Mike Lowe, on top again

No one goes lower than The Lowe at Barnham Broom

Michael Lowe swept aside the opposition at Barnham Broom to win his second event on the spin. Playing superb golf Lowe spread-eagled the field on the first day with a masterfully crafted 7 under par 63.

European Tour member Andrew Marshall was Lowe’s nearest rival carding a solid 5 under par 65 to lead the chasing pack of James Ruth and Adam Stott on 4 under par with Gary King, David James and Paul Maddy sitting on their tail at 3 under.

The second day was all about catching the in form Michael Lowe but with a stiffish breeze sweeping across the Hill course that was not going to be easy as long as Lowe could keep his nerve and play sensible golf. 

Nick Pateman was the first to jump out of the pack and card a blemish free 5 under par 65 to lead the tournament at 3 under par.

Lee James, last weeks runner up, got his challenge going with back to back Eagles on 8 and 9 but failed to kick on, eventually finished on a total of 4 under par and the clubhouse lead. David James, who is at last seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, added a solid one under par 69 to his first round 67 that tied Lee James for the clubhouse lead.

In the final group Michael Lowe, with his brother on the bag, was maintaining a 4 shot advantage and with neither Marshall or Ruth challenging his position he had the luxury of strolling to his second victory in as many weeks and the winners cheque for £5,000. This brings Lowe’s earning to over £10,000 and on this form he will be challenging Lee James for the Order of Merit. The James Boys, David and Lee, shared second place each winning £1,250.

We are at the magnificent Frilford Heath next week playing the Blue Course so enter now or risk missing the boat.

We wish all 6 of our members who made it to The Open Championship, the very best of good fortune in their attempt to lift the Claret Jug.

A perfect ending!

Lowe Dumps the Monkey!

After several years of trying and nine second place finishes Michael Lowe finally got the monkey off his back and won his first professional tournament at the impressive Studley Wood golf course near Oxford.

The weather was hot on the first day but Michael Lowe’s golf was even hotter as he started with an eagle 2 at the par 4 first which 8 further birdies and another eagle followed on the ninth hole. Three bogeys punctuated an otherwise dream card and Lowe finally scored a new course record 9 under par 64. 

Last weeks winner Lee James, Trevor Jones and James Ruth all carded impressive 8 under par totals and were all surprised not to be leading going into day two. 

Michael Bush kept in touch with a 7 under par 66 just in front of Open qualifier Francis “Big Mac” McGuirk, former footballer Liam Robinson and Jonathon Poulton who were all on 6 under par. At the close of play on the first day some 41 players were under par and in with a chance of raiding the prize fund.

Day 2 dawned a little cooler and fresher with a slight breeze coming from the South West that was due to increase as the day wore on and so we were not expecting the heroic scoring of the first day. The first excitement of the day came in the form of a hole in one, with Michael McIntyre boxing his tee shot on the par 3 sixteenth and winning £100.

Former European Tour member Warren Bennett set the bar at 8 under par, adding a quality 5 under par 68 to his first round 70. Bennett was joined on 8 under fairly quickly by Chris Guy and both sat with a cuppa hoping for the best. Iwan Griffiths popped their balloon, soon after, by reaching 9 under with a flawless 4 birdie 69 and holding onto the dream of at least a play-off.

Of the leaders only Lowe and James looked the most likely to post a winning score as Jones stumbled along at 1 over par. James hit the front with a 3 birdie burst to reach 11 under after 15 and lead by 2 from Lowe who got back to 9 under par by also birdying the 15th after an adventurous first 14 holes!

The fat lady was doing her scales ready to sing as both Lowe and James parred the 16th to keep James 2 ahead with 2 to play and looking comfortable. Lowe being spurred on by his coach and caddie Matt Woods birdied 17 to reduce the deficit to one with the par 5 eighteenth to play.

Well what drama was to come with James looking favourite after holing out for a birdie Lowe was left with a 20 foot Eagle chance to tie and unbelievably, after starting the tournament with an Eagle he finished it with one and tied with James at 12 under par. Amongst all the drama Trevor Jones quietly birdied the last 3 holes to join Griffiths on 9 under par each winning £1,250.

The players arrived at the first play-off hole and Lowe, who won the toss, drove first sending his tee shot down the left side well away from the punitive fairway bunker on the right. James drove but his ball headed right and found the bunker leaving him a very difficult shot to the green.

