Royal Worlington & Flempton – Thursday, 15th October, 2020

A great day for what we hope will be the penultimate Regional Qualifying Tournament of the strange year that is 2020. A fine if chilly start, for this unique event, nine holes over two wonderful, if very different, courses, some 10 miles apart.

Royal Worlington & Newmarket (aka The Sacred nine) offered us a shotgun start and, promptly at 09.30, there was an almighty bang and play commenced.

It was Golf Genius’s Nick Smith who led his own leaderboard for most of the morning scoring a stunning 23pts off a handicap of 2, while those trying to gain one of the three qualifying places had a mixed morning. After a steward’s scoring enquiry, Keith Fisher (17) with 20 pts, led them into the socially distanced and perfectly presented drinks and sandwiches, all the competitors being accommodated in the clubhouse. Much chat was possible and a good deal of speculation too, before the caravan made its way to Flempton and its three individual loops of three holes. Again, there was some exceptional play, this time from another Supporter, Rob Purvey (5) Golf Car UK, with 19pts but it was Nick Smith who held onto his lead scoring a total of 40pts for the two nines.

In the end, it was John Holmes (8) Ifield, who had already qualified, who took the top prize with a total of 39pts, with the ever-present Matthew Bowman (12) Braintree coming second on countback. Rob Purvey’s  back nine got him to 36pts and William Swan (12) Swan Golf Design and Mike Verhelst (7) Bury St Edmunds (already qualified) were joint fifth on 35pts. Then we came to a ‘new boy’ and first of the three qualifiers for the Saunton Final (hopefully!?) in 2021. Iain Yule (2), the assistant secretary at King’s Lynn, amassed 34 points with 19pts at Flempton. Down in joint 10th place on 33pts, but also qualifying, were the Keiths – Messrs Duff (12) Contributor and Fisher (17), one of the four longest serving and most loyal of competitors – who, accompanied by ‘Head Girl’ Diana held on to grab the last spot with 13pts on his back nine!

The results are available at: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/6801444297297112819

Our thanks go to everyone who was present, as well as to the host Managers, the Captains, Committees and Members of both Clubs – you should try this sometime!? We’d certainly love to do it again.

Let us hope that was not the last Qualifying Tournament of 2020 and that HMG will allow us to play at St George’s Hill on November 5th, where there are five places still available.