A small, but select field of amateurs and professionals arrived at Halesowen GC for the 68th Annual Worcestershire Open. Heavy rain greeted the early starters, and unfortunately, the rain was to return on a regular basis throughout the day, which made the 36 hole strokeplay format a difficult challenge for all the players.
The best morning score was a level par 69 from Ian Martin (Kings Norton GC professional), with his nearest challengers being Connor Thomas (Kings Norton amateur) with a 73 and 74s from James Leaver (Ravenmeadow professional), Dan Phillips (Hagley G&CC professional) and Adam Whiting (Ravenmeadow professional), and 75s from Adam Norman (Moseley GC amateur), Joe Price (Hagley G&CC amateur) amd Rhys Hopkins ( Fulford Heath GC amateur).
James Leaver added an excellent 69 to his morning 74 for a total of 143 to take the early lead in the clubhouse, but almost immediately Ian Martin added a 73 to his morning 69 to edge ahead on 142. The best afternoon round of 68 was complied by Josh Thorpe (Gaudet Luce GC professional), with his playing partner Adam Norman adding a 69 to his first round of 75, for a total of 144 to take 3rd place.
None of the other contenders were able to disturb the top 3 positions, and thus Ian Martin won the Guy Bigwood Cup, whilst Adam Norman took the Gold Medal for the leading amateur.
Ian Martin receiving the Guy Bigwood Cup from Grenville Rose (WUGC President)
The day also involved two other competitions, where amateurs brought forward their 36 hole Amateur Championship score to add to their 36 hole score on the day, and professionals brought forward their 36 hole Professional Strokeplay Championship score to add to their 36 hole score on the day.
For the amateurs, Adam Norman's score of 144 on the day, added to his Amateur Championship score of 149, gave him a 72 hole total of 293, and a clear win of The Secretaries Bowl. Adam also wins the Gold Medal for best Amateur on the day.
Adam Norman receiving the Secretaries Bowl from Grenville Rose (WUGC President)
For the professionals, James Leaver's score of 143 on the day, added to his Professional Strokeplay score of 150, gave him a slim 2 shot victory on 293, from Simon Gabbitas (Hagley G&CC professional) on 295, winning the Union Tankard.
In their acceptance speeches the players all praised the standard of the Halesowen course, with the greens getting a special mention. The greens team were warmly thanked for their presentation of the course.
During the event the volunteers were also thanked for their support. Dave McDermott and Rex Harrison were joint starters on the day, whilst Dave McDermott also worked on the administration desk with Denis Hayes and Debbie Pritchard.The referees, who worked in terrible weather, were Tony Edwards, Colin Day and Clive Werrett. Several club members volunteered their services and acted as ball spotters throughout the day, which really helped with the pace of play - they did a great job in trying circumstances.
The County praised Halesowen GC for their support of the event from start to finish, especially the staff out late in the afternoon with squeegees on the 17th and 18th greens to ensure the event could be finished, despite the torrential rain. It is hoped that the County can visit Halesowen GC again for other major events in 2018.
Posted on 05/09/2017
by Stuart Pritchard