The 2015 County Championship got under way at Knighton Heath with the course in fine condition a good test for the 57 players in this year’s Championship. The forecast had change from a sunny day to cloud and rain, the rain did come but it was not anything like the previous year and in the main conditions were good. The players found scoring hard during the morning round Dominic Knight had the best round with a level 70 followed by two 71’s from Parkstone’s David Norton and Ben Pritchard.
The second round saw scoring much better when Broadstone’s Ben Welch came home with a fine 68 giving him a 141 total his playing partner David Norton also broke par with a fine 69 and a 140 level par total taking him to top spot. Last year’s Champion Tom Robson came home in 68 also much better than his mornings 75 Tom Leech improved his position with a fine 69 for a 143 total. Junior Callum Ward had a stunning second round of 68 to go with his first round 73 to take him in to second spot and also taking the Luffman Cup for the best under 21 year old. The Garrett Salver went to David Norton along with the Mid-Amateur Sika Trophy.
|David Norton Parkstone 71 69 140
|Callum Ward DG&CC 73 68 141
|Ben Welch Broadstone 73 68 141
|Sika Trophy (Mid-Amateur):
|David Norton Parkstone 71 69 140
|Luffman Trophy (Colts):
|Callum Ward DG&CC 73 68 141
|Team Cup Winners
|Broadstone 284 (C Harrison, A Rideout, Ben Welch)
An all Parkstone final with two great players. David Cook was looking for his third Championship whist David Norton his first. David Cook set the early pace with birdies at the first and fourth, David Norton hit back at the seventh to take it back to one and must have thought he was going to be level after eight but David Cook sunk a 20 footer for the halve. An errant tee shot by David Cook on the next saw the match all square at the turn. Two splendid pars on the next but a slip on the par three eleventh saw David Norton take the lead for the first time this seemed to spur him on and although they halved the next David Norton then won the next and then birdied the next two to take the match and the title 4&3. A great weekend’s golf for David who is one of very few to be crowned County Champion and hold the Garrett Salver and Sika Trophy as well.
|David Norton v Ben Pritchard: John white refereed this match which saw David two up after the first two holes perhaps nerves got to Ben? He did steady the ship and won the third. David hit straight back at the next to go back to two up. Ben won the fifth with a fine birdie three and then squared the match on the ninth. They then halved the next two with Ben taking the lead for the first time on the Twelfth. David birdied fourteen to level but then lost the sixteenth to a par. Ben slipped up on the seventeenth when the shot in went long so it was all square going to the last sadly for Ben he failed to make the green with either his tee shot or the next and an easy par for David saw him int the afternoon final by one.
|David Cook v Andy Rideout: This was a tight match early doors with Andy playing tee to green superbly well the difference was david was putting well and Andy found it hard to get the ball in the hole. He put his second shot stiff on the second for a give me birdie and the hole to go one up and missed a chance to extend that on the fourth with David having found the heather on the right off the tee. David took the sixth with par after Andy had nearly driven the green and after a poor chip managed to three putt. A three putt on the par five ninth also cost Andy the hole having reached the green in two so David was one up at the turn. David went two up on the eleventh with both players putting it close and David holed the putt for birdie. He then went on to extend his lead on the thirteenth with another fine birdie and when Andy missed the green on the fifteenth the writing was on the cards. David closed the match out at the next hole to secure a 3&2 victory and set himself up for the chance of a third gold medal.
Last 8 Matches:
|David Norton v Tom Peacock: A fine match between club mates and it was nip and tuck all the way around, Dave took the sixteenth to go two up but Tom took the next to pull it back to one and had a putt to take it into extra holes but it just slipped by and David won by one.
|Ben Pritchard v Tom Leech: Tom was down by one for most of this match but managed to pull it level on seventeen having missed golden opportunities to win the two previous holes. Sadly it was not to be as Tom found the bunker on the last and with Ben finding the green and then Tom putting his bunker shot into the hedge at the back of the green ben won by one to set up an all Parkstone semi-final.
|Matthew Sandy v David Cook: Matthew had control of the front nine but David fought back strongly and ran out comfortable winner 3&2
|Sonny Wilkinson v Andy Rideout: Andy was always in control as Sonny found it hard to hole anything Andy won 3&2
Last 16 Matches:
|David Norton v Chris Harrison: David was soon in control and ran out a comfortable win 5&4 Chris battled hard but perhaps found to much semi-rough
Lee Wyeth v Tom Peacock: A match that went all the way Tom had control for eleven holes but by the eighteenth they were level a missed putt on the last by Lee saw him lose by one.
|Tom Robson v Ben Pritchard: Ben took control of this match in the early stages and at one point was up by five, Tom fought hard but Ben won 3&2
|Tom Leech v Lee Booth: Lee had control of this match for most of it but never say never with Tom who won four on the bounce to run out winner by one.
|Callum Ward v Matthew Sandy: Callum was two up early doors but Matthew kept his cool turned it around and won 2&1
|David Cook v Harry Mitchell: Nothing in this match until the later stages when David found a couple of birdies and ran out a 3&2 winner.
|Ben Welch v Sonny Wilkinson: Nothing but one hole in this all the way round and sonny held his nerve on the last to win by one.
|Andy Rideout v Dominic Knight: The big hitters battled it round and again it went to the last with Andy hitting a super shot in to make the halve and win by one.
Lastly on behalf of the Dorset Golf Union a sincere thank you to the Knighton Heath Management Committee, Members and staff for allowing us the use the course for the 2015 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.