James was first to play and produced a marvellous shot, which pitched on the front portion of the green but the ball gripped and spun back and down the steep slope fronting the green, leaving James with a very difficult up and down. Leaving nothing to chance Lowe played a sensible shot over the flag to the back fringe some 20 feet from the hole. James now knew he had to make par at least but a poor pitch left him 12 feet short of the hole and struggling. Lowe surveyed his putt from every angle and finally coaxed the ball to the hole side for a simple tap-in par.

James took very little time over his 12 footer and hit a weak putt which missed the hole on the right leaving a delighted Lowe the winner of his first tournament as a pro and a cheque for £5,000. James took home a cheque for £2,500 that took his season’s earnings on The Jamega Tour to over £20,000.

Studley Wood provides a wonderful course to play with superb greens and great food to eat with portions that would destroy anyone’s dietary willpower!

With Frilford Heath taking the place of the Magnolia Park venue at short notice we have been very lucky and it will be a very popular tournament so enter early to avoid disappointment.

Lee James takes Caversham by "Storm"

Lee JamesScorching weather and scorching golf was in abundance at Caversham Heath Golf Club on day one of our first tournament back after a two-week break.

With the temperature hitting the low thirties at times and very little wind the scoring was going to be low, even on this testing 7,000-yard golf course.

With the threat of thunder storms in the late afternoon the early starters had the best of the draw and Trevor Jones took full advantage and posted a 5 under par 68 to set the early pace.

Lee James, who is in the form of his life at the moment, soon overtook Jones carding a superb 6 under par 67.

Later on in the day word came back from the course that Chris Cousins was going on a birdie fest reaching the turn in 8 under par and then reaching 9 under after eleven holes it looked like a possible 59 was on the cards for Cousins.

At that point in his round either because of the enormity of what he was doing or the golfing Gods took exception to his making a mockery of the game the wheels on his wagon started to come off and he proceeded to play the remaining 7 holes in 5 over par, eventually finishing on 4 under.

Ben Martin joined Trevor Jones on 5 under par and they tucked just in behind the leader Lee James who was on 6 under par. Liam Crawford shot a creditable 4 under 69 to keep Cousins company on 4 under par. In all some 28 players managed to break par on the first day.

However after sitting at the top on his own for so long Lee James was joined late in the day by Martin Sell who equalled Jamesís 6 under effort.

Day 2 was a lot fresher and very still with, again the threat of thundery conditions later. Sure enough God started to move his furniture about upstairs and at 2pm the thunder and lightening started sending us in to an hour-long delay before we could re-start.

Scott Fallon was the first to show carding an excellent 5 under par 68 to add to his first round 74 to set the pace at 4 under.He was soon joined by Iwan Griffiths who added a solid 69 to his total. Himmat Rai from The Asian Tour, who is playing with us for a while, made it a threesome on 4 under carding a 3 under par 70 to add to his first round score of 72. John Chamberlain shot an excellent second day 68 to fly to the top of the Leaderboard on 7 under par.

Former European Tour player Warren Bennett surged to the top of the Leaderboard and join Chamberlain by shooting a 4 under par 69 to finish with the joint clubhouse lead on 7 under par.

Chris Cousins despite the collapse on the first day showed he had the bounce back ability factor by reaching 6 under par after 11 holes to hold the joint lead with Lee James on 10 under coming down the stretch.

Cousins was in the penultimate group and reached the 18th green knowing a par would see him finish on 10 under and force James to birdie the last to win. After what seemed like and age Cousins, who was putting from just off the front of the green, rammed his first effort some 12 feet past the hole and failed to make the return to bogey and drop back to 9 under par. This left James to make a par to win which he did with the simplest of tap-ins and pick up another first place cheque for £5,000. Chris Cousins showed courage and integrity in recovering from his day one stumble to finish in second place and collect a nice cheque for £2,500.

Trevor Jones although failing to have an impact on the final battle for first place in the end did manage to add £100 to his joint 3rd place cheque for £1,250 by holing out his tee shot on the 8th for a rare hole in one.

Caversham Heath is a fabulous venue with John the head green keeper keeping the course in pristine condition and Belinda in the clubhouse ensuring that everyone is kept fed and watered we would recommend you pay it a visit, you will not be disappointed.