A PAIR of north Hampshire golfers made it through to the matchplay stage of the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championships.

Teenage star Billy Watson, who lives in Sherborne St John, and Tylney Park’s Matt Wilcox both travelled to Hockley Golf Club, near Winchester, for the event last weekend.

Watson made an outstanding start in the 36-hole qualifying competition last Friday, leading the way thanks to an excellent opening round of 66 (-5).

Wilcox, a former teaching professional at Wentworth, was three shots behind.

However, with strong winds making conditions difficult on the exposed Hockley course, Watson was unable to replicate his excellent form in the afternoon, a second round of 78 (+7) seeing him drop to 16th place.

Wilcox handled the difficult conditions better, a one-under-par second round of 70 seeing him finish fourth, just one shot behind Brokenhurst Manor’s Martin Young, who claimed the Pechell Salver as the lowest qualifier.

Sadly, Wilcox was unable to compete in the matchplay part of the competition, which began on Saturday, due to a back injury.

Watson did play, but the North Hants member went down to defeat by a single hole at the hands of second seed Darren Masterton (Osborne) in the opening round.

Young went on to make it a double, beating Adam Reid (Corhampton) 4&3 in the final.

l Last month, Sandford Springs member Gerry Penfold finished second in the Hampshire Senior Championship, which was played at North Hants, carding a nine-over-par total of 114 for the 27-hole event.