AN EAGLE and a birdie in the opening nine holes paved the way for Jason Gale to clinch the opening summer major competition at Ross Golf Club, the Barnfield Trophy.

The final consisted of the 60 players to have qualified from each of the five stableford events played during the preceding winter months.

The stand-out performer in those qualifiers was 12 handicapper Gale, from Ledbury, whose consistency was reflected in his top 10 finishes in three of the qualifiers.

Against this background Gale hit an impressive 42 points winning score in the delayed Barnfield Trophy final to achieve his first honours board recognition and now finds him playing off a nine handicap.

Capturing an eagle and a birdie on his outgoing nine holes play to give him 22 points in the bag, Gale maintained his momentum as he negotiated the more demanding incoming nine holes and another birdie meant that his 42 points made him a worthy champion.

Second place was taken by Simon Mills with 41 points followed by Alastair Watkins and Ross Juniors Captain Matty Dobbs with 40 points each.