Hayling GC – 23rd March

The first Regional Qualifying Tournament of 2015 for The Golf Club Secretary – 19th Open Championship got off to a superb start over the links of the Hayling Golf Club. Blessed with wonderful conditions, sunny, initially chilly and with a links in firm and fast condition, no one could have asked for more.

‘Local boy’, Keith Fisher (15) Rowlands Castle, ably assisted by his tanned caddie and after a winter’s warm weather training, came out on top by a full point, 36pts was an excellent score on the day. Runner up was a ‘new boy’ Alex Woodward (0) Boyce Hill, who has only recently returned to playing off scratch, produced a wonderful score of 35pts. Third came a very loyal and well-travelled supporter, Mo Brooker (12) with 34 pts, beating John Holmes (5) Crowborough Beacon, who had previously qualified, and Ian Walton (5) Ferndown on countback. A sigh of relief all round – Neill Ellice (13) Ipswich, who has played in more GCS qualifiers than just about anyone else, is through to yet another Final (at Hillside in May), with a battling 33pts after an early morning 180 mile drive! Also on 33pts was Joan Raffety (15), returning to the competition after a long absence. Another returnee after a considerable gap, was the final qualifier Matt Streets (4) Dartford on 32pts. As always, our congratulations go to them all and we look forward to seeing them all at Birkdale (Hillside and Royal Birkdale) in May.

Our thanks go to incoming Captain, Richard Lindsell, for acting as starter and for bringing us up to date with events at Hayling. Much work has gone on in the last couple of years since our previous visit (The Challenge match versus Golf Monthly). The Club has it all, a wonderful and most certainly improving links, a magnificent clubhouse with wonderful views (particularly on such a sunny day!) and one of the best Caterer’s in Simon Fisher that any Club could wish for, his steak and kidney pudding has gone viral on Facebook!

Mention too must be made of our supporters, Mike Harris of Golf Monthly, pipped on this occasion, by GM’s new recruit Chris O’Hagan (35 pts) and former assistant editor Jezz Ellwood (35pts), now the owner of Ellwood Golf Media. Another come-back kid was Barry Gibbs, now of Insuractive. Charlie Swan of Teeofftimes who has done so much to ‘encourage the others’ to play, thank you! No tournament would be complete without the techies Paul Mainstone of Keystone and Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal spent as much time admiring each other’s equipment as using it… but as always they produced the goods, pictures a plenty and wonderful prizes too, with an immaculate results list – thank you! It was a delight to be joined by Carole Mainstone, who, at long last, has the opportunity to discover what Paul actually does when is away! Her assistance in the dispensing of another firm favourite, sloe gin, was appreciated by all. Finally, no report would be complete without a thank you to Viv who ensured that, despite differing arrival times, all contestants had time to enjoy a bacon sandwich prior to play and that everyone got off ‘on time’.

Hayling GC Results

1 Fisher, Keith
Rowlands Castle
36 pts (15) Overall Winner Away
2 O’Hagan, Chris
Golf Monthly
35 pts (03) Overall Runner-Up Away
3 Woodward, Alex
Boyce Hill
35 pts (00) Overall 3rd Away
4 Ellwood, Jezz
Ellwood Golf
35 pts (05) Overall 4th Away
5 Brooker, Maureen
34 pts (12) Overall 5th Away
6 Holmes, John
Crowborough Beacon
34 pts (05) Overall 6th Away
7 Walton, Ian

34 pts (05) Overall 7th Away
8 Ellice, Neill
33 pts (13) Overall 8th Away
9 Rafferty, Joan
33 pts (15) Overall 9th Away

Hayling Golf Club View Flickr Gallery Click here for full results