COUNTY CHAMPION 2014
Rachel RUSTED & Charlotte DALTON
Vera Clayton Trophy
Silver Division Medal
Silver Division Medal
Best Shirley Lady (Silver)
Vera Clayton RUNNER UP
Best Shirley Lady (Bronze)
At 3 p.m. the Prize Presentation took place for all competitions which had been completed on Day 1, Wednesday 30th April and today, Saturday 3rd May 2014. County Captain, Karen HEARN started the procedings by thanking Shirley GC for allowing the County to host the 2014 Championship at the club. She commented that it had all run extremely smoothly although played in very differing conditions, some extreme.
She thanked in particular Head Greenkeeper, Andy SMITH and his staff for producing such an excellent course for this important event in the County calendar, especially getting the course ready on Friday morning after the Thursday flooding. The event was indeed a success due to collaboration of staff at Shirley both prior to and during the event and the Lady Captain of Shirley, Linda Gumery was thanked in particular and presented with a bouquet of flowers, for her contribution. The referees, Claire DOWLING and Jane DENNICK were thanked as was Tournament Secretary, Caroline LASSEN, who had done such a stalwart job. Elizabeth EARNSHAW and Val BARKER were also thanked for the website being available with Live Scoring throughout together with the daily reports.
The Prizes for the Championship were then presented by County President, Mary HAMPTON to the winners listed below:
Championship Cup - Claire HOWELLS (Moor Hall GC)
Runner Up Salver - Lisa BARTON (Coventry GC)
2 Losing Semi Finalists in County Championship - Charlotte DALTON (Kings Norton GC) & Rachel RUSTED (Nuneaton GC)
Vera Clayton Trophy - Clarlotte DALTON (King's Norton) Gross Aggregate 156
Runner Up - Katrina GANI (Shirley GC) Gross Aggregate 160
Silver Division Medal - Tracy ATKIN (Leamington & County GC) Net 74
Runner Up - Marilyn FIELDING (Copt Heath GC) Net 74
Bronze Championship Winner - Ann NASH (Edgbaston GC) 33 points
Runner Up - Valerie STENE (Kenilworth GC) 32 points
Best Net Score by a Shirley Lady (Silver) - Katrina GANI Net 75
(Awarded by County Captain)
Best Shirley Lady in Bronze Division - Rachel SLICER-WATKINSON 32 points
(Awarded by County President)
Longest Drive on 17th (Silver) - Helen DELLOW (Stoneleigh Deer Park GC)
Nearest Pin on 14th (Silver) - Claire DOWLING (Copt Heath GC)
Nearest Pin in Two on 10th (Silver) - Claire DOWLING (Copt Heath GC)
Longest Drive on 9th (Bronze) - Rachel SLICER-WATKINSON (Shirley GC)
The FINAL - Saturday 3rd May
Here we were on a Saturday morning at Shirley GC to watch the encounter between Claire HOWELLS (Moor Hall GC) - pictured left and Lisa BARTON (Coventry GC) - pictured right, in the Final of the 2014 County Championship. The final being on a Saturday morning was something of a new occurance, this only being necessary because of the awful weather on Thursday afternoon resulting in the course being under water.
Today's final was, on paper at least going to be a close run match with two very experienced players not to mention very good friends, going head to head for the title of Champion. Lisa had, for many years been in the Semis and Finals before being crowned Champion at Moor Hall in 2011 whereas for Claire, this was her first time in the final after 15 years of trying. Watch this space!
The day was perfect, with wall to wall sunshine, getting warmer as the day went on and the course at Shirley looked in magnificent condition. A small crowd had assembled to watch this encounter and as 11.00 a.m. came round play commenced.
Claire came out of the blocks quickest and was 2 up after 2 holes having had her putt given for Birdie on Hole 1 and scoring Bogie 6 on the long Par 5, 2nd. The next four holes were halved, mostly in Pars and then on 7th, Lisa managed to pull one back by gaining a Par after an excellent chip on to green. Drives on Par 3, 8th were quite different, with Lisa leaving a difficult chip over the righthand bunker whereas Claire's ball landed on 1st cut on left of green. Lisa's 2nd overshot the green but then she had an excellent chip finishing with 4, whilst Claire took three to get down after a short downhill putt was missed - 1 up to Claire. On 9th Lisa pulled another back with a Par and after 9 holes they were All Square.
Crowds by now had increased and were looking forward to watching this close encounter down the stretch, as they say on TV. Claire once again had the advantage on 10th with a Par 4, and the 11th was halved in Par 4's. On the Par 3, 12th, Lisa pulled back to All Square after Pars, on the supposedly easiest hole on the course. On 13th, they both hit excellent drives and had the green in sight. Claire's 2nd shot went left leaving a chip over a bunker. 3rd shot went into right hand bunker and then back again - hole conceded to Lisa - were nerves creeping in?! On the 142 yd, 14th, both managed a Par, leaving Lisa 1 up.
