he final qualifying tournament for The Golf Club Secretary – 17th Open Championship, took place at Parkstone under grey skies and occasional drizzle, which, given the weather forecast, was disappointing. The warm sun appeared just as we were leaving the course!
A capacity field had assembled to tackle this most delightful and testing of courses which is undergoing a massive improvement programme, with scrub and tree removal, new and re-bunkering, non of which detracted from our enjoyment of this wonderful test of golf.
The winner, playing quite exceptional golf, was Ian Walton (7) Ferndown with a season’s best 41pts. Extremely well played and putted. In second place, again playing very nearly faultless golf was John Aughterlony (11) Rochester & Cobham, who for the second time in under a month scored 40pts. Martin Bennet (11) Mid Herts was third with 37pts, followed by Patrick Dawson (8) Burnham Beeches with 36pts and David Mabott (7) Eltham Warren with 34pts, all of whom are on their way to the Final at Caldy and Royal Liverpool Golf Clubs next month. A little further down the leaderboard and making up the remaining qualifiers were David Morgan (6) Broadstone with 33pts, Steve Armstrong (22) Sidcup and Lance Quantrill (13) Hayling both with 32pts. Congratulations to them all.
Our thanks, as ever, go to the Captain, Committee and Members of Parkstone for their generosity in allowing us to stage our tournament at their most impressive Club. We were unable to properly express our thanks to our host Gary Peddie, who had done so much to ensure we had a successful day. Sadly he had put his back out a day or so before and was in great discomfort, retiring to the physio’s couch. He and his team, especially House Manager Mark (who served a delicious rolling ‘lunch’), greeter Andy Coles and starter Mike, made us most welcome. We would love to return in future years.
Our Patrons were fully represented, led by Barry Gibbs and Stewart Crocker (a new boy to the Championship) of C C V, Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal, Phil McInley of Eagle, Stefanie Mainstone of Jonas/Clubminder and Chris O’Hagan of Clubview, Mike Harris of Golf Monthly, Richard Barker of TeeoffTimes and incoming Patron Iain MacPherson of Rain Bird Renewables. We thank them all for their continued and invaluable support, without which we would not have a Championship.