Great Win by John Spagnuolo at Essendon
At last. at long, long last the Sun had got his hat on for a Jamega Tour event and with no rain forecast it was off with the waterproofs and gloves and on with the sun screen!
With the Essendon New course looking stunning in the early morning sunshine and with merely a breath of wind to ruffle the leaves in the trees a low score was on the cards.
With another very strong field of players including some from The Challenge Tour and former European Tour players it was going to be an exciting tournament for the Essendon members to enjoy.
It was John Spagnuolo, Dan Brooks and Yasin Ali who headed the field at the end of day one on four under par with Mark Laskey in hot pursuit on three and Tom Haylock, Shaun Mills, Abs Mawji and Nick Flynn tucked in behind on two under the par of 72
Some 23 players equalled par or bettered it on the day and they would all be in with a shout for the title on the second day.
Hot not only described the conditions on day 2, with temperatures predicted to be in the low thirties, but was also a good description of the golf played by Craig Farrelly and Liam Robinson the former Coventry City ball kicker, turned ball hitter.
Both players, who were paired together, started the day with Robinson on 2 over par and Farrelly on 1 over, so nothing much was really expected to come from the pairing in terms of a challenging for the win.
Well, how wrong can you be, with both players feeding off each other they both reached the turn in 6 under par with 4 birdies and an Eagle each.
The back nine continued in the same vein with birdies flying in from everywhere they both eventually finished on a total of 7 under par for the tournament and had a realistic chance of at least a play-off.
Robinson's magnificent score of nine under par 63 would have been a new course record except for the fact that we were playing preferred lies.
In the final group Dan Brooks and John Spagnuolo were plodding along through the front nine holes, compared to Robinson and Farrelly, with Brooks still at 4 under par and although Spagnuolo had improved his total to 6 under he was still one behind the two clubhouse leaders Robinson and Farrelly with 9 to play.
On the homeward stretch Spagnuolo and Brooks upped their game a notch and each had 4 birdies to savour coming home and that was good enough for a comfortable win for Spagnuolo and a cheque for £5,000 with Brook's getting the second place purse of £2,000.
With their last round heroics, Robinson and Farrelly leapt up the Leaderboard to finish tied third with Tom Haylock, with each of them winning £1,066 for their efforts.
Essendon also had the distinction of being the venue for the second of our "Super Seven" bonus prize-pools, an extra £3500 available to those finishing in the top 3 positions(qualifying by being a Full Member of the tour & playing a minimum of 3 of the last 7 of our events). This extra bonus went to Liam Robinson, £2000, Mark Laskey £1000 and James Ruebotham a bonus £500.
The next "Super Seven" bonus money will be played for at Bowood Golf & CC, 10th/11th September, make sure you qualify for this one!
With the course in excellent condition and with greens as good as you will get anywhere the players were unanimous in their praise for the hard work put in by Course Manager Craig and his team of green staff.
Essendon Golf Club, formerly known as Hatfield, is a fantastic "hidden gem" in Hertfordshire countryside just a few miles off the M25.
With 2 great golf courses, the Old and the New, and a superb clubhouse staffed by the most accommodating and helpful people you could wish to find, it must be a stop on every golfers quest for perfection.