Lee James cruises to his 5th win, at Aldwickbury Park

A very happy Lee James leaves the field standing on the silky-smooth greens at Aldwickbury Park, a runaway victory at 12 under par

Lee James strolled to a remarkably easy victory at Aldwickbury Park winning by no less than 9 shots to take his seasons earnings to over £27,000.

The first days play initially gave no clue to such a large victory with most players struggling to come to terms with the subtleties of the lay-out and the superbly presented, quick greens.

As the day un-folded it became clear that cream does indeed come to the top and in a high quality field, Challenge Tour regulars Raymond Russell, Mark Laskey were joined by Martin Sell to set a seemingly certain first day leading total of 3 under par.

Former European Tour player Andrew Marshall slid in behind the clubhouse leaders with a 2 under par 69 which was just one ahead of Chris Cousins on 70. With the wind gusting to 35 mph at times as the day wore on the greens got quicker and this suited multiple winner Lee James down to the ground.

James un-picked the Park course with the precision of a surgeon finding the ideal position off the tees and loving the fast greens James presented a flawless card which contained 6 birdies to set a new course record of 65 and take a 3 shot lead into the second day. The other highlight of the first day was a hole-in-one by Joe Kerry on the 17th which won him a cheque for £100.

With the wind a little softer at the dawn of day two the chasing pack hoped to put James under a bit of pressure with a fast start and Michael Moore showed what could be done, shooting up the leader board with a course record equalling 6 under par 65 setting the clubhouse lead at 2 under par.

Ryan Harrison overtook Moore carding a 5 under par 66 for a 3 under total for the tournament but as news filtered back from the on course scorer it became clear that this was not going to be good enough to win. With Laskey, Sell and Russell not getting their acts together to challenge for the lead Lee James continued to extract birdies from the course and when he birdied the par 3 seventeenth for the second time he enjoyed an incredible 10 shot lead playing the last.

Knowing he could not be caught James let his dogged concentration slip for the first time and 3 putted the last for yet another 6 under par 65 giving him a winning total of 130 and the first place cheque for £5,000.

Some 9 shots behind the winner, Laskey, Russell and Harrison shared second place and won £1,500 each as some consolation.

Aldwickbury Park presents a true challenge to golfers of all standards, with superb greens, of “European Tour” standard, looked after by green-staff who love what they do.

Our thanks to all the staff, not forgetting the catering department whose customer service was second to none, a credit to the  management at Aldwickbury Park, a job well done.

This venue is highly recommended for a great day out, you won’t be disappointed!

Birdie blitz for ex Tour player, Mark Smith

A stunning birdie finish secures Mark Smiths first Jamega Pro Golf Tour win

A high quality field at The Warwickshire Kings course would surely give up a quality winner and with 32 players breaching par on the first day it was going to be a battle to produce a clear winner.

Last weeks hero, James Ruth, was looking to be the third back to back winner of the season and started well carding a 6 under par 66 to be joint leader with Craig Farrelly and Neil Reilly.

Tucked in behind the leading trio came Stuart Hemming and Mark Smith both scoring 5 under par 67’s to lead the chasing pack. The hot golf continued to match the weather and four players, Richard Gurney, Mark Laskey, Adam Gray and Mark Davies, drifted in on the blind side to back up the leaders of the pack each scoring 4 under par 68’s.

The only downside to the first days play was the tediously slow play that everyone moans about but is never guilty of!

The second day felt a lot fresher with a little breeze to take away the humidity and that helped to speed up play no end. It also helped former European Tour Member Warren Bennett to compile an 8 birdie 1 bogey round to set the clubhouse benchmark at 7 under par which, with the news that the leaders where not progressing beyond that total, made us think it may end in a play-off situation. Nick Redfern visiting from the Asian Tour equalled the 7 under total by adding a 68 to his first round 69. Mark Laskey and Mark Davies joined the party at 7 under both adding 3 under par 69’s to their first round 68’s.

