Crawford Takes the Biscuit

Liam Crawford, Gatton ManorLiam Crawford won the Jamega Pro Golf Tour title after first round leader Jamie Abbott tragically crumbled, in an exciting final days play at Gatton Manor.

Abbott’s first round was a brilliant effort in which he netted 7 birdies to equal the course record set by Mark Mouland, that was also set in a Jamega Tour event.

Abbotts nearest rivals were local hero Jonathan Poulton and the ever consistent Nick Newbold who both shot very creditable 3 under par 69’s to sit one shot ahead of the eventual winner Crawford and the redoubtable Steve Surry.

On the first day no one it seemed, apart from Abbott, could unravel the secret of the perfectly prepared greens that ran an impressive 11.5 on the Stimpmeter, so on the second day, with a four shot lead, it appeared the tournament was his for the taking.

However, the second day began badly for Abbott, when he started with a double bogey 6 at the very first hole and from then on he struggled and the battle for the win soon developed into a tussle between Surry and Crawford.

When the pair reached the thirteenth hole Crawford got to 8 under for the tournament with a fine birdie 4 and led Surry by a single shot.

Surry then bogeyed the fourteenth to slip two shots behind but then in a dramatic turn of events Crawford made a double bogey seven on the par 5 fifteenth and so with a solid par from Surry the pair were tied at 6 under par with 3 holes to play.

With Surry and Crawford watching each other, Poulton, in the last group, was joining the fray and quietly going along at 5 under par, he could well have a say in the final outcome

Surry then took the lead with a fine birdie three on the sixteenth but then even more drama unfolded as Surry hit a wild drive on the par 5 seventeenth and could eventually only hole out, from some 9 feet, for a triple bogey eight.

In a last ditch effort to force a play-off Surry found a rare birdie on the treacherous eighteenth hole but Crawford manfully holed out for a par and so became leader in the clubhouse on 6 under par.

In the final group, only Jonathan Poulton on 5 under par could catch Crawford with a birdie but despite getting his second shot onto the right hand fringe of the green, a clumsy chip resulted in a bogey 5 and that left Crawford as the worthy winner.

The course was prepared to perfection with greens that would not have looked out of place at Augusta National and our sincerest congratulations go out to Head Greens Keeper Rob Sebbage and his staff for producing such fine surfaces.

A friendly and welcoming clubhouse made this tournament a pleasure to be part of and we hope that Gatton Manor goes from strength to strength in the future.

Boyns Wins a Close Race [UPDATED - GALLERY ADDED]

Ryan Boyns collected his second professional win at Lingfield in Surrey after a devastating run to the finish line over the last few holes.

In near sub-tropical temperatures the first day turned out to be a test, not only of survival, but also a thorough examination of golf, which tested not only the players golf game but also their patience.

Ryan Boyns with Caddie
Winner, Ryan Boyns (right) pictured with his caddie, Sam Boyns
Two-time winner, George Mullins led the way on the first day with a 3 under par 69 and he was in front by a single shot from Tyler Hogarty, Steve Surry and the eventual winner, Ryan Boyns.

The only other player to break the strict par of 72 was Marcus Mohr, who carded a one under par 71 to head the chasing pack into the second day.

A slightly cooler day welcomed the runners on the second and final day at “The Races” but as the day wore on not only the did the temperature rise but also so did the tension amongst the leading players as they jockeyed for position.

Tyler Hogarty posted a 2 under par total in the company of his playing partner, Jamie Abbott, who carded a final total of one under par, so it was now a case of Hogarty waiting to see if that score would at least merit a play-off place.

However, he did not have long to wait as the leaders entered the home straight it was Boyns and Surry neck and neck on 3 under par, leading playing partner Mullins by a length, on 2 under par.

In the end, with a final effort it was Boyns who secured the vital birdie on the last to get one in front of Surry and secure his second win as a professional to go with his win on The Algarve Pro Golf Tour at Pinheiros Altos in 2015.

Lingfield Golf Club is located adjacent to the renowned Lingfield Race Course and it presents the player with a good test of golf over a carefully prepared tree lined course with superb greens.

This coupled with a very friendly and hospitable clubhouse, which also overlooks the race course, makes it one for the discerning golfer to pencil in for a great day’s golf.

BIG BEN Clocks Up First Pro Win

Ben LoughreyWrag Barn golfer Ben Loughrey claimed his first win as a professional today at The Wychwood golf club where he won in dramatic style after forcing his way into a play-off thanks to an eagle 2 at the par 4 last.

Loughrey trailed the first round leaders Sam Day and West Country legend Steve Surry by 2 shots after the leading pair shot 3 under par 69’s but with a tightly bunched leader board that included Dale Whitnell, Louis Hirst and Jamie Abbott on 2 under par it was difficult to predict a winner.

With a calmer second day offering an opportunity for some low scoring it seemed like everyone was going in reverse with no one making a dash for the winning post but then, later in the day things suddenly got exciting over the last 4 holes.

Having put himself in the mix following his opening day 71, Loughrey was in need of a sensational finish to chase down leaders Sam Day and Louis Hirst but as he stood on the fifteenth tee on one over par for the tournament it appeared to be a lost cause for Loughrey.

So with four holes to play and looking out of it, Loughrey suddenly found an unbelievable run of form and birdied the next three holes and holed out for an Eagle 2 at the eighteenth to post a 4 under par total.

Playing alongside Loughrey was Louis Hirst who had played steadily all day and finished, although in a more modest way than Loughrey, with just 3 birdies, to join his partner on 4 under par.

The pair then had a short wait for the final group to play the last in order to see if there was to be a play-off, or an outright winner and with Sam Day standing on the eighteenth tee on 5 under par it looked like the latter was the more likely outcome.

Any thought of laying up on the short par 4 and chipping on for an easy par and a one shot victory obviously did not appeal to Day as he pulled out a long iron and then sent the ball into the lateral hazard on the left of the hole, however, when found, it was playable, so Day decided to have a go.

He duly made contact with the ball but only to see it come up short and finish uncomfortably close to a tree but luckily for Day it was playable.

A decent chip onto the back of the green and a solid 2 putts saw Day bogey the hole and drop back to 4 under par to join Loughrey and Hirst in a 3 way, sudden death, play-off.

In the play-off, Loughrey had a couple of chances to claim an early win but it took until the fourth extra hole for the Wrag Barn star to eventually clinch the title where he drove the last green and 2 putted for birdie and his maiden professional victory.

After the dust had settled Loughrey said “The play-off was good, I had putts to win on the second and third play-off holes and finally got it done on the fourth.”

The Wychwood Golf Club is a hidden gem in the heart of The Cotswolds at Lynham near Shipton-under- Wychwood and it is a delightful, friendly and welcoming club with Tom, Jenny and Rob in the pro shop making sure things run smoothly.

The clubhouse staff make sure you are fed and watered well with delicious food and beverage that when the weather is kind can be taken on the elevated South terrace where you can enjoy an extensive view overlooking the eighteenth green.

A special thank you to the “Bunker Raking” members who make sure that all is well in the hazard department.

So please, when you are looking for a day out to play golf remember “The Wychwood”