The 36 hole Warwickshire Open was played at Olton Golf Club where County Professionals and Amateurs competed for the WF Wiseman Challenge Cup.
This event took place later in the year than normal where Olton Golf Club and their greenkeeping team must receive our huge thanks for their flexibility and still presenting a golf course in fantastic condition so late on in the year.
After round one the leaderboard was looking especially congested with 12 players within only two shots of the lead. Five of these players were form the professional ranks and seven amateurs.
The top three after 18 holes were Jack Drury (Stratford Upon Avon), Pro Rory Kirwan (Kenilworth) and Chris Laird (The Warwickshire) all returning one under par 69's. One shot further back was Pro Chris Freeman (Ladbrook Park), Pro Josh Harvey (Edgbaston) and home player Joe Macilwraith.
It was all to play for in the afternoon round, and with scoring improving my many such as Gareth Jenkins retuning a best of the day 67 (3 under) and then scores were returned from Chris Freeman adding a 69 to his morning round of 70, and Michael Bayliss (Copt Heath) to return a 68 to his earlier 71 - it was looking like a play off was on the cards.
Two of our first round leaders couldn't quite match tier morning efforts with Jack Drury returning a 75 and Rory Kirwan a 71 both moving out of contention for the trophy. This left Chris Laird from our morning leaders and although starting on a bogey on his first hole, he bounced back with 3 birdies over the next 14 holes to sit at 3 user for the championship. A brief lapse of concentration with a bogey on the tricky 16th hole was turned around with a par, birdie finish to sign for a 68 (2 under), a 36 hole total of 3 under par and winning his first County Championship.
Chris has been a stalwart of the County 1st team for a number of years and was a popular winner of the Championship. Tied for 2nd place on 1 under par were two Professionals Michael Bayliss and Chris Freeman. A further shot back on level par were Lewis Philips and Rory Kirwan.
For full scores click here