FULFORD'S Jamie Miller bridged a 25-year gap on Sunday, claiming his third victory in the York Union's Amateur Championship a quarter of a century after his first.
He clinched the title with successive 70s at Pike Hills for a two-under-par aggregate total to deny Malton & Norton’s David Hague (70 71) by a shot.
Reigning champion Martin Brown produced a spirited defence of his crown, finishing third on his home course with rounds of 70 72.
All three were tied following the first round and a titanic second-round battle ensued in the afternoon as, in scorching temperatures, the players had to contend with firm and fast conditions.
Three consecutive bogeys from the fourth were compounded by a double bogey at the par-3 9th by Miller, seemingly ending his hopes.
But he responded with a sublime inward nine. He picked up shots at the 13th, 15th and 16th in an inward 32 that saw him add to the title he first won as an 18-year-old in 1991 and then again six years later.
Miller, who plays off plus one, said: “It was fantastic. I didn’t know it had been 25 years since the first victory. I really enjoyed it. It’s difficult with family and work, but I try and play as much as I can.
“I try and practise as much as I can. I don't get in the gym very often, which is a big factor these days - as is diet.
“I’m not the perfect guy for a dietician, but I try my hardest and do what I can. I don’t hit it as well as I used to but you get it around.”
On recovering from his setback at the turn, he added: “I pulled it left off the tee into the trees, but when I walked there it was perfect. It was a simple straightforward shot. I didn’t get it, duffed it, hit a good chip and then missed the putt.
“The next thing, you’ve made a double and you are a bit shell-shocked. But you’ve got to keep going because you never know what’s going to happen from one hole to the next.”
Hague got his second round off to a blistering start with birdies at the opening two holes, but a roller-coaster front nine of 35 included only two pars.
After a birdie at the 11th was sandwiched by bogeys at the 10th and 12th, he parred his way home to miss out by the narrowest of margins.
Brown suffered a trople bogey seven on the fourth, fighting back manfully with birdies on the sixth, 11th and 15th before a dropped shot at the 16th proved critical.
Nick Audsley (York) shot an impressive net 67 to take the Seward Trophy, competed for on Amateur Championship day by the York Union’s juniors.
The 13-handicapper was two shots clear of club compatriot James Kay with Malton & Norton’s Josh Stead in third a shot further back.
Audsley, 12, said: “It was very tough out there and I was very surprised with myself about how I played. It’s the biggest tournament I have won by a long way.
“It was definitely hard; because the greens were so hard it was difficult to stop (approach shots) and you had to run them up. It was a lot harder to control and get it close.”