Hoo-Reay for Haydn

Haydn ReayHaydn Reay, from The Army Golf Club, yomped to a 2 shot victory over last week’s winner, Dale Whitnell, despite taking a double bogey on the eighteenth.

Reay was a wire to wire winner although he did have Whitnell for company after the first round, where both players scored 6 under par 66’s to lead by one shot from Luke Fitzpatrick.

Michael O’Connor and Jamie Moul sat 2 shots further back and headed just 6 other players who were either on level par or better.

One of the highlights of the first day was a “Hole-in-One” by Nathan Treacher, who has been a loyal supporter of the tour for many years and it was a pleasure to reward him with £100.

On the second day there were no dramas, as most players got to grips with the Seve Ballesteros masterpiece and produced some better scoring on a rare windless day at The Shire London.

It was Whitnell and Reay going head to head throughout the day, as the other player played “catch-up” and with Reay just one shot in front after fifteen holes it looked like it was going to be a photo finish, if not a dead heat at the finish.

Whitnell then boarded the bogey train for the next 2 holes, while Reay birdied the sixteenth and parred the seventeenth to take a commanding 4 shot lead to the eighteenth tee.

A lapse of concentration probably led to an unfortunate double bogey by Reay at the last but with playing partner Whitnell making par there was no danger of him being caught.

Whitnell clung on to second place on 8 under after the charging “Icelandic Warrior” Olafur Loftsson had earlier posted a total of 7 under par that included his only blemish of the day, a bogey on the seventeenth.

We love coming back to The Shire London, with the evocative memories of the course designer Seve Ballesteros and with the superb hospitality shown to us and the professionals by all the staff it is a club that we would recommend unreservedly to golfers everywhere.

So that’s it for another season, which has flown by, and work has begun on next seasons schedule which is looking exciting with several excellent additions.

We are looking forward to the response we get regarding the Guaranteed £10, 500 Prize Fund, regardless of numbers, that comes into force next year.

Don’t forget that those who played in the last 3 events can join the tour next year for just £75 as long as you have paid by the 30th of September 2016.

The Algarve Pro Golf Tour starts on the 16th of November with a total of 18 tournaments to play in between November 2016 and March 2017 with Free practice facilities and balls on offer it is worth a look.

All the information is on the Algarve website, www.algarveprogolftour.pt so please visit the site and see what’s on offer for your warm weather competitive play and practice.

Whitnell gets Back on Track

Dale WhitnellDale Whitnell has finally won again at Hamptworth with a 10 under par total which gave him a 5 shot advantage over Asian Tour player Steve Lewton.

Whitnell now goes to the European Tour Qualifying school Marathon with renewed confidence and to hopefully realise the potential he demonstrated when he was once one of the top amateurs in the country,representing GB&I in the Walker Cup in 2009

Whitnell laid the foundations for his win with a new course record of 7 under par 64 which gave him a 4 shot lead over the eventual runner-up Lewton.

Three players were banked up behind Lewton on 2 under par but with Whitnell in a determined mood and playing some of the best golf since his return to competition, it would difficult for anyone to catch him.

On the second day Whitnell maintained a very healthy lead over the rest of the field with no one able to get close, even though he carded a double bogey 7 on the sixteenth hole known as, “The Beast”.

There was a little excitement in the afternoon when we were treated to a “Thunderbolt and Lightening” show at midday but it only delayed play for an hour.

Whitnel finally tapped in for a solid birdie on the last for a really comfortable win over Lewton, who now returns to The Asian Tour while Witnell prepares for stage one at Q School.

The Hamptworth club is very well worth a visit, set on the edge of the New Forest on the Wiltshire Dorset border, it presents you with a well prepared and fair test of golf and also a comfortable clubhouse where you can get good food, served up by enthusiastic staff.

Our final tournament of 2016 is next week at The Shire London and it is the last chance to get your 2017 membership for £75 and play for a guaranteed £10,500 Prise fund regardless of numbers next year

The Bedfordshire Suits Taylor [UPDATED - GALLERY ADDED]

Jay TaylorJay Taylor sewed up a well-deserved win on the Jamega Pro Golf Tour with a masterful display of controlled golf on a very difficult second day when the strong gusty wind that swept over the course blew away many of the challengers hopes.

On the first day in easier scoring conditions with virtually no wind, it was Dan Garner and Jamie Moul who led the way with excellent 3 under par 67’s.

In all, some seventeen players either equalled or bettered the strict par of 70, including the eventual winner Taylor who was in the chasing pack led by Luke Fitzpatrick who carded a fine 2 under par 68.

The second day turned out to be a very different kettle of fish, with a strengthening wind developing through the morning and reaching a peak in the afternoon gusting, at times to 30 MPH and for the leaders it was going to be a trying time.

Taylor started the final round with a bogey but as so often happens good things then started to happen for him and with 3 birdies on the front nine he turned in 2 under par but still lagged behind Moul and the charging Liam Harper.

Taylor, playing 3 groups ahead of the first round leaders, then climbed aboard the “Birdie Train” and collected 4 of them in the first 5 holes of the back nine to lead the tournament on 6 under par.

Recent multiple winner Tom Speyer threatened to take the spoils with 2 birdies in the first four holes but then settled back on the “Par Train” and could make no further progress and finished on 3 under par for the tournament.

The charging Harper, who was playing alongside Speyer, saw his charge come to a halt on the back nine and in the end could only replicate his first round of one under par 69 and finish at 2 under par.

Then more drama as suddenly Taylors progress was halted with a nasty double bogey 6 on the seventeenth to fall back to 4 under par and now found himself one shot adrift of Moul, who had birdied the par 5 fourteenth.

To his credit Taylor steadied himself and finished with a par at the last and could then only sit and wait to see if 4 under par would be good enough for at least a play-off.

Moul had now reached the seventeenth but a tugged second that missed the green followed by a clumsy chip saw him card a bogey 5 and fall into a tie with Taylor at 4 under par.

Moul’s drive at the last was struck well but drifted left into the strategically placed fairway bunker and rolled into an awful position under the left hand lip, which meant he had to play the shot with one foot out of the bunker and one in it.

He could only manage to progress the ball some 30 odd yards forward and that still left him a lot to do in order to get up and down for par and a play-off with Taylor.

His approach was again slightly pulled and finished long and left of the last green and meant he now had to hole his chip shop to force a play-off.

Another poor chip and 2 putts later saw the unfortunate Moul slip into a tie for second place with Tom Speyer on 3 under par but a delighted Jay Taylor was over the moon to have won on the Jamega Tour again after some nine years.

We love coming to the Bedfordshire who always put on a good show for us and even the weather was good this time for a change.

Everyone in the clubhouse is helpful and nothing is too much trouble for any of them especially Abby, who looked after us very well indeed.