Sunday 26th September 2021
Gosfield Lake Golf Club
This year 34 teams representing 25 Clubs set off to play 18 holes in a fourball better ball stableford format, in what is traditionally the closing strokeplay event of the season in the Essex County calendar. The weather had its usual autumnal feel as the early starters set off with bright but brisk conditions with no rain forecasted for the duration of the day. It did warm up as the day went on but by no means reaching temperatures that could be mistaken as summer like. The course looked incredibly green for September, with soft fairways and greens, it was playing its full length but with the format of the Mullis Trophy, we always expect some impressive scoring, this year was no different.
41 points was returned by a number of teams early on, with teams from Castle Point, Benton Hall, Stapleford Abbotts, Five Lakes & Ballards Gore all tied in 6th position. In fact, if you hadn’t shot a score in the 40s, you would find at least 14 other teams above you on the leader board. Epping’s Nick Rose & Jamie Gilchrist managed 42 points but were pipped on countback by Mardyke Valley’s Gary Chandler & Gary Marshall. Frinton’s Connor & Frazer Maleary found their 43 points was good enough to take third place. Playgolf Colchester’s Nigel & Ben Sheldrake were first out from the 1st tee, their score of 44 points was good enough to top the table for the best part of an hour. That was until the duo from Stapleford Abbotts returned with a fabulous 45 points, David Boardman & Duncan Holt managed 9 three pointers as well as a four pointer on the par 4 ninth hole to clinch victory.
So the final result was a win for Stapleford Abbotts with Playgolf Colchester in second and Frinton in third place. Brian Colins, Essex Golf Union President & Gordon Dunn, Gosfield Lake Golf Club Captain presented the prizes to the winners. We thank Gosfield Lake Golf Club for stepping in at the last moment to host this year’s event, a venue that offers fabulous hospitality each year when we visit for the boys foursomes championship in August and again this year a few weeks later. This event now concludes our strokeplay championship calendar for 2021, only the plate competition finals are left to conclude on the 3rd October.
ESSEX FOURSOMES CHAMPIONSHIP
Ingrebourne Links Golf Club
19th September 2021
The 2021 Essex Foursomes was hosted by Ingrebourne Links Golf Club. The silver tankards which are presented to the winners, were provided to the Essex Golf Union by Mr G E Larman, a Past Captain of Rochford Hundred Golf Club and President of the EGU in 1932.
This year a total of 31 teams took part from 23 Essex Clubs. This was a good representation for what continues to be one of our most prestigious club events of the calendar. The weather forecast was bright and warm for most of the day with rain due sometime during the afternoon round. There was little breeze in the morning which the players were grateful for; the feedback from the players was that the course was playing tough enough without the elements adding their part also. The newly opened 18 hole golf course was in splendid condition and for such a young course. It showed signs of maturity, certainly on the front nine which is 18 months older than the back nine.
The early signs were that the course was proving a great test as the first scores in were trending towards low to mid 80s or higher in some cases. It wasn’t until Wanstead’s Kishen Velani and Paul Knight carded their opening 78 that the scores started to reflect the standard of players competing. Shortly afterwards Colchester’s Joshua Coleman and Oliver Allison returned with a 74 which topped the leader board for some time, but with West Essex’s defending champions David Price & Harry Moncur still to return and Brentwood’s back-to-back county champion Brandon Meads & county team mate Joe Tatam also still navigating their way round the 7,122 yard course, it may be a little tighter at the top than earlier scores suggested. Brandon & Joe only managed an opening 77 but defending champions David & Harry took a two-shot lead with a strong round of level par.
The afternoon saw some dark clouds move in with winds picking up also, making the conditions even tougher for this already tricky format. Paul & Kishen managed to pip their morning round by one closing their day on 155. Also on 155 was Orsett’s Will Horne & Marley Read with a much-improved round of 74 on their opening 81. Two better were their club mates Callum Newton & Joe Green who managed to shoot 73 in the afternoon to go with an opening 80. Joshua Coleman & Oliver Allison meanwhile were going about their business and although they couldn’t match their morning round, 74 + 77 for a 151 total was good enough to take third place, two in front of Joe & Callum. David Price & Harry Moncur had also returned with a closing 77, disappointed with their round after what could have been so much better in their words, saw only one team still out on the course that could realistically beat them, Brandon & Joe. The Brentwood pair needed level par or better to win as countback is used to determine a winner in this event. Brandon and Joe proved they were up to the challenge as they recorded a steady level par round of 72 preventing David and Harry defending their title, a valiant effort all the same.
Brandon spoke on behalf of the Brentwood pairing and commented on how countback is not a good way to win but an even worse way to lose so offered his congratulations to David & Harry on such a fantastic effort in retaining the title. He also commented on how impressive Ingrebourne Links is as a venue, stating that it will only get better as it gets older, passing on his thanks to the club and their staff. Brandon also thanked the Essex Golf Union for all their help and support they have showed him over the past number of years as he now make the jump into the professional ranks. We wish Brandon all the very best for his future and congratulate both he and Joe on a fine victory at Ingrebourne Links.
Brian Collins, Essex Golf Union President was in attendance to present the Brentwood pairing with the tankards and reiterated Brandon’s words by thanking Ingrebourne Links for staging a fabulous event and the referees and officials that always put in so much time behind the scenes to make our events run so smoothly.
Upminster Golf Club
Saturday 11th September 2021
Competition for The Upminster Trophies is a sign that the end of the County Championship season is upon us. The two Order of Merit events being contested were The Upminster Bowl won by the player under 25 with the lowest gross score and The Upminster Trophy for the player over 25. As seems to be the case whenever this September tournament is contested there was splendid golfing conditions with the course in tip-top condition.
Not for the first time this season the lunch time clubhouse leader was Rory Bennet with a two under par score of 67 constructed with three birdies matched by three bogies and an eagle on the par five 17th. In close pursuit on level par 69 were local players Owen Fallows and Ryan Cox together with England Champion Harley Smith and former Essex cricketer Kishen Velani. Both Harley and Kishen will have been particularly disappointed in their morning efforts. Harley because of some very uncharacteristic bogies including a particularly galling double on the relatively simple par three 18th and Kishen because having been five under par after eleven holes he quickly gave all those stokes back with a sequence of bogies.
Having refuelled the exuberant Ryan Cox, in the next to last group, was quickly out of the blocks birdying three of the first four holes and with another birdie on the 9th reached the turn at four under par and in sole lead. With both Rory Bennet and Owen Fallows having their own difficulties and falling away from the leading pack, it became clear that coming into the back nine someone would need to mount a serious challenge for Ryan Cox not to emerge victorious. Cometh the hour Harley Smith pushed himself forward with birdies at both the 10th and 11th and an eagle on the drivable par four 12th putting himself within touching distance of Ryan.
His birdie on 16 closed the gap to one stroke, but in the group ahead Ryan birdied the 17th to restore his two stroke advantage finishing with an impressive five under par round of 64, a final score of 133 and winner of The Upminster Bowl. Harley Smith finished second on 135 a score that was enough for him to win with in 2020. On a score of 139 Kishen Velani captured third place and was left ruing doubles at holes two and five that dented his chances of being overall winner, nevertheless his one over par afternoon round of 70 was sufficient for him to secure the over 25s Upminster Trophy.
Fourth place was awarded to Bailee Curran on countback and after an impressive season having earlier won The Keating Trophy as well as seldom being out of the top five in qualifying competitions Bailee picked up the prize as the County’s Order of Merit winner for the season.
As always our grateful thanks go to Upminster Golf Club for their hospitality and presenting the course in such fine condition.
The Romford Trophy 2021
Romford Golf Club
Friday 3rd September 2021
This event has been hosted by Romford Golf Club since 1975 and it is the penultimate individual strokeplay event of the year typically where the Order of Merit winner could be decided.
The course was presented beautifully, the greens were reportedly in the best shape they had ever been in. With a full field of 72 players nit proved to be a great days competition, as always at Romford.
The morning round offered a few surprises as certain individuals struggled to push for contention leaving it wide open for anyone to take advantage. The round of the day was undoubtably Steve Hazell’s 69 (-2) placing him at the top of the board. The County Seniors Captain & member of Romford Golf Club unsurprisingly received a lot of attention at lunch and was clearly thrilled to have put in a great morning round. Andrew Rose (The Warren) was also making good foundations, a fast start saw Andrew birdie holes 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9. The only blemish being the bogey on 6 which resulted in an outward 9 holes of 31.
Unfortunately, no birdies on the back nine and two more bogies resulted in a solid 69 which saw Andrew and Steve tied for the lead at the halfway stage. Just two shots back was Romford’s Bailee Curran who has recently shown excellent form wining The Keating Trophy, The Waterford Trophy and Romford’s Club Championship, also being top of the Order of Merit Table for 2021 Bailee definitely had intent for the afternoon round.
The afternoon saw a shuffle at the top as Steve Hazell shot a 75 which meant he slipped down to 6th position. Brad Coombes & Marley Read (Orsett) along with Oliver Baker (Colchester) all shot 1 under par 70s which together with their morning rounds of 74 saw them all on 144 (+2) with only countback separating them. Marley pinching 3rd spot from Oliver with a 2 under par back nine. Andrew Rose not quite matching his morning round, but still carding a creditable 72 (+1) meant he would take 2nd place. Which meant that the man in form, Bailee Curran had an opportunity to finish in style, with a fantastic 2 under par round in the afternoon saw him triumph. 71 + 69 = 140 (-2) Congratulations to Bailee on a great event and fantastic season as this victory sealed the Order of Merit as well.
Our thanks go to Romford Golf Club for hosting The Romford Trophy once again. We would also like to thank the Captain of Romford Golf Club, Mr Steve Brooker for presenting the prizes alongside our County President Elect Mr Lawrence Kingsnorth. We look forward to returning next year.
ESSEX SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st & 2nd July 2021
Bentley Golf Club
The 2021 Seniors Championship was hosted by Bentley Golf Club who welcomed 57 seniors from around the county to compete over the two days. The course was presented beautifully, slick putting surfaces and damp conditions throughout after some heavy rain leading up to the event, meant the course was playing about as tough as it could. The 6,678 yard Par 72, was playing every inch of that and early scores returned on the first day was a reflection on that.
It wasn’t until the last few groups returned until we had a score recorded in the seventies. Proof that the conditions were far from easy. A great round of Mark Whiten (Orsett), Freddie Holmes (Hainault Forest) & defending champion Paul Knight (Wanstead) saw the trio on +5 with 77s, leading for a short while until Peter Heaney (Romford) returned with a 76. Peter’s lead was cut short when both Paul Wilkinson (Chelmsford) & 2018 and 2019 champion Ian Moore (Romford) both, carded 75s and headed into the second day just 3 over par, a great effort on what proved to be a testing set up.
The course remained damp overnight, so the tweaks were made to make things a little easier, the average score of the field did drop marginally but the greens were still causing some problems for competitors. The greens hadn’t got any slower overnight and were proving to be quite tricky for most.
Michael Partridge (Thorndon Park) improved on his first-round score by one, carding a 79+78 for a total of 157. This was one better that defending champion Paul Knight who struggled after his opening 77 with an 81 for a total of 158. Freddie Holmes’ was a similar story as his 82 after his opening 77 was one shot back on 159. Following Peter Heaney’s 76 was an 80, but despite this his total of 156 was good enough for 5th place overall. John Wright (Basildon) opened with an 82 but the best round of the competition followed as his 74 totalled 156 beating Peter on Countback for fourth place overall. Paul Wilkinson shot 79 to go with his low round on day one of 75 for a total of 154 for third place, losing out to Mark Whiten’s pair of 77s on countback.
This left the stage clear for the final group to escort Ian Moore up the eighteenth a few shots clear. When Ian sank his final three foot putt for par on 18, a round of applause was heard as news had got back that his pair of 75s were good enough to win this year’s competition by 4 shots. His total of 150 meant that it would be the third time in four years that Ian has won the Essex County Seniors Championship. Congratulations Ian, a fantastic performance.
Other winners of the Net Competitions can be found below:
In the handicap categories prizes are presented to those who did not feature in the gross prizes. The over 55’s winner was Peter Heaney (Romford), with a total of 150. The over 60’s winner was John Parkinson (Stoke by Nayland), with a nett score of 150. For the over 65’s Freddie Holmes (Hainault Forest) with a score of 153 & finally, in the Over 70’s, Alan Macnaught (Colchester) managed a victory with his nett 162.
