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65th Worcestershire Open - Thursday 4th September 2014

The County returned to Hollywood golf club on Thursday 4th September for the 65th playing of the prestigious Worcestershire Open. The competition pits the best Worcestershire Amateurs against the best Worcestershire Professionals over 36 holes for the Guy Bigwood Cup.

In addition, players brought forward their 36 hole scores from either the Amateur Championship or the Professional Stroke Play events played earlier in the year, to compete for The Secretaries Bowl (Amateurs) or the Union Tankard (Professionals) over a combined total of 72 holes.

Early morning fog delayed the start for 25 minutes, although the sun was soon to come through and the rest of the day was warm and sunny. Time was caught up throughout the morning with later starters being only a few minutes late teeing off.

The morning round saw some excellent golf with 9 players shooting par or better - 6 amateurs and 3 professionals. Josh McMahon (Redditch) continued his excellent golf from winning the County Matchplay Championship a few days earlier, holding the lead at lunch with a 69. There were a number of other players just a few strokes over par, leaving the event wide open for the afternoon.

The afternoon round saw some more excellent golf, Perhaps the highlight of the day was a run of 3,3,3,2,3 (birdie,birdie,par,albatross,par) over holes 8-12 by Chris Mole from Bromsgrove Golf Centre, on his way to a round of 70.  Josh McMahon added an afternoon 71 to his morning 69 for a 36 hole total of 140 (4 under par) for the early lead. He was joined on -4 a few moments later by Tom Godfrey (Fulford Heath) with scores of 71 + 69, setting up the potential for a play off. However, there were two players still out on the course who could possibly affect the top of the leader board - Dan Clee & Olver Farrell, professional and amateur, both from Evesham. Dan Clee was not able to match his morning 70, but Oliver Farrell holed a 4 foot putt for a birdie on the last for a round of 67 to add to his morning 72, for a winning total of 139 (-5).

With Oliver bringing forward the best score (136) from winning the Amateur Championship at The Worcestershire earlier in the year, he was also the clear winner of The Secretaries Bowl  with a combined total of 275 (-11). Oliver has had a remarkable year, and everyone at The County wishes him the best for the future as he leaves the U18 ranks.

The leading Professional on the day was Simon Gabbitas (Hagley G&CC) with scores of 70 +75 = 145. In the absence due to illness of Jamie Hiller, the home professional who had won the Professional StrokePlay event played earlier in the year, Simon brought forward the best Professional score of 140, leaving him the clear winner of the 72 hole Union Tankard trophy.

The County President, Bill Thompson, and Hollywood Club Captain David Noakes, presented the prizes. Bill Thompson thanked everyone at Hollywood GC for hosting the event, and commented on the tremendous level of support given to the County by Hollywood GC during the whole of 2014. Special thanks was given to Malcolm Duggan, Greens Chairman, who was present throughout the early organisation of the event and throughout the day itself. Thanks were also given to the referees, Tony Edwards, John Brothwood and Clive Werrett, as well as County Officials Roy Hobbis, Jim Gray, Mark Ralphs, Brian Morris and Dave McDermott for helping the day run smoothly. 

The County hope that they can return to Hollywood GC next year to experience their hospitality again.