Laurie Delivers the Win

Laurie Canter

West Countries Laurie Canter wins at The Players Club after a tense and prolonged play off against Jack Heasman but it was the young amateur prodigy Bradley Moore who stole most of the limelight this week.

Due to a very moist first day where heavy showers kept blowing through and soaking the course at The Players Club it was decided, after several unsuccessful re starts, to abandon the day and play 36 holes on the second day.

The forecast was set fair and play started at 7-45am and fingers were crossed that we would have no more rain and we could get the tournament finished and despite several “experts” saying we would not be able to complete 36 holes in one day, we did!

The young amateur Bradley Moore, who has won “The Carris Trophy” and “The British Boys Championship” this year, led after the first round with a stunning 9 under par 63 that included 7 birdies and a Hole-in-One on the par 3 tenth.

Moore led by 3 shots going into the second round of this marathon 36 hole day but with the likes of Laurie Canter (Cumberwell Park), Martin Sell (Wrag Barn) and the very experienced Paul Streeter (Lincoln Golf Centre) in the chasing pack it would be interesting to see if Moore could hold on and be the first amateur to win on the tour.

We also had several dark horses playing this week including Jack Heasman (66) and Luke Johnson (68), both former England Internationals, who had the fire power to win the tournament.

As the scores came in for the second round it became clear that low scoring was possible given the receptive greens that had near perfect surfaces thanks to the epic efforts of the greens staff at The Players.

Moore was going along nicely until he was hit with a 3 shot penalty for an inadvertent rules infringement on the sixth hole that knocked him back to 7 under par.

Showing massive resolve and fighting spirit the young man played out the remaining twelve holes in 5 under par and set a very realistic target of 12 under par.

The very talented Bath professional Laurie Canter, who is based at Cumberwell Park, with the help of his loyal bag man, James Hannam, joined Moore on 12 under par adding a 7 under par 65 to his first round 67.

Canter waited and hoped that his total would be good enough to clinch the professional prize but as luck would have it Jack Heasman, in the final group, handed in his second 66 of the day, to join Canter on 12 under par and so into a playoff they went.

Bradley Moore would not be joining the battle for the title as he had elected to leave for home but in any event, as an amateur, he could not win any of the money on offer. However he will be in receipt of some worthwhile and memorable prizes.

With the first 2 holes of the play off halved in par fours and the light failing fast it was decided that they should return in the morning to continue the battle in order to find a winner.

With everyone assembled on the par four fourteenth tee the third extra hole of the playoff began with both players hitting good tee shots and with Canter being the longer of the two it was Heasmans shot first from fluffy lie in the semi rough.

Heasman unfortunately catches a flyer and his ball ends up in the back bunker while Canter’s second shot safely finds the green, some 25 feet from the cup.

Heasman’s bunker shot leaves him a long putt to save par and from around 40 feet he fails to find the bottom of the cup so this leaves Canter 2 putts for the win and he makes no mistake by using both for par and the win.

Despite the weather on the first day we found the Players Club pulled out all the stops to help us finish the tournament and our thanks go out to all who contributed towards making the event a success, from the dedicated green keepers to the welcoming and friendly clubhouse staff.

Curtis is the “Don” of Donnington

Thomas CurtisThomas Curtis reacquainted himself with the Jamega Tour after a hard fought playoff win against Ben Smith with a birdie at the second extra hole at the magnificent Donnington Grove near Newbury.

With Donnington Grove playing longer than normal, due to the heavy rain over the previous few days there were only 8 players who either equalled par or managed to better it.

One was Donnington Groves very own, Matt Briggs who jointly led the way with Ben Smith on 2 under par.

Craig Ainsley was the solitary player on one under par and he led a group of 5 players on level par which included the amateur, Kevin Flack from the USA who is also making a welcome return to the Jamega Tour.

The group on level par also included Jamie Moul, Will Bailey, Josh Carpenter and Martin Sell who was looking to add to his impressive number of wins on the Jamega Tour over the years.

So the second day could throw up some interesting scenarios such as; could the Donnington Grove veteran, Matt Briggs use his local knowledge to hold the young guns at bay and provide some cheer for the members or, would he succumb to the challenge of the young bucks.

Donnington Grove is a Championship course and is never going to be beaten up with a low scoring tournament and this proved to be the case this week.

