So with some of the strongest winds and rain showers you could possibly imagine and with the prospect of summer seeming miles away the 55 players embarked on the stroke play phase of this year’s County Championship at Came Down Golf Club. Course Manager Derek and his men deserve all the praise as the course was presented in excellent condition given the winter we have had with the greens running surviving the weather thrown at them on the Friday. This is also true of all the players who endured some pretty torrid weather at times but they all stood up to the test and produced some very notable scores.
Players soon got into their stride but it appeared the wind and the tee shot from the fourth was proving difficult for most of the players as the road collected a substantial amount of the golf balls played and the stats proved the case with it being the second hardest of the day being pipped by the sixteenth. David Cook who was first out could only manage a 77 but last year’s Captain Giles played well coming home two over with a fine 72 Queens Park’s Justin Morris had a fine 73 as did Ben Churchill, local lad Sam Roles had 74 as did Dean Barnes. The inform Tom Robson had the best of the morning with a fine level par 70 which include 5 bogies and 5 birdies and keeping it a truly family affair was Andrew who had a great one over 71. Last year’s Champion Sonny Wilkinson was still in it with a 76.
So as the wind picked up speed the afternoon round got under way. The afternoon belonged to Ferndown’s Fraser Dawson who having found the road off the fourth for a seven came home with a level par round of 70. David Cook improved by some four shots for a 73 and Giles matched his morning round with another 72 giving him a very good 144 total. Ben Churchill had a 74 and Parkstone’s Greg Britton had a very creditable 75 but it was not going to get him into the match play. Billy-Joe secured his place with a very good 73 in the worst of the weather. With Giles leading the way all eyes were out watching for the Robson brothers, Tom sadly lipped out on the last for a 74 equalling Giles on 144 and Andrew managed to keep it together for a 77 and a place in the last sixteen. Fraser took the Luffman Cup for the best under 21 year old with that stunning final round 70 and a 147 total. Giles Legg took the Mid-Amateur Sika Trophy with his fine 144 total and with a final round of 72 compared to Tom’s 74 took the Garrett Salver for the first time. There was a real battle for the Team Trophy and Weymouth with Jon Welch, Tom Robson and Robbie Mabb took it by one shot from last year’s winner’s Ferndown and will go forward to the English Champion Club later this year at Dudsbury.
Garrett Salver: Giles Legg Ferndown 72 – 72 total 144
Runner Up: Tom Robson Weymouth 72 – 74 total 144
Third: Fraser Dawson 77 – 70 total 147
Sika Trophy (Mid-Amateur): Giles Legg Ferndown 72 – 72 total 144
Luffman Trophy (Colts): Fraser Dawson 77 – 70 total 147
Top 16 Stroke Play Qualifiers 36 holes scores – for the Matchplay event:
|1st||Giles Legg Ferndown Golf Club||72||72||144||+4|
|2nd||Tom Robson Weymouth Golf Club||70||74||144||+4|
|3rd||Fraser Dawson Ferndown Golf Club||77||70||147||+7|
|4th||Ben Churchill Dudsbury Golf Club||73||74||147||+7|
|5th||Andrew Robson Weymouth Golf Club||71||77||148||+8|
|6th||David Cook Parkstone Golf Club||77||73||150||+10|
|7th||Robert K Mabb Weymouth Golf Club||77||76||153||+13|
|8th||Aaron Crabb Yeovil Golf Club||75||78||153||+13|
|9th||Sam Roles Came Down Golf Club||74||79||153||+13|
|10th||Billy-Joe Bugden Broadstone (Dorset) Golf Club||81||73||154||+14|
|11th||Tom Leech Ferndown Golf Club||76||78||154||+14|
|12th||Justin Morris Queens Park (Bournemouth) Golf Club||73||81||154||+14|
|13th||Jon Welch Weymouth Golf Club||79||76||155||+15|
|14th||Matt Hector Ferndown Golf Club||76||79||155||+15|
|15th||Ben Pritchard Parkstone Golf Club||76||79||155||+15|
|16th||Dean Barnes Parkstone Golf Club||74||82||156||+16|
Saturday saw the 16 Qualifiers get the Matchplay phase under way to find the 2013 Amateur Champion with Garrett winner Giles Legg leading the way against local Dean Barnes who had his putting shoes on to take the match by one. The unknown Aaron Crabb from Yeovil was up against the local lad Sam Roles with Aaron coming out on top 2&1 the next was a battle of the “giants” Ben against Jon and Ben Churchill came out on top 3&2. Justin Morris saw off Andrew Robson by one and perhaps the next match produced the shock of the round as Ben Pritchard beat Tom Robson by one also. Robbie Mabb beat Billy-Joe 3&2 as did Matt Hector against club team mate Fraser Dawson. The last match out was between two players who have both won the Championship twice in David Cook and Tom Leech it was David who would have the chance for a hat trick as he won 2&1 in a real tussle and good match to watch.
