At 3 a.m. the gale that battered the Dormy House at Burnham & Berrow was sufficient to wake your aged correspondent, even despite the excellence of a ‘birthday’ party night out with several of the contestants at the delightful La Vela in Burnham-on-Sea the previous evening. By the first tee time at 11.00 it was a little better, but I doubt that anyone got up in two at the 1st… The wind was still brutal and by 13.00 the promised rain arrived making conditions simply horrid.
The very worthy winner under these most testing of conditions with an amazing score of 21pts on the back nine alone, was previous Champion (15th Open Championship, Ganton – 2011 ) Matthew Bowman – Ely City, playing off 14… (who would have still won by 2pts if he’d played off 12!). Runner-up was John Hemphrey (5) recently retired secretary at Bearsted, with 33pts.Tim Aggett – Torquay, and one of the Championship’s most loyal supporters, with only a stroke to play with, came third with 32pts. The remaining qualifiers were another in the loyal travelling category, Mike Verhelst (6) – Bury St Edmunds was fourth on 31pts, Mark Evans (3) – Royal North Devon was also on 31pts, whilst Adam Riddle (3) – Royal Ashdown Forest came in with 29pts and the final qualifier, on count back, was Brian Lever (14) – Beccles with 28pts. Congratulations to the qualifiers for the Final at Formby in May 2018 (don’t forget to book your room at the Ramada Plaza) and indeed to everyone who took on the links from their full yardage and made it a true competition.
Our thanks go to Burnham & Berrow’s managing secretary Karen Drake and her team who made us most welcome, especially Bar and Catering Manager Jack, who provided a most welcome carvery after the rigours of the round; not forgetting the Captain, Committee and Members for allowing us the luxury of playing their links, albeit in a near gale! We would love to return in a year when Climate Cooling was less evident.
Thanks too for support from Charlie Swann of BRS/Teeoftimes, Adrian Deakins representing Supporters Marsh, Phil McInley of Eagle (whose cards stood up wonderfully well in the conditions) and of course indefatigable chocolatier and prize provider, Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal– a most welcome site at any time, but particularly on the 9th tee, and this year’s prize table a very impressive and decorative site.
Finally, special thanks to Diana Fisher aka the Head Girl who looked after the ‘front of house’ arrangements superbly.
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