JAMIE BOWER produced a superb performance to retain his title in the North of England Open Amateur Championship.
The Meltham Golf club star kept hold of the MacGill Challenge Trophy with some very solid play over four rounds at Middlesbrough GC.
Bower, who was 19 in March and no longer a junior, has not been able to play much with either the Halifax-Huddersfield Union or Yorkshire this year because of commitments on the senior scene, but it paid off in fine style with a 13-under-par total of 267 on Teesside.
It gave him a four-shot victory over Callum Tarren (Wynyard GC) and put him at the head of a field of 132 competitors, many of whom are in the England squad and the England A squad (of which Bower is also a member).
In the three-day event, Bower set up his victory with rounds of 67 and 66 and then, on a very testing final day both physically and mentally, he posted another 66 in the morning and followed it with a 68, despite dropping a couple of shots towards the end.
It was a tremendous effort and earned Bower his first victory of the season after a couple of top-six finishes in senior events.
The MacGill Challenge Trophy is basically for the best Under 23 golfers around. Last year, in the same event, Bower also took away the Fairweather Salver for the top Under 18 player in the event.
Bower, who will go to a handicap of plus three after his success, missed the cut in the English Amateur a couple of weeks ago but he now has sights set on the Lee Westwood Trophy at Rotherham GC.
He is going for a practice round today and then plays tomorrow and Wednesday before a 36-hole finale on Thursday.