Our thanks to Bentley Golf Club for their assistance in scheduling this event and presenting the course beautifully, with everything done to deliver a smooth and successful championship.
We are looking forward to next year, where the 2022 Championship will be hosted by Thorndon Park Golf Club.
The Herbert Bishop Vase
23rd June 2021
Theydon Bois Golf Club
The Herbert Bishop Vase was presented by WH Bishop of Mersea Island Golf Club in 1939 to be competed for by the Captains and Secretaries of the affiliated clubs and the members of the County Executive Committee. In recent years this has been expanded to allow other Club officials to play if the Captain or Secretary/Manager is not available.
This year’s fixture was contested by a field of 28 teams, and Theydon Bois Golf Club hosted a magnificent day. The format was fourball better ball stableford with the 85% of handicap rule being applied. The weather was kind with bright sunshine throughout the day with temperatures reaching mid 20s. First in were Essex Golf Union’s Secretary & President Elect, Nick McEvoy & Lawrence Kingsnorth who were paired with host duo, Immediate Past Captain John Turnbull & present Captain Neil Taylor. Local knowledge obviously playing a part along with some great dovetailing meant that the Theydon Bois duo returned a fantastic early clubhouse lead of 46 points. Crondon Park’s Gary Stevenson & Alan Parmenter were closest to the early lead with a score of 43 points which included 9 three pointers. Braintree’s Matthew Bowman & Michael Saffill started with two one pointers but despite the slow start managed to pick up the pace to go out in 20 points, coming home in 22 points meant that they were a point shy of Crondon Park on 42 in total.
Hartswood Golf Club’s Milton Papachristodolou & Tony Crispin & Stockbrook’s Rob Steele & Graham Page managed 41 points but Hartswood took 4th place on countback with 21 points against Hartswood’s 19.
Therefore 2021 winning team Theydon Bois Golf Club’s John Turnbull & Neil Taylor who managed a magnificent 46, winning the day by a margin of three points from runners up Gary Stevenson & Alan Parmeter.
During the presentation Neil Taylor, Theydon Bois’ Captain welcomed everybody and thanked the Essex Golf Union for inviting Theydon Bois to host the prestigious event. His partner, John Turnbull’s winning speech was complimentary of the competitors, food & service throughout the day from the club. John continued to thank the Essex Golf Union and all the competitors for their contribution to the day. Congratulations to all our winners and a huge thank you to Theydon Bois’ Golf Club who were fabulous hosts as always, on and off the course.
Veterans Trophies 2021
17 June 2021
Clacton Golf Club
This year competitors in the annual Veterans Trophies enjoyed a day out at Clacton Golf Club which is always a good test of golf, particularly when the breeze gets up.
Not to be confused with the Seniors’ Championship which is 36 holes of strokeplay the Veterans is an 18 hole stableford competition open to players over 55 with an additional prize category for players over 70.
Carding a birdie free round and 37 points the competition winner off a handicap of 15 was Michael Yardley from Chelmsford Golf Club who was closely followed by three players on 36 points. With the places for two, three and four being decided on countback Gary Norris (12) of Burnham-on-Crouch GC captured second place from Crondon Park’s Dennis Murphy (24) with Andy Parker (10) of Thorndon Park coming in fourth.
Winner of the over 70 prize with 35 points was Robert Boon (10) also from Chelmsford with Tom Kennedy (10) from Ballards Gore Golf Club on 31 points filling the runners’-up spot from Neil Ainsworth (19) of The Warren GC also on 31 points. Special mention for round of the day goes to Albert Wright (2) from Basildon GC who carded a four over par score of 75.
As always our thanks go to the management, staff and members at Clacton Golf Club for their hospitality and allowing us use of their course and facilities.
90th Essex Amateur Golf Championship
Abridge Golf and Country Club
5th & 6th June 2021
It was a delight to see the County’s premier stroke play event return to the two day format having been abbreviated to two rounds last year courtesy of Covid. Abridge Golf and Country Club was the host and, as can be expected of this former Open qualifying course, was in magnificent condition. With its combination of elevation changes and subtly borrowed greens the Abridge course destroys the myth that Essex is flat and assured that competitors skills were given a thorough examination.
The three major prizes being competed for were the title of County Champion, The Jubilee Trophy for the leading player aged under 21, and on day one of the tournament, the Esplen Trophy for leading club team. As usual day one was also key to deciding which players’ made it into the top forty and progress to the second day of the event.
At the close of business on day one Rory Bennet from Thorndon Park lead the field with a 3 under par score of 141 and was followed three strokes adrift on a score of 144 by County Champion for the past two years Brandon Meads of Brentwood. Also on 144 was the ever improving Charlie Croker from Thorndon Park. Inevitable with Rory and Charlie so high on the leader board Thorndon Park were comfortable winners of the Esplen Team Trophy.
Important at this point to also mention and congratulate Charlie for his achievement winning the England Golf South Eastern Group under 14 Championship at John O’Gaunt on 2 June. As if his success at that tournament wasn’t enough, Henry Styles from Romford was also crowned under 16 Champion. More evidence, if evidence is needed, that Essex Golf seems to be in good shape.
It would be easy the think that the morning session of day two would bring clarity to who the front runners for the Champion’s title would be with Rory Bennet (213), Brandon Meads (214) and Shaun Mills (214) putting clear water between themselves and the Carter Rowe, Michael Gilbert combo, both with scores of 218. Golf is of course anything but straight forward.
Throughout the competition the back nine had played harder than the front, but when it comes to the final nine anything can happen and on this occasion did. Playing two groups ahead and out of sight of the leaders Carter Rowe was putting together his own challenge having picked up three strokes on his front nine. Behind him Rory, Brandon and Shaun, aware of each other’s scores, put together a confusing cocktail of birdies, bogies and double bogies with the 14th hole playing a pivotal role in the final
result. Oblivious to the confusion behind him Carter continued on his merry way, arriving in the clubhouse with an impressive round of 67 five under par. A best back nine of 33 from Bailee Curran, which included two birdies and an eagle, projected him up the leader board, but too late to reward effort with a podium place.
The 14th hole did Rory no favours and double bogies in the both the morning and afternoon made a huge dent in his championship challenge, which eventually fell one stroke short of Carter. Brandon made a spirited defence of the title he had held for two years finishing on level par. With all the scores in Carter Rowe was able to add the Essex Amateur Championship and Jubilee Trophy to his CV alongside the Essex Boys Championship he won in 2019
The prizes were presented in evening sunshine by Abridge Captain Stanley Brattman and grateful thanks go to him, Justin Webb and the members of Abridge Golf Club for use of their outstanding facility and in particular to the green-keeping staff for providing a course worthy of this competition.
Tale of the Race to the Tape
Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and Colts Championship
Thorpe Hall Golf Club
Friday 28 May 2021
To everyone’s delight post lockdown County championship competition resumed at Thorpe Hall where the weather was magnificent and as always the course and hospitality immaculate, so there was no excuse for not going low on a splendid golfing day. The two trophies being contested were the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy, open to all, and the Colts Championships for those competitors under 21. Alongside these there were parallel competitions for handicap prizes.
At 6242 yards and a par of 71 the Thorpe Hall course is no monster, but anyone straying from the straight and narrow will soon discover their route to the green obstructed by one of the many fine trees or treacherous ditches that embroider the course.
The morning pace was set by County player Jackson Garnett of Five Lakes who, starting from the 10th had a clean card out, which included three birdies. Despite dropping a stroke at the first on his way back he picked up another three birdies to get into the clubhouse with a five under par score of 66.
Playing the course from the first Rory Bennet from Thorndon Park was close company for Jackson having collected three birdies on his way out, but dropping a stroke on the tricky 6th hole. However the return journey was clean and brightened with an eagle at the 14th giving Rory a clubhouse 67. Ben Humphrey also found himself well in the hunt at the lunch break having matched Rory’s 67 with five birdies, but dropping a stroke at the 12th. England Boys player Harley Smith is never going to be far away from the podium places and despite a bogey at the 11th and a double bogey at the 6th he still managed four birdies and an eagle at the 14th to complete the morning with a round of 68.
As the day progressed the breeze slowly increased which probably accounts for the higher scores after lunch. Nevertheless it was the usual suspects who contested this year’s ownership of both titles. Commencing their afternoon rounds from the first tee Jackson and Harley had fairly uneventful outward nines with the former turning for home as he started at minus 5 with Harley one worse than his start at minus 2. By way of complete contrast starting from the 10th Rory roared away with eagles at 11 and 14 and a birdie at 18, his only reverse being a bogey at 15, so with 27 holes completed Rory was on -8, Jackson -5 and Harley -2.
Playing the front nine last Rory started with a bogey, but worse was to come with a succession of dropped strokes on holes 5,6,7 and 8. Meanwhile on the other side of the course Jackson was in cruise control despite dropping a stroke on 15 and manufacturing a double from nowhere on 18, which his playing partner Harley birdied, Jackson got home to win both trophies by two strokes from Harley Smith with Rory a further stroke adrift in third place. It was great to see Jackson deliver on the promise he showed as a junior and there is no question of the potential of both Harley Smith and Rory Bennet.
The prize for best nett handicap score of minus 1 was Luke King (2) of Thorpe Hall with Edward Mason (6) of Colchester Golf Club third on level par.
Thorpe Hall Captain Alan Mullen presented the prizes with a message of congratulation from Sir Michael Bonallack. Essex Golf Union are grateful to Captain Alan, Ian Evans and his staff, along with the members from Thorpe Hall for their outstanding course and hospitality.
Anyone who thinks golf is an “old mans’ game” should come to this County’s Championships and see just who the front runners are. In recent years Essex has come to the forefront in producing some of England’s leading amateur golfers almost all of whom are under 21. Next up is the County Championship at Abridge Golf Club on Saturday 5 June, so see you there.
ESSEX FOURSOMES CHAMPIONSHIP
Brentwood Golf Club
20th September 2020
The 2020 Essex Foursomes was hosted by Brentwood Golf Club. The silver tankards which are presented to the winners, were provided to the Essex Golf Union by Mr G E Larman, a Past Captain of Rochford Hundred Golf Club and President of the EGU in 1932.
This year a total of 31 teams took part from 21 Essex Clubs. It was a good representation for what remains one of our most prestigious club entered events of the calendar. The weather forecast was somewhat improved on the past few years with clear skies and temperatures hitting low 20s in the early part of the afternoon it proved to be a beautiful September’s day.
The early signs were that the course was not playing its easiest. Wanstead’s Tommy Smith & Kishen Velani were the morning leaders with a one over par 73. A shot back was Boyce Hill’s David Abbott & Jack Dyer, then tied on 75 were Boyce Hill’s other partnership of county team regulars Ricky Lee & Andy May and West Essex’s Harry Moncur and David Price. There were a large number of 80+ returned which meant that potentially the groups in contention had been reduced considerably.
The afternoon provided some evidence that the morning round had been good practice as the scores did drop on average. When Harry Moncur & David Price returned their two under par effort of 70 which included 5 birdies, it made for an afternoon of exciting competition. Tommy and Kishen from Wanstead failed to match their morning score by two meaning their 75 resulted in a four over par total of 148.
Ricky & Andy brought one half of Boyce Hill into the frame with a level par 72 pipping Wanstead by one with a 147 total. With the remaining half of Boyce Hill’s quad on the course it meant they needed to break par to stand a chance of winning the title. They returned to clubhouse with a positive vibe, thinking their level par was enough in the conditions, they visibly sunk knowing they had come back a shot short.Our thoughts go to Jack and David after a valiant afternoon round of level par 72, especially with word of a flagstick preventing a ball dropping under new COVID rules was the difference. A huge congratulations to West Essex with Harry and David worthy winners as the only duo to break par on the day, well played!
Brian Collins, County President, and George Buckley, Brentwood Golf Club Captain, were on hand to present the winners with the silver tankards, and medals for becoming the 2020 Essex Foursomes Champions. Thank you to Brentwood Golf Club for hosting such a fine event and offering fantastic hospitality.
The Upminster Trophies
Saturday 12th September 2020
Upminster Golf Club
As always the Upminster Trophies was the season’s final opportunity for individuals to capture one of the County’s major titles. Whilst organising these County events has created unique challenges for officials to overcome the upside is that Covid has not detracted on the quality of entrants or the golf that has been played. The sun was shining for this late season event, so with the Upminster course in tip-top condition some low scoring was expected, however historically against a par of 69 sub-par rounds have been a rarity.
