Scorching weather and scorching golf was in abundance at Caversham Heath Golf Club on day one of our first tournament back after a two-week break.
With the temperature hitting the low thirties at times and very little wind the scoring was going to be low, even on this testing 7,000-yard golf course.
With the threat of thunder storms in the late afternoon the early starters had the best of the draw and Trevor Jones took full advantage and posted a 5 under par 68 to set the early pace.
Lee James, who is in the form of his life at the moment, soon overtook Jones carding a superb 6 under par 67.
Later on in the day word came back from the course that Chris Cousins was going on a birdie fest reaching the turn in 8 under par and then reaching 9 under after eleven holes it looked like a possible 59 was on the cards for Cousins.
At that point in his round either because of the enormity of what he was doing or the golfing Gods took exception to his making a mockery of the game the wheels on his wagon started to come off and he proceeded to play the remaining 7 holes in 5 over par, eventually finishing on 4 under.
Ben Martin joined Trevor Jones on 5 under par and they tucked just in behind the leader Lee James who was on 6 under par. Liam Crawford shot a creditable 4 under 69 to keep Cousins company on 4 under par. In all some 28 players managed to break par on the first day.
However after sitting at the top on his own for so long Lee James was joined late in the day by Martin Sell who equalled Jamesís 6 under effort.
Day 2 was a lot fresher and very still with, again the threat of thundery conditions later. Sure enough God started to move his furniture about upstairs and at 2pm the thunder and lightening started sending us in to an hour-long delay before we could re-start.
Scott Fallon was the first to show carding an excellent 5 under par 68 to add to his first round 74 to set the pace at 4 under.He was soon joined by Iwan Griffiths who added a solid 69 to his total. Himmat Rai from The Asian Tour, who is playing with us for a while, made it a threesome on 4 under carding a 3 under par 70 to add to his first round score of 72. John Chamberlain shot an excellent second day 68 to fly to the top of the Leaderboard on 7 under par.
Former European Tour player Warren Bennett surged to the top of the Leaderboard and join Chamberlain by shooting a 4 under par 69 to finish with the joint clubhouse lead on 7 under par.
Chris Cousins despite the collapse on the first day showed he had the bounce back ability factor by reaching 6 under par after 11 holes to hold the joint lead with Lee James on 10 under coming down the stretch.
Cousins was in the penultimate group and reached the 18th green knowing a par would see him finish on 10 under and force James to birdie the last to win. After what seemed like and age Cousins, who was putting from just off the front of the green, rammed his first effort some 12 feet past the hole and failed to make the return to bogey and drop back to 9 under par. This left James to make a par to win which he did with the simplest of tap-ins and pick up another first place cheque for £5,000. Chris Cousins showed courage and integrity in recovering from his day one stumble to finish in second place and collect a nice cheque for £2,500.
Trevor Jones although failing to have an impact on the final battle for first place in the end did manage to add £100 to his joint 3rd place cheque for £1,250 by holing out his tee shot on the 8th for a rare hole in one.
Caversham Heath is a fabulous venue with John the head green keeper keeping the course in pristine condition and Belinda in the clubhouse ensuring that everyone is kept fed and watered we would recommend you pay it a visit, you will not be disappointed.