So to the afternoons matches and getting us under way was Dean up against the unknown Aaron, Aaron had control of the match for most of the early holes but Dean turned on the pressure taking four on the spin to come down the last one up, he found the fairway bunker off the tee and Aaron sunk a fine putt to take the match into overtime, Aaron then won the first extra hole when Deans putt just missed to book his place in the semi’s. Ben Churchill had a good tussle with Justin Morris coming out on top 2 up as did Ben Pritchard beating Robbie Mabb also 2 up. David played Matt who seemed to run out of steam at the latter part of the round going down 3&2
Aaron Crabbe v Ben Churchill: What a cracking semi we have here with the unknown youngster from Yeovil against one of the Army’s best. All credit must go to Aaron who with some fine play along with three birdies made the turn 3 up, Ben birdied the next to bring it back to two but then Aaron birdied 11, 13 14 and 15 to take the match 6&4 leaving Ben wondering what had hit him and Aaron was no longer an unknown!!
Ben Pritchard v David Cook: This semi was an all Parkstone affair between Ben Pritchard and David Cook. There was never much in this match with David just having the edge by one at the turn, Ben then brought it level on the tenth and with a super drive down the eleventh was starting to force his way into the game but match play has a funny way and just when you think the game may turn a poor second let in David who then never really looked anything else but the winner finally sealing the match at the sixteenth 3&2.
Aaron Crabb v David Cook: An intriguing final with young Aaron against two time winner and County Captain David and what a start as David sunk a cheeky 25 foot plus putt on the first. The next two holes were halved. Aaron produced a fine drive on the next that was bettered by his second shot for a give me eagle three and the hole to level the match. David responded well and took the fifth but then found the trees on the next and it was back to all square. Aaron then birdied eight to take the lead for the first time but this was short lived as David took the next showing all his experience, they halved the tenth and then a three putt on the eleventh by Aaron let in David who was once more 1 up. They halved the next four and both tried extremely hard to throw away the sixteenth which was in the end halved. David was short left in the semi on seventeen and Aaron went for the green but found the pit and the crowd thought it was all over. Credit to Aaron who watched as David put his chip long and just off the back edge, he then played an excellent shot out of the pit to out three foot and when David’s chip just ran out of steam by some three inches Aaron holed to bring the match level. So to the last Aaron found the fairway bunker and david hit a glorious drive straight down the middle, there was no way Aaron could go for the green so he chipped out just past David s drive, david then played another fine shot to within three foot and Aaron was left to putt first some two or three foot behind David. Aaron holed and all he could do was watch what he must have thought was just a tap in for David to win but it missed and we were into extra holes. On the first extra hole Aaron failed to make the green in two leaving his chip short and David was on for two with another putt to win but this one again got away and Aaron got up and down to extend the match. Aaron found the centre of the green on the second and when David came up short and then only just managed to make the front edge in two leaving a 11 footer for the halve this just missed and it was Aaron Crabb who was the 2013 County Champion.
Lastly on behalf of the Dorset Golf Union a thank you to the Came Down Management Committee, Captain Jeff Morris, Members and staff for allowing us the use the course for the 2013 Amateur Championship. The course was presented by the staff in excellent condition and proved a good test of golf for all players concerned, the bar and catering staff kept everyone fed and watered, the committee, club members and staff have been a delight making all the players and officials very welcome. Thank you.