A glorious Woodcote Park bathed in early autumn sunlight was a joy to behold on the first day and would be the scene of a dramatic turn around on the second day, but first the story of the first day.
Martin Sell blew the rest of the field away with a stunning 8 under par round of 64 to set a new course record and seemingly leave the rest of the field fighting it out for second place after establishing a 4 stroke lead to take into the second day.
Heading the chasing pack on a very respectable 4 under par were, Abs Mawji, Mark Laskey, Gary King and backing them up came no less than 18 players on par or better.
The local legion of heroes that was formed by Zane Scotland, Kieran Staunton and Head Professional Wraith Grant all performed well and were supported by a good number of members as they made their way around the golf course.
The second day dawned even better than the first, although when the sun disappeared behind the odd cloud or two you could certainly feel the nip of the impending winter in the air.
An interesting scenario was developing amongst the leaders although with no one appearing to want to take control of the tournament. Martin Sell after birdying the second hole to go to 9 under par and extend his lead then stumbled to the turn in 2 over par to drop back to 6 under for the tournament.
Mark Laskey never looked like a potential winner after dropping back to 1 under par after 5 holes but then he rallied to find 3 birdies and reach the turn back to where he had started, on 4 under par.
The determined and experienced former winner of the P.G.A Championship, Scott Drummond was the first to post a challenging target of 5 under par for the tournament and as things were not going well for the first round leaders, Drummond was going to hang around and hope.
Sell rallied a little with a birdie on the eleventh and Abs Mawji, also in the final group, was starting to mount a challenge finding several birdies on the back nine.
However in the group ahead, Mark Laskey found his putting boots and after a bogey on the tenth proceeded to reel off birdie after birdie over the last 8 holes and set the target of 8 under par for the final group to chase.
The first round leader, Sell was now down and out for the count after two more bogeys on the back nine holes scuppered his chances of another win and so it was left to Mawji who, if he birdied the par 5 eighteenth, could force a play-off.
He unfortunately ended up in the trees off the tee and only managed to bogey the hole which dropped him back into a tie for second place with Martin Sell on 6 under par.
Although disappointed at not finishing the job off, both Sell and Mawji each had a consolation cheque for £1,025 to ease their pain.
A surprised and delighted Mark Laskey gratefully accepted the winner’s cheque for £2,500 that will help pay for his trip to the U.S to compete in their tour school later on in the year.
Woodcote Park is one of our favourite stops on an extensive U.K schedule with delightful and supportive members and helpful clubhouse staff serving very reasonably priced food, it is a truly great club for individual golfers and societies to visit.
The course itself is kept in pristine condition by Course Manager, Gordon Bell and his dedicated team of green keepers who ensured that our players would want to return next year.
Next week sees us at Mentmore Golf club near Leighton Buzzard for what looks like a very busy event for the men plus our inaugural Jamega Ladies Pro Tour Tournament and on top of all this the Pro-am on Sunday looks to being a roaring success as well.