The morning’s golf was dominated by a sparking four under par return of 65 from Benton Hall’s Andrew Reynolds whose round, embroidered with seven birdies, was marred by a bogey at the 8th and a double at the 12th one of the day’s easier holes. In hot pursuit and ready to pounce on any mistakes he made were the youngsters lead by England Boys squad members Harley Smith and Will Horne with Beau Brunning close at hand.
Starting his afternoon round on the tenth Andrew Reynolds completed his first nine without any major incidents in level par balancing a bogey with a birdie and as the leading contenders turned for home, he was still heading the field
Three strokes dropped at his 10th and 11th holes (one and two on the card) put a huge dent in Andrew Reynold’s championship ambitions, and as the Tale of the race for the tape shows of the leading contenders only Harley Smith was able to improve their score on the inward journey leaving him the worthy winner of The Upminster Bowl competed for by those under 25 and Brandon Meads as respective runners-up. Andrew Reynolds winning The Upminster Trophy, for competitors that are over the age of 25.
A great performance by young Harley who has been knocking on the door all season and there was a certain inevitability that he would win one of this season’s events. Many congratulations go to him and William Horne on their selection for the England Boys squad for 2021 and a final note of thanks to Upminster Golf Club for continuing to host this event. Also our thanks to the Essex Golf Union’s Immediate Past President Roger Walmsley for presenting the trophies donated by his family.
This season has presented the county with some unique challenges which we hope you agree have been intelligently managed and we look forward optimistically that some level of normality is arrived at by the time we get to The Keating Trophy on 17 April 2021.
The Romford Trophy
Romford Golf Club
on Friday 4th September 2020
The penultimate individual strokeplay event of the year was played for at Romford Golf Club. This event has been hosted by Romford Golf Club since 1975. It was a bright but cool start to the day with temperatures rising as the day went on. The course was presented beautifully despite some difficult growing conditions due to not only the weather but also the COVID-19 situation playing a part in the complicated lead up to the event. A full field of 72 players safely competed over 36 holes with specific guidelines in place.
The morning round suggested that conditions were at their easiest on the day with four players breaking par, two of which might be considered the lesser likely of the field with handicaps of 4 & 6 respectively, Romford’s very own Henry Styles and Three Rivers’ Jack Fisk returned with sub-par rounds of 67 & 70. Both of them thrilled with their morning performance and rightly so. Henry’s 67 (-4) was the best score on the day and therefore was sat at the top of the leader board over lunch. Callum Newton (Orsett) & Jackson Garnett (Five Lakes) were one back on 68 (-3).
With the afternoon conditions a little warmer but reportedly a little windier it was set to be a great finish to the event with all to play for. Unfortunately, Jack Fisk’s morning round was not built upon and a 78 saw Jack slide to tied 14th place overall but a valiant effort in this prestigious event, no doubt lunch probably felt quite long for Jack who found himself in contention just three back from the lead. Henry Styles however put together another fine performance managing to shoot a level par 71 for a total of 138 (-4). Once again, a score that would ensure his handicap would plummet, but his name rise to the top of the leader board as he returned to the clubhouse. Callum Newton returned a steady afternoon round also equalling the course par of 71 meaning he would sit just one back from Henry on 139 (-3). Jackson Garnett, meanwhile, who was playing with Callum found himself stood on the 14th tee at -3, tied with his playing partner Callum. After a bogey 5 it must have felt like it was slipping from his grasp. With Callum now one in front, stood on the 15th tee the final four holes were to be crucial in the overall re
sult. Jackson’s birdie, par, birdie, birdie finish was nothing less than fantastic. Overtaking not only Callum but also Henry finishing with a 69 (-2) meaning his 5 under par total of 137 was enough to win the trophy. The sweetener for Henry was that he won the nett competition by 6 shots shooting 12 under his handicap on the day, well done Henry on a fine performance. Congratulations on a fine performance Jackson and one that had been coming after some pretty decent form since the lockdown.
Our thanks go to Romford Golf Club for hosting The Romford Trophy once again under some difficult guidelines in place but also for presenting their course and club in as always, such a splendid manner. We would also like to thank the Chairman of Romford Golf Club, Mr Ian Seymour for presenting the prizes alongside our County President Mr Brian Collins. We look forward to returning next year.
89th Essex Amateur Golf Championship
Sunday 30th August
at Three Rivers Golf & Country Club
The county's premier event The Essex County Championship is normally played over 72 holes, but due to these exceptional circumstances this year's event was an abridged 36 hole version played over the par 72 Kings Course at County President Brian Collins' home golf club in Cold Norton.
Starting their morning rounds from the 10th the Orsett pair of Zac Chegwidden and Callum Newton both set off with birdies and by adding a further two én route Callum completed his outward nine in a highly satisfactory 32 strokes. Zac however had the misfortune of matching his three outward birdies with bogies and turned level. Elsewhere William Horne and Brandon Meads were having a little more difficulty with their outward nine holes, however with both birdieing the 1st and 3rda measure of respectability was injected into their rounds, despite both having later bogies.
Having completed his morning round with a score of two over par and back in 14th place Brandon Meads started his afternoon round with some blistering golf and five birdies in his outward nine put a smile on his face as he turned for home three under and leading the field. A further birdie at the 10th took him to -4 and a clean card to the clubhouse gave him the lead on 140 strokes.
These are of course “what might have beens” and the truth is that Brandon Mead's excellent afternoon round and in particular his front nine were critical in enabling him to emerge as the Essex County Champion golfer for 2020 and retain the title he won last year, with the Jubilee Trophy awarded to the best score from a player under 21 going to the ever improving William Horne and Callum Newton as runner-up. With Zac and Callum both in the top four finishers the Esplen Team Trophy inevitably went to Orsett who with a four under par score of 284 finish ten strokes ahead of their nearest rivals Ben Humphrey and Shay McQueen from Chelmsford Golf Club.
Tale of the Race to The Tape
ESSEX SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP
Chelmsford Golf Club
26th & 27th August 2020
The re-arranged 2020 Seniors Championship was hosted by Chelmsford Golf Club who welcomed 66 seniors from around the county to compete over the two days. The course was in excellent condition with little sign of the low rainfall over the preceding months and the greens were running quick and true. A strong wind was blowing on day one, presenting a stiff challenge to the players.
Few players managed to post anything around the par of 68 but Mark Lazarus (Romford) set the early target with a very creditable 71. As half the field had completed their round Keith Robinson (Chelmsford) and then Keith Davies (Chelmsford) also submitted scores of 71. This remained the leading position until the grouping of defending Champion Ian Moore (Romford), Paul Knight (Wanstead) and Mike Partridge (Thorndon Park) submitted scores of 70, 72, and 69 respectively. So as the wind started to abate in the evening of day one Mike Partridge held a slender lead to take into day two.
On day two the course proved just as challenging to the players, the wind had dropped but rain would arrive soon after the start of play to make it an uncomfortable afternoon for many. Mark Lazarus was one of the first of the challengers to complete his round, a 74, to give a 145 total for everyone else to aim at. Bobby Platts (Thorpe Hall) submitted a score of 72, which proved to be one of the best in the second round, but a poor first round meant the leader in the clubhouse was not yet challenged. Mike Partridge managed a 74 on day two to squeeze into a narrow lead on 143, just too good for Ian Moore this year, as his 75 gave him a two round total of 145, the hat-trick of wins was not to be. Paul Knight was one of the few leading players to improve on their first round score, submitting a very good 71 (the best on day two), for a 143 total to match Mike Partridge. As ties are resolved on count back in this event, Paul’s 72 -71 proved decisive, and he was declared the 2020 Essex Seniors Champion.
In the handicap categories prizes are presented to those who did not feature in the gross prizes. The over 55’s winner was Nick Taylor (Chigwell), with a total of 137, playing off his 9 handicap.
The over 60’s winner was Richard Higgins (Stock Brook Manor), with a nett score of 140 from his handicap of 9.
For the over 65’s Laurie Baker (Chelmsford) made use of his local knowledge to take the honours with a score of 139 with his handicap of 5.
In the Over 70’s, Ray Rantell (Chelmsford) playing off his 8 handicap, managed a narrow victory with his nett 146 total.
Our thanks to the Board of Chelmsford Golf Club for their assistance in re-scheduling this event, to the whole Chelmsford team in presenting the course in superb condition, and also helping to ensure everything was done to deliver a smooth and successful championship.
Looking forward to next year, the 2021 championship returns to Bentley GC in early July.
Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy & Colts Championship
Monday 17th August 2020
Thorpe Hall Golf Club
Normally contested in May the Sir Michael Bonallack & Colts Championship was the County’s second championship of this Covid affected season. As always it took place on Sir Michael’s long time home track at Thorpe Hall Golf Club, which was in excellent condition.
As is becoming an increasingly common feature the championship entry was dominated by the county’s younger players who had the good fortune of avoiding torrential downpours that engulfed nearby postcodes. Playing the back nine first Lewis Wright was swiftly into his work reeling off five birdies on the way out although his progress was hindered by a couple of bogies particularly one on the short and relatively simple 13th. Despite three birdies his return to the clubhouse was again spoilt by a couple of bogies, nevertheless a round of 67 against a par of 71 was a more than respectable morning’s work. With an opening offering of 69 Dylan Hussey will have been more than happy with his morning offering, however a nasty double bogey on the 12th, which proved to be the day’s most troublesome hole, will have been a significant irritation. At the lunch break Harley Smith was off the pace and will doubtless have been disappointed with what for him was an ordinary morning round of 72. Three bogies and only two birdies was not a fair reflection of this young man’s talent.
So on to the afternoon when as always the fun really begins. After four holes which including a birdie and eagle Lewis was 7 under par and looking comfortable, but a bogey at five followed by doubles at eight and nine took him back to two under. Harley kicked off his front nine with three bogies and two birdies and got to the turn at 2 over par for the day, whilst Dylan matched a pair of birdies with bogies and also turned at two under on the day. Birdies from Harley Smith at ten and eleven meant that when Lewis and Dylan bogied the 12th he was one off the lead with seven holes to play, then his birdie at the 16th meant the three of them were tied up at -1 for the day. So it became a two hole championship between these three young men and with Lewis Wright birdieing the 18th and in the clubhouse on 140 it was left to Harley Smith in the final group to at least equal that birdie and force a play-off, however his missed birdie putt on the 18th green left eighteen year old Lewis Wright, the elder statesman of this trio, as winner of both the Sir Michael Bonallack & Colts Championships.
Thanks as always go to EGU officials and Thorpe Hall Golf Club for ensuring competitive golf continues in these difficult circumstances.
(Chelmsford Golf Club)
Tale of the race to the tape
In Partnership with
Played at Maylands Golf Club on Sunday 29th September 2019
This year 46 teams representing 35 Clubs set off to play 18 holes in a fourball better ball stableford format, in what is traditionally the closing strokeplay event of the season in the Essex County calendar. The weather was overcast with a heavy downpour of rain a short while before the first tee times making the course play its full length. Green fairways and lush greens made a beautiful setting for our competitors to do battle.
One of the first scores returned was an excellent 42 points in the challenging conditions from the Mardyke Valley pairing of Eric Mayell and Tyler Moore. This was soon followed in by the Hainault pair of David Cope and Malcolm Hart who scored a creditable 40 points.
As half the field had just about completed their rounds Andy Gardiner and Danny Bird from Upminster moved into a slender clubhouse lead with 43 points. There were some more great scores to come in the forty points bracket. Both Benton Hall pairings, Kenny Gee & Chris Robinson and Alan Moore & Steve McKoy scored 42 points, as did Jeff Ball & Yasar Soyler from Ilford, and Boyce Hill Pairing of Steve Smyth and Alex McGown submitted a 41 points total.
It was looking very congested at the top of the leaderboard with four teams on 42 points, one behind the leaders from Upminster. The Theydon Bois pair of Michael Charlton & Chris Hughman then upset the apple cart by coming in with another great score of 43 points. Their back nine of 24 points was more than good enough to secure top spot on countback. It was a lead that none of the late starters could challenge.
So the final result was a win for Theydon Bois on countback from Upminster. Third place went to early leaders Mardyke Valley, and fourth place were the Benton Hall pair of Gee & Robinson.
We thank the sponsors of this event Mullis & Peake LLP and Maylands Golf Club for their hospitality and hosting the competition.
