Jamega's biggest ever 1st prize of £7000 goes to Francis McGuirk, at a windy Wawickshire
On to The Warwickshire to play The Earls Course which again was beautifully presented for the players but, who would make hay while the sun shone with our biggest ever first place cheque of £7,000 on offer to the winner?
With just the lightest of breezes it would be the early starters on day one that could take advantage if their game was on song.
We had the services of Colin (the Course Marshall) ensuring a smooth passage through the first hole and play started promptly at 7-00am and then it was a matter of waiting for the scores to role in.
As we suspected the scoring was going to be quite low in the benign conditions and sure enough Miles Mackman posted the early target of 5 under par 67 for the others to chase. Steve Surry, John Banbury and last weeks winner Lee James got to within one shot of Mackman, each of them scoring impressive 4 under par 68’s.
At the end of the long first day some 24 players out of the 138 strong field broke par, including local favourite Rory Kirwan but Mackman was still the king of the castle and would be looking to break his duck and win as a professional for the first time.
The wind was up on day two, coming from the prevailing South West, so the course would play as the architect Karl Litton intended. Simon Lilly and Ben Jones both added 3 under par 69’s to their first round 72’s to set a reasonable target of 3 under par for the leaders to beat. James Ruebotham joined the party on 3 under adding a one under par 71 to his first round 70.
In the final three groups it was Kieran Staunton who was making a charge with a blistering outward half of 3 under par 33 to reach 6 under par with nine holes to play. However his challenge floundered on the homeward run with two dropped shots that un-did all the good work of the first nine leaving him with the clubhouse lead at 4 under par.
The penultimate group included the experienced pair of Lee James and Francis McGuirk and it was McGuirk who was playing steady golf through the closing holes with par after par being tucked away whilst James was making no inroads on par at all. McGuirk refused a fairly simple offer of a birdie at the last and so settled for a final total of 6 under par and waited for the last group to appear.
In the last game Mackman was plodding along steadily keeping pace with McGuirk and Staunton over the front nine but a bogey littered back nine eventually dropped him down into a tie for 5th place on 3 under par. Mackman’s playing partner, Steve Surry going for broke trying to birdie the last for second place on his own blasted his first putt for birdie way past the hole but manfully holed the return to join Staunton and James on 4 under par each of them winning £2,000.
However it was McGuirk, who’s motto is “hit it hard, find it and hit it hard again”, who deservedly pocketed the first prize cheque for £7,000 with a fine display of golf over a testing layout.
With two tremendous golf courses and helpful staff providing a welcoming atmosphere there is no better place to play golf than The Warwickshire.