On the second day several players were improving on their first round scores including the likes of Ben Loughrey and Sam Whitehead who with their “never say die” mentality saw their grit and determination rewarded with elevation into the prize fund.

Whitehead improved on his first round by 7 shots and carded a 4 under par 68 to finish on one under par for the tournament but it was to come up a couple of shots shy in the final shakeup, whilst Loughrey carded a 3 under par 69 to finish level for the event.

However it was Thomas Curtis flew through the field with a 4 under par 68 to set a clubhouse target of 3 under par but with several groups left to come in it would be a nervous wait for Curtis to see if it was to be good enough.

Will Bailey was playing a composed second round and stood on the eighteenth tee at three under par for the tournament and after successfully climbing aboard the green in regulation, just had to negotiate the 25 feet or so between him and the hole in no more than 2 putts.

His first putt finished about a yard away from the cup but his subsequent miss eventually condemned a very disappointed Bailey to a third place finish.

Ben Smith, in the final group of the day, also had a chance to win the event in real time when he arrived at the difficult par 3 seventeenth at four under par but an ill timed bogey dropped him back to 3 under par and a regulation 4 at the last meant he joined Curtis in a sudden death play off over the first and ninth holes.

Local hero Briggs, playing in the last group of the day, could not replicate his first round heroics and eventually finished on level par for the tournament and a joint fifth place finish.

The first hole of the playoff was halved in regulation par fours but Curtis found the resolve to birdie the second extra hole and was delighted to have won against a strong field and especially over a demanding championship golf course.

We have a week off now and return to action on the 14th of September at The Players Club just off the M4 near Bristol.

Samuels is “Top Gun” at Enfield

Gavin SamuelsGavin Samuels won his first Jamega Tour event after a two hole, sudden death play-off against Jamie Moul, when the pair tied on 7 under par at the end of a rain sodden two days at Enfield Golf Club.

The golf club is situated in Enfield on the northern outskirts of London, where a government arms works was established in 1804 to assemble "Brown Bess" flintlock muskets. The first rifle to bear the Enfield name, however, was the Enfield Rifle of 1853 but nowadays just golf shots are heard being fired on this delightful course.

The first day was beleaguered by rain and eventually forced a two and a half hour delay in the middle of the day but after the rain cleared, play resumed and eventually the days play was completed.

Last weeks “Bridesmaid”, Jamie Moul, led at the end of the day after compiling a fine 5 under par 67 but he only held a slender one shot lead over the eventual winner Samuels, Jonathan Mullaney and former European Tour regular Tom Whitehouse.

Moul was in determined mood to be the “Bride” this week but with some thirty or so players scoring par or better over this par 72, James Braid designed course set in suburban North London, the second day could throw up a winner from anywhere.

With another dismal weather forecast for the afternoon of the second day it was decided to use a two tee start to take advantage of the good weather that was to prevail in the morning.

Ben Herbert and Lloyd Kennedy set an early target of 4 under par but they would have a little while to wait to see if the worsening weather conditions would take its toll on the leaders, who still had several holes left to play in the rain that was getting heavier by the minute.

Tom Whitehouse, in the penultimate group, dashed the hopes of Kennedy and Herbert by carding a one under par 71 for a final total of 5 under and just a chance of getting into a play-off.

As the weather really closed in and the squeegee came into its own, clearing the eighteenth green so play could be completed, Samuels came to it with a one shot lead over Moul but then Moul hit Samuels with a birdie to take the tournament into extra time as both players finished on 7 under.

The first play-off hole was halved in pars and so both players made their way back to the tee and play the eighteenth again but this time Samuels decided the matter with a solid par and his first Jamega Tour win.

On the Sunday prior to the main event we ran a Pro-Am on behalf of the club and it was a splendid affair with 41 teams participating and even the miserable weather conditions could not dampen the spirits of the golfers.

Some great stableford scores came in and eventually the winners, on count back, with 91 points, were “Team Storey” led by team professional Sam Watts who pipped “Team Wright” led by team professional Liam Harper.

The leading professional score was an impressive 8 under par 64 by Mason Papple who prevailed over Nick Cunningham and Adam Forster who both shot very decent 6 under par totals.

The Enfield club is a little slice of golfing heaven with a course that is maintained to the highest standards by the dedicated green keeping team and is guaranteed to give you a very enjoyable golfing day.

After your round you can enjoy some of the delicious food available on the varied club menu and “Specials” board but make sure you have a healthy appetite because the portions served up are very large!