Moor Park GC – Monday, 30th October 2017

The perfect crisp, cloudless autumn day greeted a select field at Moor Park for the fifth and penultimate 2017 Qualifying Tournament. Given our recent form it made the day even more pleasurable, as the day simply got better – which led to one or two overheating, having dressed for a chilly start. Pre-lunch drinks were taken on the terrace, which is much more like The GCS.

The West course at Moor Park is not an overly long course at 5883 yards, but it most certainly did not play short off the White Tees; with penal rough and some wickedly sloping greens, scoring was never easy. That said, it takes nothing away from our host, who, with a little local knowledge, showed a very clean pair of heels to the rest of the field, David Cook (14) came home with 41pts, a superb score on a wonderful day.

The winner at work, with Gary Oatham (Thorndon Park)

Runner up on 36pts on countback was Paul Smith (7) Faversham, pipping Chris Cuttler (5) down all the way from Dore & Totley to enjoy (and be amazed by) the Moor Park experience. David Owen (10) Poulton Park, the winner at Headingley and another long distance traveller came fourth on 32pts alongside another previous qualifying winner Matthew Bowman (13) Ely City. The final qualifying place went to Keith Fisher (15) Rowlands Castle ably assisted by ‘Head Girl’ Diana. We shall look forward to seeing them all at Formby next May. Ray Griffiths from Mullion was presented with the Longest Drive award… Cornwall to Hoylake, to ‘the Gogs’, to Moor Park – hopefully we will see Ray at North Hants, where he sure to qualify for the Final.

There were many near misses by some ‘tour’ regulars’. Patrick Dawson, who is recovering from a detached retina, came close also on 31pts, as did Ray Grant on 30pts and the 29s included Messrs Ruscoe, Barker, Gillett – better luck next time!?


A generous and amusing ‘thank you’ speech from the winner
(with Keith Fisher in the background…)

Our special thanks to David Cook our host for accommodating The GCS – Open on this occasion and to his loyal and extremely professional staff, especially Louise and Lee. Anyone who has been to the Mansion will need no reminding of what a very special place and experience Moor Park offers; anyone else should most certainly visit

The happy snappers were out and about, more of those to come a little later… thanks to Paul Mainstone of Sawted whose tee time reminders by text have become a regular feature of the Championship. The very generous Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal for not only the prompt and excellent photos but the sustaining chocolate too. Phil McInley of Eagle and John Hayes of Marsh made up the Supporters Team. We were fortunate to be joined by regular contributors Robert Twydle of ace accountants and annual Golf Club Surveyors’ Hillier Hopkins and John Wilson of Peninsula – they of health and safety fame.

If you haven’t as yet had success in the Race to Formby – why not enter the final Regional Qualifying Tournament of 2017 at Enville next Monday? We can still accommodate a few more, despite an ever growing entry list, with tee times from 10.00 (if you are thinking of driving a distance)?

The 22nd Open Championship entry form