Shirley members out playing seemed to be really interested in the match when the ladies came into view and most stood to attention to watch them take their shots. Unfortunately on Par 5, dogleg right, 15th, Lisa's ball went out of bounds, so three of the tee. Try as she might, she was unable to catch Claire, who played the hole extremely well, resulting in the hole being conceded - Match All Square.
On 16th, we really had a strange incident when Claire hit an unusually loose 2nd shot which landed in the left hand trees in the rough, after having hit a magnificent drive. Lisa on the other hand, hit her drive left but managed a low shot to centre of fairway, with 3rd shot landing on front of green. Back to Claire's ball which when found eventually, was nearly resting on a small frog! One of the spectators, John O'Hare stepped up, picked up the frog and moved it away from play and play continued - hole halved in 6.
The long Par 4, 17th saw two excellent straight drives with Lisa being slightly longer of the two. Claire's second shot landed on the green with Lisa's being slightly short. Both however, finished with 5's - Match All Square with one to go, or would it be extra holes?!
With this in mind, Claire hit a superb drive to left of fairway leaving an excellent angle to the green whereas Lisa's drive went right, leaving her only a chip out. Claire's 2nd shot landed on green, pin high but with a longish downhill putt. A chip on for Lisa left her lying 3 to Claire's 2. Claire hit what was to be one of her best putts of the day to about 8 inches and Lisa having to make hers, just missed. Hole conceded by Lisa and thus the 2014 Warwickshire Championship was over with the Champion being Claire HOWELLS.
Tears followed from Claire, who had waited so long for this moment. She commented that when she had hit that last putt her hands were shaking so much, she didn't know how it got there!! - but it did.
A great week, with some fabulous golf played by all in very varying conditions. The golf course stood up well and by Saturday it was difficult to imagine that it had been underwater on Thursday afternoon.
Click Here for: The MATCHPLAY Knockout Results
DAY 3 REVIEW - Morning Rounds
The Shirley GC Head Greenkeeper and his staff made an extra early start this morning, announcing the course was 'Open with no restrictions' by 6 a.m. This brought a sigh of relief to the members of the Warwickshire Committee and of course the competitiors!
The Quarter Finals got off to a prompt start at 9.00 a.m. and with the weather dry, bright and with only a little wind, we looked set to see some excellent golf this morning.
First out saw Charlotte DALTON against the experienced Sue WESTALL. Charlotte played some very steady golf all morning and with a couple of Birdies thrown in, was 3 up after 9 holes. Sue was not able to pull holes back, eventually going out on the 14th hole, 5 and 4. Well done Charlotte.
Lisa BARTON and Charlotte PRIDDLE were in the 2nd match and once again, one player - Lisa on this occasion - proved to be just too good for her opponent. Charlotte went one down on 1st and never recovered. By her own admission, Charlotte played rather poorly for her and was disappointed that she did not give Lisa a better game. Lisa was ahead throughout and won the match 7 and 6. Excellent play Lisa.
Match 3 had Rachel RUSTED drawn against local Shirley player, Katrina GANI and this game was to be the longest of the morning. Katrina quickly went 3 down after 4 holes but pulled back to be only 1 down after the first 9 holes. After 12th holes, they were All Square which was some comeback. Halves on 13 and 14, this was a tight match, but then Rachel birdied the Par ,5, 15th - 1 up. They both scored Par 5's on the 16th but then Rachel went on to win the match on the 17th hole.
Another Shirley player, Carol O'HARE played against an in form Claire HOWELLS. To her delight, Carol managed to halve the 1st after a very poor drive, and then went on to Par 2nd and 3rd. Unfortunately for her, Claire scored Birdies on 2nd and 3rd and was 2 up. Very good golf ensued for the remainder of the Front 9, but by this time Claire was 5 up! Carol, who was delighted to have reached this far in the competition, had little chance of catching up Claire, particularly as she had some good fortune by chipping in twice from poor lies! The match ended on the 13th, with Claire the victor 7 and 5.
The morning had provided some excellent matches and although their were some early wins, all players gave a good account of themselves. They commented that the course was great after the horrendous rain of yesterday afternoon, although it was playing much longer today.
Afternoon Rounds - Semi Finals
1.00 p.m. and the first Semi Final commenced between County 1st Team Manager, Lisa BARTON and Charlotte DALTON. Charlotte played the better golf on the first few holes, being 3 up after 5. Lisa then came back with wins on 6th and 7th and by the turn Charlotte was only 1 up. 10th was halved and then Charlotte won the 11th with a Birdie. Hole 12 was halved after a great bunker shot from Charlotte, having taken a drop after landing in deep water, followed by a long putt. Lisa was on the green in one but needed 2 putts to get down for the half. Lisa then seemed to go up a gear and won 13th - back to 1 down.
