Paul is the king of Herts

Paul Stanford and Ashridge Golf Club captain Roger Davies
Paul Stanford and Ashridge Golf Club captain Roger Davies

An amateur golfer from Berkhamsted has been crowned the champion of Hertfordshire – beating off the competition of the best players in the county.

On a cold, blustery and occasionally damp day at Ashridge Golf Club, home player Paul Stanford returned the lowest 36-hole total of the competition to take the crown.

Stanford’s win means that an amateur has won the competition for the second year running, following Lewis Watcham’s victory last year.

Stanford, a former Walton Heath Club Champion, shot level par in the morning to be one shot off the 18-hole lead held jointly by Luke Groves and Berkhamsted professional John Clarke.

But Stanford surged through in the afternoon with the best score of the day – a four-under-par 68 – and even lipped out for a birdie 3 on the tough 18th hole.

In second place was Rob Watson from The Shire London, who was the only other player in the field to break 70 with an afternoon score of 69 that followed his morning round of 73.

Berkhamsted man Clarke was crowned Best Senior Professional for his total score of 143.

The Herts Professional Championship, meanwhile, which is run in conjunction with the Herts Open, was decided in a sudden death play-off after four players had tied on -1.

Noel Quinn emerged the winner with a birdie 3 on the third play-off hole.

Next year’s Herts Open will be at West Herts Golf Club on May 14, 2014.