Hollywood GC welcomed the best golfers from across the County for the tw0 day County Championship on Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th June 2021. The sun was out on both days, and with many competitors playing the full 54 holes it was to become a test of will as much as a test of golf for many.
The Tuesday was the traditional Team Championship event, with 15 clubs entering 3 man teams in the A Team competition for the Tomson-James Cup, and 13 clubs also had teams entered in the B Team event, playing for the Jubilee Shield, where all players handicaps had to be higher than any player in the A Team event. The format is 18 hole gross medal, with all 3 scores to count, so the stakes were high right from the start.
As usual, players in each team were spread out in different flights within the draw, so that the team position only becomes clear later in the day when the final player's score is posted for each team. The B Team event finishes first, and for much of the day the home Team of Hollywood B were in good shape. However, they were overtaken by the strong Moseley B Team of Anthony Hill, Matt Brookbanks & Mark Dunkley who ran out winners of the Jubilee Shield with a combined score of 233. Hollywood B (James Foley, John Mangan & George McKeever) took second place on 239.
For much of the day the Tomson-James looked very close, with many teams in contention. Indeed, 4 teams (The Worcestershire A, Bransford A, Hagley A & Ombersley A ) would all tie for 3rd place with a score of 233, with Moseley A taking 2nd on 229. However, the day belonged to Droitwich A (Lee Jones, Evan Lewis & Phil Wastell) with their final two players posting the two lowest scores (70 & 69) of the day to take the trophy by a comfortable 8 shot margin, with 221 (+5).
Droitwich GC qualify to represent Worcestershire in the English Champion Club Finals to be held at Knowle Park GC, on Saturday & Sunday 18th & 19th September.
Wednesday would see 54 players competing over 36 holes for the Individual Championship, with the players being drawn in handicap order, so that the lowest players would be in the later groups. The Hollywood course is always a good test for golfers of all standards, and the cream of the County's golfers would not find it easy going. There was only one score under par in the morning - Nathan Slater (Bewdley Pines) with a sensational 69. The closest contenders at lunch were Shaun Roberts (Worcester G&CC and the defending champion), Scott Lane (Bewdley Pines) and Kieron Austin (Hagley) all on level par 72.
Shaun Roberts, playing a number of groups ahead of his main challengers set an excellent 36 hole target, when he added a 1 under 71 to his morning 72, for a total of 143. For a long time it looked like it would be good enough for back to back wins, but Kieron Austin added a 70 to his morning 72 for a total of 142 to just nudge ahead, with only a couple of groups to finish. When Nathan Slater added a 77 to his morning 69 the title was Kieron's, with Shaun Roberts finishing second, and Nathan, Ben Woodward and Scott Lane all finishing on 146. Ben would take the bronze medal by virtue of the best second 18.
Kieron qualifies to represent Worcestershire at the England Golf Champion of Champions event at Woodhall Spa GC on Sunday 12th September. The top 8 finishers qualify for the Worcestershire Matchplay finals later in the year.
As well as taking 2nd place overall, Shaun Roberts took the Philip Padmore Trophy for best nett 71 & 70 = 141, and Nathan Slater won the Youths Trophy for best gross score from a player under 25.
The GD Carr Cup, for the best 54 hole score over both the team and individual event was won by Phil Wastell (Droitwich) with scores of 69, 77 & 73 for a 219 aggregate, which just edged out Kieron by 1 stroke.
The County would like to thank Hollywood GC for hosting the two days of the Championship, and especially the greens team who produced a course in excellent shape for this major competition. Everyone at the club provided a great welcome to all the players and officials, and we would like to thank Debbie, Lee and Connor in the pro shop, and Vicky and Jules for the excellent friendly catering and bar service.
Finally, the County would like to thank the volunteers, without whose help these events could not take place; referees Tony Edwards, John Brothwood, John Whitehead, and Di Wylde; starters Rex Harrison, Colin Day, Tony Edwards, Bill Thompson & Will Painter; and administration supremo Debbie Pritchard.
Winners from the Individual Event, held on Wednesday 9th June, were:
Kieron Austin (Hagley GC) takes the County Championship Title with scores of 72 + 70 = 142
Phil Wastell (Droitwich GC) takes the GD Carr Cup over 54 holes with scores of 69 + 77 + 73 = 219
Shaun Roberts (Worcester G&CC) wins the Philip Padmore Trophy for best nett, with scores of 71 (72-1) + 70 (71-1) = 141
In the team event fr0m Tuesday 8th June, the winners were;
Droitwich GC, represented by (l-r) Evan Lewis, Lee Jones & Phil Wastell won the Tomson-James Cup for Club A Teams
Moseley GC with a team of Matt Brookbanks (left) and Mark Dunkley (right) are seen here with County President, Ian Rone after winning the Jubilee Shield for Club B Teams. (Anthony Hill was the 3rd team member.)