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Howarth tames the links to strike silver in merit.

Byline: BY DAVD BIRTILL Mitsushiba Northern Order of Merit

JAMIE Howarth staged a grandstand finish to win the Birkdale Silver Goblet over tough Open Championship links.

The 23-year-old Stockport player birdied the last two holes in a second round 75 to drawlevel with the host club's Paul Jones and Dudsbury's Benjamin Churchill but took the prize on a countback as he picked up his first Mitsushiba Northern Order of Merit points of the season.

Howarth, who captured the Cheshire County Matchplay Championship in May and who intends to join his brother Scott in the professional ranks later this year, trailed two shots behind Jones after his opening level par 72.

But in deteriorating conditions, he fought back after bogeying three of the first four holes in the afternoon to cover the inward stretch in level par.

Runaway merit leader Mark Young, from Longridge, finished eighth to take his running total up to 885 points - 440 in front of second-placed John Carroll, from Huyton and Prescot.

DETAILS: 147 Jamie Howarth (Stockport) 72,75, Paul Jones (Royal Birkdale) 70,77, Benjamin Churchill (Dudsbury) 70,77; 148 James Jankowski (Potters Bar) 74,74, Marc Lambert (St Germain) 71,77; 150 Ian Winstanley (Formby) 72,78; 151 David Peel (Stockport) 78,73; 152 Mark Young (Longridge) 76,76, David Corsby (Fleetwood) 75,77; 153 Peter Finch (Hindley Hall) 75,78, Adam Sagar (Keighley) 74,79, John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 73,80.

SAM Stuart, from St Annes Old Links and Chorley, won the Revidge Cannon at Blackburn with rounds of 69 and 73 and by two strokes from Ashtonunder- Lyne's Mike Kelly.

He also won the Hulbert Trophy at Manchester earlier in the season.

ANDREW Hardie homed in on the Astbury Jewel over his own course to win his first Mitsushiba Northern Order of Merit event of the season.

He laid the foundation for his victory with a bogey-free opening round of 68 and followed up with 73, one-under-par all told, to win by two shots from club-mate Glyn Davies.

Card of the day was a 67 in the afternoon by Trentham's Neil Wain which lifted him into third place three strokes off the pace.

And on a day when Davie Hughes made it three out of the top four for Astbury, Mark Young was again in the frame.

The Longridge man finished ninth to increase his lead in the merit to 420 points.

DETAILS: 141 Andrew Hardie (Astbury) 68,73; 143 Glyn Davies (Astbury) 73,70; 144 Neil Wain (Trentham) 77,67; 145 David Hughes (Astbury) 73,72; 146 Steve Hindle (Ellesmere) 72,74; 148 Paul McFerran (Childwall) 76,72, Andrew Terry (Manchester) 75,73, Jamie Guy (Bromborough) 75,73. Mark Young (Longridge) 74,74; 149 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 79,70, Scott Smallman (Trentham) 76,73, Ian Winstanley (Warrington) 75,74.

MERIT LEADERS: 855pts Mark Young (Longridge); 435 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot); 400 Stephen Hindle (Ellesmere); 350 Paul Mc- Ferran (Childwall); 300 Willie Bowe (Workington); 280 Tommy Fleetwood (Formby Hall); 250 Alex Hogben (Ringway), Mark Rabone (S&A); 245 Carl Thompson (Manchester); 225 Steve Walmsley (Birchwood); 210 Iain Davie (Hazel Grove); 205 Graham Jackson (Manchester).

CAPTION(S):

Huyton & Prescot's John Carroll, still in contention for the Merit
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 21, 2007
Words:534
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