This time a play-off win for Francis McGuirk.
For the second time "Franny" was back out for extra-time. Having lead and apparently cruising, when Rory Kirwan with a fantastic second round 9 under par put McGuirk under pressure, by catching and overtaking on the closing stretch. Forcing McGuirk to call on all resources to finish birdie, birdie to tie the lead.
Back out, they both birdied the first and it was the decided on the 2nd playoff hole with another birdie, with Kirwan leaving his effort from 50' in the Jaws, just 1" short!
Marathon Man McGuirk wins final event at Studley Wood.
Francis McGuirk just loves play-offs now he’s finally come out on top in one!
Earlier in the year McGuirk lost out in a marathon five way play-off at the Warwickshire which went into a second day but this time he was triumphant over Rory Kirwan after just 2 holes.
On the first day at Studley Wood the course was swept by a brisk South Easterly wind gusting at times to around 30MPH and this suited a certain Francis McGuirk perfectly. Having learnt his golf at Princes Golf Club in Kent, McGuirk knows how to play in the wind and blew away most of the field with a great 5 under par 68. Kevin Tilbury joined McGuirk as the only other player to break 70 at the end of the day scoring a 4 under par 69. A group of five players, Lee Nash, Matt Briggs, Nick Pateman, Andrew Rait and Rory Kirwan slipstreamed McGuirk and Tilbury with each of them carding 3 under par 70’s.
Day 2 was much calmer and the scoring reflected that with a host of players breaching the par of 73 which had remained strong on the first day. Rob Bardsley was the first of the players to set a possible winning target of 8 under par after adding a fabulous 6 under par 67 to his first round 71. Rory Kirwan was having a birdie orgy on the course and presented a card which contained no less than ten of them with just one solitary bogey spoiling the card of 9 under par 64 which gave him the clubhouse lead on 12 under. Meanwhile on the course in the final group, Francis McGuirk who had for most of the day been seemingly cruising along to an easy win suddenly found out that he had to birdie the last two holes to tie Kirwan!
Showing tremendous bottle he completed the task and so we headed to the first tee for the play-off.
The first hole failed to produce a winner with both players making birdies. The pair now proceeded to the par five 18th to continue the battle and after reaching the green in two McGuirk looked to be the favourite with Kirwan surveying his 50 foot birdie putt after taking 3 shots to reach the green. Kirwans courageous effort fell just one inch short of dropping in and this left a delighted Francis McGuirk the winner after he extracted yet another birdie from the poor old 18th hole.
A comment from professional, James OConnor, "one of the best Holes-in-One I've ever seen", this majestic shot was achieved in the second round at Hole number 8, by guess who?, James OConnor!
Just a mention for Broome Manor based Swindon golfer Yoshio Takeuchi who won the right to compete as an amateur in the event by winning a Bang & Olufsen qualifying competition. Yoshio shot a total of 1 over par 147 to finish a very creditable joint 34th out of a field of 87.
Studley Wood is a brilliant place to play golf and all the staff are welcoming and enthusiastic about what they do and we wholeheartedly recommend it to all of you that play golf.