Both games in the North-West regional final of the 2013 Northern Matchplay Golf Championship went down to the wire at Royal Birkdale Golf Club today.The singles final saw a topsy-turvey game where John Hooton (8 hcp) from Southport playing out of  Herons Reach finally overcame David Allmand-Smith (3 hcp) from The Tytherington at the second extra play-off hole.

Hooton was three-down early on before drawing level to then fall two behind again playing the 13th. However, he managed to square the tie and then edge one in front at the par five 17th.

A three-putt on the last cost him the hole though and after both players halved the first hole in the sudden death play-off it was all over at the second.

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The conditions were perfect with hardly a breath of wind and the course, host to The Open Championship nine times as well as staging two Ryder Cups, the Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup, was in exceptional condition.

The winners of both games will now play at Royal Lytham & St. Annes on the 13th & 14th October where they will take on the winners from the other three regional finales to be held at Silloth (Friday 27th September), Woodhall Spa (Tuesday 1st October) and Alwoodley (Friday 4th October).

By Steve Crane

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