England and Wales (North) Region
12 Sep 17
Overnight leader Graham Cox maintained his stranglehold on the James Brearley Lancashire Open at Blackpool North Shore after returning a second successive 68 for a six-under par total.
The Lymm-attached professional virtually killed off any hopes of the chasing pack with birdies on the opening two holes, finishing four shots clear of runner-up Craig Corrigan, from Chilli Dip Academy, who last prevailed in the event in 1999.
"That gave me a cushion which was helpful, especially in the windy conditions, and I made good saves on 11, 13 and 14," said Cox.
"I've been working on my short game and my friend Anthony Millar, the Ellesmere professional, gave me a pep talk and told me to concentrate on routine."
Cox, 39, fully recovered from a throat infection that kept him in bed over the weekend, admitted: "I needed to do well in this tournament because the first half of the year was pretty awful.
"I wasn't even in the tour championship. I'll be playing in next week's Nefyn & Royal St David's pro-am next week then it's the MTS Group final at Carus Green.
"Hopefully, I'll finish in the Order of Merit top ten. I have a sponsor which is a great help because although I teach at Lymm they're not wall-to-wall with classes so that gives me lots of practice time."
Corrigan posted a closing 68 and defending champion Steve Parry, from Hart Common, took third prize after a signing off with 67 for a one-under par total matched by Penwortham's Ryan O'Neill.
Shot of the tournament was a hole-in-one at the 17th by Michael Jones, from Bolton Old Links in the first round - astonishingly after the flag had been blown out of the hole minutes earlier.
For a full list for results from the James Brearley Lancashire Open click here.
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