The County Championship was finally decided after the second sudden death play off hole when defending Champion Phil White finally overcame the challenge from Matt Kippen. Playing together in the last group, the pair shared the lead ofter the morning round with 3 under par rounds of 69. Back out again in the afternoon, challenges came from Jack Palmer, who added a 68 to his 72 of the morning to become leader in the Clubhouse. Josh Freeman also played consistently well all day as did Kobe Asdams, but the contest finally came down to the battle between Phil and Matt.
They both scored 69 again in the afternoon so the play-off beckoned - 4 holes of strokeplay to be followed if neccessary by sudden death. Holes selected were 1, 2, 17 and 18 and the players set off with a large entourage of supporters and well-wishers. Back in the Clubhouse we waited for news from the course. As the players approached the 18th tee it was confirmed that Phil was holding a 2 shot advantage over Matt.Phil's tee shot came up short but Matt found the green. Phil's chip came up short, as did his first putt. Matt hit a putt that just missed the hole, before Phils winning putt just skirted the hole to the left. Matt had "one of those" to take the match into sudden death which he sent nervelessly to the bottom of the cup.
Back to all square, and off again to the first tee, both found the green with their tee shots, the hole was halved so on to the second. This time, Phil managed to overcome Matt's courageous fightback to reclaim the title. We had all enjoyed an epic County Championship, superbly hosted by Minehead & West Somerset.
Kobe Adams finally won a County title that he richly deserved, becoming Colts Champion. Kobe has put his heart and soul into Somerset Golf, coming through the Junior ranks to becoming a first team player. This was a very popular win forsomeone liked and admired throughout the County, both for his skill and cheerful demeanour. The Arthur Evans Cup for the best Junior performance was won by Dylan Xanh from Mendip Spring GC.
The battle for the title of Champion Club in the County was won by Burnham & Berrow. The team of Phil White, Jeremy Larcombe and Ron Shroder beat Enmore Park by 2 shots.
There was a very tight finish to this years competition as Somerset's leading players battled it out for the honour of being crowned the County Champion. The course was superbly presented for the tournament, we were greeted by clear skies but a chill breeze that threatened to get stonger as the day progressed. We were very grateful to the Club for allowing us the luxury of a two tee start, enabling us to put out a field of 75 players.
The morning round was dominated by Jamie Li from Bath, who opened with the round of the day shooting a 4 under par 66 to lead by 3. Tying for second place were county stalwarts Matt Kippen and Phil White alongside Matt Turner. Oake Manor's Stuart Robson, a regular member of the SGU Seniors team, also shot 69 off a handicap of 4 which also led the nett competition. Defending Champion Tom Sloman and local favourite Sam Fernley both left themselves a lot to do with scores of 76 and 77.
As predicted, the breeze did pick up and scoring was more difficult in the afternoon as indicated by the CSS increasing by 2 to 72. Stuart Hale and Sam Fernley produced the lowest scores of the afternoon, both going round in level par 70. News coming in from the course was that the competition was hotting up but that Jamie was holding his nerve and the lead. All too often though the closing holes at Weston seem to trip up some of our players and this time it was Jamie who suffered the misfortune. His tee shot on 17 went out of bounds, and his approach to the green ended up in some punishing rough, he eventually holed out for a 9. He recovered his composure and finished with a par on 18 to join Matt Turner, Matt Kippen on 143. Clevedon's Andy Ferris followed his morning round of 71 with a 72 and finished in 2nd place overall on countback. The honours though went to Phil White whose eventual success in the competition was warmly greeted by all in the Clubhouse. In presenting the trophy, President Tommy Tulk congratulated Phil not only on todays success but for all he has contributed to golf in Somerset. I doubt that there has been a more popular winner.
Charlie Lewis from Wells ended with the best net score of 136 in his first ever County Championship - we are sure we will see that name again on future leaderboards.
The President also re-iterated our appreciation of all that the Club had done to make the championship such a success. General Manager Peter Lowery had been on hand all the way through the preparatory stages to offer his support and advice. The Bar and Catering teams were kept busy through the day supplying a very full clubhouse with a full range of food. As already stated, the Greenkeepers had presented the course in great condition, and we also had a full complement of Officers of the Club to witness the exciting finish. Captain Anthony McEvoy presented the prizes to the winning players, and we were delighted to see Club President Gary Homer and Chairman Roy Schubert in the clubhouse.
Next years competition will move to Minehead and West Somerset Golf Club, and we thank them in advance for their hospitality.
To see the championship results please click here
|Sunday 14th Mayl 2017||Minehead & W Somerset Golf Club|
We are grateful to the Club for allowing us to play our Championship on their course this year. Playing on a true golf links will be the ideal preparation for those aspiring to represent Somerset at South West Week at St Enodoc in June.
We will be experimenting with a 2 tee start for this years competition to try to improve the pace of play on the day. Entries are now beginning to increase and we are looking forward to some great scoring.
