visit www.oultonhallhotel.co.uk.
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