The first Regional Qualifying Tournament for The Golf Club Secretary – 21st Open Championship was played at a sunny and superbly presented Ferndown, with greens that were running at tournament pace; not one of the competitors remaining unscathed.
The winner was Gary Peddie (5) St George’s Hill, who was making a very welcome return to the Championship after a year away through post change. Despite sharing everyone’s trials on the greens he kept the ball well in play and returned 33pts. Runner-up Murray Cook (7) Fulwell lost on countback despite having failed to score on he 18th, where a stout pine is still trembling after being struck by not one but two (provisional) mighty tee shots. In third came the ever reliable Patrick Dawson (8) Burnham Beeches with 32pts. There were two qualifiers on 31pts, the perma tanned Keith Adderley (14) Temple who pipped the Championship’s most travelled competitor and firmer Champion, Neill Ellice (13) Ipswich (despite a painful hip) on countback. The last qualifier and breathing a local sigh of relief, was our host Ian Walton (6) Ferndown with 30pts.
Our thanks go to Ian and his extremely accommodating and helpful team (special mention to chef Brian and bar man Will) and indeed all at Ferndown who ensured that the start of this season got off to the best of starts. Not forgetting the generosity of the Captain, Committee and Members. Thank you.
The Championship would never have come into being without our Supporters. Majestic Crystal and Eagle have been with us with their prizes, cards and tags, from the start and it was good to have an in-form ( at least at the dining table) Tim Read with us at Ferndown, whilst Philip’s prize table is always admired. We were indebted too to arm twister in chief Charlie Swann of Teeofftimes/BRS who always persuades one or two ‘new boys’ to join us! However, this year we have a most welcome returning Supporter. Marsh, which in its previous incarnation as Bowrings was the original Supporter of The Golf Club Secretary – Open Championship at Hintlesham Hall all those years ago – remembered more for the cuisine than the course (by only a couple of secretaries now… Messrs Adderley and Fisher) – have returned to the fold, thanks to the efforts of their ‘golf’ man John Hayes. John joined us at Ferndown and he will be attending a number of events close to the Capital, whilst his colleagues visit the tournaments a little further afield. All of them are most welcome and we are delighted that the wheel has turned full circle.
We were very fortunate to have Tammy Hewins with us from intelligentgolf, who seems to know everyone and who manages to chat to them too, whilst at the same time displaying a most exciting leaderboard.
Finally, Mike Harris of Golf Monthly, who with his team at Farnham has kept us appraised of much in the world of playing the game and where we should look for our more unusual qualifying venues.
Our thanks to them all, the Championship wouldn’t be the same without them.