Challenge Tour player, Dale Whitnell's First Jamega win

Challenge Tour player, Dale Whitnell with amazing consistancy ( missing just 1 green in 36)
takes his first Jamega win

With unusually light winds to deal with the players were in confident mood that the scoring would be low over the short but tricky course at The Bristol Golf Club which starts atop a hill with stunning views overlooking The Severn Estuary with the Welsh hills beyond.

Dale Whitnell produced the low round of the day reducing the 6100 yard layout to a mere 64 shots to head the leader board on 6 under par.

Close behind, snapping at his heels, came Jonathan Caldwell on 5 under par 65. Liam Robinson who is showing good form of late was a further shot adrift on 4 under par.

The former BMW PGA winner Scott Drummond was well in the hunt on 3 under par alongside Kieran Staunton, the ever present James Ablett and Ryan Adair who is just getting back into tournament golf. In all some 17 players broke the par of 70 leaving the tournament wide open for anyone to win.

Fortunately the horrendous weather forecast for the second day failed to materialise and despite windier conditions the general scoring seemed to be better especially for Challenge Tour player Kyron Sullivan who holed in one at the par 3 second on his way to a second round 3 under par 67 and a bonus prize of £100.

Lee James set the early clubhouse target at 6 under par thanks to a blistering last 5 holes that he completed in no less than 6 under the card!

Sam Robinson soon spoiled James’s day by adding his own 6 under par effort to his first round 1 under 69 to take the clubhouse lead on 7 under par. Asian Tour player Yasin Ali equalled Robinson’s final total and both had to sit it out and wait for the final two groups to appear.

In the penultimate group only Scott Drummond made the clubhouse leaders sweat a bit scoring a second 67 that saw him finish on 6 under par.

As the last group approached the last green a rash of rulings were required including a bizarre incident when the Jamega tour van saved Liam Robinson’s ball from going out of bounds over the back of the green when his ball stuck the side of the lorry and just bounced back in play!

The remaining members of the group Jonathan Caldwell and Dale Whitnell, who were both tied at 9 under par, waited patiently while all this was going on as they prepared to act out the final scene of the event.

It was Caldwell to play first, having to hole from some 20 feet to remain at 9 under par and tied with Whitnell, who had a chance of a birdie from around 15 feet to put the matter beyond doubt.

Caldwell narrowly missed his par save and dropped back to 8 under par which then left Whitnell with the seemingly easy task of two putting from 15 feet for the win. “It went orf in me hands guv” can best describe Whitnell’s first putt that raced by the hole finishing some 4 feet past leaving him a tricky putt to win.

With nerves of steel Whitnell bravely holed out for the narrowest of wins and a nice cheque for £5,000. This left Caldwell in second place on his own with a consolation cheque for £2,000.

The Bristol Golf Club is easy on the eye and a good course to play with excellent facilities and a clubhouse where you can be fed and watered at a reasonable price. It’s well worth a visit after you’ve dropped the spouse off at the magnificent Cribbs Causeway shopping Mall!

Mark Smith wins at The Players Club

Smith Hammers out Players Club Win

Mark Smith finally overcame a doggedly determined Martin Sell on the 7th hole of a marathon play-off at The Players Club to win his second event of the year.

The first day produced 21 players who shot under par on the testing but very fair Players Club. The two players heading the chase for the first prize cheque of £5,000 were Yasin Ali from The Asian Tour and Challenge Tour member Lee Corfield, who both carded 5 under par 65’s.

Tucked in behind the leading pair on 4 under par sat Adam Wootton looking to win his first cheque with The Jamega Tour.

A group of 5 players were a further shot adrift of the leaders on 3 under par including Alex Hogben, Will Johnson, Kris Jones, Players Club specialist Andrew Willey and eventual winner Mark Smith.

The breeze was up on the second day and we imagined that the scoring would not be as low as it was on the first day. As most of the leaders struggled with the gusty conditions, it was Martin Sell who threw caution to the wind after his one over par 71 effort on day one and swept up the leader board scoring a blemish free 6 under par 64 which contained 4 birdies and an Eagle on the par 4 ninth.

This put Sell at the head of the clubhouse leader board on 5 under par and given the news from the course that none of the leaders were making a move Sell was quietly optimistic and not leaving the premises.

After a short caddying career James Sheffield returned to tournament golf and gave Sell a scare by adding a second 2 under par 68 to finish just short of him at 4 under par.

Jay Beisser found some consistency at last and joined Sheffield at 4 under par after also carding a second 68 to his first round total. Mark Smith stumbled through the first nine holes in one over par but then kicked himself in the backside to play the last nine in 3 under and tie Sell for the clubhouse lead.

First round joint leader, Lee Corfield stood on the 15th tee leading at 6 under, then proceeded to “trip up”, bogey, bogey, to drop out of contention, eventually to finish tied 3rd with James Sheffield and Jay Beisser each winning, £1067.
The sudden death play-off, over holes 14 &18, between a surprised Sell and a delighted Smith. During the first 6 holes both of them played near faultless golf, with Sell possibly having the best opportunity but failed to have that killer instinct.

And so it was not until the 7th extra hole that Mark Smith broke the deadlock, sinking his winning putt of some 5 feet to take his second Jamega Pro Golf event of the year and banking a cheque for £5,000. A disappointed Martin Sell had the consolation of £2,500 to soften the blow of defeat.

The championship Course at The Players Club was as usual one of the best courses we visit and now with the addition of a shorter new 18 hole Course, it presents the complete package for the discerning golfer.

When you add in fantastic practice facilities and friendly clubhouse hospitality, this has to be a definite stop, for a great days golf.

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!