Abbott is The Player’s Player
Jamie Abbott captured the Players title after a tense play-off against Sam Day, after Day had set a clubhouse target of 7 under par which sent Elliott Groves home after a lengthy wait to see if his final total of 6 under would be good enough for at least a play-off place.
Abbott, who is in a rich vein of form at the moment, trailed the first round leader, former two-time Walker Cupper, Rhys Pugh by a single shot after Pugh scored an impressive 4 under par 68, however Pugh could not carry his fine form on into the final round.
Starting on 2 under par, Day, in the penultimate group, found some brilliant form over the final day which saw him shoot a flawless 5 under par 67.
Day had a steady but unspectacular front nine holes that cumulated with a birdie at the ninth and that seemed to light the blue touch paper and he then harvested 4 more birdies on the back nine that saw him set the benchmark at 7 under par.
So it was going to be a nervy wait for Day until the final group came home but with Abbott at 8 under with 6 holes to play it looked like a lost cause.
Abbott held onto his slender lead until the fifteenth hole where he took a bogey to drop back into a tie with Day and regulation pars from Abbott over the closing holes saw us into a sudden death play-off over the fourteenth and eighteenth holes.
Both players hit great tee shots at the first extra hole and Abbott hit his second shot to within 14 feet of the cup whilst Day’s ball went wandering some 35 feet away from the hole.
Day putted up first to about 4 feet shy of the hole which left Abbott with a shot at the win but he missed his chance and so Day needed to hole out from 4 feet to continue but before finding the bottom his ball took the scenic route around the edge of the hole.
Good tee shots from both players on the second play-off hole left Day to play first and a well struck iron shot saw the ball suck back off the front of the green.
Abbott managed to hold the green some 25 feet from the hole and give himself a chance for a birdie and so Day had to at least get up and down to stand a chance of continuing proceedings,
His chip on finished three feet or so from the cup and so Abbott had his chance to win but again just missed his birdie but tapped in for par.
Day therefore had to hole his putt to continue but his luck unfortunately ran out and he missed, which left Abbott the worthy winner over a disappointed Sam Day.
The only disappointing element of the tournament was the weather which threatened thunder storms and torrential rain but in the end we managed to miss most of it and finished on time.
The Players club is one of our favourite venues, where we and the players are always made to feel welcome and where nothing is too much trouble for the clubhouse staff and the course is always beautifully presented.