14th was halved in pars, and then Charlotte hit a poor shot on 15th Tee, her ball going out of bounds. Three off the tee was going to be difficult to match Lisa who was just in front of the green for two. Hole won by Lisa - Match All Square. On 16th, Lisa had a Par 5, allowing her a win and to go ahead for the first time in the match. With Hole 17 being halved, Charlotte needed to win the 18th to allow her to continue. Lisa hit a superb drive to middle of fairway, 2nd shot to green and 2 putts gave her a Par 4, whereas Charlotte hit her drive left into the rough. Her second shot was good, hit under the trees to just in front of green, but she then had three putts leaving Lisa to win the match 2 up.
2nd Team Captain, Rachel RUSTED was playing in the second Semi against Claire HOWELLS - this should be a good match and difficult to guess the result. The first few holes went back and forth between the two competitors, Rachel winning 1st, Claire the 2nd with Birdie, Halves on Par 3, 3rd, followed by Rachel winning the 4th with an excellent chip over the greenside bunker to within 6 inches. Claire was 1 up on 8th Tee and the hole was halved, Claire hit an excellent second shot on to the 9th green which she went on to win - Claire 2 up after 9 holes. Semi Final once more for Rachel.
The 10th was also won by Claire but then Rachel had her say by winning the next 3 holes to go All Square after 13 holes. Claire won the 14th and followed that by winning the 15th with birdie and then the 16th, thus winning the match 3 and 2. Well played Claire.
An excellent day's play all round with the finalists being very experienced players and good friends - this should prove to be an excellent final for the 2014 County Championship, commencing on SATURDAY 3rd May at 11.00 a.m. Spectators are very welcome.
Click Here for: The MATCHPLAY Knockout Draw and Results to Date
DAY 2 REVIEW
What a difference a day makes! After continuous early morning rain, by the 9 a.m. start the rain had subsided a little to a light drizzle. This continued for some time in the morning and then it became very warm. Roll on Day 2 of County Championship!!
|Charlotte Dalton||Bobbi Waugh|
Eight matches this morning with the first out being Charlotte DALTON (Affiliated) v Bobbi WAUGH (Moor Hall). Bobbi started very well and was 2 up after the 3rd hole, however after a slower start by Charlotte, she managed to pull one back on the 4th green. By the 9th, one further hole had been won by Charlotte and she went on to win the match 4 and 2.
|Sue Westall||Sue Jones|
Second match was between the very experienced Sue Westall (Copt Heath) and Sue Jones (Rugby), who also has considerable experience. This match proved to be very keenly faught. Sue W was 2 up after 4 but by 9th Sue J had pulled one back to be only 1 down. After the next 3 holes it was All Square with the match eventually going the distance, with Sue Westall the victor on this occasion, by 1 hole.
|Charlotte Priddle||Mandy Newey|
Young Charlotte Priddle (Moor Hall) played Mandy Newey (Stratford-on-Avon) in the next match and Mandy was very disappointed with her start, going 2 down after the first 2 holes. Mandy had pulled back to All Square after the 4th and 10th Tee she was 2 up. This match proved to be the longest of the day, stretching to the 19th, after Charlotte had won the 18th, having been down throughout the back 9. She then went on to win the first extra hole, when she sank a long putt. An excellent match with both playing well.
|Lisa Barton||Ellie Berwick|
The next match was to be a baptism of fire for local young lady, Ellie BERWICK (Shirley) who was pitted against the County 1st Team Manager and very experienced Lisa BARTON (Coventry), this being the first experience of matchplay at this level for Ellie. Lisa went 3 up after 4 holes, but this was reduced to 2 up by 9th, with Ellie having birdied the 6th hole. The match went to the 14th, where Lisa birdied the 134yd, Par 3, winning the match 5 and 4. After play Lisa was very complimentary about Ellie stating that she would certainly be one to watch for the future, as she had played so well.
|Katrina Gani||Julia Burton|
Match 5 saw the 2012 County Champion, Katrina GANI (Shirley) matched against experienced Julia BURTON (Moor Hall). Julia played one of the best games of her life and after 8 holes had only dropped 1 shot to par! By the 10th Tee, Katrina was 2 down and feeling perplexed as to how she was to get back into this game. She did manage to break through though, as she pulled back to 1 up after 17th and with them both halving the 18th, Katrina won the match by 1 hole.