ESSEX FOURSOMES CHAMPIONSHIP
West Essex Golf Club
22nd September 2019
The 2019 Essex Foursomes was hosted by West Essex Golf Club. The silver tankards which are presented to the winners, were provided to the Essex Golf Union by Mr G E Larman, a Past Captain of Rochford Hundred Golf Club and President of the EGU in 1932.
This year a total of 34 teams took part from 27 Essex Clubs. It was a good representation for what has remained one of our most prestigious events of the calendar. The Weather forecast for late afternoon was similar to last year, when we were forced to cancel the event due to heavy rain flooding the greens. This year it was slightly more kind to the players, as the rain only fell for brief periods which meant the full 36 holes were achievable.
The early leaders in the morning were four pairs all sat on one over par 72. Nicholas Callison & Jack Cook of Upminster, Jack Brown & Paul Prebble of Chelmsford, Patrick Arundel & Harry Wood of Boyce Hill and Five Lakes’ team of Will Boniface & Jackson Garnett. Two shots back from the leading quartet was another four teams tied for 5th spot, all poised to make a charge in the afternoon. These included Orsett’s Zachary Chegwidden & Cassidy Steffens and Romford’s Richard Collins & James Hazell. On 75 (+4) was Boyce Hill’s other team of David Abbott & Ricky Lee.
The afternoon provided some exciting competition, with a number of teams all making an effort to climb the leader board. None more so than Benton Hall’s Paul Springall & Andrew Reynolds whose 3 birdies and just 2 bogeys saw their one under par 70 (and low score of the day) hoist them up into the top ten. Unfortunately, their morning round left them requiring a little more to be in the prizes but great golf all the same in testing conditions. Paul Prebble and Jack Brown of Chelmsford and Jack Cook & Nicholas Callison of Upminster dropped down the leader board with their matching afternoon scores of 79. Richard Collins and James Hazell dropped to 5th position after an afternoon score of 76 which meant they just missed out on the prizes by a shot on 150. On 149 was Orsett’s duo of Zach Chegwidden & Cassidy Steffens and Boyce Hill’s Dave Abbot & Ricky Lee.
Boyce Hill’s afternoon score of 74 which matched Orsett’s morning round meant they pipped them on countback so Orsett had to settle for fourth whilst Boyce Hill took third spot.Boyce Hill also took second spot as their other team of Harry Wood & Patrick Arundel put together another fine round to total 148, which meant they squeezed into the runners up spot. Two shots clear of them were the most consistent team on the day. A 72 followed by their afternoon score of 74 for a 146 total and taking this year’s Essex Foursomes Championship were Five Lakes’, William Boniface & Jackson Garnett. A well-deserved victory, which included 5 birdies and an eagle over their 36 holes of golf, always impressive in a foursome’s format.
Lawrence Kingsnorth, County President Elect, and Paul Nash, West Essex Club Captain, were on hand to present the winners with the silver tankards, prize vouchers and medals for becoming the 2019 Essex Foursomes Champions. Thank you to West Essex Golf Club for hosting such a fine event and offering fantastic hospitality.
Upminster Trophies 2019
Upminster Golf Club
14th September 2019
A gloriously sunny autumn morning greeted competitors for the county’s final individual stroke play Championship of the season and with only a hint of a breeze some low scoring should be on the cards. The operative word here is “should”, but with slick greens despite a par of 69 the Upminster course was not to be taken lightly. Indeed the fact that over the day only two players broke par is a testament to the challenge it presented players.
The morning was dominated by an excellent 2 under par 67 from Bailee Curran whose four bogies were balanced by four birdies with the highlight of his round being an ace at the 142 yard fourth hole. Zac Chegwidden and Martin Blake enjoyed lunch in second place with level par rounds and although Zac matched his 3 birdies with bogies Martin needed an eagle on the par 5 17thto balance the books. But for his double bogey at the par 3 16thBen Humphrey would have also been satisfied with his morning work, but had to settle for a two over 71. Playing in the last group Alex Christie returned to the clubhouse with a four over par round of 73 which included a triple bogey on the 8thand was saved from near disaster by birdies on 16, 17 and 18.
The afternoon temperature had risen significantly from the early morning as did the quality of Alex Christie’s golf who in the space of nine holes went from four over to one under playing the outward nine in a remarkable 28 strokes. With the only par fives on the return nine Alex could be forgiven for dreaming of a sub 60 round. Despite Alex’s antics after 11 holes the leader on the course was still Bailee Curran who had methodically plotted his way with consecutive pars and remained two under.
As always seems to be the case, the back nine sorts out what order the prizes would be awarded and of the five leaders only Zac Chegwidden managed to complete the inward journey better than par. A triple bogey on 14 followed by a bogey on the next hole put paid to Ben Humphrey’s chances of winning even with the final birdie. Similarly Martin Blake’s mixture of all sorts on the final third of the round relegated him to five over par for the day.
Once the scorecards had been audited the prizes were handed out with Zac Chegwidden declared winner of the Upminster Bowl awarded to players under the age of 25, Bailee Curran in second and Ben Humphrey third.
The Upminster Trophy for players over the age of 25 was awarded to Alex Christie, with Martin Blake a little way behind in second place. However special mention must go to veteran John Wright, who captured third place from much younger competitors.
Our thanks go to Upminster Golf Club and the members for giving up the course for the day and providing a facility in such fine condition as was the catering. Final thanks go to Roger Walmsley our immediate past President of Essex Golf Union as well as past Captain of Upminster Golf Club who presented the prizes.
Also Pictured here with Alex and Zach is the 2019 Order of Merit Winner from Thorndon Park, Lukas Warren who had sealed the OOM victory heading into the final eveny of the year. Congratulations Lukas on your consistent year.
The race to the line:
The Romford Trophy 2019
Romford Golf Club
The end of summer signifies the arrival of the County’s autumn swing the first event of which is The Romford Trophy, the penultimate Order of Merit event of the year. This event has been hosted by Romford Golf Club since 1975 and invariably attracts a very strong field with this year being no exception. Amongst the entries were Jack Brown fresh from his success at the South East of England Links Championship the previous week, Arron Edwards Hill the current trophy holder and also a winner of the North of Ireland Amateur Championship together with Open Qualifier and current English Champion of Champions Curtis Knipes.
With the post lunch weather showing no sign of improving Curtis Knipes kicked his afternoon round off with a double bogey at the first, which he followed up with another bogey at hole four relegating him to -1 for the day, however by the turn birdies on 5, 6 and 9 helped him back to where he started the afternoon round. By way of contrast Shay McQueen followed his bogey on the 2ndwith four consecutive birdies taking his score at the turn to 7 under for the day and a timely eagle from Kishen Velani at the 5thleft him one stroke adrift of Shay. A pair of birdies at the opening holes elevated Arron to four under, but still trailing the leader by three strokes. We hear time and again that tournaments are won and lost on the final nine holes and this year’s Romford Trophy could not illustrate that mantra better. As the weather changed and the sun made an appearance the temperature rose, so began the turnaround in fortunes. Andrew Reynolds of Benton Hall, who started his afternoon well adrift of the leaders at one over par proceeded to puttogether the low round of the day 66, which included six birdies and one bogey and enough to earn him top prize in the handicap section with five handicapper Tom Gale from Playgolf Colchester a very creditable runner-up.
At the halfway point in the afternoon one could be forgiven for thinking that the winner of this prestigious county event would be between Kishen Velani and Shay McQueen, indeed even more so after 13 holes when both players were seven under par, but the game of golf is not that simple. Curtis Knipes who started his afternoon round so poorly pressed the reset button and
proceeded to reel off six birdies including three in the final four holes. Whilst Arron Edwards Hill having bagged a couple of bogeys on the inward nine consolidated his round with three birdies in the final four which was enough to overhaul Shay McQueen and Kishen Velani, whose rounds faltered in the race for the line. Having won this trophy for the past two years Arron’s quest for a third was a bold one, but this year thwarted by Curtis Knipes the man who has beenon
his tail at both those previous victories. Arron was awarded second prize on countback from Kishen Velani with Shay McQueen fourth. Fourteen year old Harley Smith continues to impress and whilst he came away empty handed from this event he will without question win many tournaments in the years to come.
In their 125thyear our special thanks go to John Fitch and Romford Golf Club for their hospitality and again facilitating the County. To mark their anniversary the England Champion Club Tournament will be held at Romford GC on 21stand 22ndof September when Essex will be represented by a three man team from Thornton Cup and Esplen Trophy winners Chelmsford.
The tale of the race to the tape:
The Cliffords Trophy
Warley Park Golf Club
The Cliffords Estate continued their support of this event this year sponsoring the main prizes, as always, we are grateful for your support of the amateur game in Essex.
It was a mixed start at Warley Park Golf Club, early weather conditions looking bleak with the occasional show of sunshine. Around 10 o’clock once everyone had started the sky turned black and rainfall was imminent. An hour or so later the rain had fallen so heavily that some of the greens had flooded and play was suspended for 30 minutes. Despite this, once play recommenced the course was very well-presented, the rain had only helped the course conditions by softening the fairways and greens. Unfortunately, the temporary delay had definitely hampered the momentum of some of the 50 players.
Order of Merit leader Lukas Warren (Thorndon Park) managed to negotiate his way round in just 70 shots (1 under par). This was tied with Kishen Velani’s (Wanstead) 70, which could have been a lot better after his first nine holes were played in 5 under par with a bogey on the tenth, Kishen’s first hole. Jack Dyer was the only man able to shoot lower than Lukas and Kishen, managing 4 birdies and an eagle with 4 bogeys equating to his 2 under par round of 69. Other noticeable names on the morning leader board would be on 1 over par 72, Warley Park member Ryan Cox, Zachary Chegwidden from Orsett. George Gennings from Thorndon Park was one back on 73 (+2).
Lunch gave the players a chance to dry out and regroup. The sun decided to come out and the day turned into a warm and bright one with a moist course ready to welcome a field of
hungry competitors. The afternoon scores could not have expressed this fact more so, with no less than 8 players breaking par. Harry Wood (Boyce Hill), Shaun Mills (Orsett) both had 70’s (-1) and Lukas matched his morning round totalling 140 (-2), which was good enough to secure 1stplace on the leader board. Three more players had 69’s (-2) in the afternoon, Andrew Reynolds (Benton Hall), Joe Green (Orsett) & George Gennings (Thorndon Park). George’s 69 along with his 73 in the morning meant a level par day on 142, which took 5thplace overall. Kishen’s level par 71 in the afternoon sealed 4thspot, and Lukas finished in third as word got around the clubhouse that there was a battle taking place on the course between Dyer and Cox.
Ryan Cox out in 32 and Jack Dyer in 33 meant that with the back nine to go there was just 2 shots in it, Cox on 3 under par but Dyer now on 5 under par for the day. The back nine was an intense display of golf, playing with one another, they were fully aware that the Cliffords Trophy was almost in their grasp. Long-time friends and county representatives, the two had utmost respect for one another as their back nine commenced. Ryan started his back nine par, birdie,
birdie, eagle to get to 7 under par with 5 to play. Jack was two worse just managing the two birdies on 11 & 13. This meant that they were tied on 7 under with 5 left to play.
Ryan made a bogey on 14 but managed to birdie the last in great finishing style to get it back to 7 under. Unfortunately, his course record 63 was not quite enough as Jack’safternoon card was bogey free and his birdie 4 on the 16thmeant he managed a 65 and a total of 8 under par 134. This total was just enough to defend the title he won last year.
Congratulations both players for a tremendous display of golf, friendship, respect and sportsmanship. One new course record and another winning the Trophy, both winners.
The nett prizes were won by Joe Green (Orsett) with a 140 (-2) who finished runner up to Max Briggs (Warley Park) who managed to return a nett 138 (-4). Congratulations to Joe and Max on a successful day’s golf.
We would like to congratulate Jack on his defense of the Cliffords Trophy and thank Warley Park on presenting the course in such fine condition as well as making everyone feel very welcome throughout the day.
ESSEX SENIORS CHAMPIONSHIP
Wanstead Golf Club
4th & 5thJuly 2019
The 2019 Seniors Championship was hosted by Wanstead Golf Club who welcomed the 64 seniors that were due to compete over the two days. The fairways were running fast due to the lack of rain over the past few weeks and the greens were running true. Warm conditions greeted the players on both days with a gentle breeze keeping the players comfortable.
