The Warwickshire Open took place at Coventry Golf Club on Thursday 9th September where the top Professionals and Amateurs in the County gather annually to play a 36 holes stroke play event and aim to raise aloft the WF Wiseman Cup.
The weather started bright and still and with the course being in especially good condition, with greens measuring over 11 on the stimp meter, good scoring was expected for the early morning rounds.
However, our conversations in the clubhouse must have been heard, as the windy quickly got stronger turning the task into something much more testing.
Regardless, round one saw some great scoring, especially by amateur Ryan James (Nuneaton) who shot a 6 under par 67, a round containing an impressive 9 birdies. Even more impressive as Ryan was forced to withdraw from a County match only a few days earlier with back issues. Although, he did say after his round that he doesn't mind being in pain all the time if he scored like that!
Ryan was closely followed by professional Ryan Wallace (Shirley) who continued his recent good run of form with an almost faultless 4 under par 67.
Host Club member and amateur player Matthew Cryer was also firing on all cylinders and stood on the 12th at 5 under par however finished on a very respectable 3 under 70.
Liam Phipps (Olton) sat one shot further back on 71, a score which he shared with Chris Laird (The Warwickshire) and Andrew Carman (Coventry). The addition of Professional Nick Jenkins (Coventry Hearsall) and Amateur George Parker (Olton) on 72 meant that 8 players were under par after round one and all within 5 of the lead.
The wind continued to pick up during the afternoon making every shot require a little more concentration on execution.
Whether the wind effected Ryan James' game I'm not sure but he wasn't able to maintain his form and returned a 6 over par afternoon round leaving him on a very acceptable level par and a 6th place finish.
Coventry Hearsall member, Tom Ibbertson and 2015 Open Champion, returned an afternoon score of 71 to bring his 36 hole total to 1 under par and a 5th place finish.
Chris Lairds second round started very well by getting to 5 under for the tournament by the 5th hole but further on the round a few dropped shots meant Chris finished in 4th place on 2 under par.
Ryan Wallace also managed to get his score going early on in the second round by reaching 6 under par and after a little wobble returned to that score again with 5 holes to play. It was a score he couldn't quite hold on to and finished in 3rd place and leading professional on 4 under par.
This left Liam Phipps and Matthew Cryer to decide the title, Liam starting his afternoon round on the 10th hole had a great start by birding 3 out of his first 4 holes and a bogey on the 18 left him on 4 under with 9 to play.
Not to be out done Matthew cryer also started well with 3 birdies and a bogey on the par 5 6th returned a 2 under score for 27 holes and lying on 5 under. This good form continued with 4 more birdies and a bogey taking his score to 8 under par with 2 to play. Unfortunately a bogey, double bogey finish left him on 5 under for the day.
Liam also started his back nine with a birdie but quickly followed it with a bogey. Over the remaining 7 holes he played some very steady golf and completed this run of holes in 2 under par giving him a final score of 6 under for the day and enough to become 2016 Warwickshire Open Champion.
For the Amateurs in this event there is also an aggregate competition played for, where the lowest gross score in both the Amateur and Open combined wins the impressive TP Cooke Salver. This year was a very tightly contested affair with Ryan James in 3rd place on 289 and a tie for top spot between Tom Ibbertson and Matthew Cryer on 288.
To separate the two leaders the lowest score for the Open Championship is used for count back purposes, which saw Matthew Cryer win the salver for the second year out of the last 3 and his name becomes the only one to appear on the trophy a staggering 6th times.
Well done to all competitors and a huge amount of thanks to Coventry Golf Club and all their staff who presented the course impeccably and looked after us extremely well throughout the tournament.