Abbott is Back

Jamie Abbott and Rob Watson with Jamega at The Shire 2018Seve would have been delighted to see the array of talent on display at The Shire London this week and bar an extraordinary first round score of 7 under par 65 from Jamie Abbott, his original and iconic design survived the onslaught from modern equipment and balls.

Abbott’s nearest challengers, Steve Surry (Cumberwell Park), Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre), Mark Laskey (Brockett Hall) and Rob Watson, all sat 4 shots behind but on this testing layout there was still all to play for.

The second day started overcast and dull but thankfully the drizzle had not returned and play commenced on time, at 07:38 am.

As the early scores started to come in it seemed that scoring seemed a lot better than yesterday with players improving on their first-round scores, some by quite a margin.

Well, what an afternoon of golf we had with Rob Watson starting his second round Birdie, Eagle, Eagle and another Birdie saw hm 6 under par after 5 holes and suddenly 2 shots ahead of overnight leader Abbott.

The play continued to ebb and flow but as the final groups started to drift in it was Marco Penge who established the early clubhouse lead with a 5 under par total, which included 3 Eagles, one of which was a hole in one on the Fourteenth which earned him an extra £100.

Rob Watson, in the following group, immediately leapfrogged Penge to take over the lead with a final total of 6 under par and then he had a short wait for the final group to appear to see what Abbott was up to.

Abbott meanwhile had to deal with a traumatic back nine after dropping 4 shots in 3 holes from the eleventh but he recovered well and birdied the fourteenth and fifteenth to get back to 6 under par and level with Watson.

Abbott failed to extract another birdie from the remaining 3 holes and so it was of for a play-off between these two warriors. The play-off only lasted for just one hole, with Abbott emerging as the winner of The Shire London Bowl.

The Shire London is a true test of golf for players of all abilities and is also a great day out with friendly staff and maybe on the range, you could see Long Drive Champion, Joe Miller being coached by resident professional Lee Cox.

After the excellent 2 days of play, Seve would have a smile on his face and be proud of the way his design has stood the test of time.

Great Scott, It’s a Win for Fallon

Scott Fallon with Jamega at Stock Brook Manor 2018Scott Fallon left it until the last minute to win the Stock Brook Manor Cup from Jack Colegate by a single shot with a birdie on the thirty-sixth hole in a thrilling climax.

Day one at Stock Brook produced seven under par 65’s from three players, Scott Fallon, Peter Williamson and Patrick Ruff.

Fallon was one of the early starters and he set the benchmark at 7 under with a round that began with a bogey but then Fallon scorched through the next ten holes in seven under par.

Another blot on the card came at the fifteenth where Fallon harvested another unwelcomed bogey but then he recovered his position with two birdies in the last three holes.

Ruff came in later on in the day to equal Fallon’s score and a blistering 5 birdies in the last nine holes certainly helped towards his score of 65.

Hot on Ruffs heels came Williamson, whose front nine of 6 under par 30, left scorch marks on the course and only a double bogey on the eleventh quenched the flames of an otherwise spectacular round of golf.

With over half the field scoring par or better, the second day was going to be a test of nerve for the leaders and a day for taking the bull by the horns for the pursuers.

Indications of another low scoring day arrived in the form of a 6 under par 66 from Jack South, who took the clubhouse lead, probably only for a short while though.

Meanwhile out on the course after 27 holes, Fallon and Ruff were back pedalling with each of them dropping back to 5 under par, whilst David Dixon and Jack Colegate picked up shots to get to 5 under and into the mix.

David Dixon improved again in the home stretch and set the clubhouse lead at 6 under par, just one shot ahead of Will Brown, who finished Birdie, Birdie, Eagle for his 5 under total. So, it was just a matter of Dixon waiting to see if that was going to be good enough.

Dixons lead was short-lived however because Colegate birdied the last 2 holes to shade him by a single shot, while in the final group of the day Williamson was having a day to forget, Ruff was hanging on and birdied the last to tie Dixon on 6 under.

Fallon was level with Colegate on 7 under with just one hole to play and to his delight he managed to squeeze a birdie 4 out of the par five to win by a single shot for the £3,500 winners cheque.

Mullins Gallops Home

George Mullins with Jamega at Royal Ascot 2018George Mullins entered the winners enclosure again with a very consistent performance over the delightful Royal Ascot course with a 7 under par total to win by a single shot from Tom Shadbolt.

On the first day, Royal Ascot proved to be a fitting backdrop to a superb round of golf by Ben Amor (Marlborough GC), who scorched around the Berkshire course in a 7 under par 63 to set a new course record and establish a 3 shot lead over Matt Mumford (Wrag Barn GC) and George Mullins (Langley Park GC).

With several players on par or better, including the amateur, Alfredo Curbishley (The Wisley), on 3 under, looking to close the gap on the leaders, it promised to be an exciting second days play and with the weather set fair it could again prove to be a low scoring classic.

Another stunning day greeted the players at Royal Ascot Golf club and it had all the hallmarks of an exciting climax as Amor would try to fend off any attacks from the chasing pack and win his first Jamega Pro Golf Tour event.

The second day proved to be a mixture of pleasure for some and pain for others and as the afternoon unfolded it was Tom Shadbolt who was feeling the pleasure of recording a record equalling 7 under par 63 to storm into the clubhouse lead on 6 under.

Shadbolt finished well ahead of the leader’s, courtesy of his one over par 71 on the first day, which had him out and finished over an hour ahead of the leading groups, so he had a nervous wait to enjoy!

Into the back nine the leaders were either treading water, or sinking fast, which was the case for Amor who saw his chances disappear with seven dropped shots over the last 12 holes.

Mullins, however, was keeping his good form of recent months going with an outward nine of 4 under par to establish a comfortable lead over the rest of the field.

But, winning is never easy and Mullins was aware that Shadbolt was sitting in the clubhouse on 6 under par but knew that after birdying the fifteenth he had a 2-shot lead, with 3 holes left to play.

Fate then played her hand and dealt Mullins a nasty bogey on the penultimate hole leaving him having to par the last for the win, never an easy thing to do at any level.

In the end he made par, which meant that Shadbolt was pipped at the post by the resurgent Mullins, who has found the form that had seemingly deserted him last year.

Royal Ascot Golf Club is one of many top-class golf courses in Berkshire but this week the quality of the greens, the condition of the course generally and above all the warm welcome we received put Royal Ascot as the odds-on favourite for a great day’s golf.