Laskey Triumphant in “Duel of The Dragons”
Mark Laskey won at Magnolia Park when he defeated fellow Welshman, Rhys Enoch at the first extra hole in an unusual sudden death play-off, but how Enoch got into the play-off is a story that will unfold later on.
The first day at Magnolia Park produced some excellent scoring, especially from Mark Laskey who battered the course into submission with a great score of 7 under par that contained 5 Birdies and 2 Eagles. Only bogies on the fifth and seventh hole blotted an otherwise perfect scorecard.
Sam Forgan, who had led for much of the first day on 6 under, was closely followed by Tyler Hogarty, Martin Sell, Charlie Simpson and last week's winner George Mullins on 4 under.
Nineteen other players made up the chasing pack, all on par or better, so the result was far from certain, although Laskey would take some stopping.
A very damp and dismal second morning greeted us and it was not expected to improve for the rest of the day unfortunately.
One player who seemed to relish the conditions was Rhys Enoch, who started to play some spectacular golf, covering the first nine holes in 5 under par.
Enoch then bagged 2 more Birdies on the tenth and thirteenth to reach 7 under par and with the leaders either treading water or doing the backstroke he smelt blood and pushed on and covered the last 5 holes in 3 under to finish on a fabulous 10 under par.
The overnight leader, Laskey, seemed to get things back under control when Birdie’s at the thirteenth and fourteenth put him at 11 under, one ahead of Enoch, with 4 to play.
However, Laskey then proceeded to give the shots straight back to the course with bogies at the fifteenth and sixteenth to leave Enoch, the leader by one shot, sitting in the clubhouse on an emotional roller coaster.
Laskey steadied the ship with a par at the seventeenth and knew he needed a Birdie at the par five eighteenth to tie Enoch or an Eagle to win.
He hit a magnificent second shot that found the heart of the green and gave himself a 20-foot putt for an Eagle and the win.
As the putt slipped agonisingly by Laskey could not hide his disappointment but he never the less tapped in for Birdie to set up a play-off with Enoch.
The sudden death play-off was to be over holes sixteen, seventeen and eighteen after an unbelievable afternoons play, where Enoch’s golf would have set the course on fire had it not been raining so hard and then Laskey’s grit and determination to force the play-off.
But it all came to an end rather quickly for Enoch when his tee shot found the right hand rough and despite a frantic search could not be found and with Laskey sat in the middle of the fairway, Enoch regrettably conceded the victory to Laskey.
The amateur prize to play golf in the Algarve and compete in a three round professional tournament was won by Adam Gaskins from Single Figure Golfer who shot an excellent one over par gross 74.
Magnolia Park is a hidden gem situated on the Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire border near Bicester and now the complex boasts a 40-bedroomed hotel it makes it an ideal venue for weddings, conferences and of course golf.