The scores on day 1 proved that the conditions were tough as few players managed to post anything around the par of 69. As half the field had completed their round former Champion, Tiki Hadjioannou (Maylands), submitted a score of 73 to set a challenging Clubhouse lead. This score was soon equalled by Wanstead member, Paul Knight, and Tony Wheals (Orsett). As the late starters began to conclude their rounds John Wright (Basildon) set the bar a little higher with a very steady score of 72. John’s lead was short lived as two of our Seniors County team regulars, Mike Partridge (Thorndon Park) and Ian Moore (Romford) completed rounds of one over par 70. Perhaps the highlight of Thursday’s play was the round of Gerry Keane (Thorndon Park) who managed to negotiate the Wanstead course in 81 strokes. The point to note was that Gerry is 82 years old, and so had managed to score under his age.
On day two the course proved just as challenging to the players. Mark Stones (Boyce Hill) had a slightly disappointing first day 74, but submitted a very tidy second round score of 71 to set the Clubhouse target of 145. Graham Bennet (Chelmsford), a 5 handicapper, then equalled the best score of the championship with an excellent round of 70 to finish on 145, the same score as Mark but just nudging in front on countback. In the last group to complete the final round John Wright proved what a steady Seniors player he has become with a second score of 72, giving him a 144 finishing total. But defending champion, Ian Moore, held his nerve playing alongside John, submitting a score of 71 for a 141 total and a three-shot victory. A great defence of the title he won last year.
In the handicap categories prizes are presented to those who did not feature in the gross prizes. The over 55’s winner was John Moody (Bentley), with a total of 141, playing off his 5 handicap.
The over 60’s winner was a former Seniors Championshipwinner, Peter Cumberworth (Chelmsford), with a nett score of 141 from his handicap of 5.
For the over 65’s Ray Weidner (The Rayleigh Club) took the honours with a score of 143.
For the Over 70’s, John Wisbey (Hainault Forest) playing off his 9 handicap, managed a narrow victory with his nett 141.
Our thanks to Wanstead Golf Club and Secretary Bob Ward along with his team for their strenuous efforts in preparing the course, clubhouse and catering arrangements to help ensure the championship was run in a smooth and successful manner. We also would like to thank the members of Wanstead Golf Club, for giving up their course for the duration of the event.
Looking forward to next year, the 2020 championship returns to Chelmsford GC in early July.
The Herbert Bishop Vase
Thorpe Hall Golf Club
The Herbert Bishop Vase was presented by WH Bishop of Mersea Island Golf Club in 1939 to be competed for by the Captains and Secretaries of the affiliated clubs and the members of the County Executive Committee. In recent years this has been expanded to allow other Club officials to play if the Captain or Secretary/Manager is not available.
This year’s fixture was contested by a field of 34 teams, and Thorpe Hall hosted a magnificent day. The format was fourball betterball stableford with 90% handicap allowance. The weather was warm with bright sunshine in spells throughout the day with swirling winds that made playing conditions and club selection tough. Early scores suggested scoring was going to be tough even though play was taking place on a beautifully presented golf course. The best of the early scores returned were all in the mid-thirties, nothing to write home about, but then in came Ilford’s Kevin & George Durrant with 37 points. They were soon followed in by Iain Kirkman & Eric Howlett of Five Lakes who returned with a respectable 38 points to take the temporary Clubhouse lead, but which was only good enough for 5thplace in the final reckoning. The next best score came in from Canons Brook’s Charles Bateman & Peter Jowett with 39 points, and this was good enough for 4thplace.
The top three places were tightly contested with all three teams with a fantastic score of 40 points. In third place on countback were Jesse Roast & Keith Duggan of Warley Park. John Reeder & Barney Bannington from Theydon Bois were sat in the clubhouse for some time at the top of the leader board, having scored 19 points on the back nine, and as fewer and fewer teams were left out on the course it was beginning to look like it was going to be their day.
But, last in off the course were the pair from Burnham on Crouch, Paul Hegarty & Warren Needham. Burnham’s duo managed to negotiate the back nine in 20 points which snatched the trophy from Theydon Bois’ grasp.
Warren Needham’s speech was complimentary of the course and the hospitality on display from Thorpe Hall and he thanked his playing partners and the Essex Golf Union for such an enjoyable & successful day. He also thanked the Essex Golf Union for all the work they do for clubs in administering competitions each year.
Congratulations to all our winners and a huge thank you to Thorpe Hall Golf Club and all of their staff who were fabulous hosts as always, on and off the course.
Colchester Golf Club
The 2019 Veterans Trophies was hosted by Colchester Golf Club. The weather was kind considering it was overcast all day with storms and heavy rain forecast. Plenty of rainfall over the previous 48 hours and the cool conditions, with little wind made for ideal playing conditions. A field of 66 players competing in a stableford format were looking to win one of two trophies presented at this over 55’s event. The Veterans Trophy is for the overall winner, and the second piece of silverware is for the best score returned by a player who is over 70 years of age, the Over 70’s Salver.
The scoring did not prove to be as easy as expected. A number of early starters commented that the course was in great shape, but their golf unfortunately did not match it. It wasn’t until Colchester Golf Club’s very own Bill Eke returned with a score of 37 points that the competition heated up. Bill took the lead with half the field nearly in already. Almost immediately Gerry Keane of Thorndon Park returned a great score of 39 points taking the lead from Bill. Shortly after that, a fine display of golf from a County Senior player, Kevin Saunders from Thorndon Park was on show. Playing off a 3 handicap Kevin managed to negotiate his way around the parkland course with a fantastic score of 41 points, a gross score of 68, two under par.
Stockbrook Manor’s Andy Parker was in the penultimate group out and his three 4 point holes meant his total of 42 points would upset the leaders. A fantastic total that saw Andy not only take the title but also meant his handicap would be reduced from 12.0 to 10.4, the lowest Andy has ever been.
During the presentation, Andy thanked Colchester Golf Club for the way in which they had not only prepared the course but also in the way the players had been treated during the day. He also thanked the Essex Golf Union and expressed his happiness by commenting on how great days like this are organised so that so many familiar faces can reunite on and off the golf course, he was delighted with the victory. Brian Collins, Essex Golf Union President, also thanked Colchester Golf Club and the Captain of the club Mr Jim Wilkinson in presenting the prizes.
The Over 70’s Salver was won once again similar to last year, by a past winner of the Veterans Trophy, this year Gerry Keane (Thorndon Park) took the Salver with his splendid total of 39 points. Runner Up was Fred Beaumont (Hainault Forest) with a respectable 32 points.
Kevin Saunders, Runner Up (Thorndon Park), Over 70’s Winner Gerry Keane (Thorndon Park) & Andy Parker (Stockbrook Manor), pictured here with EGU President Brian Collins.
Andy Parker (Stockbrook Manor), being presented the Trophy by EGU President Brian Collins.
Our thanks to Colchester Golf Club for their excellent hospitality and well-prepared course, and to their Men’s Captain Jim Wilkinson who presented all the prizes following the evening meal along with our President, Brian Collins.
Essex Amateur Championship,
8th & 9thJune 2019
Romford Golf Club
The first morning of the 2019 Essex Amateur Golf Championship was greeted by cloudy skies a strengthening wind throughout the day and a little drizzle now and then. A strong field of 72 players set out on a very well-presented Romford course, toughened up a little to present a good challenge for the elite golfers in the county.
As the first players started to return scores from their morning rounds it was clear that the players were facing a stiff test, the early pace was set by Tom Neale (Harwich & Dovercourt) with a one over par 72, and he was soon joined by Joe Tatam (Brentwood), with George Gennings (Thorndon Park) going one better to earn the Clubhouse lead with a level par 71. This score was not bettered, but George was joined by Brandon Meads (Chelmsford), Alex Christie (Basildon), Daniel Vaughan (Orsett), Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill), and Callum Pipe (Braintree), in a six-way tie at the top of the leader board.
The players headed out for the afternoon rounds all competing to be placed in the top 42 by the end of the day to qualify for the final day on the Sunday. Joe Tatam continued his good form returning a level par 71 for a 143 total, setting the early target as George and Tom struggled to match their morning figures. Alex Christie then returned the first sub-par round of the day with a two under par 69, giving a 140 halfway total. Kishen Velani also returned a 69 in his second round, giving him a 143 total, which would eventually leave him tied for fourth place. Dan Vaughan and Ricky Lee both signed for 72’s in the afternoon to also finish on 143 totals. Harry Robson (Orsett) was one of the last players to finish, a good afternoons work added a 69 to his morning 73 elevating him into third place on his own. But Brandon Meads played an excellent round in the windy conditions for a 68, the best score of the day, and had already set the overnight pace with a three under par total of 139.The team competition for the Esplen Trophy is competed for over the first day of competition. Boyce Hill represented by Ricky Lee and Harry Wood finished as runners-up to the Chelmsford pair of Brandon Meads and Shay McQueen. The Chelmsford team finishing with a combined two over par now qualify to represent Essex in the England Golf Champion Club tournament in September, coincidentally being played at Romford Golf Club.
The top 42 and ties qualified for the Sunday, which actually meant that 45 players were lined up to compete on the Sunday morning. The weather conditions that greeted the players were much improved on the first day, but as final preparations were being made for the early morning starters everyone stopped and stared at the sky, as two hot air balloons running out of fuel descended onto the course to land!
Play commenced on time as the two new ‘obstructions’ were being removed from the course. In the first game out Ryan Tattan (Chelmsford) brought home a very good score of 68 to move him well up the field, and it was all change at the top of the leader board as this time it was Harry Robson submitting the 68. Brandon struggled to find his form on the greens and slipped to a 73, Ricky Lee closed in on the lead with a two under par 69, and Alex continued his very steady performance with another level par 71. With 18 holes left to decide this year’s winner, Harry Robson (210) held a slender one stroke advantage over Alex Christie, with Ricky Lee and Brandon Meads one shot further back. The rest of the field were four shots further back, so all the final round focus was on these four players.
Back in the chasing pack Lukas Warren (Thorndon Park) and Ryan Cox (Warley Park) both finished with their best rounds of the weekend, a 68, in Ryan’s case this was good enough to push him into a 5thplace finish on 287. Ricky Lee was the first to finish out of the third round leaders, he couldn’t quite maintain his good form finishing with a 73, taking the Clubhouse lead with 285. Alex Christie ran out of steam and could only manage a 74, as did Harry Robson who submitted a final round 76. It was left to Brandon Meads to make the championship his own, he recovered from a poor third round to complete a composed final round of 68 to comfortably win the Trophy. An excellent total of four under par (280) winning the competition by 5 shots in the end, proving him worthy of the title, Essex Amateur Champion 2019.
Romford Golf Club were excellent hosts of this year’s championship with nothing left to chance. The course was prepared to a high standard, designed to challenge the best amateur golfers in the county. All the players were very complimentary about the hospitality provided by our hosts.
Our thanks go to Romford Golf Club and their members, staff and volunteers (especially those helping to prepare the course from 5.30 each morning) that made the day such a success. We also congratulate Brandon on becoming our 2019 Champion golfer.
The Estuary Trophy 2019
Played in Conjunction with
The Threagill Trophy (Orsett GC OOM) &
The Boyce Hill Challenge Bowl (Boyce Hill OOM)
3rd & 30th May 2019
The Estuary Trophy is a World Amateur Golfing Ranking (WAGR) event, played over 36 holes at Orsett GC (Threadgill Trophy) and 36 holes at Boyce Hill GC (Boyce Scratch Bowl).
This year there were 24 entries into this competition which combined two Essex Order of Merit events. In the first half of the competition at Orsett, Lukas Warren (Thorndon Park) set the early pace with a superb first round 67, five under par. This was closely followed by Daniel Vaughan (Orsett) with a 69, and a number of other players breaking par with opening 71’s.
In the second round Shaun Mills (Orsett) followed up his opening 71 with a fine 70, setting the halfway pace with a 141 total. Lukas and Daniel both failed to match their morning excellence and submitted a 75 and 73 respectively, both finishing on 142 at the end of the first day. These three players had opened up a six shot gap on the rest of the field.
The Threadgill Trophy going to Shaun Mills on another superbly presented Orsett course.
