Pipped in the final

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Boston father and son Steve and James Hodgson have narrowly missed out on taking the top honours at the American Golf Nine-Hole Championships.

Last weekend they took on qualifiers from 20 events from across the UK and Ireland at Ryder Cup venue the Belfry, near Birmingham.

Having progressed through group and semi-final stages, Steve and James came up against Irish duo Thomas Muldoon and Kevin Commins in the matchplay final.

The pipe fitters, who work together and are both members at Boston Golf Club, started strongly.

The went 2 up after two holes.

The match ebbed and flowed until the last hole when, needing a half to secure victory, Commins drained the final putt to win by one hole.

Despite the disappointment of losing the final, Steve was in a positive mood.

“To play in a final like this with my son has been a wonderful experience,” he reflected.

“Our games came together today and we both played some fantastic golf.

“The whole weekend has been amazing and I can’t thank American Golf enough.”

Under the spotlight of Sky Sports cameras and with the National title on the line, the Hodgsons showcased some superb golf under pressure.

And having had a taste of Championship golf James is keen to experience more.

He said: “It was a fantastic experience making it to the final and playing in front of Sky Sports’ cameras.

“American Golf have put on a great event and we’ll definitely be back next year to see if we can go one better.”

The Nine-Hole Championship is quickly becoming a favourite on the golfing calendar with the free qualifiers filling up all over the UK and Ireland.

As part of American Golf’s drive to get more people out playing golf more often it will return for 2017 alongside existing free events, Seniors, Ladies and Long Drive. American Golf will also be adding five new free Championships when they introduce the Family Cup, Pitch &Putt Championship, Adventure Golf Championship, Scratch and Individual Championships.