Bentham Wins “Duel in The Sun”
Reminiscent of the Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus “Duel in The Sun” at Turnberry in the 1977 Open Championship, Richard Bentham and Rhys Enoch battled it out over the final 18 holes at the wonderful Ashburnham links course on the South Wales coast.
The golf was, to say the least, spectacular with Bentham and Enoch trading blow for blow with a barrage of birdies but Craig Adams, who made up the last group, could not buy a putt despite giving himself numerous opportunities to join the fray.
Bentham led jointly with Adams after round one with both players fashioning 3 under par 69’s on a damp and difficult first day by the seaside to lead by one from Enoch and by three from the experienced journeyman Craig Farrelly.
The sun did finally make an appearance in the late afternoon and that was to cause a problem in the form of a fog delay of an hour and twenty minutes at the start of the second day.
When the fog finally disappeared and left the players with a warm, sunny and virtually windless day the early signs were that the scoring would be low when both Neil Chaudhuri and James Adams shot 4 under par 68’s to set the early clubhouse target at 2 under par.
Enoch and Bentham traded blow for blow over the front nine with both players extracting 4 birdies each to reach the turn in 32 shots, whilst Adams struggled on the opening few holes and fell behind after reaching the turn in one over par and never really caught up.
Enoch finally caught Bentham on the eleventh hole with a fine birdie 3 but Bentham hit back with back to back birdies on the thirteenth and fourteenth to lead by two with four to play.
Enoch then seemed to give it away with a bogey 5 on the fifteenth and so with Bentham leading by two with three to play, it seemed to be all over.
Both players parred the sixteenth but then, as the “Fat Lady” was warming up it all turned a bit dramatic, when on the seventeenth a bogey from Bentham and a strong birdie from Enoch brought the pair back to within one shot of each other once more.
The Eighteenth at Ashburnham is a tough finishing hole where you play your second shot up steep incline to a tricky raised green that can throw your ball back at you if you are in the slightest bit short with your approach.
In the end both players played the hole out in par and it was a delighted Bentham who enjoyed his first professional win ,with a one shot victory over the disappointed but gracious Enoch who said that although he had lost, it was a very enjoyable day.
Bentham now has a great start in the first of Five Order of Merits that run throughout the season, where the winner of each of these Mini 4 tournament Order of Merits wins a Free season on The Algarve Pro Golf Tour for 2016-2017 which is a prize worth nearly £4,000.
James Sewell was victorious in the one day amateur tournament with a score of 78 and wins a “Druh” Belt and the opportunity to participate in a three day tournament on the Algarve Pro Golf Tour.
Ashburnham is a little gem on the South coat of Wales and is a delight to play, giving players a taste of real “Links Golf” in a wonderful setting.
Our thanks go out to Paul, the head green keeper, for presenting the course in excellent condition and all the help and advice that he offered.
One of the best things Ashburnham has to offer is the fantastic hospitality and with the delicious home cooked food that the welcoming clubhouse has to offer and we would recommend it to golfers of all standards without reservation.