With the leaders not really doing much and Mark Smith hanging on to 7 under with 6 to go we thought it looked more and more like a multi player play-off.  Then Mark smith lit the blue touch paper and started off on an explosive run of form and captured 4 birdies in the last 5 holes to race into the clubhouse lead on 11 under par.

As Smiths putt found the bottom of the hole for the final birdie on the par five 18th James Ruths ball slowly rolled onto the green missing Mark Smiths foot by inches. Ruth was apologetic claiming he was laying up with a 2 iron from 260 yards but just nutted it!!

Ruth rolled in the putt for Eagle which moved him out of the log-jam on 7 under to secure second place on 8 under par to win a cheque for £2,500.

Mark Smith showed his class in the final few holes and was rewarded with the winner’s cheque for £5,000.

The Warwickshire is one of our favourite stops on tour with 2 great golf courses looked after by green keepers who love what they do and the most friendly and helpful clubhouse staff who serve up the reasonably priced food from the extensive menu.

If you are near Kenilworth then play The Warwickshire, you will not be disappointed.

Next week sees us at Aldwickbury Park near Harpenden in Hertfordshire which is reputed to have greens that are near perfect and lightning fast. Bring it on!

James Ruth (St Mellion) first Jamega win

James Ruth (St Mellion) creates new course record on the way to his first Jamega win

Ruth started the tournament with a relatively quiet first round of 2 under par 70 to sit 3 off the lead that was jointly held by Nick Pateman and Australia’s Nigel Lane on 5 under par.

Challenge Tour regular Tom Whitehouse put himself in the mix with a solid 4 under par 68 to lead the chasing pack of Iwan Griffiths and Richard Prophet on 3 under par, whilst eventual winner James Ruth enjoyed the company of Richard Tagg and Kieran Staunton on 2 under par.

Liam Robinson returned a 1 under par 71 which involved an unusual par at the 15th hole with his ball perched on a muddy patch in a water hazard Robinson decided to play the ball rather than accept a penalty drop.

Thinking he might just get a bit mucky around the ankle area, off came the shoes and socks and he took his stance at the ball and started to sink, gripped down on the club a bit more, continuing to sink and re-grip Robinson decided he’d better get the ball and himself out which he just managed to do in the nick of time and salvaged a gutsy par as his reward.

The second day also contained some unusual and amusing golfing stories with last week’s winner Steve Tooth holing out with a 5 iron for a spectacular and rare Albatross 2 at the par 5 ninth hole and Matt Fryer doing a Richard Finch falling into a muddy hazard whilst playing a shot! Tooth kept things going and posted a 6 under par 66 to set the clubhouse target at 3 under par. 

Will Harvey soon passing Tooth, by adding a 5 under par 67 to his first round 73 to assume the clubhouse lead on 4 under par. Ex European Tour player, Warren Bennett, with the help of his new man on the bag, his young son Tom, showed his class compiling a flawless 6 under par 66 to top the leader board for a time.

In the final group it was drama and fireworks all the way for Nigel Lane and James Ruth.

With his heart sinking along with his ball in the lateral hazard on the first hole Ruth must have wondered what was to come after dropping a shot at the very start of his final round. Playing alongside Ruth, Australia’s Nigel Lane was finding the going tough on the front half turning in one over par while an inspired Ruth finished the front nine in 32 to set up a back nine shoot-out with Lane.

Both players birdied the 10th but then Lane sniffed a chance of victory when he Eagled the 11th to lead by one after Ruth bogeyed the same hole. Ruth steadied himself with a couple of pars to remain one behind Lane, then the pedal hit the metal as Ruth birdied the next three holes to overtake Lane to lead by 2 shots.

Both players finishing the last two holes par, birdie to leave Ruth the winner by 2 shots earning a 1st place cheque of £5,000 from the gallant Nigel Lane who earned £1,500 for his 2nd spot finish.

The Shropshire has an excellent layout and we would recommend it to one and all.

Our next event at The Warwickshire has attracted a high quality field so come and join us and play against the best on the best.