Club Championship 2018

Congratulations go to David Hirst who managed to retain his title of Club scratch champion on Sunday by the narrowest of margins. In the morning round, all the “usual suspects” were not quite firing on all cylinders, and it was Paul Yule who shot a terrific round of 71 to lead the Scratch Championship by a stroke from David Hirst (72), David Watson (73) and Archie Ahmed (74). The close contest, coupled with the terrific weather encouraged 11 players to venture out for the deciding round after an hour’s break for refueling. Special mention at this point to Rob Camilleri who successfully completed the 2 rounds not too long after having knee surgery. Well done Rob!

In the second round David Watson started off fastest with birdies on holes 1, 2 and 3 to take a 2 shot lead on the field, but David Hirst ensured there was no easy ride with a relentless front nine of 9 consecutive pars to remain at +7 for the Championship. The half way leader Paul Yule was in contention if the leaders slipped up after dropping only 3 shots on the front nine. After a couple of dropped shots on seven and eight, David Watson managed one more birdie on the ninth to take a one stroke lead at the 27 hole marker. That lead was extended to 2 strokes with a par 3 to David Hirst’s bogey 4 on the uphill 10th. However, that was as good as it got for the former champion. A 2 shot swing followed on the downhill 11th. A long drive down to the greenside, and a neat up and down for birdie 3 saw the defending champion draw level. David hit the front with a solid par 3 on the long 12th, to David Watson’s bogey 4 and that set the tone for 6 straight pars to take a real hold of the battle. An untimely double bogey on the long 15th ‘Valley of Death’ hole, effectively ended any chance for David Watson. Both players parred 16 and 17, to leave David Hirst with a 3 stroke lead standing on the 36th tee. A comfortable victory looked assured, especially with wedge in hand for the approach the the green. However, it’s never over until it’s over as they say, and a few more wedge shots followed to set up a very tense finale. David Watson couldn’t quite find that final birdie of the day to force a play off. David Hirst hung on and deserved to be the 2018 Champion with a terrific 2 over par 67 containing 15 pars.

Winner: David Hirst 72 + 67 = 139

Runner Up: David Watson 73 + 67 = 140

Third place: Paul Yule 71 + 77 = 148

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