|Rachel Rusted||Sheila Cardwell|
2nd Team Captain, Rachel RUSTED (Nuneaton) was drawn against Sheila CARDWELL (Maxstoke Park). Rachel was 2 up after 2 holes as Sheila , by her own admission had started badly. She steadied the ship for the remainder of the front 9 however and on the 10th Tee was still only 2 down. Rachel then seemed to go up a gear, winning the next four holes out of five, finally winning the match 6 and 5.
|Yen Pham||Carol O'Hare|
The penultimate match was down as the local derby with 2 Shirley players pitched against one another, with Yen PHAM and Carol O'HARE being the players. When Yen's shortish putt lipped out on the 9th, Carol went 1 up and after 12 holes the match was All Square. Carol then moved ahead, winning the encounter by 2 holes.
|Claire Howells||Kelly Knight|
The final match of the morning was between Claire HOWELLS (Moor Hall) and Kelly KNIGHT (Stonebridge). This was only the second occasion that Kelly had played in the Championship and certainly gave it a good shot, being 1 up after the 9th after Claire's ball had just gone into the bunker. Very close over the back 9 eventuallyt he vast experience of Claire came through, as she won the match on 17th hole, 2 and 1.
An excellent morning's play with the rain just keeping off until the last players were coming into the clubhouse. What a different story it was for the afternoon's play or non-play, as it turned out. Preparing to go to the tee at about 1.20 p.m., the 2 players stopped as the rain was just frightening. Within minutes the 9th green (plus others) were under water and the fairways look like lakes. By 2.15 p.m. a decision was made that further play would not be possible today and would continue on Friday with the final on Saturday morning.
The NEW arrangements, subject to weather and the course at Shirley draining suitably, will now be:
FRIDAY 2nd May 4 matches commencing at 9.00 a.m.
FRIDAY 2nd May 2 Semi Final matches commencting at 1.30 p.m.
SATURDAY 3rd May The FINAL commencing at 11.00 a.m.
The Prize Presentation is now scheduled to take place at approximately 3.15 p.m. on Saturday after the Final has been completed.
Click Here for: The MATCHPLAY Knockout Draw and Results to Date
DAY 1 REVIEW
After the recent inclement weather experienced, it was such a joy to wake up to early morning sunshine, which then continued throughout the day on this the first day of the 2014 Warwickshire County Championship. Some light rain came in the afternoon, but not enough to ruin the experience for the players.
On this day three Competitions were played, with the 36 hole Championship Qualifying competition taking centre stage. 18 holes were played in the morning and afternoon, whereafter the top 16 players with the best Gross score qualified into a seeded draw. They will then commence the knockout stages tomorrow morning from 9 a.m.
The Silver Division Medal, which included all first round Net scores of those playing in the 36 holes plus a further 17 players who competed over 18 holes only. Best of the day in the SILVER Division was Tracy ATKIN from Leamington & County who carded an excellent Gross 75, Net 74.
Finally, the BRONZE Division Championship was competed for over 18 holes this afternoon in Stableford format, for players having a Handicap of 20 plus. Coming in with an excellent score of 33 points, was Ann NASH from Edgbaston GC, off a handicap of 24, closely followed by Val STENE (County Treasurer) and member at Kenilworth GC, who scored 32 points off a 27 handicap. Home players, Rachel SLICER-WATKINSON and Jane SOUTHALL also had 32 points but were pipped on countback.
The Shirley Course had been prepared to a very high standard by the Greens staff and the players enjoyed their rounds, even if in some cases scoring had been quite difficult. County Captain, Karen Hearn thanked Andy Smith and his Greens Staff for working so hard in getting the course to this standard and commented that "the course looked so fantastic from the clubhouse, she wished she had been playing" She went on to thank the numerous Shirley members who had acted as Starters, Caddies, Markers and those who had worked on the Registration Desk during the day, together with the Clubhouse Manager, Caterer, Office Administrator and Professional Shop staff who had all been so helpfull, both in the planning stages and during Day 1. Karen then named the 16 Qualifiers and stated their Start Times and Opponents for tomorrow morning's Knockout Round which will commence at 9 a.m.
In summarising the play, particularly for the Qualifying rounds (36 holes), there were a considerable amount of Pars and also several Birdies but the highlight of the day must be the two Eagle 3's scored on the Par 5, 16th hole, by home player and 2012 Champion, Katrina GANI. "It was quite easy really" she commented, " I reached the green in two and then sank the putt, on both rounds" If only golf for us mere mortals were that easy!! A great pity though that the 2013 Champion, Melissa NICOL had to withdraw after only 4 holes of Round 2 - she had damaged her wrist whilst playing recently and felt she would do further damage if she carried on playing.
To View the Final Results of the Day
Click Here for: Scores for the Bronze Division Championship
Click Here for: The MATCHPLAY Knockout Draw