AARON Duxbury says he owes a big thank-you to his caddy and pal Jason Ashworth for helping him win the 50th Observer Shield.
The 18-year-old, who must be one of the youngest winners of the event, says the pep talks all the way round by his Accrington Golf Club team-mate kept him going. And, when it all came down to the final hole at Green Haworth on Sunday, Aaron held his nerve to defeat Rishton's Paul Murphy.
"I have to thank Jay - he was a great help, a superstar," said the student. "I was shocking on the first nine. I think I was about five over and Paul was two-up. But Jason said to me that I had to forget the first nine and that I could turn it around. It was what I needed to hear."
He did get back all-square but Paul was again two-up by the 14th. However, some wayward driving by Paul let Aaron back into it. And, while Paul was in a bunker on the 17th, Aaron chipped it perfectly and made sure the 18th was the decider.
"I felt sorry for Paul at this stage as, because it was Rishton's Captain's Day, I had all the support. I could hear the crowd shouting 'Come on Aaron'. Jay just kept telling me to keep going.
"When it came to the 18th I knew I had nothing to lose as I had been behind most of the way. It was 50/50 then. I hit it straight down the middle and he hit it into the trees. I knew I could win it then and I was chuffed with my shot.
It was a bit nerve-racking at the end as I left myself a bit short on the green but luckily I was able to take two shots to get it in. It is the biggest event I have won and it is great to win."