Marsh’s title defence over

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Defending champion Nick Marsh crashed out of the English amateur at Alwoodley Golf Club yesterday, losing 6/5 to Pavan Sagoo in the first round.

Sagoo, who represented England at boys’ level and is now at university in California, was “ramped up” to be playing the titleholder and got off to a quick start. He had birdies on the first two holes and was five up through seven

“I’ve been playing well for a while, but today I holed some putts, which I haven’t been doing. It just came together,” said the 19-year-old from Ealing.

Marsh, the Halifax-born player attached to Huddersfield GC, reckoned his opponent was five-under for the match and remarked: “Pavan played really well.”

He took his defeat with dignity and said of his reign: “It’s been nice.”

There was better news for another Halifax-Huddersfield Union player, Jamie Bower.

The Meltham player was facing Harry Wall (West Cornwall) in the last 32 today after a 4 and 3 win over Seb Crookall-Nixon (Silloth on Solway).