This year was the 4th Club Championship
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‘The George Sargent Club Championship goes to a sudden death play off.
This year was the 4th Club Championship and was held on the 8th of September, with this year having the maximum entry of 24, playing a 36 hole gross competition. The morning round started in cloudy weather and light showers with a difficult breeze for the players to contend with.The course was in very good condition with new pin placements and greens cut before the players started their round. After the 1st round it was Fergus Barron who had put an excellent round of 70 together , taking a one shot lead into the 2nd round from Lewis Eccles one shot behind, both having a clear lead over the rest of the field. For the second round the players had to deal with a lot of rain, which made the golf and the scoring difficult for most. An excellent 2nd round of 73, from Ben Crowther proved to be the best afternoon round, but wasn’t enough to get into contention after a disappointing morning round. David Blackburn put two very solid rounds together of 77 and 75, and was awarded the best 36 hole nett prize. The final round soon became a two horse race for the championship between Fergus Barron and Lewis Eccles. Over the last 3 holes the tension and drama was evident. Lewis was playing in the group in front of Fergus, on the 16th he played a nice tee shot finishing just off the putting surface on the left, electing to chip rather than putt he put the ball just a few inches away, for a solid par. Fergus playing the 16th just 5 minutes later, remarkably left his tee shot in exactly the same area as Lewis, Fergus also elected to chip, however the ball checked a little to much , and was left short, however a confident stroke on the putt saw the ball drop , also for a par. Playing the 17th Lewis was one ahead, however having problems with the pond, resulted in a penalty drop, a bogey ensued. Fergus , after a great drive on the 17th and a chip that left him pin high to the left , again putted with confidence for a great under pressure birdie, resulting in a two shot swing in favour of Fergus. However this was short lived, as within a few moments of the birdie putt on 17, Lewis rolled his birdie putt in on the 18th. The tension was racked up another notch. With a par to secure victory, Fergus pushed his tee shot pin high, needing to chip across the green to the pin cut on the back level and left side, a well struck chip saw his ball go past the hole but still pin high, needing this putt to win, another well struck putt, slowly lipped around the topside of the hole, and astonishingly failed to drop. Both players finishing on 146, a sudden death playoff commenced once all the cards were checked and verified. Many of the fellow competitors and members spilled out onto the course and lined up the left of the 1st fairway, eagerly anticipating the drama that only a sudden death play off can provide. After a toss of a coin, Fergus drove up the first fairway, reaching the bottom of the hill, Lewis then stepped up and matched the drive both laying within a few feet of each other, 2nd shots were played, Fergus on the green pin high right, and Lewis just off the back fringe, with the pin placement at the back , neither player was to far away, Lewis played a nice chip to a few inches, leaving Fergus with a reasonable birdie chance, the ball was on line but pulled up just short, both players scoring par. The 2nd playoff hole, saw Fergus drive first, but pushed his tee shot into the woods , Lewis playing his tee shot just left of middle. After a search aided by the large gallery, Fergus found his ball, but from its position, he could only manage to chop it out, and was unable to get the ball fully out of the trouble, playing now his 3rd shot, he did a great job, and was able to get the ball to the right of the green, meanwhile Lewis had played a confident a well struck shot , to lay on the green for two, about 10 foot above the hole. Fergus, knowing he probably needed to hole his chip , saw his ball run past the hole, Lewis was to putt first, a down hill , fairly fast putt, and it looked likely that two putts would be enough for victory, the only doubt was if the approach putt was to aggressive and it ran past, leaving a three putt a possibly, Lewis coaxed his putt within 18 inches,Fergus not giving in without a fight holed his putt for a great bogey in the circumstances , however Lewis confident rolled in his short putt for a par, and becoming the George Sargent Club Champion. The presentation by the Captain took place soon after the players had returned to the club, with Lewis commenting in his winners speech, about the respect he had for Fergus , and if he could have played anyone in the playoff he would have picked Fergus, win or loose. Fine and courteous words from our new club champion. So that brought to a close another Club Championship day, however without the support , the day would have not been as successful. I would like to thank James and his green staff team, the Catering and bar staff, Paul Clapton, Brian Johnson,Alan Young,Steve Dent, Pete Eccles,Jim Horner, Mike Horner, Daz, and of course all the players who competed. I already looking forward to next year.’