HAYLING’S Darren Walkley has retained his Hampshire Order of Merit, having become the first-ever winner of the Cullen Quaich 12 months ago.

Walkley, who claimed his first Sloane Stanley Challenge Trophy when winning his first-ever Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands Amateur Championship back in June, produced a strong series of results in August, to finally finish 19 points clear of North Hants’ teenager Billy Watson.

Walkley pipped club mate Ben Wall by just four points in 2014 but going into the final counting event of the season his chances of emerging on top of the points table were much more secure.

His fifth place finish in the Courage Trophy at Corhampton saw him pick up eight bonus points for his score in the Cole Scuttle – the trophy for the best 72-hole aggregate in the two rounds in qualifying at the county championship at Brokehnurst Manor, in June, and the Courage.

With the points awarded for the best five results in the 11 qualifying events, Walkley’s successful defence of the Delhi Trophy at Hockley, back in May, coupled with his fourth place finish after 36 holes at Brokenhurst, put the 25-yearold in pole position.

But Watson hit back claiming both the Hampshire Open, beating the county’s leading club pros and some of the top amateurs, and the Solent Salver for the best 72-hole score in the Mike Smith Memorial Trophy at Brokenhurst, and the Stoneham Trophy, last month.

But when Watson was forced to miss the final event of the season to attend a wedding, only a freak result could have denied Walkley his crown.

1) D Walkley 72.5pts, 2) B Watson 53.33, 3) M Young 51, 4) R Henley 42.5, 4) S Gregory 42.5, 6) H Reay 37.5, 7) J Sundborg 37.33, 8) R Harmer 37, 9) B Lobacz 28.5, 10) T Robson 22.