A couple of weeks later and the focus had moved on to Boyce Hill for the second half of the competition in difficult breezy conditions. Lukas Warren hit the birdie button again with an excellent two under par round of 66 to take a commanding lead into the final round on 208. Daniel Vaughan had an error struck round of 77, with Shaun Mills suffering with an 80. Jack Brown (Chelmsford) moved into second place overall with a fine round of 69, giving him a nine-shot deficit to try to make up in the afternoon. Dave Abbott (Boyce Hill) made use of his local knowledge to submit a 71 and move into closer contention for the third placed prize.
The Boyce Hill course looked in great condition and ready for a good score in the afternoon, but the pressure on the leading players made it tough to score well. From the contenders Daniel Vaughan returned the best score, a one over par 69, for a 288 total. Dave Abbott followed up his good morning with a slightly better afternoon round of 70, his score of 290 being good enough for 3rdplace. Both Jack Brown and Lukas Warren struggled in the afternoon breezy conditions, both shooting 75. Jack slipped down to 4thplace with a 292 total, but Lukas had done enough to claim outright victory with a 283 total.
Well done to Lukas for a well-earned victory and his first step onto the WAGR listings.
A mention for Jack Dyer, back from College in the USA too late for the Threadgill event, he scored 70 + 64 to finish 2 under par at Boyce Hill and collect the Boyce Scratch Bowl trophy.
SIR MICHAEL BONALLACK & COLTS CHAMPIONSHIP
Thorpe Hall Golf Club, 24th May 2019
The Thorpe Hall Golf Course was in superb condition once again with all players impressed by the fast running greens. The morning’s play was impressive, but the course was playing tough. One of the early starters, William Horne (Thorndon Park), set the standard with a one over par 72. The rest of the field then tried their best to beat the target that Will had set. Alex Bradley (Chelmsford) also managed a 72, as did one of the late starters, Shay McQueen (Chelmsford), but no-one manged to better the early pace. A number of other players were sitting just behind the leaders at lunch with very creditable scores, Jake McGlinchy (Woolston Manor) 73, and with 74’s were Lukas Warren (Thorndon Park), Michael Gilbert (Chelmsford) and Daniel Vaughan (Orsett).
The Colts Championship for Under 21’s is run in conjunction with The Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and this year the halfway lead was held by two of the three on morning rounds of 72, William Horne and Shay McQueen.
In the afternoon Will Horne set out early again, knowing that he was in the mix for a podium finish, the added pressure on this 15 year-old young man did him no harm at all. An excellent round of golf resulted in a two under par 69, leaving him with the early Clubhouse lead on 141 (1 under par). The gauntlet had well and truly been thrown down to the other challengers. Alex Bradley was the next of the morning leaders to complete his second round, but a few mistakes cost him a score of 79 and he fell by the wayside, as did Jake McGlinchy who struggled to contend with a stiffening breeze. Lukas Warren then returned a steady score of 72, total of 146, good but not quite good enough to topple Will. Michael Gilbert could not make any impact on the leader, but Harry Wood (Boyce Hill) then returned the second best score of the day, a level par 71, a total of 146, and squeezing into second place with only a few player left to finish. It was left to Shay McQueen to make the final challenge to Will Horne, he returned the second best score of the day, a one under par 70 for a 142 total, just missing out by one shot.
So William Horne secured both the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and The Colts Championship with a fine performance, with second and third in both competitions going to Shay McQueen and Harry Wood respectively.
In the nett handicap prizes were home Club member Tony Wan (Thorpe Hall) with second place going to Tom Hatton (Stoke by Nayland).
One final prize presentation was also made, to Joe Green (Orsett) who had a hole-in-one on the 7thhole, a 180 yard par 3. Will received a warm round of applause as following the presentation of both Trophies to him he made a confident speech for one so young. We are sure we will be seeing Will at the top of leader boards for a number of years to come. Thank you to Thorpe Hall Golf Club, their staff and the members for giving up their course for the day, and for their impeccable hospitality.
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Three Rivers Golf Club, 6th, 13 and 14th April 2019
The Essex Golf Union’s first Championship of the season saw Three Rivers Golf & Country Club host 72 competitors as they played 36 holes of golf over a very challenging and well-presented course. Only 16 places were on offer for the Matchplay Finals that took place on the 13th & 14th April also hosted by Three Rivers. The 72 competitors were wrapped up well to avoid the bitterly cold winds that swept across the course in the morning. The temperature did not rise much during the day and left 56 disappointed, as well as cold, players at the end of the Qualifying stage of the Keating Trophy. A terrific event which saw some great golf played as the counties finest battled for a place in the Matchplay stages.
The strong field found the course in fine condition with the greens running fast, especially for April. However, the cold wind took its toll, with only 6 players breaking par over the whole day. In the morning, Callum Newton (Orsett), Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) & Oscar Yeomans (Chelmsford) all managed to pick up a shot on the course, all shooting one under par 71s. They were two shots clear of Joshua Read (The Rayleigh Club) and Nathan Parrish (Chelmsford) heading into the afternoon round.
The afternoon was slightly damper as light rain occasionally fell on parts of the course. Despite the stiff breeze, the three that beat par in the afternoon were Lukas Warren (Thorndon Park), Josh Read (The Rayleigh Club) and low score of the day was Harry Robson (Orsett) with a 69 (-3). Harry’s ‘Chalk & Cheese’ display managed to get him 11th spot and secured a place in the Matchplay rounds the following weekend. Harry was one of 5 competitors that qualified from Orsett; Shaun Mills reinstated as an amateur late last year took 16th spot, Cassidy Steffens took 13th, Joshua Tobin and Callum Newton tied on 147 for 3rd and 4th respectively. A total of three players from Chelmsford also managed to qualify, in 14th spot was Alex Bradley with a total of 152, Harvey Sullivan was a shot better on 151 with Oscar Yeomans on 150 after his 79 in the afternoon. Josh Read’s steady total of 144 (Level par) for the 36 holes saw him win the Qualifier by three shots from Orsett duo Callum Newton & Joshua Tobin, both on 147, along with Thorndon Park’s Lukas Warren after his well-crafted 71 in the afternoon. Final Qualifying places can be seen below.
At the Matchplay stages, some great battles took place. The 16 players took to the course on the Saturday morning and by 5pm there were just 4 left in the competition, 3 of the top 4 from the stroke play stage, only Lukas Warren narrowly missing out to Alex Christie (Basildon) on the Saturday afternoon by 2&1. On Sunday both semi-finals were close affairs, Joshua Read managed to overcome Callum Newton by way of a 2&1 victory whilst the other Orsett semi-finalist, Joshua Tobin, managed to pip Alex Christie on the 22nd hole. After nearly 90 holes of golf had been played by both remaining players, there was just one more round to play. The final commenced on Sunday afternoon at 13:20 between Joshua Tobin (Orsett) & Joshua Read (The Rayleigh Club). The two players were nip and tuck for the front nine, Tobin with an early lead but Read managed to turn it around at the turn, going into the back nine 1up. Joshua Read holed a 15-footer for a half on the 12th to remain 1up. He then drove the Par 4 13th and capitalised by making birdie to go two up, and then followed that with a 20-foot birdie putt for a half on the 14th to maintain his lead. Tobin made a valiant effort but could not prevent Read from taking his first county title winning 3&2. Both players should be very proud of their play over the course of the week and we congratulate every one of the match play finalists who will pick up valuable Order of Merit points. Top marks to Joshua Read on a splendid performance, winning maximum Order of Merit points for winning both the Stroke play and Matchplay stages.
We would also like to thank Three Rivers Golf & Country Club and all their staff for making us feel so welcome and hosting such a magnificent tournament. The course was very well presented, striped fairways and fast greens are always a treat for the players, especially in April. A special well done to the green keepers.
THE MULLIS TROPHY
Ballards Gore Golf Club, Sunday 30th September 2018
The Mullis Trophy was first played for in 1931 and is traditionally the final competition of the season.
As 35 teams representing 28 Clubs set off to play 18 holes in a fourball better ball stableford format, the weather was bright but breezy with warm spells for most of the day. The course was in super condition despite the hot dry summer we have experienced throughout Essex this year.
One of the first scores returned was a fantastic 43 points from Basildon Golf Club’s Dean Geeves & Jason Butler. The first group out off the tenth tee saw the duo make 5 three pointers and a four pointer on the 18thhole to go to the top of the leader board early on. Their Lead lasted the best part of an hour until Brentwood Golf Club’s George Buckley & Eddie Gilbert returned with 44 points, 8 three pointers saw them take the lead with just a few groups left out on the course.
Colchester Golf Club’s pairing of Martin Halls & Danny Simmons managed a very respectable 42 points which saw them on thecusp of the prizes, falling just one point short from original leaders Basildon, who had seen their lead fall away as the afternoon slowly concluded. As Phil Mickelson pulled his tee shot into the water at Paris National to guarantee Europe the Victory in the Ryder Cup, morale was high in the club house. No more so than for The Warren’s Andy Hanby & Martin Lack, the penultimatepairing out on the course returned an amazing score of 47 points. The pair actually dropped a shot making a one pointer on the 4thhole, this was however their only one. 8 three-point holes and a pair of four pointers on holes 5 and 10 meant the pairs 47 points was more than sufficient to win The Mullis Trophy by 3 points.
Pictured Right: Martin Lack & Andy Hanby being Presented the Mullis Trophy by Ballards Gore’s President Tom Kennedy
Congratulations to The Warren’s Andy and Martin, who join the Club’s Norman Plum Team in Victory. A good year for the Warren Golf Club. Our thanks go to Ballards Gore Golf Club for their excellent hospitality, lovely after match meal and beautifully presented course.
Upminster Golf Club, 15th September 2018
The Upminster Trophies are played annually at Upminster Golf Club, the Upminster Bowl is for players who are under 25 and the Upminster Trophy is for players that are 25 years old and over.
The event was the final competition in the race to Essex’s Order of Merit. With Jordan Slater having already secured the number one spot by winning the Order of Merit following the Romford Trophy, second place was up for grabs with just a handful of golfers in the running. The morning was bright but brisk, the course was prepared immaculately with greens that measured 12 on the stimp meter at 7:45am. One hole that caused the players a considerable headache was the 14th. The speed of the greens made this hole location incredibly difficult, resulting in the 14thbeing the hardest rated hole on the day with a shot average of 4.9, nearly a full shot over it’s par. Just two players broke par in the morning round, Harry Robson (Orsett) carded a one under par 68 whilst Shay
McQueen(Chelmsford) opened with a two under par 67. No one managed a level par 69 in the morning which meant these two were the favourites heading into the afternoon round. The afternoon round looked like it could present some exciting golf and it didn’t disappoint. Callum Hilton made a ten-shot improvement on his morning round by carding a 68 which saw him move well up the final leader board. Joe Tatam (Brentwood) returned with scores of 70+71 for 141 (+3). Alongside him were Teddy Papple (Stockbrook Manor) & George Gennings(Thorndon Park) who both had 72+69 for their 141 (+3). Harry Robson faltered a little in the afternoon dropping 4 shots on the back nine finishing with a 71 leaving him on a total of 139 (+1).Meanwhile, Shay McQueen nearly managed a flawless round, if it wasn’t for his only bogey on the 13thhole. However, the 5 birdies he made, meant he had carded the lowest score of the day, a 4 under par 65. This with his 67 of the morning round, totalled a marvellous 132 (-6). Winning by 7 shots Shay demonstrated that despite the tricky green speeds a great score was still achievable. Well Done Shay, some fantastic golf and a long overdue win inan Essex Order of Merit event.
In the Upminster Trophy, Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) was top of the pile with rounds of 70+73 for a 143 finish. Daniel Capps (Thorpe Hall) was just one shot back with rounds of 74+70=144. In third place was Andrew Reynolds (The Essex Golf & Country Club), with rounds of 72+73 for 145 (+7).
Our thanks, as always goes to Upminster Golf Club, their members, all of their staff and their Captain Mr Lee Shaw who helped throughout the day with the starting and presentation of the prizes. Thank you to Upminster Golf Club for their hospitality and we look forward to returning next year.
The Romford Trophy
Romford Golf Club 7th September 2018
A capacity field of 72 players arrived on a bright and fresh September morning at Romford Golf Club to compete for the penultimate Order of Merit event of the calendar, all hoping to win the Romford Trophy, a competition Romford Golf Club have hosted since 1975. The course looked to be in great shape considering the tough climate encountered this season across the county. The day started with little cloud cover but by mid-morning temperatures reached near to the 20s which made playing conditions almost perfect, albeit that there was a stiff breeze that built as the day went on.
