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2019 County Championships at Bransford GC 5th & 6th June 2019

This year's two day County Championships were held at Bransford GC on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th June. 

The first day is traditionally the Club Team Championship day, and this year 16 clubs entered teams of 3 in the A Team event to win the historic Tomson-James Trophy, whilst 9 clubs also entered teams in the B Team event, to challenge for the Jubilee Shield. The format is that the three team players all play an 18 hole gross medal, with all three scores to count towards the Team score. All players in a clubs B Team must have playing handicaps equal to, or higher, than players in the A Team.

With 25 teams in total, some 75 players would take on the beautiful, and superbly presented Bransford GC course, starting at 9.00am. With players in every team equally spaced out throughout the day, and with all three scores to count, it is not easy to see which clubs are in contention. However, it was clear that a low score was going to be required to win the Tomson-James when Joe Price (Hagley) carded a -3 round of 69, quickly followed by a superb round of 66 from James Robinson (Redditch). This round equalled the course record of 66, which was recorded by Bransford GC member Graham Wallace in 2017. 

Further sub par rounds were recorded by Harry Chadwick (Bransford) (69), Callum Hutchinson (Kidderminster) (69), Kieron Austin (Hagley) (70) and Shaun Roberts (Worcs G&CC) (69). 

In the closest Tomson-James event for many years, and with some of the best scoring, Kidderminster GC (Clayton Harris, Callum Hutchsinson, Luke Rogers) finished 4th on level par, and Bransford GC (Harry Chadwick, Graham Wallace, Maks Wyard) finished 3rd on -1. 

However, with the same team score of -2, the Tomson-James Cup was shared by Worcester G&CC represented by Steve Bird, Shaun Roberts & Ben Woodward and Redditch GC represented by Russell Ager, Paul Reeves & James Robinson. Both clubs will hold the trophy for 6 months, and both clubs will received winners medals and plaques.

As only one club can go forward to represent Worcestershire at the English Champion Club Tournament later in the year, the tie at the top is resolved by countback. Worcester G&CC edged out Redditch GC on a combined back 9 countback, helped by Ben Woodward's back 9 of 32!!

Pictured (l-r) Dave McGilivray (County President), Russ Ager, James Robinson & Paul Reeves from Redditch GC, Shaun Roberts (Worcester G&CC) and Steve Freeman-Taylor (Bransford GC Captain) with the Tomson-James Trophy.

Full Tomson-James Score Board.

The fight for the Jubilee Shield was not such a close affair. There were solid scores of 75 from Andy Lammas (Bransford GC) and Jonathan Hems (Rose Hill) and a 74 from Tom Wakeman (Hagley GC). However, the very strong Moseley GC B Team were clear winners posting an excellent +5, composed of Mark Dixon (+2), Jason Lane (+2) and Mark Dunkley (+1).

Pictured (l-r) with the Jubilee Shield, Mark Dunkley, Jason Lane & Mark Dixon from Moseley GC.

Full Jubilee Shield Score Board

And so to the second day of the Championships - 36 holes gross medal for 50 of the best players from across Worcestershire. Whilst some showers were promised, the day was to stay fine, although a fresh breeze and some challenging pin positions were to provide a stern test of golf.

The morning play was of a very high quality, with 6 sub par rounds returned; 71s from Richard Sadler (Moseley) & Evan Lewis (Bromsgrove), 70's from Anthony Hill (County Captain from Moseley) & Mark Dixon (Moseley), a 69 from Jack Severn (Boys County Captain from Cleobury Mortimer) and an excellent 68 from Shaun Roberts (Worcester G&CC). As the wind got stronger throughout the afternoon, the scores edged upwards. However, Matt Osborn (Redditch GC) added a steady 72 to his morning 72, for a level par total of 144 to take an early lead. He was overhauled by Richard Sadler, who added a 71 to his morning 71 for a 142 (-2) total.

When Jack Severn signed for an afternoon level par 72 to post a 36 hole total of 141 (-3) it was clear that the only person who could beat him was Shaun Roberts. There was a nervous wait for Jack as Shaun was playing in the last group. Quite a crowd assembled on the clubhouse balcony to watch Shaun play the 18th, where he made an excellent up-and-down for a birdie 4. This helped him post a level par 72, for a 140 (-4) total, taking the title by just one shot from Jack.

Shaun Roberts with his collection of trophies from the County Championships, with Dave McGillivray (County President, left) and Steve Freeman-Taylor (Bransford GC Captain, right). 

For players who play in the 1st Day Team Event as well as the 36 hole Individual Event there is a combined 54 hole event for the GD Carr Trophy, which carries World Amateur Golf Ranking points. Given that Shaun carried forward an excellent score of 69 from the team event, he also took the GD Carr Trophy. 

Shaun's dominance of the two days meant that he also won the Philip Padmore Bowl for best nett.

Jack Severn's fine -3 total won him the Youth Trophy.

Jack Severn receiving the Youth Trophy from Dave McGillivray (County President, left) and Steve Freeman-Taylor (Bransford GC Captain, right).

Gross Score Board

Nett Score Board

During the presentation ceremony, Bransford Club Captain, Steve Freeman-Taylor, welcomed everyone to the club and hoped that they had all enjoyed the course, and the hospitality. In reply, Dave McGillivray (County President) thanked Bransford GC for hosting the event, and praised everyone from the club who had provided such a warm welcome to all the players and officials. He especially mentioned Graham Wallace, and his greens team, who had produced a course in such magnificent condition for the two day event.

Dave McGillivray also went on to thank the referees, Tony Edwards, Brenda Binnie, Di Wilde & John Whitehead; the starters, Tony Edwards, Dave McDermott, Jim Gray, & Brian Morris; and the administration team of Brian Morris, Debbie Pritchard & Stuart Pritchard.

The whole event was a huge success, and The County is looking forward to it's next visit to Bransford GC.