The County Championship was played in excellent conditions at Taunton & Pickeridge, the sun was out and there was only a light breeze to contend with. It was eveident that Jeff Mills and his team of greenkeepers had pulled out all the stops to present the course in such great condition. Everyone felt that there were going to be some low scores recorded on the day - and they were right!
Josh Freeman from Worlebury was the first to catch the eye when he came in with a 1 over par 70 before he was joined on this total by County players Phil White and Jeremy Larcombe. The round of the moning came from Mendip Springs player Will Poole. His 66 was 3 under par, 1 shot ahead of home player Tom Sloman. 1 shot further back were Jamie Li, newly crowned Junior Champion from Bath and Josh Hilleard from Farrington Park.
During the lunch break, the greenkeepers went back out on the course to cut and roll the greens again and it was evident that they would be a bit quicker in the afternoon! Josh Freeman shot another 70 and his consistencey was rewarded with the prize for the Best Net score of the day. Others tried to put pressure on the leaders with some low scores. Ian Parham from The Mendip shot 68, but his morning round of 76 kept him out of contention. Enmore Park's James Popham tied with Phil White on 141, but to be in with a shout would require another sub par round.
The big guns at the back of the field continued to battle it out. Will Poole could not match his morning form and his 72 left him in 4th place on level par, and 1 behind Jamie Li who finished 3rd. The contest came down to a shoot out between Josh and Tom. Honours were even on the front 9 - both going out in 34, but the back 9 saw the championship swing in Tom's favour. A birdie on 11 saw him increase his overall lead to 2 before a bogey from Josh on 12 cost him another shot. He recovered this with another birdie on 13 but Tom hit back with his own birdie on 15. Josh recorded a storming birdie eagle finish on 17 and 18, but Toms birdie on 18 was enough to clinch the Championship by 1 shot. His total of 132 is a new record for the Championship.
The SGU Executive would like to thank all of the members and staff at Taunton & Pickeridge for their hospitality and allowing us to hold our County Championship on their course. The support we received from Simon Stevenson and the Pro Shop team ensured that the competition was smoothly and efficiently run. Mark Readman was on hand throughout the day to offer his help and guidance, and the Bar & Catering teams led by Debbie Hutt kept players and officiials watered and nourished all day with great charm and efficiency. Thank so much T&P - a great club enjoying a fantastic year!
|Future Dates:||Sun 14th May 2017|
|Future Venues:||Minehead & West Somerset GC|
Matt Kippen - Enmore Park GC (County Champion) with Liam Copp - Farrington Park GC (Colts Champion)
County Championship – 2014
This year’s County Championship was played in ideal conditions at Orchardleigh Golf Club on Sunday the 18 th May 2014. The sun was shining the breeze was slight and the course was in superb condition. Tommy Tulk, our Vice President, acting as starter made sure that the players teed off on time and we saw some exceptional drives from the players. Unfortunately there was a holdup on the 3 rd which is a 225yard par 3 but having designated it a call through hole the field began to move more steadily. It is difficult to identify exactly what causes the field to be slow but it is significant that, having allowed 5 hours between rounds, some of the later starters ended up with 7 minutes for lunch before starting their second round.
The County Vice Captain, determined to be top of the leader board, returned his card very quickly to go top with a score of 84 but very quickly slipped down when his playing partners returned their cards seconds later with an 82 and an 81. Never mind Neil there is always next year.
Scores were less than expected with Mathew Parham the first to break 80 quickly followed by Frank Ellis with a 76. Scores started to improve as the lower handicap players returned their cards and it was Liam Copp, playing in the middle of the field, who set the target with a very good one under par 71. Tom Sloman, Josh Knight, Jeremy Larcombe and Sam Day all scored a creditable 75 and Matt Turner came closest to dislodging Liam with a level par 72. It was left to Matt Kippen to put pressure on Liam with another one under par 71. With 10 players within 6 shots of the joint leaders the championship was still wide open.
Once again it was Liam who set the standard for others to beat with a 76 and total of 147. Matt Turner and Jeremy Larcombe returned a total of 149 and Sam Day, Will Poole and Josh Hilleard, the only player to break par in the afternoon all scored a total of 148. Matt Kippen, three under par going through nine was looking good and improved to four under after 14 holes. With nine shots in the lead and 4 holes to go it looked a foregone conclusion but then Matt lost his putting touch and bogeyed the 15 th , 16 th , 17 th and 18 th but still managed a par round giving him a total of one under 143. Matt is a
previous winner of the County Championship in 2008 when he became the first player to win the County and Junior Championships in the same year. Congratulations Matt and good luck for the rest of the season. Well done to Liam who won the Colts Championship.
Picture shows Rob Edney, Captain of Orchardleigh, Matt Kippen County Champion, Liam Copp Colts Champion and Brian Evans, President of Somerset Golf Union