The morning’s play saw several good scores returned, including 7 players breaking par. These included Defending Champion Arron Edwards-Hill (Chelmsford) with a 68, Back to back County Champion Curtis Knipes (Abridge) with a 69 and Order of Merit leader Jordan Slater (Colchester) with a leader board topping 67 going into lunch. Other names included Will Percival (Orsett) with a 68, Sam Kinnane (The Warren) & Harry Wood (Boyce Hill) both had 69s and Brandon Meads (Chelmsford) with a one under par 70.
After lunch, the excitement grew as news got back to the clubhouse that a number of the leaders were matching their mornings play with much of the same. William Percival fell off the pace a bit with an afternoon return of 73 (+2) which left him on -1 for the tournament. A respectable total to be sat on, in the clubhouse waiting to see what unfolds. The performance of the day came from 13-year-old Harley Smith (The Rayleigh Club) whose level par 71 in the morning was improved on in the afternoon by one shot. Harley, playing off of a 4-handicap managed to negotiate Romford in just 141 shots over the day, finishing his tournament on 1 under par and a deserved 5thplace overall.
Brandon Meads managed to equal his 70 from the morning round finishing on a -2 total of 140, giving him fourth place on his own. County Champion Curtis Knipes managed to equal his 69 from the morning round which meant he finished on 4 under par for the tournament securing third position. Our defending champion Arron Edwards-Hill was an early starter which meant whatever score he posted, the wait would be a long one. He set a total of 136, two more than that of his winning score last year but still twoclear of Curtis, he asked the question of Jordan Slater. Jordan’s start included back to back birdies and with a further three birdies on his outward nine of 31 he was in a good position. It was then that Jordan struggled to maintain his lead by dropping three in the next four holes falling back to -6 with just 5 holes remaining. His birdie 2 on his 15th hole saw him take the lead once more, but a bogey on his very next hole followed by a couple of pars saw Jordan finish on -6, equalling Arron’s 136.
With no playoff at The Romford Trophy Arron had defended his title on countback, a cruel way for Jordan to lose, but a valiant effort, and 2ndplace still ensured him the Order of Merit title for 2018.
Congratulations to Arron on defending his title and also congratulations to Jordan on a splendid year showing the consistency necessary to win an order of merit, with one counting event left to play at Upminster on the 15thSeptember, where the Upminster Trophies will be competed for. Harley Smith’s total was more than enough to win the nett prize on the day, beating Jordan Slater & Harry Wood by 3 shots with a nett 133 (-9). Patrick Arundel was presented with a special prize following his wedge from 144 yards on the 6thhole which required no more shots before walking to the 7th, a hole in one is always welcome on anyone’s scorecard.
Congratulations to all the winners and our thanks, as always to Romford Golf Club for hosting the event and their exceptional hospitality. We would also like to thank Romford Golf Club Captain John Fuller for his kind words and helping to present the prizes.
Stockbrook Manor - 19th July 2018
Once again it was a glorious day at Stockbrook Manor Golf Club, with the course well-presented. The temperature proved to be a test for the field of 51 players, the wind was challenging but also very welcomed at times throughout the day. The Cliffords Estate continued their support of this event this year sponsoring the main prizes, as always we are grateful for your support of the amateur game in Essex.
Order of Merit leader Jordan Slater (Colchester) managed to take an early clubhouse lead by returning a one under par round of 71. Ben Wyatt (The Rayleigh Club) then returned a two under par 70, which was a nice way to set up his afternoon round in potentially his final tournament as an amateur. Zachary Chegwidden (Orsett) also made a hot start carding a three under par 69 to lead for moments until his playing partner Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred) went one better finishing with a 68 (-4). Their third group member was Ben Humphrey (Chelmsford) who managed a very respectable level par 72.
The course was certainly playing tough in parts, but the scores also suggested a good score could be achieved if you had the strategy and were able to execute it as intended. Joshua Cardy (The Warren) had plotted his way round beautifully, starting on the 10thtee he was standing on his last hole (9th) 6 under par and needing one more birdie for a course record 65. However, a couple of careless shots and a 73 is all Joshua could manage after a disappointing 12 to close his round. This was typical of many scores that were returned on the day due to some holes being very accessible whilst others played havoc with some players scorecards.
Two holes in one were also made, one in the morning by Bill Wreathall (Chelmsford) on the 4th hole, who admitted himself that it wasn’t his best shot, but it got the job done. It is said that there are no pictures on a score card! Alan Angel (West Essex) also made a hole in one on the 17th hole, a nearly 200-yard hole that is a very good test to anyone. Congratulations to Bill and Alan.
The afternoon saw a slight improvement on the scoring, with a total of seven players breaking par. Shay McQueen’s (Chelmsford) 70 and Will Percival’s (Orsett) 69 saw them both rally up the leaderboard to finish a respectable tied 7thon 145 (+1). Zachary Chegwidden could only manage a two over par 74 to finish tied fourth with Order of Merit leader Jordan Slater (Colchester) & Ben Humphrey (Chelmsford) all on 143 (-1). Ben Wyatt (The Rayleigh Club) nearly matched his morning round with a one under par 71 to finish on 141 (-3) taking 3rdplace on his own. The low round of the day and a new course record for an amateur at Stockbrook Manor was Callum Hilton (The Warren). Callum managed to negotiate his way round in just 65 shots, 7 under par, finishing runner up on a five under par total of 139. Congratulations Callum on a wonderful return to golf after a lengthy period out with injury.
So the stage was set for the final group and our morning leader Jack Dyer. Jack returned with a score one better than he managed in the morning round, finishing with a 67 to back up his 68, leaving him on a sensational two round total of 135 (-9), winning by five shots. A fantastic tournament with some formidable golf.
presenting the course in such fine condition as well as making everyone feel very welcome throughout the day. We would also like to thank Richard Higgins, Stockbrook Manor Club Captain for presenting the players with their prizes.
Essex Seniors Championship
Bentley Golf Club – 5th & 6th July 2018
The Seniors Championship was hosted by Bentley Golf Club this year where the recent improvements to the clubhouse made a great welcome to the 64 seniors that were due to compete over the two days. The course was in fantastic condition with greens and fairways running fast due to the heat wave and lack of rain over the past few weeks. The temperature peaked just shy of 30 degrees Celsius on the Thursday which resulted in some tough conditions, especially as there was little wind to help cool the competitors.
The scores on day 1 proved that the conditions were tough as few players managed to post anything around par. The CSS for the day rose to 74 from the SSS of 72. Steve Rooney (Orsett), looking to win his third title in as many years got off to a slow start only managing to post a 9 over par round of 81, the same as Bentley’s very own John Moody. Tony Wheals (Orsett) carded a 77, whilst Basildon’s John Wright and Ilford’s Michael Pinner both returned with 75s which looked like it was good enough to go into day 2 leading. Then Ian Moore’s (Maylands) 73 which consisted of 13 pars, 3 bogeys and 2 birdies took the limelight and the top of the leader board going into the second round which was to follow on the Friday.
On day two, the competition standard scratch was one higher than day one, confirming conditions were not any easier for the field. Steve Rooney improved on his attempt to defend the title but a poor finish to his round meant he could only manage a total of 160 (+16) and 6th place overall. John Moody managed one better returning a score of 78 on the Friday finishing on 159 for 5th place. John Wright slipped down the leader board with a closing 82 leaving him on 157 (+13) for 4th place overall. In third place was Tony Wheals with a pair of 77s making 154 in total., Michael Pinner’s 75 & Friday’s 76 resulted in him guaranteeing second place as leader in the clubhouse with only Ian Moore left in contention. Ian’s finish of 2 under par from his last ten holes was more than enough to secure the Championship. A fine display of golf over the two days finishing with a 146 total, 5 shots clear of second place, Michael Pinner.
In the handicap categories, the over 55’s winner was Richard Higgins (Stockbrook Manor) with a nett 145, followed by John Moody (Bentley) on 149, third was Terry Knight (Orsett) on 151.
The over 60’s winner was James Henderson (Benton Hall) with a nett 149, from Fred Selfe (Belhus Park) on 157. Third was Stephen Rowe (Epping) on 157.
For the over 65’s Kieran Leahy (Hainault Forest) took the honours with a two round nett total of 155, closely followed by Edward Keeble (The Rayleigh Club) on 158.
For the Over 70’s, John Wisbey (Hainault Forest) won his category with a nett 155. Maurice Atkin (Three Rivers) following him home on 155 for 2nd spot.
Our thanks to Bentley Golf Club and Secretary Mark Gallop along with his team for their strenuous efforts in preparing the course clubhouse and catering arrangements to help ensure the championship was run in a smooth and successful manner. We also would like to thank the Captain, Barry Winch-Furness for attending and presenting the prizes to the winners and also the members of Bentley Golf Club, for giving up their course for the duration of the event.
The Herbert Bishop Vase
Colne Valley Golf Club, 27th June 2018
The Herbert Bishop Vase was presented by WH Bishop of Mersea Island Golf Club in 1939 to be competed for by the Captains and Secretaries of the affiliated clubs and the members of the County Executive Committee. In recent years, we have allowed other club officials to play if the Captain or Secretary/Manager is not available.
This year was attended by a field of 40 teams, 39 clubs were represented and Colne Valley hosted a magnificent day. The format was fourball betterball stableford with the 90% of handicap rule being applied. The weather was kind with bright sunshine throughout the day with occasional gusts making playing conditions tricky.
Early scores suggested it was a tough day out on a beautifully presented golf course. A handful of teams in the first few groups
returned scores of 36 points or better. Garon Park’s Graham Purser & Bryan Bone were the first team to return a potential winning score of 39 points with both players failing to score on the first hole. 39 points was a very respectable score regardless and was sufficient to take fourth place away from Burnham on Crouch’s Graham Bowers and Mick Clark who also managed to score 39 points but lost to Garon Park on Countback.
In third place was Basildon’s Alan & Sue Cable with 40 points. Their consistent round included just one hole on the card with a dropped point. Not only did Alan & Sue win 3rdprize, they also won
their respective nearest the hole competitions so a good day all in all for the Basildon Duo. Also on 40 points were Colchester’s Michael Withers & Julie Ruscoe, but their 21 point back nine ensured they came second overall on countback.
Braintree Golf Club’s Craig Greason & John O’Connor managed a huge 43 points which included nine 3 point holes, winning the day by a margin of three points in total.
John’s speech was complimentary of the course and thehospitality on display from Colne Valley and he thanked his playing partners and the Essex Golf Union for such an enjoyable & successful day.
Congratulations to all our winners and a huge thank you to Colne Valley Golf Club who were fabulous hosts as always, on and off the course.
Woolston Manor Golf Club – 19thJune 2018
The 2018 competition was hosted by Woolston Manor Golf Club. The weather was warm due to a humid climate with the occasional burst of bright sunshine. At times a cooling breeze was looking to play havoc on some exposed parts of the course which was in good condition with firm greens. A few late withdrawals reduced the field to 55 players teeing off in the competition.
There are two trophies presented at this over 55’s event, the Veterans Trophy is for the overall winner, and the second piece of silverware is for the best score returned by a player who is over 70 years of age, the Over 70’s Salver.
The scoring was tough due to the gusty winds and general conditions as the field played from the white tees which were said to make the course play its full length despite the hard ground conditions. 35 points returned by Alan Cable (Basildon) & Keith Avery (Three Rivers) led the way for a while until Graham Hammond (Basildon) carded a steady 36 points. Then Kevin Walker (Romford) returned with 37 points which stole the limelight for a short period until Ian Hall (Brentwood) managed to top the leader board with a great score of 38 points playing off of an 18 handicap. This was the best score on a day that saw the CSS rise to 74 from an SSS of 71, proving it was a tough day for scoring for the competitors.
The Over 70’s Salver was won by a past winner of the Veterans Trophy, Martin Cooper (Chelmsford) with 29 points. Martin, having won the Veterans Trophy in 2008 was delighted to win the Over 70’s Salver ten years later in his year of Club Captaincy.
Over 70’s Winner Martin Cooper accepts his prizes from Woolston Manor Captain Andrew Haywood-Dunn and
EGU President Elect, Brian Collins.
Our thanks to Woolston Manor Golf Club for their excellent hospitality and well-prepared course, and to their Men’s Captain Andrew Haywood-Dunn, who presented all the prizes following the evening meal along with our President Elect, Brian Collins.
