A very happy Lee James leaves the field standing on the silky-smooth greens at Aldwickbury Park, a runaway victory at 12 under par
Lee James strolled to a remarkably easy victory at Aldwickbury Park winning by no less than 9 shots to take his seasons earnings to over £27,000.
The first days play initially gave no clue to such a large victory with most players struggling to come to terms with the subtleties of the lay-out and the superbly presented, quick greens.
As the day un-folded it became clear that cream does indeed come to the top and in a high quality field, Challenge Tour regulars Raymond Russell, Mark Laskey were joined by Martin Sell to set a seemingly certain first day leading total of 3 under par.
Former European Tour player Andrew Marshall slid in behind the clubhouse leaders with a 2 under par 69 which was just one ahead of Chris Cousins on 70. With the wind gusting to 35 mph at times as the day wore on the greens got quicker and this suited multiple winner Lee James down to the ground.
James un-picked the Park course with the precision of a surgeon finding the ideal position off the tees and loving the fast greens James presented a flawless card which contained 6 birdies to set a new course record of 65 and take a 3 shot lead into the second day. The other highlight of the first day was a hole-in-one by Joe Kerry on the 17th which won him a cheque for £100.
With the wind a little softer at the dawn of day two the chasing pack hoped to put James under a bit of pressure with a fast start and Michael Moore showed what could be done, shooting up the leader board with a course record equalling 6 under par 65 setting the clubhouse lead at 2 under par.
Ryan Harrison overtook Moore carding a 5 under par 66 for a 3 under total for the tournament but as news filtered back from the on course scorer it became clear that this was not going to be good enough to win. With Laskey, Sell and Russell not getting their acts together to challenge for the lead Lee James continued to extract birdies from the course and when he birdied the par 3 seventeenth for the second time he enjoyed an incredible 10 shot lead playing the last.
Knowing he could not be caught James let his dogged concentration slip for the first time and 3 putted the last for yet another 6 under par 65 giving him a winning total of 130 and the first place cheque for £5,000.
Some 9 shots behind the winner, Laskey, Russell and Harrison shared second place and won £1,500 each as some consolation.
Aldwickbury Park presents a true challenge to golfers of all standards, with superb greens, of “European Tour” standard, looked after by green-staff who love what they do.
Our thanks to all the staff, not forgetting the catering department whose customer service was second to none, a credit to the management at Aldwickbury Park, a job well done.
This venue is highly recommended for a great day out, you won’t be disappointed!