We maintained our weather reputation too. The long hot dry spell continued, although the forecast record highest temperature didn’t materialise. A thunder clap mid-prize presentation and rain arriving just as we concluded, something we all wished for… all added to the day.
The winner, Chris Gotla (2) Beaconsfield, had an especially memorable day, starting in the early hours by becoming a grandfather for the first time and rounding it off by birdieing the last from the path on the left of 18 for 36pts. Our hearty congratulations. In second spot was Stuart Gillett (2) Goodwood also on 36 pts (including an eagle at his second hole, the 6th), who had to depart early to pick his son (aged 10) who had been playing cricket for Hampshire. Third came a perennial qualifier, Martin Gillett (6) Hobbs Cross on 35pts. Fourth was Paul Smith (7) Faversham another regular Finalist, with 34pts and the last qualifying place went to Greg Kemsley (5) Hassocks with 33pts. See you all at Ganton next May. It would appear that if you wish to qualify, simply change your name to Gillett!
Our thanks go to our host Chris Lomas, for whom nothing was too much trouble, together with his staff both on and off the course, who could not have done more. The greenkeeping team deserves a special mention for presenting a wonderful test in the current difficult conditions. The full English was clearly enjoyed by just about everyone and the buffet lunch both hot and cold was delightful. There were so many added touches, the three tee start, the iced water on the tees etc.; all added to a very special day.
Thanks too, to the Captain (whose cancellation of the Open Mixed was a great piece of good fortune for The GCS), Committee and Members for their generosity in allowing us to once again enjoy their wonderful course and Club. Worplesdon never fails to impress and is constantly evolving: the ‘new’ office/shop, the superb range of accessories, the paths and even the car park!
Playing the Championship over the very best courses and links in the UK, is a privilege that we value greatly and the new summer event is clearly here to stay. Goodwood is already scheduled for Monday, 21st July, 2019 with The GCS – Open Mixed Foursomes the previous day and the possibility of staying at The Goodwood Hotel in between.
The Supporters were out in full force. Matt Patton and Tim Read of Golf Car UK did sterling work distributing very cold refreshments from their buggies. Liam Burns of Eagle, (the Kent 2018 County Champion) scored 33pts, giving away three strokes playing off +3. Richard Dixon (6) of BRS/Teeofftimes also played well as did Craig Higgs of Golf Genius. A very welcome newcomer to The GCS – Open was Scott Howe of Bluefin Sport (part of Marsh) who made the trip from Glasgow to gain his first experience of The GCS – Open. Paul Mainstone collated the scoring as well as doubling as photographer. His partner in crime, Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal – CRYSTAL SUPPLIERS (and chocolatiers) looked after the competitors out on the course whilst persuading some of them to do silly things which were then recorded for posterity and later embarrassment (more later). Philip kindly presented the prizes, Viv being on Oscar duty.
We were also joined by a number of valued contributors: Mike Harris editor of Golf Monthly, Mark Smith of Mark Smith Leisure and Peter ‘Leeches’ Evans, together with former Champion Alan Davey.
All in all, a wonderful start to the 23rd Open Championship – if you weren’t there come and join us in the autumn, visit: www.TheGolfClubSecretary.co.uk
Pictures by Philip – (suppliers and engravers of the finest engraved crystal for golfing prizes and awards, for people who deserve the best! ((Chocolate too!))