Essex Amateur Championship
9th & 10th June 2018 at Upminster Golf Club
This year the competition took place at Upminster Golf Club. The first day’s play brought some great golf as well as fantastic weather. A strong field of 78 players with the highest handicapper in the field at just 4.5. Despite the weather and the strength of the field, the scores suggested the course was not playing as easy as first suspected. This was attributable to the speed of the greens, they were running smoothly at 11 on the stimp-meter. The strategically positioned pin locations made it essential to plan your approach shots, with the better scorers on the day leaving their ball on the low side of the hole.
One player that didn’t appear to have any difficulty navigating his way round the course was defending champion Curtis Knipes (Abridge) who managed 7 birdies and just one dropped shot for a new amateur course record of 63. Curtis, who missed a few other birdie opportunities on his way to completing his opening round finished 4 shots clear of the field, with Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred) who managed a very good 2 under par 67, and Callum Pipe (Braintree) & Joe Tatam (Brentwood) who both had one under par 68s leading the chasing pack.
The players headed out for the afternoon rounds all competing to be placed in the top 42 by the end of the day to qualify for the final day on the Sunday. Curtis Knipes’ lead fell to a margin of just one shot after Harry Butler managed a 2 under par round of 67 whilst the best Curtis could manage was a 3 over par 72. Joe Tatam’s afternoon round of 71 saw him remain towards the top of the leaderboard, and Callum Pipe was tied in 3rd position with Jack Dyer on a total of 137, just two shots off the lead.
The top 42 and ties qualified for the Sunday, but early morning phone calls informing the Essex Golf Union of injuries and withdrawals meant a few of the field were missing, including one of the leading contenders, Jack Dyer, who had been hit with a bout of food poisoning overnight.
With the pin positions in slightly more accessible locations on the Sunday it was expected that it would be a low day for scoring. Only four of the field managed to break par in the morning, Ben Tobin (Basildon) and Oscar Yeomans (Chelmsford) with the low score of the day, a 4 under par 65, and two of the final group, 2nd place Harry Butler and leader Curtis Knipes. This meant that Curtis now held a 2-shot cushion going into the final round over Harry Butler, closely followed by Callum Pipe.
Another solid performance over the weekend from Jordan Slater saw him record another top ten finish, which has propelled him up to the top of the 2018 Order of Merit standings as the players head for the next Order of Merit event, The Cliffords Trophy, at Stock Brook Manor in July.
Upminster Golf Club were excellent hosts of this year’s championship with fantastic food and impeccable greens, reports from the players suggested they were very impressed with the condition of the course and many said they were looking forward to returning in September to play in the Upminster Trophies.
Our thanks go to Upminster Golf Club and their members, staff and volunteers that made the day such a success. We also congratulate Curtis on a fantastic victory.
Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy & The Colts Championship
Thorpe Hall Golf Club, Friday 25th May 2018
The Thorpe Hall Golf Course was in exceptional condition and was a much talked about topic throughout the day, as players were impressed with the fast running greens, with the rough left relatively long to punish any wayward shot. The morning’s play was impressive with six of the field breaking par. Three players were tied on rounds of 69, -2. Jack Dyer (Rochford Hundred), Joshua Cardy (The Warren) & Harry Robson (Orsett) all enjoyed a one-shot lead over lunch. The three players that had posted scores of 70, -1, were Estuary Trophy Winner Jay Beisser (Basildon), Keating Trophy Winner (Jordan Slater) & Luke King (Thorpe Hall), making a great start by shooting 6 under his handicap.
The Colts Championship for Under 21’s is run in conjunction with The Sir Michael Bonallack and this year the halfway lead was held by two of the three on morning rounds of 69, Harry Robson and Jack Dyer.
In the afternoon, Luke King struggled to match his morning form but still carded a respectable 78 for a 148 finish, well done Luke, great effort. Jay Beisser matched his morning round by managing another round of 70, -1, finishing on 140 (-2) for the championship. Joshua Cardy also had a 70, making a total of 139. Thanks to his 69 in the morning round the 3 under par total was sufficient to ensure 3rd place on his own. Jordan Slater only managed 1 birdie in the afternoon, however a pair of eagles on the back nine meant he finished on an improved round of 68 and lowest round of the day. I’m sure he will be disappointed with two blemishes on his card which meant he would miss out on the trophy this year but a valiant effort all the same. So, the stage was clear for Jack Dyer, recently returned from college in Florida, Jack managed a 68, 3 under par round to win the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy by one shot from Jordan Slater. Not only that, Jack also picked up the Colts Championship Trophy over his nearest competitor in the field Harry Robson on 144 (+2).
In his winner’s speech Jack showed his maturity and class when referring to Will Turner, a keen junior golfer and former Cadet Captain at Thorpe Hall Golf Club who was also involved with the Junior county teams. Will was a great character who sadly died in a car accident in 2015. Jack made reference to ‘everyone being lucky to be there, playing golf, on such a lovely day, on such a lovely course, not everyone still has that privilege.’ He received a warm round of applause and afterwards after congratulating him on not only a fine day’s golf, but also a very fitting speech, he replied, ‘He has been on my mind all day, I had to say something’.
Congratulations Jack on a fine performance in every way!
Thank you to Thorpe Hall Golf Club, their staff and the members for giving up their course for the day, and for their impeccable hospitality.
THE ESTUARY TROPHY
Orsett Golf Club 4th May & Boyce Hill Golf Club 10th May
The Inaugural playing of the Estuary Trophy competition took place in early May, 36 holes at Orsett on 4thMay followed by 36 holes at Boyce Hill on 10thMay. This 72 hole event is a Men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking event, one of only three events in Essex which hold that status.
The first 36 holes at Orsett were played in conjunction with the Threadgill Trophy, and the high standard of golf was set in the morning round with six players breaking par. The most notable being former County Captain, Jay Beisser (Basildon), who shot a remarkable 7 under par 65. His closest challenger was Shay McQueen (Chelmsford) with a three under par 69.
In the afternoon the high standard was maintained with Jamie Richards (Abridge) recording the best return, a five under par 67. At the halfway point Jay Beisser was leading with a 135 total, followed by Shay McQueen on 142 and then Ben Humphrey (Chelmsford), Keating Trophy winner Jordan Slater (Harwich & Dovercourt), and Jamie Richards all on a one under par total of 143.
The competition then moved on to Boyce Hill, where the second two rounds were played along side the Boyce Hill challenge Bowl. Our halfway leader struggled to a 75 in the morning round, leaving the door open for the rest of the field to close the gap. Shay McQueen produced another steady round with a 69 to close in one shot behind Jay, with Jamie Richards and Jordan Slater also gaining ground with scores of 70. The best score in the third round was recorded by Jack Brown (Chelmsford) with a 66, closely followed by Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) with a 67.
In the final round Shay McQueen recorded his third round of 69 in the competition to set the target of 280. He was not in the Clubhouse long before being joined on 280 by Jamie Richards who returned the best final round score of 67. In the final group to finish Jay Beisser carded a score of 70 to also finish on 280. A three way play-off would be required to establish the first name to go on the Estuary Trophy.
So the three players headed to the 18thtee, a 160 yard par 3, with a large gathering of onlookers waiting around the green and Clubhouse area creating a great atmosphere.
All three players hit the green, but with a difficult pin position no-one could feel a safe two putt was in hand. The tension increased as all three players faced lengthy putts for their 3, Shay and Jay holed their attempts, but unfortunately Jamie wasunable to follow them in and so dropped out of the play-off. Having returned to the 18thtee Shay hit his tee shot to within 10 feet of the hole, with Jay’s reply finishing 3 foot from the pin.
Shay missed his tricky putt and had to settle for a 3 and watch Jay hole his birdie putt to win the play-off. A great finish to the event.
Our thanks to both Orsett GC and Boyce Hill GC for the joint hosting of this event, and to Jay Beisser our first winner of the Trophy.
kindly Supported by D.K. Cleaning
Frinton Golf Club, 14th, 21st & 22nd April
The Essex Golf Union’s first Championship of the season saw 78 competitors play 36 holes of golf over a very challenging and well-presented Frinton Golf Course, despite the wet weather of recent weeks. Only 16 places were on offer for the Matchplay Finals that took place on the 21st& 22ndApril also hosted by Frinton. The 78 competitors were fortunate to find Frinton in an unusually calm state for the Qualifying stage of the competition. The flag sticks remained relatively still for most of the day, with the wind lifting a little in the afternoon which made for some tricky club choices after the morning’s play.
The morning of qualifying saw 6 players break par, Barry Medcalf (The Rayleigh Club) was lowest and led at the half way stage with a three under par 68. Just one back on 69 were William Percival (Orsett), Joe Tatam (Brentwood) and last year’s winner, Jay Beisser (Basildon). On one under par 70 at lunch were Ricky Lee (Boyce Hill) & Brandon Meads (Chelmsford).
The afternoon was reported to be slightly tougher as the wind showed signs of increasing but certainly not to Frinton’s usual standards. Despite the stiff breeze, there were another six scores under par. The three players that made back to back par breaking rounds finished 1st2nd and 3rdoverall respectively, Jay Beisser, Ricky Lee & Joe Tatam. A great display of golf so early in the season. The top 16 places were filled with players 3 over par or better for the 36 holes. Nick Tedder-Ward (Clacton) managed a 70 (-1) in the afternoon to finish 8thoverall on 144 (+2). Also breaking par in the afternoon was Jordan Slater (Harwich & Dovercourt), Jordan was 4 over in the morning but managed to shoot a 70 (-1) in the afternoon to grab the 11thspot in the finals.
On the weekend of 21stand 22ndApril the qualifiers were set to take part in the knockout phase of the competition, with the feeling that Summer had come at last after a long cold and wet few weeks. Following the mornings play the Quarter finals again had displays of top quality golf. Michael Gilbert (Chelmsford) had a great 5 & 3 victory over Ricky Lee, and Jordan Slater beat Joe Tatam 3 & 2 in the top half of the draw. Then William Percival managed a 1 Up victory over Callum Pipe (Braintree) in a close match, which left Jay Beisser’s 4 & 3 victory over Nick Tedder-Ward to conclude the semi-final line up.
In the Sunday morning semi-finals Jordan Slater managed a win over Michael Gilbert 2 & 1 to book his place in the final. Meanwhile Jay Beisser was several under par when he closed out his match against William Percival 6 & 4.
The two finalists took to the first tee on the Sunday afternoon both with a great chance to win the title, Jay attempting to defend the Keating Trophy and Jordan trying to win his first. Jordan made a good start and went 2 Up through 3 holes. Jay won the 6thwith a par but Jordan immediately hit back with a birdie at the 7th. Jay birdied the 9thto get it back to just 1 hole at the turn and then also won the 11thto take the match back to all square with just 7 holes left to play. A trio of threes from Jordan through holes 12, 13 and 14 saw Jordan gain a two-up lead, as Jay failed to hole his birdie attempts at each hole. Jordan then closed out the match with a birdie on the 17thto win 3 & 1. Jordan looked thrilled to win The Keating Trophy, congratulations Jordan on a fantastic performance and well done Jay, having made a valiant attempt to defend the title he won last year.
Our thanks go to Frinton Golf Club for hosting a fantastic championship at a time when a lot of courses would have struggled to allow play to take place on the first weekend. Well done to your green keeping staff for making the course available and presenting the course in such a great way.
We next head to Thorpe Hall Golf Club on the 25thMay for the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy and Colts Championship.
- Sir Michael Bonallack / Colts Championship
- Essex County Amateur Championship
- Veterans Trophies
- Herbert Bishop Vase
- Seniors Championship
- Keating Trophy Qualifier
- Keating Matchplay
- The Romford Trophy
- Upminster Trophies
- Essex Foursomes
- Mullis Trophy
- Sir Michael Bonallack / Colts Championship
- Seniors Championship
- County Championship
- Esplen Trophy
- Romford Trophy
- Upminster Trophies
- Essex Foursomes
- The Keating Trophy Qualifying
- The Keating Trophy Last 16
- Threadgill Trophy
- Boyce Hill Bowl
- The Estuary Trophy
- Sir Michael Bonallack / Colts Championship
- The County Championship
- The Esplen Trophy
- Veterans Trophy
- Herbert Bishop Vase
- Seniors Championship
- Armitage Cup
- Cliffords Trophy
- Romford Trophy
- Upminster Trophies
- Essex Foursomes
- Mullis Trophy
- Essex Matchplay