This year’s competition got under way under dry and sunny conditions at Yeovil GC and with the sun shining down, a course in superb condition the golf did not disappoint on a course that had been superbly prepared with greens running fast and true but given the weather we have had this year the rough was always going to catch some out as it is so lush and thick which is not usually the case at this time of year. Scoring was always going to prove tricky and some of the early scores in bore this out, last years champion Matthew Pearson could only muster a 75 a far cry from his pair 67’s of last year. Nick Ward Brocket Hall and Toby Roberts Lancaster were tied on 69’s but were+ soon overtaken by Rob Burlison Oxley Park along with Oscar Granstrom-Livesey with 66. This was bettered by only one player Joe Brooks from Brickendon Grange with a stunning 65 6 under par. Best Dorset boy was the inform Harry Mann who was disappointed with his 75 after his performance here a couple of weeks earlier.
The afternoon round got under way and again there was nothing to say we would not get in our 36 holes for the day until around 16:30 when it started to darken and boy the rain that fell was not forecast as it was a torrential downpour flooding the course and causing untold damage to the bunkers, a Stirling effort by both staff and County organisers got the greens playable again and we gave the order to start again at this time the rain started again and we had a further torrential down pour wiping out all the effort to get the greens playable again, with a sad heart I had to make the decision to abandon the second round completely and play the Championship over 54 holes. Whilst some players understandably were disappointed given the damage to the bunkers and the time it would require to get the greens playable again we would have then had to battle with the light!
Sherborne also felt the force of the torrential rain and decisions were made on the evening to make sure the course was playable for the last 36 holes, all credit to Chris and his staff who only had to put one bunker out of play. Sherborne was in excellent condition and again the rough was very lush which would cause players problems throughout the day. Only three players broke par in the first round early starter Matthew wells from Saunton had a great 69 followed in by Forest Hills Joshua Davies with 70 which was matched by competition leader Joe Brooks. Bobby Keeble lost ground with a 75 as did Rob 72 and Oscar 74. Nick ward and Toby Roberts stayed in touch with level par rounds so it was all to play for in the last round. Scoring proved difficult in the afternoon as the wind got up but it was set fair and no rain was forecast, local lad Matthew sandy was in with a 2 under 70 finding his touch at last. Pavan Sagoo Ealing also found his touch with a fine 69 in the second to last group Bobby Keeble had a great round of 68 4 under par, in contrast our leader Joe was finding it tough going and both he and Rob Burlison were also on 4 under par for the competition, help I must not panic but need to sort play off holes and did we have enough light? As the shots came in from the final three they were all pretty close Oscar got his birdie to move to 3 under for the tournament, Joe then sunk his to go to 5 under leaving Rob with a putt for birdie and a 5 under total but sadly it missed and my panic was over Joe with a final round of 75 secured the title by one shot from Bobby and Rob.
It was a great competition with a fine winner both clubs did the players proud with courses presented to the highest standard and we look forward to returning next year for the Twenty First South England Boys Open.
Champion: Joe Brooks Brickendon Grange Golf Club 65 70 75 210 -5
Runner Up: Bobby Keeble Abridge Golf & Country Club 68 75 68 211 -4
Third: Rob Burlison Oxley Park Golf Club 66 72 73 211 -4
Under 15: Harry Hall West Cornwall Golf Club 72 77 75 224 +9
Thanks to the referees John White and Bill Kennedy for thier great efforts in keeping the pace of play going and in ensuring the correct decisions were taken by all.
Our thanks to both Sherborne and Yeovil for allowing the event to take place at the course and to all members and staff for making this year's event such a success.