Photo: Paul Howard

by David Birtill

FORMER England international and Lancashire County star Paul Howard won his first professional title four months after leaving the amateur ranks when he claimed the PGA EuroPro Tour’s Paul Lawrie Foundation Granite City Classic title at Newmachar.

The 24-year-old from Southport & Ainsdale carded a final-round 70, two-under-par, to conclude the 54-hole tournament at 15 under, one ahead of Kirkhill s Paul Shields, who shot a six-under 66 in his final round for second place.

Howard began the day with a one-stroke lead on 13 under but faltered at the par-five second when he dropped only his second shot of the tournament. He moved ahead on minus 14 with an eagle at the eighthbut Shields, playing three pairs ahead of Howard, made a trio birdies on the first six holes of the back nine to take control.

However, the Glaswegian bogeyed the par-four 17th shortly before Howard made birdie at 16 and that left the Lancastrian needing to par the remaining two holes for victory, something he achieved with a smart up and down on 18.

Howard won £10,000, a brand new Motocaddy S1 trolley, Bushnell Tour X Range Finder, Bolle sunglasses and £500 to spend at


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