BRAD TUPMAN landed the PS Cockroft Trophy at West End as Union Strokeplay Champion.
He weathered tough winds and heavy rain that flooded some greens to cause a 40-minute delay in the first round, and Tupman moves to the Halifax, Huddersfield Union Matchplay Championship, which starts at Ogden on August 24, as top seed.
While some fancied names struggled and dropped out of contention in the conditions, the Fixby player tagged a 72 to a 73 and though he was seven over par, his total was good enough for a two strokes victory from West End youngster Ryan Greenwood and Bradley Hall’s Andy Shaw, Greenwood claiming the Jubilee Trophy as leading junior.
Tupman had trailed at the halfway mark by three shots from 2005 matchplay champion Ben Crowther and Andy Whitworth, 10 times the matchplay champion and a double winner of the PS Cockroft.
One handicapper Tupman, 30, who joined Fixby from Saddleworth three years ago and has just moved with his family to a new home in the Fixby area, re-started in determined mood and was one of a handful who improved on their first rounds.
He nevertheless spent an agonising two hours in the clubhouse watching the scoreboard, never, as he said, expecting to stay top. But one by one, his rivals bit the dust.
Crowther and Whitworth were among those to fall back in an event sponsored by Huddersfield Audi, Whitworth sliding to an unlikely 81 and Crowther struggling in on 79. Shaw, who had had to settle for a runners-up place a year ago, made a strong challenge. He came to the 34th tee needing a solid finish but lost a ball to run up a six, then made five at the last.
“It was a hard day, the wind was horrendous, and the rain made it all the more difficult. West End is a tight course, especially in a cross wind,” said Tupman, a director of an Oldham sign-making firm.
“A good indication of the strength of the wind was when I needed a 6-iron to get up to the 123-yards first hole in the second round.”
While birdies were a rarity, for nine holes of the first round Tupman was pretty solid. He picked up a stroke at the par five seventh but started back bogie, double bogie. And he needed three to make the 18th, at which point the players were called in. He three-putted the hole on the resumption.
“I didn’t play particularly well over the front nine of the second round, hitting some loose shots and three putting a couple of times, but it was my chipping and putting that afterwards got me round and three over 72 was a good score,” said Tupman, winner of the Fixby Captain’s Day and who has had a brilliant run in helping the club to the Union Division I Scratch League title, winning all his eight matches.
He said: “I gave myself a talking to on the 10th tee and it paid off as I was pretty steady from then on, hitting it well, holing some nice putts from 10 feet and making a good birdie at the 14th. I was conscious about the importance of hitting greens on the correct side of the flag in that wind.”
In 15 years as a member at Saddleworth, Tupman never represented the Union team and has since been unable to take up offers from team manager Chris Mear, giving his Sundays to spending time with his young son. Now his wife Abi, who runs a kiddies play gym at Brighouse, has urged him to accept a future call, though he is unavailable for the next league match against Harrogate at Bradley Park next Sunday.
Thirty two players advance to the matchplay. Some who qualified made it known they would be unavailable, allowing spots to be taken by others.
145 - B Tupman (Huddersfield 73 72.
147 - R Greenwood (West End) 74 73; A Shaw (Bradley Hall) 71 76.
148 - S Bridges (West End) 72 76; F Greaves (West End) 77 72.
149 - G McLean (Meltham) 74 75; B Crowther (Dewsbury) 70 79.
150 - D Stocchero (Huddersfield) 76 74.
151 - N Scott (Crow Nest Park) 74 77; A Whitworth (Bradley Hall) 70 81.
152 - R Broadley (Huddersfield) 76 76; M Cockroft (Bradley Hall) 75 77.
153 - P Taylor (Bradley Hall) 76 77; J Bower (Meltham) 76 77; J Ellison (Huddersfield) 76 77; J Caine (Dewsbury) 75 78; J Reddy (Willow Valley) 75 78.
154 - C Ingham (West End) 76 78.
155 - A Appleyard (Bradley Hall) 75 80; M Lawrie (Crosland Heath) 79 77.
156 - C Crawshaw (Halifax) 78 78; D Crisp (Huddersfield) 78 78; C Rudd (Ryburn) 77 79.
157 - C Mear (Meltham) 80 77; L Howell (Willow Valley) 78 79; I Marsland (West End) 77 80; C Thewlis (Marsden) 75 82; A Schnacke (Huddersfield) 73 84.
158 - S Martin (West End) 83 75; A Durie (Woodsome Hall) 79 79.
159 - D Stafford (Todmorden) 76 83.
160 - S Bower (Meltham) 83 77.
161 - E Battye (Dewsbury District) 82 79; R Joyce (Huddersfield) 79 82; M England (Huddersfield) 78 83.
162 - J Murch (Dewsbury) 85 77; B Adamson (Crow Nest Park) 85 77; M Colcombe (Longley Park) 83 79; R Matthews (Dewsbury) 82 80.
163 - M Hepworth (Woodsome Hall) 87 76; T Jenkinson (Woodsome Hall) 79 84.
164 - G Bamford (Hebden Bridge) 80 84.
165 - A Walker (Longley Park) 81 84; L Tomlinson (West End) 78 87.
166 - N Richardson (Willow Valley) 83 83; J D Heyes (Huddersfield) 80 86.
167 - E Brown (Huddersfield) 79 88.
169 - N Wilson (Huddersfield) 87 82; C Ryan-Hicks (Longley Park) 85 84.
170 - B Johnson (Huddersfield) 88 82; J Doherty (Longley Park) 80 90.
Best first round prize: 70 - Ben Crowther; best second round prize: 72 - Frank Greaves.
Matchplay first round (Halifax, Aug 24, start 8.00am then at eight minute intervals): Tupman v Matthews; Lawrie v Crawshaw; Scott v Martin; Whitworth v Schnacke; Bridges v Murch; Ellison v Mear; Greaves v Joyce; Taylor v Howell; Greenwood v Colcombe; Ingham v Crisp; Crowther v Stafford; Broadley v Thewlis; Shaw v Adamson; Caine v Rudd; McLean v Battye; Cockroft v Marsland.